Project Focus – 26′ Lyman Hardtop “North Wind”

This boat came to us again last fall for winter storage and for a “freshening up” in preparation for a possible sale in the spring.  We checked over the bottom and finding nothing of concern we examined the rest of the boat to address any issues.  Since coming to Vermilion in the mid-1990’s from the Michigan, “North Wind” has passed through two owners and has been maintained in excellent condition.  The only major issue found was a rotten forward starboard corner of the hardtop.   The rest of the projects were mostly cosmetic.


Rotten starboard forward corner of hardtop.

The aluminum strip around the hardtop can collect water in the corners and if the fasteners are not installed with a sealant they can allow the water to enter into the grain of the wood.  In this case only this corner had the problem and it was relatively small so we worked towards a solution that would not require removing the hardtop (making the project significantly more expensive); however, we had to make sure that we didn’t bond to corner of the hardtop to the windshields prohibiting the hardtop to be removed at some point down the line.


The top of the windshield sections were coated with epoxy and then several coats of wax applied to prevent the new piece of the hardtop from adhering to the windshield.


The new piece installed. The old rotten piece is above.

A new piece was installed and 2 layers of epoxy laminate laid over it (the rest of the hardtop had been fiberglassed previously).   A few small patches of fiberglass were required at the back edge of the hardtop as well.  Two coats of Semi-Gloss White were applied once the hardtop repair was complete.


A "before" photo of the front windows with the orange stain and the decks with the Cetol finish.

The Cetol finish on the teak decks had worn through in some places and patching it would not have been worth the effort.  After discussions with the owner, we decided to sand the Cetol finish off the entire deck and leave it unfinished to give the next owner the choice of finish (or let it weather).  The teak front windshields were stained to match the Cetol finish (more of an orange tint) on the decks so we stripped, sanded and applied our standard teak process of Epifanes Woodfinish as sealer and Schooner 96 varnish topcoat.


"After" photo of the sanded, unfinished teak decks and varnished teak front windows. (Note also repaired corner of hardtop).

The underside of the hardtop has a tendency to collect condensation which usually leads to mold and needs to be cleaned every so often during the year or at the end of the season.  If it is left untended it may need to be cleaned, sanded an repainted.  When rebuilding hardtops, we offer the owner the option of installing a white high-pressure laminate (such as Formica) on the underside of the hardtop.  This is a non-traditional repair but is much easier to keep clean.  For “North Wind”, it only needed to be scrubbed with a cleanser and stiff brush.


Underside of hardtop prior to cleaning. When performing complete rebuild of hardtops, we give the owner the option of installing a white laminate which is much easier to clean and keep clean.

Here’s the list of the rest of the tasks for this project:

  • sand and varnish swim platform and transom
  • paint bottom
  • sand and apply 2 coats varnish to side windows, windshields and forward hatch
  • sand and varnish dash area under window and companionway hatch

“North Wind” is currently listed for sale and you can see photos of the boat after completion of the project on this page. 


About Mike

I pinch myself every day... I can't believe I'm back in Vermilion working at the boatyard! I grew up spending afternoons and summer days working at Moes Marine. I moved to Boston after college and met my wonderful wife, Maura, while living life in the big city and working at Boston BoatWorks. We traveled and volunteered abroad for 9 months in 2009 and then found our way back to our families in Ohio. We are now living in downtown Vermilion with our son, Owen, who visits the boatyard daily at coffee break!