1957 MG 15 Fiberglass Runabout with original mahogany transom.

The Restoration of a 1957 Fiberglass Runabout

by Bill Bauer

I acquired this 1957 MFG 15 fiberglass runabout with its original mahogany transom in 2017. The previous owner had started to restore it but did not finish. When I first got the boat it was just a hull and a bunch of parts. A neighbor, Kami, and I work on it on weekends at Black River Boat Shop when we both are available.

Many of the ribs had separated from the hull. We reattached them with Six10® Thickened Epoxy Adhesive and some creative clamping. This, along with the outside coating of epoxy, stiffened the hull considerably.

We hope to finish this project before Kami is out of college (2028).

 

Applying three coats of WEST SYSTEM® 105 Epoxy Resin®/205 Fast Hardener.

Applying three coats of WEST SYSTEM® 105 Epoxy Resin®/205 Fast Hardener.

After applying the first coat of George Kirby Jr. #33 Dark Blue® paint to the boat’s exterior.

After applying the first coat of George Kirby Jr. #33 Dark Blue® paint to the boat’s exterior.

1957 MG 15 Fiberglass Runabout with original mahogany transom.

The inside of the boat cleaned, sanded, and ready for paint.

The new teak and holly foredeck with three coats of WEST SYSTEM 105 Resin/207 Special Clear Hardener® and seven coats of Captain’s Varnish 1015.

The new teak and holly foredeck with three coats of WEST SYSTEM 105 Resin/207 Special Clear Hardener® and seven coats of Captain’s Varnish 1015.

Original mahogany transom, sanded.

Original mahogany transom, sanded.

Repairing and glassing of the transom. The original transom was made up of two mahogany sections bolted onto the thin fiberglass hull’s transom.

Repairing and glassing of the mahogany transom. The original transom was made up of two mahogany sections bolted onto the thin fiberglass hull’s transom.

The cockpit dashboard with three coats of WEST SYSTEM 105/207 and seven coats of varnish.

The cockpit dashboard with three coats of WEST SYSTEM 105/207 and seven coats of varnish.

Prepping the gunwales and stringers for epoxy and varnish.

Prepping the gunwales and stringers for epoxy and varnish.

 

How the mahogany transom is put together.

The new, modified transom is made up of three sections that will be bolted together.