1939 Barrelback 19 ft CC with West System Bottom

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1939 Barrelback 19 ft CC with West System Bottom

Postby Markhondru » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:17 am

Hello, I am purchasing my first wooden boat next week. It is a 1939 barrelback. A west system was installed in 1995 and the boat has been very well maintained and stored out of the water most of the time. I have been reading a lot about the west system and the 5200 system and have gotten different views. I an having it inspected this week as it is in Wisconsin and I am in Pittsburgh. Can you offer me advice on what to ask and look for in the inspection. The last thing I want to do is dump 20k into a new bottom from the start. How do I know if keel,planks etc. Are in good working order and there is no rot etc. Excited but concerned new boat owner. Thank you, Mark Hondru
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Re: 1939 Barrelback 19 ft CC with West System Bottom

Postby Greg Wallace » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:42 am

I would determine if it is a true "West System" (plywood laminate as opposed to plank on frame applied with epoxy).

West System done properly by the "book" is ok, but the term is often used to describe any construction method using West Epoxy (or any epoxy for that matter).

The same can be said for "5200 bottom". Just because it is represented as such does not mean it was done as prescribed.

Wrong is wrong no matter what method was used.

For this reason I would find out who did the work and verify what was done and research the reputation of the shop.

I have experienced situations where a reputable shop was given credit for the work by the seller only to find out the credible shop's involvement was minimal.

Amateur work can be spectacular but the key is documentation and inspection by a reputable/qualified entity.

The boat you are looking at suggests a significant investment on your part so do your homework up front and if that includes paying for an inspection then do it.

I will be surprised if you don't get plenty of comments and useful information here.

Good Luck.

Good Luck
Greg Wallace 23 Custom 22166 former Chris-Craft dealer Russells Point, Oh.
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Re: 1939 Barrelback 19 ft CC with West System Bottom

Postby drrot » Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:46 pm

#1 Have it surveyed by a professional that knows wood boats.
#2 See#1
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Re: 1939 Barrelback 19 ft CC with West System Bottom

Postby Don Vogt » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:33 pm

Welcome, Mark. Greg and drrot are giving you good advice.
1938 Chris Craft 17' Deluxe Runabout "Jennifer II"
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Re: 1939 Barrelback 19 ft CC with West System Bottom

Postby Markhondru » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:35 pm

Thank you both. Jechorts wooden boat works out of winneconne Wisconsin replaced the bottom in 1995 with the west system bottom and is doing the inspection as they are still in business. Been doing wooden boat restorations since the 1980s and states not one of his west system bottoms has failed. He knows the boat. I Will ask about how he did the west system bottom as you mentioned. Great help. Thank you, Mark
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Re: 1939 Barrelback 19 ft CC with West System Bottom

Postby mbigpops » Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:41 pm

Sounds like a conflict of interest to me. You should get an independent survey from someone that did not work on the boat. Also get in process photos from the restoration shop. They should have them.

Another Mark
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Re: 1939 Barrelback 19 ft CC with West System Bottom

Postby Don Danenberg » Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:45 pm

Just so's ya know...,
I have letters from Gougeon and WEST SYSTEM, INC (r) that say that "There is no such thing as a "West System Bottom".
THEY say that "West System (r)" is an epoxy product they sell, "like Nike or Coke", there is NO "system" implied!

Caveat Emptor. Let the buyer beware.
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Re: 1939 Barrelback 19 ft CC with West System Bottom

Postby Markhondru » Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:01 am

Thank you for all the sound advice. I have talked to the inspection person quite a few times and he promised me that he would be unbiased. I told him whatever it needs please tell me so I can negotiate with the seller and I would possibly give him the work it needs including touch up varnish and bottom repainted.Thanks, Mark
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Re: 1939 Barrelback 19 ft CC with West System Bottom

Postby Markhondru » Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:03 am

Do you know where I can find a good wooden boat inspector in Wisconsin?
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