GB32 Woodie Under Contract: Lots of Questions :)

The friendliest place on the web for anyone who enjoys boating.
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.
Best reason :)

The cushions are so classic with the navy/white piping.:flowers:

Ha ha, classic description :D

I see the photo of the converter, but can you say a bit more about it? Brand/model, and how much of a degree in "building your own computer" you needed to get it running?

Hey there - so it’s an NMEA analog to digital data converter for engine gauges. I bought the Chinese version from Ali express as a $100 gamble. I think the Noland is $400.

It converts 10+ guages for 2 engines into standard NMEA 2k readable engine data for any modern chart plotter. I got 2 garmin 742s and it was plug and play - with some caveats.

It’s runs the amp off the tach, and some toggle switches to tune it to the right frequency. The oil pressure sender needs to be for a single gauge setup and EU spec. I just swapped mine out. And you can’t run your analog gauges and digital, as the signal will get screwy.

Limited instructions with the Chinese version but it was straightforward and I can walk you through it. I had to get a @$20 router switch to network the 2 garmins, radar, transducer and engine data, but that’s only because I got another 742 for the flybridge and it was only able to get basic depth and engine data with a single cable. To get full radar and transducer I had to plug everything into the router first, then run a cable from the router to each garmin.

It was a much more modern setup snd way cheaper than trying to fix and replace the old gauges. I cut my flybridge engine Instrumente out complete snd just installed a Navpod where those were. Looks much better.


  • AF70478A-066E-4E5D-9271-60AE2452AC90.jpg
    109.1 KB · Views: 22
  • 66779BAB-AD17-49EF-B318-5E15B8B455A5.jpg
    133.4 KB · Views: 24
As an old GB woodie owner, I am so pleased to see you doing this. Any plans for the cabin overheads? I filled the areas between the frames with 1.5 inches of insulating foam and covered with white Formica trimmed in teak.


  • DSC00134.jpg
    72.6 KB · Views: 30
Thanks for all the information on the analog to digital converter. So it sounds like it may be similar to an Actisense EMU-1. At least in function anyway.

Pretty cool that you were able to take the chance on the cheaper one and make it all work. Good going!

(Also thanks so much for your generous offer of help. I don't have an engine to convert.... yet. But I'd be shocked if any trawlerish boat I were to buy had anything modern enough to not need one of these so I've been starting to learn about them.)
Just stumbled on to this thread and have to say, it's the best story I've read in my life. Your GB is a gorgeous boat and the work you've done is to be commended. I'm another one that believes in saving these beautiful wood boats that are a piece of art and history.

I've loved boats since I was a kid (born in 1954) and the first boat we had (that I remember) was a 12' wood boat w/ a 12 HP Sea King that a distant relative built and my dad traded his aluminum boat and Evinrude outboard for it. I've owned countless fiberglass boats and then in 1994 bought a 1966 32 GB. That rekindled my love of wood boats. We lived in the PNW at the time and had to move (due to a job relocation) to VA in 1998. I haven't emailed with the person that purchased her in a long time but last I heard the cabin (and bridge of course) were badly damaged when a shed roof caved in under a heavy snow and he had it rebuilt and still cruising her.

Fast forward to 2013. We didn't have a boat after moving for 15 years as our daughter was heavily involved in soccer and the reality was we'd never have weekends to use a boat. We finally decided to try getting back into boating in 2013 and wanted to wade into the water financially and found a 1960 Cruise-Along in VA. It was a boat that was popular in the 60's and they were built on the Chesapeake Bay. It was plywood hull and
looked similar to a Chris Craft sun bridge/express cruiser type boat from the same era. We had that boat for 1 summer and fell in love with boating again and decided to look for a 32 GB.

With an extreme stroke of luck, I found a 1972 32' GB up on the Toms River in NJ. It was in a very old and top notch wood boat yard. Having owned one before, I knew the problem areas. To say this boat had a ton of work done to it would be an understatement. The story I was told and have no reason to doubt was the owners wife was very tired of the money pit and at this point didn't like the boat and wanted it gone. We ended up striking a deal (put together by a creative broker and genuinely nice person) where the broker took our Cruise Along in trade and the balance was the significant bill at the yard. Not sure what kind of a deal he made with the seller but it worked fo us! He never moved the Cruise Along to NJ and we (he owned it and I showed it) advertised it on CL for a very reasonable price and it sold in a month.

The boat yard had hundreds of photos of the work at various stages and I have photos of the boat with no fly bridge and portions of the cabin missing. There's pics of planks missing on each side towards the stern and the entire teak deck in the cockpit was removed. The yard replaced all bad planks and re-caulked the entire hull. They replaced both fuel tanks while the back deck was out and then did the back deck in marine plywood and fiber glassed the entire deck and up the gunwale and applied non-skid. The entire fly bridge was rebuilt as well as any bad spots in the cabin and then the entire cabin and bridge were fiber glassed. The deck in the bridge was fiber glassed and non-skid applied. They did a fantastic can't tell that it's not the original fly bridge.

The boat had been stripped of most systems although all new plumbing was put in and the electrical is the original DC and AC panels with most wiring updated. The boat had no sanitation and no electronics. There was one compass, the original installed at the lower helm.

All side cabin windows and the one rear cabin window had been replaced with aluminum sliding windows that look and function great. For those interested, there are stickers on one window that says they came from (probably custom built) by a company named Wynn in AL. About Us

Since repacking the prop shaft with high speed pump packing (a proven idea passed to me from someone at our marina) there is no water leaking on that packing gland and is cool to the touch when underway. Some may scoff at this idea but trust me, it works really well. This packing is made to be used for pump shafts turning at very high RPM's and our motors turn at what...1500 most of the time? The bilge on this boat stays dry and doesn't even seep water after being out 4-5 days for bottom paint and maint. That's how tight it is.

I added reverse cycle heat and AC, a quiet flush vacuum toilet, all new sanitation hoses, holding tank and new potable water tank (all plastic). I added VHF at both helms as well as a nice Garmin Chart Plotter that also gives you a menagerie of information like speed over water, true compass heading, etc and a new compass up top. We also added a lot of Navy canvas and Navy window screens.

We've painted the hull once and it's holding up really well with very minimal plank movement over 6 years. I'm considering painting the hull with Awlcraft, not to be confused with Awlgrip.

Like most wood boat owners, owning and working on a wood boat is a hobby to me. Not just cruising in the boat. I enjoy winter days putzing on my boat in it's covered moorage. We're currently considering moving up and if I can find a beautiful wood 36, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. But the reality is, finding a boat with all the work done like we did on our 32 is going to be nothing short of a miracle. I love this boat a lot but there's not much you can do to add a real bed and a stand alone shower within the space allowed on a GB 32.

To the OP; your story is incredible. I'm a DIY kind of guy that also knows my limits and what I'm capable of and what's best left to an expert. My boat was perfect for me because I'm not an expert (finish) wood worker but can do most behind the scenes wood work and anything mechanical and electrical. My hats off to you for taking this project on and doing everything you have. Your boat is nothing short of beautiful!
Hull #11

We purchased a 1966 32 foot GB sedan cruiser in Oct of 2020. Hull #11 of 861 built... It was basically sound, but we knew going in it wound require a lot of work and cash. Now a year into the reno and upgrades I happy to report my first observations were right on target. That said, my wife and I could not be happier that we bought this old GB woody.

Anyone can own a plastic boat, it takes a "special" person to own a woody. One cannot "like" a wooden boat, one must "love" it. We have had two custom boats built over the last 39 years. One a Devlin designed boat,(wood composite) and the other an Eastern Pilot house lobster boat, (glass). "Number 11" our Grand Banks is the most fun by far. (No Kids so we don't have to worry leaving anyone any $$.) I told my banker the other day that they should have moorage along side the bank. It would make it easier to transfer funds. That said, there is nothing like having a wood hull underneath you.

We had all the wiring gutted and redone. The head removed, head compartment gutted and a composting toilet installed. All the thru hulls replaced or removed and re-planked where required. Fastenings were removed, checked and reinstalled as they were in near perfect condition. The original 290E 6cyl. 108 HP Ford Lehmann was gone over, and upgraded. The drive shaft was pulled and the stuffing box rebuilt. The rudder post's stuffing box rebuilt as well. The still working 53 year old Raritan 6 gal water heater and all the plumbing systems were replaced. We basically have a new boat on an old but sound hull. There is still things to do and there will always be. There's one of the original fuel tanks , I am keeping a watch full eye on and there is the leaky window and a couple of newly discovered deck leaks. Just the routine stuff you know.

This will most likely be our last boat project. We will pass this boat along one day and someone is going to end up with a really nice little cruiser. We certainly will not make money nor will we get back what we have put into it in a monetary sense, but boats like these deserve to be maintained and cherished. We just feel fortunate to be able to keep this boat floating and keeping it the "best that it can be.".............Now back to the forum to see how others have approached their leaky decks and windows. Good luck, be safe and enjoy.......

PS: We recently moved "Number 11" to Nanaimo, BC , our slip happens to be right next to GB 32 hull # 10.... How crazy is that? Both built side by side 55 years ago in HK, now they sit nose to nose in BC.
Festus, what an interesting story. Welcome to the forum. 10 & 11 side by side, Have you bought a lottery ticket, those odds must be insane.
Festus, what an interesting story. Welcome to the forum. 10 & 11 side by side, Have you bought a lottery ticket, those odds must be insane.

Similarities: Aged, wooden boats that float!! Cuts down the odds. Still, very amazing!
Happy to hear someone else is happy with wooden boats.

the way i see it the more you spent $ and time the more you will love your boat.

I love mine for the same reasons.
Thank you Festus and COD for keeping theses boats alive. If I had the check book I would have a stable full of wooden boats.
Good morning !

Good morning Cigatoo !

Thanks for your note. FYI the Misses and I resided in Lincoln , RI for nearly twenty years. We raced sailboats and cruised Narragansett Bay all of those years before we packed it in and I brought my wife home to Canada. I still miss the boating culture found back east, but its hard to complain living here in the midst of the Gulf Islands.

I have always had a great appreciation for wooden boats, but never the time or resources to jump in too deep. Now retired and the eventual end of an active life visible on what I hope to be the distant horizon, it was now or never. Not sure how this adventure will play out, but we are enjoying the process along the way.

We are still very much connected with our boating friends in RI and SE MA.
If you find yourself tied up in Bristol, stop in and have a pint at Adan's for me, or if it's East Greenwich, a lobster roll from the Lostermania would be nice.

Secure your lines, steady as she goes, winter is on your way.
Take care and be well,
Festus and Bruce ~ What awesome stories! It really is a small world.

Festus we're originally from the PNW and had #22 built in 1966 and did a lot of cruising in BC. #11 and 12 being side by side again is absolutely amazing.

Bruce ~ Our current woody is #322 so pretty close to yours and I wondered if they were in construction at the same time but in reality I'd guess they only built a few at a time.'s great to be in such awesome company!

We're considering selling ours and getting a 36 or 42 but really struggling with pulling the trigger because I know I'll never find one that's had all the extensive work done on her. Bigger would be nice but I'm also 67 so maybe 15 or so boating years left if I'm lucky. The yard I bought her from did a lot of structural work and then we've finished her up as she was pretty much stripped of all systems and needed canvas and upholstery as well.
Hey COD, Yes it is a small world. Met a new friend on the docks the other day. Came over to check out Number 11 and he tells me he grew up in HK and his parents apartment over looked the American Marine Yard on Junk Road. He even went to school with the owner's kids and his dad had them build him a sailboat.

Just one correction, not sure where hull # 12 is, but it's # 10 we share a dock with in Nanaimo. Tough decision you are facing regarding a bigger boat. The 32 is about all the boat we can handle these days. Good luck to you and thanks for you note! Old guys like old boats, who knew.....Too funny.
@COD and @Festus - great stories and thank you so much for sharing. Sorry I didn't reply earlier I totally missed these notes...

Yes this project went full circle with comments starting at "you're a complete idiot" which then evolved to "I applaud your determination but question your sanity" which then became "oh wow you're really making a go of this" to "its really turning into something" to "this is amazing I can't believe the transformation" and people yelling "Hey Barbary Ghost, I'm following you on the internet!!".

Half the fun of this boat is the camaraderie around its restoration and sharing a passion with like minded people. There is not a single time we've taken it out where we haven't had multiple people come up to us to compliment the boat or come aboard to ask us about it.

And yea it took more time and money than I expected, but then again we we went from a train wreck to a really nice boat in 6 months, and a fiberglass GB32 thats as nice as ours would cost 2-3x what we have into it. So spiritually and economically it all worked out :)

Projects have slowed down as we are full swing in kids soccer season and all the weekends have been taken up. But the window frames (still not perfect but look waaaay better than before), wire up the electric head (big applause from boat guests), and removed 8 more deck fasteners that were leaking in the foredeck, drilled them out, epoxied them and replugged with larger 1/2" teak bungs. Now just like 500 to go :)

We had our first rains of the year here, and some pretty big ones at that, so its given me an opportunity to find the remaining leaks. I will post some updates on that soon as I could use some advice from the collective.
Yes this project went full circle with comments starting at "you're a complete idiot" which then evolved to "I applaud your determination but question your sanity" which then became "oh wow you're really making a go of this" to "its really turning into something" to "this is amazing I can't believe the transformation" and people yelling "Hey Barbary Ghost, I'm following you on the internet!!".

Nice progress. i am lagging way behind I am still at...
"you're a complete idiot" and "I applaud your determination but question your sanity"

thanks for the update
To All...I have been struggling to get a note off to the forum. Apparently, 10 years of use on a cheap computer and stuff starts happening. Who knew? While it could be an operator error I am convince this machine has it out for me...HA!

Anyways, my GB32, "Number 11" story runs parallel to the Bruce's. More time, more work and more money. I knew this was going to be the case going in so it is good to know I had something right about this adventure. Little victories help.

We had a good year, spent most of it working on 11. The boat has had all the systems repaired, replaced or updated. We took out 7 kitchen trash bags full of old wiring. All the thru hulls removed and replaced. The entire exterior of the cabin was repaired, faired and repainted. The head closet was gutted and an Airhead composting toilet was installed. New plumbing with a new Raritan HW tank. The engine was given a thorough going over by Gartside Diesel in Victoria, BC. The shaft pulled and realigned, The drive shaft log rebuilt and the rudder post and shaft stuffing boxes rebuilt. The crew at Abernethy and Gaudin in Brentwood Bay, BC did a lot of this work and they did an outstanding job on the head closet. If it weren't for the fresh paint and the composting toilet, the head would pass as the original. If you do not know about Abernethy and Gaudin check out their website. It's worth a visit.

We thought we would we would be looking at a full cruising year in 2022, BUT the recent rains here in BC have us changing our plans a bit. We have been presented with a few deck leaking issues and one leaking window issue. The window is pretty much a straight forward project, but the deck is a different matter. Having grown up in the roofing business, I learned early that the leak is not necessarily directly above where it is leaking in. It could be leaking in 10 - 15 feet away, but then you folks know this already. I have been able to find and fix a few, but the question becomes, do I want to spend the next few seasons chasing leaks or do I want to jump in an replace the deck? I could attack a leak here and there, but if water is getting in the long term prognosis is not good. So, while I had hoped to put it off for another year or two, I think this spring we will begin the process of replacing the decking, before the sub decking or deck beams become an issue.

I have been researching various options and it's a bit scary in terms of cost. While I would love to replace the teak, I cannot justify the cost, unless we hit the lottery or the DOW ends the year at 40,000 +. I am not going to bet the farm on either happening.

I have been looking at various options and have visited a shop that does both teak and flexi-teek a synthetic. Then there is always glass and non skid paint. While the jury is still out on this one, I'm pretty sure we will go the synthetic route. It is not our first choice, but it is an option that falls between glassing and non skid paint and real teak. I cringe a little thinking about it, but then we are not doing a museum reproduction, and in keeping with GB's original intention of building a practical and affordable cruising machine, I can live with it. Times and materials change. (It is a good thing the human mind is very good at finding justifications for almost anything one wants to do).

I have seen a 32 that was done with Flexi-teek and it looks ok, pretty nice actually . The owners love it and it doesn't leak so that helps coming to terms with this crisis. Oh how these first world problems can be difficult...LOL!

If anyone is familiar with decking systems, I love to hear from you. I intend to start under cover in March and hope to be cruising with a new and impervious deck by June 1st. We will see and know more once the teak starts coming off.

So, more time, more money and more work. Has it been worth it?

Well, were waiting for the crazy sailmaker to finish the alterations to our winter cover. Hopefully, we'll get it on before the next Atmospheric River flows thru BC. These past few days have been brutal. Take care and be well, everyone...........Festus
Last edited:
thebruce...........Thanks for the update. See our update above.
Nice progress. i am lagging way behind I am still at...
"you're a complete idiot" and "I applaud your determination but question your sanity"

thanks for the update

Too funny :)
Summertime fun on the BG. The only two projects of the summer were to re-fare the window frames and to start fixing the worst of the exposed deck fasteners.


  • IMG_0129.jpg
    146.3 KB · Views: 18
  • IMG_2962.jpg
    102 KB · Views: 16
  • IMG_3129.jpg
    197.6 KB · Views: 16
  • IMG_3170.jpg
    117.2 KB · Views: 14
  • IMG_3278.jpg
    155.4 KB · Views: 18
  • IMG_0125.jpg
    115.2 KB · Views: 15
  • IMG_3336.jpg
    124.7 KB · Views: 14
  • IMG_0128.jpg
    78.6 KB · Views: 15
  • IMG_0104.jpg
    98.6 KB · Views: 15
Last edited:
More summer fun


  • 8184EB43-F143-45B8-8301-827F2E74DDC4.JPG
    155.9 KB · Views: 14
  • IMG_3334.jpg
    174.2 KB · Views: 16
  • IMG_4149.jpg
    147.2 KB · Views: 13
  • IMG_4258.jpg
    192.1 KB · Views: 15
If anyone is familiar with decking systems, I love to hear from you. I intend to start under cover in March and hope to be cruising with a new and impervious deck by June 1st. We will see and know more once the teak starts coming off.

CIMBA, a restored '66 GB32 on my dock fiberglassed their deck with non-skid. Looks great. I would go that route if you're going to rip it up. But im not at that point yet. I'm focused on spot fixes for now and am down to ~3 leaks.

1) There was a whole row of exposed foredeck bungs (well most all bungs are exposed). The worst I fixed earlier this year. One was really bad and required a larger dutchman. (You can see the pictures of these new plugs and dutchman above). I did 6-8 more a few weeks ago. This works really well for the worst ones I can get out, drill out bigger, epoxy and replug. The others im debating on two options:

- one suggestion was to use a plug cutter to cut around the bronze nails, then use a pick to knock out the teak below the nail to be able to drive it down further. Then epoxy and replug with a larger bung.
- the other suggestion was just to put epoxy in any exposed bungs. is not going to look awesome but probably not much different than they look now anyway.

2) I found a leak in the forward hanging locker. Not sure where that is coming from but I suspect from some exposed bungs in that area.

3) I have a leak in the cockpit along the cabin bulkhead. Water tends to stand near the door and then seep in. Ive repaired the bulkhead in that area but I suspect I need to recaulk the joint between the deck and bulkhead.
Last edited:
I`d recognize a "larger Dutchman" if I met one(though I`d not embarrass him by saying so),but what do you mean by the term? Inserting a dutch boy`s finger in a hole in the dyke (a waterway wall of course) to save a town is well known, but what is meant here? A very large bung?
Thebruce, did you paint above the waterline yourself? if so can you describe the method. roll, brush spray etc.

My 40 year old boat had true teak decks ( no subdeck) sitting on steel beams. I coated it with a rubberized deck coating then painted with a nice sanded beige enamel. Worked just fine and looked very nice. Affordable
I`d recognize a "larger Dutchman" if I met one(though I`d not embarrass him by saying so),but what do you mean by the term? Inserting a dutch boy`s finger in a hole in the dyke (a waterway wall of course) to save a town is well known, but what is meant here? A very large bung?

A dutchman is just a fancy woodworking term for a wood patch. You can see the rectangular patch here in the middle.

This was the worst spot on my decks. I had a row of exposed fasteners the prior owner had put some caulk junk in. That just held the moisture in and caused some of them to rot around the fastener. The worst one I was able to pull out by hand it was so rotten. So I drilled around it down into the deck beam to get to good wood, treated with penetrating epoxy, then epoxy filled, then had a woodworker cut a perfect dutchman patch with some extra teak I had for the deck joint. The larger teak bungs on either side are my less skilled work, but they work well.


  • Screen Shot 2021-11-18 at 6.51.22 AM.jpg
    Screen Shot 2021-11-18 at 6.51.22 AM.jpg
    104.7 KB · Views: 8
Thebruce, did you paint above the waterline yourself? if so can you describe the method. roll, brush spray etc.


I had an amazing (and affordable) crew help me with all the painting and sanding, but yes they did it in the slip and did an amazing job. Without them this project would have been too much for one person and a yard would have charged easily $100k for all the exterior work (which we did for roughly $15k). The broker was a wood boat guy so used the same crew on his boat and their brokerage used them on all the brokerage yachts, so they were a known quantity.

Note this didnt include the boot stripe. That was done at the yard when I got the bottom job and new transducer. And didnt require any seam work. These were actually in perfect shape.

- this would be cruel punishment if trying to do single handed. but with a team of 2-4 guys per day they were able to get done in 2-3 days, with the first day of sanding. (the superstructure was actually much harder and took 2-3 weeks.)
- get one of those big Bosch orbital sanders with the vacuum attached so no dust gets in the water.
- tie the boat off so its close to the dock so you can reach all areas. for the really hard areas at the bow or down near the bootstripe we would have 1 guy hold and position the boat while another guy was on his back sanding. That enabled us to get all spots evenly
- primed and painted 2 coats each with interlux. would paint one side then rotate the boat to do the other.
- on painting day I think there was 4 guys, 2 would roll, 1 would tip and the other would hold the boat.


  • IMG_9632.jpg
    126.2 KB · Views: 15
  • IMG_9569.jpg
    185.1 KB · Views: 13
  • IMG_9634.jpg
    109.1 KB · Views: 13
amazing paint job

HAVEN checking in

Just came across this thread on Trawler Forum and found it quite interesting. I didn't realize so many early GB32's were in 'local waters'.

Haven is hull #17 and we've had her since 2008. We keep her in a boathouse at North Saanich Marina in Sidney, BC.

I have put thousands of hours into her (I've stopped counting) and we love her. We use her a lot (over 1500 nm and 260 hours so far this year).

Biggest recent project was re-powering with a new John Deere 4045TFM engine last year (after re-building the previous original in 2014 - long story).

Maybe a GB32 woodie rendezvous sometime down the road?

Cheers to all.



  • Flybridge.jpg
    111.6 KB · Views: 20
  • Instruments.jpg
    180.5 KB · Views: 20
Top Bottom