Wood Boat Reality Check.


In this post I discussed how I have been trying to make a decision on this wood boat that has been haunting me for months.  It would be impossible to a make a proper and educated decision once and for all, without good reliable information, in regard to the cost of maintenance for a wood boat.  We decided to go to the source.


“Wooden boat building, repair & restoration.”

Pease Boat Works & Marine Railway is an internationally renowned wooden boat building yard (chart) on Cape Cod in the beautiful sea side village of Chatham, Massachusetts.

Located in Stage Harbor with access to Nantucket Sound we build, restore, and maintain a large variety of boats in the yard that was founded and once operated by the noted naval architect, Spaulding Dunbar.

100_4097 We met with one of the Pease brothers, Brad.  He showed us around.



Brad's Project Boat "Sea Chantey"

Brad’s Project Boat “Sea Chantey”

“Solipsys” a 40′ Monomoy was in for routine maintenance.  This boat is their own design and build.  We were lucky enough to get the grand tour of this beautiful boat.  We were impressed with the fine craftsmanship and attention to detail.




It really is hard to believe the quality of work and precision that goes into building wood boats.  Here are photos from the Pease Boat Works website.

building an Alerion at Pease Boat Works

FL-006 under construction for spring 2013

“So… Brad, what will it cost us to maintain this monster trawler?”

We sat down and talked about the cold hard reality of properly maintaining a 70′ wood boat like the Trawler that we were seriously considering.  He said that if we quote wanted a professional wood yard, such as theirs to pull the boat every couple years and keep everything in top notch condition, we would probably be looking at around 60k-80k every couple of years.  (Keep in mind this is a 70′, 100 ton wood trawler-BIG boat)  However, he did note that there are less expensive ways to get the job done, mentioning “If I owned the boat it would cost me about $15,000 a year.”  Basically, if an owner were doing the work themselves with the help of a couple buddies, then it could be done for 15k a year with materials.  He also said that if we could find someone that really knows what they are doing, then hired a few cheap, yet “energetic” laborers that we could keep it in good condition for less without having to do it all ourselves.

(Courtesy of Pease Boat Works)

(Courtesy of Pease Boat Works)

Brad was a really nice guy, who clearly new his stuff.  He was extremely patient with us newbies;  took the time to answer of all of our questions, describing a couple of different maintenance options with wood boats.  It was very technical stuff and we appreciated that he took the time to explain.

After talking with Brad, we have decided to rule out wood boats.  We would much rather put the extra time, energy, and money that a wood boat would require into having fun.  I’m glad that we went to visit Brad at Pease Boat Works.  The experience was educational and enlightening.  I may not be getting a wood boat, but if I ever need custom woodwork done, I know just where to go 🙂

Thanks Brad!!!


What are your thoughts on wood boats and maintenance?  Leave a comment and your 2 cents!!!

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