Grapeview Point Boat Works

81 E Grapeview Point Rd + Allyn, WA 98524 + 360-277-9015 + boat_works@yahoo.com

Grapeview Point Boat Works - Restoring a Beetle Cat

Beetle Cat before restoration Beetle Cat before restoration

We were recently asked to restore this Beetle Cat. These 12' x 6' beam one-design sailboats are popular on the East Coast.

We replaced 28 broken frames, replaced the centerboard, and recanvased the deck.

Here are some photographs of her before we began the restoration. A previous owner liberally spread epoxy resin over the bilges to try to stop the leaks caused by the broken frames.

Interior view of the Beetle Cat Interior view of the Beetle Cat
Broken frames needing repair Broken frames needing repair
Detail of broken frame Detail of broken frame
Old, very tired centerboard Old, very tired centerboard

The ferrous drifts are badly corroded, the rust scale has expanded the diameter of the drifts, and they have broken through the sides of the centerboard.


We began by removing the moldings around the coaming and the deck, and then the coaming itself. Up came the floorboards, bringing a few loose floors in the process. We assessed the scope of the project, and realized the extent of the damaged frames. We had to remove most of the foredeck to replace the frames forward of the centerboard trunk.

We had to remove most of the foredeck to repair the frames forward of the centerboard trunk We had to remove most of the foredeck to repair the frames forward of the centerboard trunk
A new white oak frame steam-bent in place A new white oak frame steam-bent in place

After replacing the interior frames, the hull was stiff enough to be turned over and refastened. The old caulking had to be removed, and cedar splines were inserted in some seams to reduce the size of the gaps. After caulking, the seams were puttied, and we applied two coats of bottom paint.

Removing the old caulking Removing the old caulking
The seams are puttied after recaulking The seams are puttied after recaulking
And last we applied two coats of bottom paint And last we applied two coats of bottom paint

Then we turned her over again to replace the deck and the canvas. Installing the canvas was definately a two person job - there was only 3/8" of canvas to spare at the maximum beam. After tacking the canvas down we wetted the canvas to shrink it. We painted the canvas while still wet, otherwise the paint would just bead up and not penetrate the canvas. We applied three coats of paint.

Installing new canvas on the beetlecat Installing new canvas on the beetlecat
Painting the new canvas deck Painting the new canvas deck

When the paint was dry, we reinstalled the coaming, and the coaming and deck moldings. The coaming molding came apart in pieces when it was removed, so we had to steam bend a new piece of white oak to fit. We then applied a couple of coats of varnish.

The owners planned to complete the varnish and interior paint themselves, so with these repairs complete, she was ready to be be returned to them. Another wooden boat is reborn!

Bending the molding around the coaming Bending the molding around the coaming
The new frames are complete, and the floor boards are ready for new paint The new frames are complete, and the floor boards are ready for new paint
The repaired beetlecat, ready for more varnish and interior paint The repaired beetlecat, ready for more varnish and interior paint

When you are ready to discuss your project, please call us at (360) 277-9015 or send us an email at boat_works@yahoo.com. We look forward to working with you!


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