Hvalsoe Boats - Eric Hvalsoe notable past repairs

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Notable past repairs and renovations


Dragon, "Pip "

The Dragon is a 30 foot former Olympic Class sloop, professionally built in the mid-1960s by Kevin Seville.

The Dragon, Pip, was brought to Hvalsoe Boats with deteriorated floor timbers and delaminating frames.  The glued skin of the hull was intact – and carrying much of boat’s load – as the vessel’s lower frame sections had delaminated and the floor timbers were in poor condition.

Hvalsoe Boats developed a three season plan to restore the structural integrity of the hull. This plan allowed the owner to race the boat during the summers, while continuing the restoration of this classic wooden boat during the winters.

After two seasons, the majority of floor timbers, frame heels and a portion of the keelson and forefoot have been replaced.  As of July 2007, the Pip is happily back on the water and sailing.



 New frames. 





Floor timbers, section of keelson. 




Pip, ready for launch. 

“Venture” - Yankee One Design sloop sailboat

The keel on this pretty sloop had begun to move independently of the hull while under sail, pulling open the boat’s garboard seams. Eric Hvalsoe designed and fabricated three large “ring frames” spaced along the keel bolts, better integrating the keel and the hull. The repair strengthened the boat overall, keeping it from further deterioration and in continued service.


23 foot full keel sloops, Norwegian built

Nine of these Kutters formerly made a fleet in Cozy Cove on Lake Washington near Seattle. Over the course of many years, Eric Hvalsoe worked on many of them, performing repairs on various components, including floor timbers, planks and horn timbers.

More recently, Hvalsoe restored the hull integrity of a Kutter brought to his shop in Shoreline, performing frame and plank repairs.


A Ben Seaborne designed, Blanchard built sloop, 33 feet LOA with a carvel construction. This sailboat required required replanking and replacement of multiple steam bent frames.

Bristol Bay Gillnetter

An interesting project Eric Hvalsoe performed in team with Brad Rice and Dierk Jochim,both fellow Puget Sound area boatwrights, to restore the “Admirable,” a Bristol Bay Gillnetter owned by the Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle. Much of the structural hull work was completed in public view on the Seattle waterfront at the OdysseyMaritimeDiscoveryMuseum.  The project called for the Gillnetter to receive new planks and steambent frames, a large task with the Gillnetters’ oversized workboat scantlings. Jochim later completed the restoration at The Center for Wooden Boats.

This type of boat was developed in 1869 for gillnetting salmon in San Francisco, but quickly became a standard type, with local variations, from the Columbia River to Bristol Bay, Alaska. Fishing under sail in these boats was mandatory in Bristol Bay until 1952. It is currently viewable at the CWB’s South Lake Union campus.

Amie, Friendship sloop 

Hvalsoe Boats complete a complex repair and reconstruction of the Friendship sloop's transom, sheer planks and the installation of a new deck.

Amie was built by Bob Holcomb and launched in 1978.  She is privately owned and on loan to The Center for Wooden Boats.

Amie is 25 feet on deck.

Maybe VII

Sparkman and Stephens designed Six Meter sailboat.

Installation of new cockpit..  Stripping and refinishing the varnished bright mahogany hull.





Left - Maybe VII

Motorboats / Motoryachts 

17 foot Resorter, Century runabout, mid 1960’s production model

Transported to Seattle from Michigan, via Lake Tahoe, this runabout’s mahogany planked (seam batten construction) hull leaked badly. The vessel was in imminent danger of sinking. When brought to the shop, Eric Hvalsoe investigated the hull's integrity. He removed the bottom planking and discovered that virtually all of the bottom frames were fractured and badly distorted. Subsequent leaking had caused areas of rot among the oak frames, transom and lower stem.  Rather than leaving any suspect original wood, the entire bottom structure was replaced.  The renovation included replacement of engine stringers, frames, keel, chines, transom and forefoot.  An Okume marine plywood laminated bottom was installed, replacing the mahogany plank bottom.



Setting engine stringers.





New bottom frames, floors 





 Cutting the keel rabbet




 Laminating bottom






Thompson runabout

17 foot outboard runabout, built in the early 1960s.

Major repair and renovation project, requiring new keel, transom, interior, floorboards, decks and windshield.

Chris Craft Constellation

Strenghen and reinforce Salon deck framing and engine hatches.  New sole surface, teak with beech inlay over plywood subdeck.


1950s Reinell, lapstrake inboard launch

Picnic, a trailered launch, showed signs of rot around her transom.

To investigate, Eric Hvalsoe peeled off the plywood veneer transom that had been fastened over its original transom constructed of Alaskan Yellow Cedar. Rot was found. The lower portion of the original transom was replaced.  An outer transom surface of Honduras Mahogany was laminated over the original transom face. Several plank and frame repairs were also completed. The boat is currently being used around the Seattle area.

Small Craft

The Disappearing Propeller Boat (aka, a Dippy or Dispro)

One of the more unusual boats to visit Hvalsoe’s shop, the Dispro design is a double ended lapstrake hull with a small inboard engine and retracting shaft and propeller.  More than 50 years old, this original Dippy had a “tired hull.” It’s restoration called for all new Western Red Cedar planking, multiple oak frames, and new stern post. Additionally, Hvalsoe replaced most of the boat’s interior, including decking, gunnels, floorboards and seats.



Left - Dispro at Eric Hvalsoe's former shop in South Seattle.

Poulsbo boat

Hvalsoe has restored several Poulsbo boats. The fishing and pleasure launches were built for more than 40 years by legendary local boat building Ronald Young of Poulsbo.

“Dolphin,” an 18 foot Poulsbo boat, with a single cylinder Volvo Penta, received a new interior, including  engine box, helm station, bench seats, floorboards and engine controls. The hull was also repaired, faired and refinished.  Hvalsoe continues occasional maintenance on the launch.

 New engine beds   

Poulsbo project complete.

Poulsbo project complete. 




Another 18 foot Poulsbo boat most recently seen in Woodenboat No. 196, was partially restored at Hvalsoe Boats. Hvalsoe stripped the boat to a bare hull and performed various frame and backbone repairs.  Eric refinished the interior of the hull, fabricated new engine stringers, and installed a new Atomic 4 gas engine as per the client’s wishes.


A beautiful lapstrake pulling boat, Whitebears were built on WhitebearLake in upstate New York in years past.  Left to the weather, this peviously varnished hull was in dire need of some TLC.  Taken to wood and refinished inside and out.