"Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans"

Our first boat

We knew that when we purchased our Hartley TS16 for only $2400 there was going to be quite a bit of restoration involved.
We began by clearing out the contents of the boat and removed the floor boards. In doing so we found quite a few unwelcomed editions...

After removing the floor boards, styrofoam, dirt, leaves and unwanted animals we were ready to begin!

Phase 1: Remove dead wood The first step for us was to locate any dead/rotting wood and replace this with new timber. We didn’t expect this too take us very long however it was a bigger job than we initially thought.
There ended up being one big panel across the transom that had to be replaced, one area on the left gunwale and two on the right, along with some major structural damage under the floor boards.

Phase 2: Replace dead wood The next step was to replace all the areas of dead wood that had been removed. This meant we were off to Clinton’s second home…Bunnings!

The rotting back transom has been replaced with pine.

Phase 3: Seal new wood with epoxy and paint
After replacing the sections with the new wood it had to be sealed with a marine filler, then sanded, then a coat of epoxy and then a coat of undercoat and a finishing coat. On the transom we tried to match the red of the hull as best we could.

On the deck we just finished with a cream colour top deck paint from International paints. Its a non slip deck paint and doesn’t match the off white that the deck already is. But at some point we plan to take back the entire boat in a massive sanding job and give the hull and deck a fresh coat.
After the transom was finished we fitted the metal parts of the rudder assembly and sealed them with silicone.

Phase 4: Cockpit floor boards
The old floor boards we ripped out of both the cockpit and cabin were only 6mm thick and had been in a bad state of rot. We replaced the cockpit floor with 12mm marine grade ply which had to be carefully cut out to shape and then the edges routed smooth to stop the water getting in.
Each floor board had to be first coated in good old Everdure and then a coat of straight epoxy, followed by a coat of undercoat and then the non slip decking paint we used in the deck repairs. The finished result was very satisfying and strong.

Phase 5: Installing electronics
The most important reason we wanted to get some power in our boat was for the bilge pump. We didn’t know how the first water test of our boat was going to go so we needed a way of getting any water out of the boat quick if she had some major leaks. So clinton bought a small pump and fixed it next to the centerboard at the lowest point in the bilge. From here wires were run into the cabin and to a new marine switchboard that was fixed to one of the shelves already there. At some point this shelve will become a cabinet for all the electronics on board.
With the bilge pump we got an outlet hose and hull fixture so the water can be pumped out of the transom via a 19mm hose. This keeps the boat uncluttered and we don’t need to get into the bilge to get at the water.

We took the boat down to the boat ramp after all the restorations and sadly the hull still leaked some water. We really need to be able to get it off the trailer and flip the hull in order to fix all leaks.
As we do not have the ability to do this we sadly put our little sail boat up for sale, after 6 months of work!
We had a buyer within a week and our little boat has been shipped to Townsville where she will start her next adventures!


  1. WOW great job! Imagine what you can do on a bigger boat.

  2. Thanks again Dani!
    The credit for this has to go to my better half, he did a fantastic job, despite in the end having to sell.