Classic 13′ Boston Whaler Restoration

Boston Whaler 13 Restoration Interior

Boston Whaler 13

I love restoring boats, in the past I’ve restored an 18 Ft 2001 Wahoo center console, a 2005 Seaboss 180DC Dual Console. Each of these have been increasingly more demanding in the amount of restoration required. This Boston Whaler 13 I just bought (Less than 2 weeks after selling the SeaBoss) is no exception. Actually, it will require a significant amount of restoration to make it sea worthy again, not that I would take this boat out in Blue water.

I first saw one of these during a dive trip to Key Largo. I’ve always been a fan of the Boston Whaler boats. Chiefly because of the hull design on them. They handle more like a sports car, tracking hard turns fairly flat. At times at the risk of flinging folks out of the boat! The 13 footer intrigued me because of its looks and practicality.

Whaler 13 Hull and Interior

This 13 footer I picked up had a fairly solid hull and the transom is in excellent condition. Having a solid hull and transom on any 1966 boat is nothing short of a miracle. The interior was another story. There was some delamination in the bow area, which seems to be fairly common on these boats.


1966 Hull of 13' Boston Whaler. Good overall condition!
Severe delaminiation on bow of 1966 Boston Whaler 13

There was also a significant hole in the anchor locker. I presume from having an anchor bouncing around in there during it’s 52 years of use. Surprisingly, the fiberglass in that area of the boat was less than 1/8” thick. I thought this unusual for a this boat since they have such a solid reputation.

1988 Johnson 40hp

This boat came with a 1988 Johnson 40hp outboard. I’ve yet to see whether this motor is salvageable or not. The teraflex steering rod is stuck in the tilt tube. As if that isn’t enough,  the tilt tube itself is stuck with the engine in the raised position. I’ll have to solve those two issues before I attempt to start it. Starting it will be a challenge as well since the previous owner lost the key to the ignition switch. If I can get it started I’ll do a compression test and go from there.

Update on Motor

I’ve done a significant amount of work on this motor and it is running decently now. You can read on all the work I’ve done here: 40HP Johnson Restoration 

I have decided to not use the Johnson. I’ve opted for a newer (97) Yamaha two stroke. The key decision being that the Yamaha has power tilt and trim and the Johnson does not.

1988 40hp Johnson outboard with stuck teleflex steering and tilt tube frozen in the up position

The Restoration Project

Overall this looks to be a promising project. I’ve already researched what I need to do for the boat itself. I’ll be using epoxy resins for this project. These resins are extremely versatile in both fiberglass repair as well as filling in voids. The interior will be primed and painted with a marine grade polyurethane paint. I plan on finishing the hull with a sealer and a two part polyurethane paint using the roll and tip method.

For the interior, I plan on buying a pre-made mahogany interior for the boat. My goal is to restore it as close to it’s factory new condition as possible. But, there will be a few modern amenities such as the Teleflex steering and the electrical panel.

This page will be the landing page for this project. As I complete various parts of the restoration, I’ll add posts and link to them from this page. 

Articles in Boston Whaler 13 Restorations Series:

Boston Whaler Restoration – Norman Pins (Cleats) – Part 1

Boston Whaler Restoration – Delamination Fiberglass Repair – Part 2

Boston Whaler Restoration – Anchor Locker Fiberglass Repair – Part 3

Boston Whaler Restoration – Small Fiberglass Hole Repair – Part 4

Fiberglass Transom Repair – Boston Whaler Restoration – Part 5

Gelcoat and Fiberglass Repair of Large Missing Areas – Boston Whaler Restoration – Part 6

Fiberglass Paint Primer and Sanding – Boston Whaler Restoration – Part 7

How to Roll and Tip Topside Boat Paint – Boston Whaler Restoration – Part 8

How to Lift a Boat off a Trailer – Boston Whaler Restoration – Part 9

Sealing the Boat Transom Fiberglass Repair – Boston Whaler 13 Restoration – Part 10

Applying Spar Varnish to a Mahogany Interior – Boston Whaler 13 Restoration – Part 11

Damaged Hull Fiberglass Repair – Boston Whaler Restoration – Part 12

How to Fair and Prime a Hull with Epoxy Primer – Boston Whaler Restoration – Part 13

Roll, Don’t Tip Two Part Polyurethane Boat Paint! – Boston Whaler Restoration – Part 14

Installing the Boston Whaler Interior – Boston Whaler Restoration – Part 15

Installing the Boston Whaler Rub Rail – Part 16

Preparing Boston Whaler Console – Part 17A

Installing the Boat Console Wiring – Boston Whaler Restoration Part 17B

Boston Whaler Trailer Restoration

Boston Whaler 13 Related Links

Johnson Outboard 1988 40HP Restoration

Exit mobile version