Small Boat Restoration was born from a passion for sailing vintage sunfish. Although the class is strong around the country and beyond, there were few resources for restoring the older sunfish that absolutely exist in sheds around the country. Audrey and Kent Lewis form the core of Small Boat Restoration, a family hobby adventure specializing in sharing information about small boat sailing and restoration. Their mission is to return as many small boats as possible to their natural habitat. Our goal along the way is to inquire, inform and inspire others to do the same using social platforms and traditional publishing.

Audrey comes from a sailing family and grabbed Kent as her First Mate along the waterways. They both have a fondness for the classic wooden Alcort Sunfish and Standard Sailfish. Since moving to Florida in 2011 they have restored a fleet of small boats and shared information with other boaters through their blog and Facebook page Small Boat Restoration. They also published The Sunfish Owner’s Manual in 2013 and manage the Yahoo Sunfish_Sailor group.

Throughout their journey, many questions arose about the best tools, materials and methods to use for repair and restoration. It was important to share what was done, along with how and why. Many folks helped us along the way, including Alan Glos, Graham McKay, Gannon and Benjamin and Maynard Bray. Another resource that we have found invaluable time and time again is the team at Jamestown Distributors and TotalBoat, with the full service offerings of Tech Help, phone order, online and print catalog, videos and web forum. And at the top of the help list is Louis, what a treasure trove of info!


We began exploring the depth of TotalBoat’s services while restoring an 1880s cypress rowboat Barbashela, and made several phone calls to JD Tech Help to select the best silicone bronze and stainless fasteners, adhesives, sealants, caulking cotton and caulking irons. The support was so phenomenal that we are using JD’s line of TotalBoat products for the completion of the new construction of the Penobscot 14 lapstrake sailboat St. Jacques. We are impressed with the ease of application and working time for the Wood Sealer, Gleam Marine Varnish and THIXO, and free shipping to our door through the VIP program is very convenient.

Our future projects include 2 fiberglass Sunfish, another wooden Sunfish and Super Sailfish, and possible a replica of the 1880s steamboat tender. We plan to try out the line of fairing compounds, primer and Wet Edge along the way.

Our favorite part of the building and restoration process is problem solving. The boats are like a 3 dimensional puzzle that is moving through time, and we are excited to get them back onto the water with their new crew. The challenge is to seek and acquire the knowledge, materials and tools needed to complete the project. To those thinking about dipping their toe into the restoration waters, we say jump right in! JD is there to help and so are we!


Check out Kent & Audrey and Small Boat Restorations on Facebook: