Doug and Gina McQuilken, Mount Pleasant, SC

The Restoration of Valiant, a 22′ Charles Crosby Catboat

[Doug McQuilken has been] a longtime admirer of catboats and a member of the Catboat Association, but in 2007, he set out to find one of his own.

At the time, he lived in the Northeast, and he was looking for a project, something he could use to teach himself about the peculiarities of traditional boat building but it couldn’t be in too rough of shape.

And after two years of searching the region with his very patient wife, he found a boat that was mid-way through being restored by a master carpenter who passed away 20 years earlier before he could finish it. McQuilken later discovered its name – Valiant – and that it was built sometime between 1910 and 1920. 

Doug built a website to document the history and restoration of Valiant.

Visit the Valiant website

The boat restoration project that spawned a niche search engine

He was seven years into [the restoration project] and finding parts was a pain. He scoured sites like eBay and Craigslist, but the trouble was not just finding what he needed, but happening upon it before someone else could snatch it up.

He also diligently perused page after page of Google search results until he hit the last one. Google sometimes comes up with hundreds of millions of results, but you can only look at the first thousand, McQuilken said. Who’s ever gone through that many pages of Google searches? “I have,” he said.

He knew there was a better way, he just had to build it. 

Read entire article: The boat restoration project that spawned a niche search engine - MOULTRIE NEWS

Photos (by Sean McQuilken) from the transfer of  Valiant from one trailer to blocks, then onto another (larger) trailer.  They are a good behind the scenes look at what it takes to handle heavy, antique boats.  

1) Valiant halfway off the small trailer

2) Off of the small trailer

3) Centering and leveling her on the new (larger) trailer

4) Bow on shot all loaded and secured for the road

5) Stern on shot all loaded and secured for the road

6) Mast and boom (original as far as we can tell) loaded onto the small trailer

7) All secured in her new home!

Budget-minded boat owners looking for hard-to-find parts for a refit or restoration project have a new online resource. Created by Doug McQuilken, who is restoring a vintage wooden catboat, (aka BUPS) has helped thousands of boat owners locate parts.