Project Focus – Caulking “Sea Dawn”


Caulking "Sea Dawn"

Wooden boats take special care and attention when launching for the first time in spring.  It is very rare (and not recommended) that you can launch a wooden boat and immediately take a fast cruise out on the lake.  The properties of wood and the type of construction make it so a wooden boat must take time to allow the planks absorb water and swell up closing the seams in the planking.


Filling the seam with cotton...

Sometimes the boat doesn’t swell up in a timely manner so you need to search for any seams that may have lost their caulking.  This morning Dad caught some photos of me underneath the 37′ Crocker yawl “Sea Dawn” re-packing and caulking some trouble seams with cotton and roofing tar.  It would have been preferable to pick the boat up and bring it out of the water to do the repair on dry land, but the masts were on the railway ready to be stepped!  Instead our workboat, the “Punt” (worthy of it’s own story here on the website at some point), provided a somewhat stable platform for the repair.


... and then "driving it home" (the term for pounding the cotton into the seam with the proper tools.

“Sea Dawn” was built in the late 1940’s according to one of the designs of Sam Crocker.  This was actually a kit boat!  The kit was cut up in Bay City, Michigan and delivered to Snyder Boat Yard in Toledo, Ohio.  The current owner purchased it in 1980 and around 2003 he decided that it was time to take “Sea Dawn” out of the water for a few years for some repairs.  The owner’s wife was at a conference in Alaska that my Mom was attending and she happened to ask my Mom if she knew of any boatyards that specialized in wooden boats where he could take on this project!  “Sea Dawn” came to Moes Marine that following fall and the owner relaunched the boat in 2007.

Every boat has a story!



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!