For years, BoatU.S. Magazine’s popular
Makeover column has been an inspiration on the back page of each issue.
This month, we’re moving our members’ restoration projects up into the
feature section, so we all can enjoy
even more tales of impressive boat
makeovers. Going forward, every few
issues here in the feature section we’ll
highlight more great makeovers.
If you’re embarking on your own
project, take lots of high-resolution
before, during, and after photos, and
send them to us at Magazine@BoatUS.
com when your makeover is finished.
And remember, your project doesn’t
have to be a full overhaul. We’re always
interested to see your smaller makeover projects as well!
For the last 35 years I’ve been build- ing and restoring boats, initially as a professional but now, in later years, as an amateur. My proj- ects range from building Hustler
speedboats back in the 1990s to restoring
theft- and storm-damaged boats. My dad
got me interested in boatbuilding back in
the 1970s when he bought a 20-foot Gil
Smith catboat. The hours and days we
spent together keeping that boat floating lit
a spark that still burns within me.
Fast forward to 2013. I was feeling that something was missing in my
life. Not wanting to get in over my head,
I found a 12-foot Beetle catboat that
needed some love. This got me back on
Cathern, 18-foot Herman Catboat
the water, but it was just too small for
Dad and me. I needed something larger.
Online searches brought up an interesting boat, an unfinished hull that was in
need of a home and a friend: an 18-foot
Herman catboat designed by Charles
Whitzhull. She was scratch-built from
plans supplied by the Wooden Boat Store.
She is cold-molded with three layers of
veneers sheathed with fiberglass cloth
and epoxy. A guy in Kansas, who sadly
passed away when the boat was only half
complete, started the building of Cathern.
After his passing, the hull sat for a while
and the elements took their toll. While
the hull was intact, the cockpit wasn’t
and required some serious rebuilding. I