Automan_Empire - 4:56 am on Sep 5, 2012 (gmt 0)
It sounds like a potentially fun project, or a money and time pit. Avoid the trap of making a lengthy teardown/rebuild and never finishing, or worse, finishing and finding it doesn't really suit you after all that. I get seasick at the drop of a hat, but I have an affinity for old aluminum "canned ham" trailers and the Lessons Learned overlap.
Start with the 90/10 rule. Put a little good where it will do the most to make it 90% usable with <10% of the cost, then TAKE IT OUT AND USE IT a few times. If you're happy with the basic setup and how it handles etc, you can plunge ahead with the restore. You'll have insight into how you want to rebuild/reconfigure, if the deck idea is right and how this will affect handling, storage needs etc. Or you might decide to flip it and get something different, before all that work.
Fixing bad rivets/making lakeworthy is good at this stage and will help resale. Etching hull to bare metal for 5-stage finish process, too much and will not help resale.
The transom wood made my toes curl, that is the thing that makes this type of project snowball. Start replacing that, find the spars and ribs it attaches to are bad as well, take it further apart, and next thing you know, the hull skin is leaning against the wall and you're held up waiting for special fasteners and marine grade wood, and time, and more money... which is FINE once you've tried the boat and love it enough.
For the maiden test voyage, if the wood is watertight but I'm not sure I can turn left without the motor turning right and continuing away, I'd screw a sturdy if ugly temporary board across the back to attach to, before trying to replace "just one" part of the boat.
OTOH, perhaps what you really want is a distraction from family matters. Not a good way to live, but if so, a strip and total rebuild of something nobody's sure they'll like when it's done will work a treat.