Posts Tagged ‘wood boat’

Wooden Runabout by John L. Hacker

wooden inboard runabout john hacker new york thousand islands

48' Worlds' Largest Runabout "Pardon Me" at the Antique Boat Museum

 

She is big! 48’ long with a beam of 10’ 6” and sixteen tons in weight. Power is a single screw Packard 4M-2500 engine, a supercharged 12-cylinder engine. This runabout speedboat’s top speed is 60 MPH.

 

Brooklin Boat Yard did the latest restoration. Prior restorations/upkeep/maintenance and a repower was done at Mayea Boat Works and on the St. Lawrence River at the Antique Boat Museum. She was built in this same area of the 1,000 Islands as the Antique Boat Museum is located in at Hutchinson Boat Works or http://www.hbwboats.com/.

 

Built in 1948, she has had several owners. The last owners donated her to the museum years ago. Google search “ Pardon Me” or “World’s Largest Runabout”  or read pages 76-77 of Robert Speltz’s book The Real Runabouts from 1977. Seabuddy has a signed copy of his book dated 1980. Mr. Speltz has now passed on.

 

Hutchinson  Boat Works or Hutchinson Brothers built boats along the St. Lawrence River since about 1908. The business continued under new leadership after the brothers passed on. They now sell boats, but they were a wooden boat builder originally. They also offered wood boat repairs in oak, mahogany, cedar, and teak.  While they could build and repair all styles of wood construction, most of their boats were lapstrake style or “clinker style”, like a Lyman boat. Pardon Me is not a lapstrake design. She has the double planked mahogany construction method.

 

Pardon Me was designed by Hacker and built by Hutchinson for Mr. Locke of Oak Island in the Chippewa Bay area of the 1,000 Islands (summer home) and MI (his winter home). She did not handle well and never has been used much in her history. Her sheer size, transmission shifting, handling around a pier, engine cooling, and her massive engine torque were some of the reasons for this lack of use. Call it fine-tuning, trouble shooting, or tinkering, problems have continued over her history since 1948.

 

She is now back at the Antique Boat Museum in the Thousand Islands for the upcoming summer months.

88u

Wooden Yacht

The Bertram 31 boat designer, C.  Raymond Hunt, also designed this 56’ yacht in 1962-1963. .She was built in 1964 at the Wharton Boat Yard, which is now the Jamestown Boat Yard, in Jamestown, Rhode Island. Designed and built for her original owner who cruised her, up and down the East coast.

She is a wood boat. Stem and keel are Honduras Mahogany as is the carvel and double and triple diagonal planking and four massive stringers, all glued and screwed together. Although it should be noted that an installation of a longitudinal girder system was later added to stiffen  her hull for a re-power and higher speed abilities.   This re-build was extensive, as Seabuddy understands that some 25,000 man hours were billed. Ten years later another major restoration of an additional 15,000 man-hours were spent to more than “spruce” her up.

Her current engines (twin Cummins 593 Hp diesels) give her a 29 MPH top speed and a cruising speed of 24 MPH.

The yacht sleeps six in classic design and a high degree of comfort. She has a great sheer line and a low profile hat turns heads when she comes into a marina. In seabuddy’s opinion, she shows her pale yellow far better than other boats. Particularly if her varnished transom is in your view of her. A further note, she now has had a swim platform added in one of her rebuilds/restorations.

The wide side decks and the16’ beam tend to make the boat seem somewhat on the “tight side” for big men. But, the speed with this power reflects her light weight and Hunt design hull for performance. Sight lines and views from the main salon/pilothouse are great, however. Her 22 degree deep vee bottom from amidships to the transom gives a ride and the handling one expects from a C. Raymond Hunt yacht. But, she can be a “wet” boat in some sea conditions. Also, a Hunt design from the 1960s era does not have wide chines to reduce deep vee roll at slower speeds at sea.

C. Raymond Hunt was a prolific designer. He/ Fisher/ and Hickman did the Boston Whaler 13 in the 1956-1958 time period.

 

cold molded c raymond hunt stingray yacht stingray

photo from Brooklin Boat Yard: C. Raymond Hunt Stingray wooden yacht

Brandywine River / Gunpowder / Pizza

hagley gunpowder building

Hagley gunpowder

 

Hagley Gunpowder Brandywine River Here is how a boater gets an outing while the boat is on the hard. A section of the Brandywine River in Wilmington, Del holds a marine history experience as the river falls in such a way that industry harnessed the waterway for gunpower production. Seabuddy visited the Hagley Power Yard that the DuPont family has restored. It was the US start of their family businesses.

Back in In 1813 a Frenchman, Mr. du Pont, chose the banks of Brandywine River to start his black powder mills, the Hagley Power Yard. He chose that location because of the natural energy that the water here provided the power for the mill. Local trees produced the charcoal used in black power production. Sulfur is also needed and it came in from France and Italy. Then the Saltpeter also needed came from India via English ships. These ships used the nearby Delaware River to get the raw materials in and the finished product out and onto the rest of the world (for instance, Africa, South America and Australia). Du Pont’s black powder factory became the largest black power maker in the world.

Thus they made one of the the building products of canals ( please see my book … http://www.amazon.com/Cruising-Guide-York-Waterways-Champlain/dp/1565542509 ) rail roads, the mining industry, tunnels, and roads. They also made 40% of the gun power used by the US Army and Navy during the Civil War. By the way, these mills closed in 1821.

There are multiple historical buildings to see here, the main home, and a very good look at where and how the du Pont Company moved onto other businesses. Women’s nylons, paint, Kevlar by du Pont which “helps [boat} hulls reinforced with Kevlar® be lighter yet tougher and more damage-tolerant, and perform better under hydrodynamic fatigue loading”. Cobalt boats use it.

sailboat using dupont nylon in sails

Luxury yacht with Du Pont nylon sails

 

hagley du pont brandywine delaware

the story of DuPont Nylon

 

chevy racing car jeff gordon

Chevy racing car with Du Pont paint

Allow lots of time to see it all.

Pizza by Elizabeths. Simply put; it is world class. A do-not-miss meal. The décor and food is special. The place celebrates women named Elizabeth. They have gluten free pizza crusts as a choice, as well traditional crusts. Seabuddy had a meatball, tomato sauce, mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan cheeses pizza named the “Hasselbeck”. My wife had a “Claiborne” with basil pesto, chopped tomatoes, she deleted her cheese, with perfectly done chunks of chicken added at her request for her pizza. 4019 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, DE 19807 (302) 654-4478

 

inside seating pizza by elizabeths

dining at Pizza by Elizabeths

 

inside seating pizza by elizabeths

Pizza by Elizabeths dinning

Winterthur Home / Garden Tour. TheGarden Club of America awarded Henry Francis du Pont their Medal of Honor, proclaiming him, One of the best, even the best, gardener this country has ever produced.” Seabuddy would like to see these gardens in late April.

Take a tour of the home any time to see its exquisite 175 spaces in which the du Ponts entertained family and friends in grand style several generations later than the gunpowder folks. The collection of objects is over-whelming. The web site says “These masterfully designed spaces promise to inspire, enlighten, and delight.”

Do all three of these in a very long “dawn to dusk” day at your own risk.

 

home winterthur

Grand Staircase at Winterthur Du Pont home

 

Dupont Winterthur house

Gifts at Du Pont Winterthur home

Riva Runabout and Sophia Loren, movie Star

Miss Loren had her own wooden Riva speedboat. She picked the top-shelf  twin engine model. While she won a Best Actress Oscar for her role in the movie Two Women in 1962, seabuddy remembers her first for being in Houseboat with Cary Grant in 1958. I have her described as “adorably charning” in this film and those words do it for me.

Miss Loren, movie start, on her Riva runabout

good close-up of Sophia Loren on her Riva wood runabout

The 1960 film It Started in Naples with Clark Gable seems to bring out another side of her acting skill while still being unsophisticated and lovable. Please also recall her dance number called “Americano” in this film. Others are Arabesque with Gregory Peck, El Cid with Charlton Heston, The Fall Of The Roman Empire with Stephen Boyd, Christopher Plummer, an Alec Guiness, and  Man Of La Mancha with Peter O’ Toole.. She did numerous other films, too.

Sophia Loren on aft deck of Riva runabout

 

The newest model Riva model came out in 1963. The hull was a development of Carlo Riva’s Triton model. All Aquaramas were wood boats but only the first three boats were planked wood boats.

riva yacht bow wood boat

bow photo Riva Yacht

 

Laminated (or plywood) hull sides were then used for the balance of the production run of these boats. These sheets were different from what was being used by higher volume (and lower priced) production boat builders. Each hull side was molded as one full length, top to bottom, bow to stern, single piece. And that sheet of plywood was molded off the boat to the same sweep as the designed hull’s curve. It is a treat to see these panels ready to be installed on a boat.

MBBW photo, thanks

seabuddy thanks MBBW for their photo

 

There at least four minor hull side, bottom shapes and length changes over the years of the boat’s production run.

A Riva is also a work of art in many aspects. Start with a look at the hardware. Study the windshield. The grace in the shape of the control handles. The dash panel.

riva aquarama wood boat framing

Riva framing for Aquarama model wood boat

 

A Riva boat can take one’s breath away if one really looks at it closely and in detail. A Riva looks like a handcrafted, one-off boat, but it is a production boat. A limited production boat that stands close up inspection as one would do with a custom boat.

riav yacht aquarama cockpit

Finely detailed Riva Cockpit

Riva Yachts hand selected its lumber. They then seasoned all of that lumber that went into the boats themselves, and then  they decided when it was ready for boat building. All that wood was held together with screws, glue, and then bright finished. Almost all of a boat was sprayed several times and then hand brushed several more times to a high gloss polished varnish finish. Windshield glass, screws, the metal for the boat’s hardware, and much of the material used in the seating was out sourced from other counties. Engines came from the USA. The varnish used in the finish of their classic boats was Italian.

A great book on the company’s history, the boat models, and boat owners of Riva Boats is Riva by Roberto Franzoni. It is a hardcover book that is printed in several languages within each copy. Like these classic wood boats, this book is rare. It is now an out-of-print book. Search for a collector copy at books within Amazon.com.

Riva Aquarama at a boat show with crew

Fun Boat

sophia loren with her riva wood boat

Sophia Loren with Riva Runabout on the cover of Life magazine

 

 

 

 

Gar Wood and Chris Craft

Gar Wood started in his winning ways on the water with the purchase of the 1916 successful Gold Cup race boat that was “a broken, battered hulk after the race, fit only for junk” put up for sale by Chris Smith, 53, who was down to seven cents in his pockets after losing in a poker game. Gar paid for the hunk with a $1,000 down payment and a note for $800.

That racer, Miss Detroit, had been built by Chris from a design by Joseph Napoleon “Nap” Lisee, who worked for Chris Smith’s C.C. Smith Boat & Engine Company. Right after buying the boat and engine of Miss Detroit, he went to the Smith factory and brought controlling interest in it. He figured that he could keep others from racing against him via this investment as it came with the talent of Chris Smith, his sons, Jay and Bernard, and “Nap”.

Next he commissioned the building of Miss Detroit II, a new race boat, using the 250 Hp. engine from the original hunk of Miss Detroit. That new boat set a speed record of 61.724 MPH while racing the next year. The first photo shows the 20’ single step 250 Hp. Miss Detroit II with Jay .W. Smith as the riding mechanic.

miss detroit chris craft 1917 record breaking wood race boat

seabuddy's photo of the Mainer's Museum Chris Craft photo

Together, Chris Smith, “Nap”, and Gar Wood won 5 straight Gold Cups from 1917-1921 and 2 Harmsworth trophies in 1920 and 1921.

But by February of 1922, Smith bought out Gar Wood and started a new company, the Chris Smith & Sons Boat Company in a new location. Chris, his sons Jay, Bernard, and Owen each owned 25% of that boat building company and started fresh with a new piece of land and and they built a brand new factory on it. In the deal, Gar Wood got the old C.C. Smith &Engine Company boat building plant. He built his race boats, the 33’ “Baby Gar” runabout that had been developed by “Nap” while still at the old company, high performance cabin cruisers, and the 28’ Baby Gar runabout model.

The 33’ Baby Gar was a outstanding design. It was a good riding, safe runabout that was a triple (3) cockpit boat and it’s bottom used all of the characteristics of the his Miss Americas race boats with the step. Gar Wood sold his boats to Edward Noble, William Randolph Hearst, John Dodge, Col. Vincent and P. K. Wrigley. The Chris Smith and Sons Boat Company sold more wooden boats to a broader range of successful folks.

These boats soon outgrew the boat building production plant. Thus, Gar Wood Boats moved into a new factory in Marysville, MI in 1930. This plant was capable of making 1200 top shelf wooden boats per year. Now 22’, 40’, 28’, 33’ boats were made. Some of these lengths were offered in a variety of model configurations. Later 16’, 18’, 19’, 22.5′, 24’, 32’, and 25’ models were added. Production of boats for Gar Wood peaked just before W.W. II.

Gar Wood, himself, retired to Miami at the age of 60, and the new management of Gar Wood Industries ordered a restyle of the boat line up and engaged Norman Bel Geddes, a noted industrial designer, for a new post war feeling.

post w.w. II bright finished wooden runabout on the chesapeake bay

Show winning 1947 Gar Wood 22.5' wood runabout

With high new design and jig costs, quality wood shortages, hardware out-of-stocks, and a somewhat distant management running the company, the company closed down in 1947. My Seabuddy photos show a restored 1947 Gar Wood 22.5’ wood boat in the brackish waters of the Chesapeake Bay. She is an ACBS award winner down from CT.

Holiday Gift for Boaters under $100

Got a wooden boat owner in the family and stuck on finding a different but memorable Christmas gift?

 

Fine boat varnish work demands good brushes. And several of those brushes to work all corners and parts of a boat efficiently. Get your wooden boat lover a gift that lasts for a lifetime.

 

A six brush Epifanes Brush Keeper metal box is the correct way and professional way to store valuable varnish brushes. This box holds up to six assorted varnish brushes. I know several friends that would die to get this item as a gift.

 

A good brush lasts for years with proper care. How do you care for a good brush? Clean each brush with mineral spirits, clip their handles into the holding plate and lower the brushes into a bath of diesel or kerosene for long term storage.

varnish brush storage box

holds six brushes

 

Ready to varnish again? Slip the brushes out of the box and thoroughly rinse them with mineral spirits. The brushes are ready for superior varnish work again.

This Brushkeeper box is made from heavy rustproof enamel coated steel. It is welded together for strength. And it lasts. Looks serious and it is.

epifanes brush keeper holiday gift boat christmas

seabuddy photo varnish brush holder epifanes

No one who gets one of these Brush Boxes for their fine varnish work will ever forget this thoughtful gift. It is a special gift. And it is under $100.

epifanes brush keeper box photo

Another view of the Epifanes Brush Keeper Box for Wooden Boaters

 

Wood Runabout takes off level and rides level

Here is a modern boat that brings a real flat take-off and ride to a sport classic style wooden boat. Take a look here..    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6J08psf7PVI  and see her flat take off and running angle. It is really something else if you are used to a deep vee bottom boat.

Why? Where is the magic that delvers that wonderful take-off? Bottom shape, chine width at the transom, a good weight balance point accomplished by engine weight location, and direct drive shaft angle; all combine for the accomplished goal.

clarion boats 23 wooden runabout straight shaft inboard sport boat

take a look at her bottom

She is a straight inboard with a double cockpit forward layout. That allows the engine to come forward within the hull. Plus she can have a straight drive, not a vee-drive. And she is family friendly design while underway.

This is a 23’ 4” hand-crafted boat with a 6’ 6” beam.  She is a planked, cold molded original design. Clarion does not stretch or shorten boat designs to fit different model lengths like Fountain Power Boats. They computer cut their frames and hand fit their layers of planking.

Most boats use a 350 Chevy Mercruiser engine of 300 horsepower for a great push in the back take-off and a equally thrilling top speed at WOT. Other engines are available but few owners choose them.

A wood runabout with a cockpit trimmed in fine leather and with proper chrome hardware sparkles at pier side or on the open water. Nickel hardware is a special order item. The level of finish on all three materials is stunning.

Does this boat builder build and restore “over-the-top” boats? Yes. Their shop has been around for years. A wooden boat shop servers the boating market via it’s craftsmanship in 2013.

Buyers want quality in their wooden boats. A good ride is not enough. Few utilitarian wood boat builders are around anymore. Folks want a bright finished mahogany runabout or utility now. At sunset, a wooden boat owner wants a piece of art that one rubs a hand over and says, that is my boat and she is a beauty.

clarion boats wooden runabout planked mahogany

low flat wake

 

clarion boats 23 planked wooden runabout

dual cockpit forward with a straight shaft inboard

 

clarion boats canada runabout planked inboard

engine in the straight shaft wooden inboard

 

clarion boat cold molded planked mahogany cedar fir frame hand made crafted

cold molded construction for this mahogany runabout

 

computer drafted cut framing for wood clarion boat

computer cut framing for Clarion Boat

 

 

Did Don Aronow race Donzi boats?

Yes, and he won three times in Donzi boats. That was in 1965 and in1966. Don had also won the year before, in 1964 in his 27’ Claudia II. However, #seabuddy would not call his win in 1964 in a Bahamas race in his Claudia II boat as a Donzi Marine boat.

 

claudia

May 2, 1967 the first Claudia race boat. Made of wood. Designed by Howard Abbey.

I believe that her wood hull pre-dated the design team that made Formula Boats, as well as the Donzi Brand team that followed Formula Marine in Don’s stream of boat companies. There are photos of Claudia II inside one of Don’s boat factories, but it was in for service, not construction, in my opinion.

Thus, Don raced and won first place three times in Donzi Boats which was in the 1965 -1966 time frame. These wins were in Donzi Marine boats, either named Donzi 007 or Donzi 008. Both were 28’ Donzi Marine boats.

By the way, the Claudia II 27’ boat design was sold to Marlin Boatworks an out of state boat builder, while a 23’ design became the very popular 233 for Formula Marine which he sold to Merrick Lewis and his Thunderbird operation.

Back to the story subject here, we all know that Don Aronow won 1st place in more than 4 races. So, what boat brands did he drive to a 1st place win in all his other races in?

The simple answer is 27’ Magnum and 32’ Cary brand name boats. The confusing issue is the boat names and as they compared to the boat brands registered with the race organizers of his boats. Second, depending on the race, Don Aronow would race his outboard, inboard, or a sterndrive version boat of the same boat name with one, two or three engines. His six Magnums were named/ called Maltese Magnum. He called /named his Carys The Cigarette as he often had a business deal that kept his name off boats companies or out of being registered as the boat builder of record. Hey, racing is fun and busiess should not slow down racing!.

Finally, Don was named World Champion in 1967, 1968, and in 1969. Plus, he won so many races in that 1969 racing year that his name will always be remembered.

 

donzi race boat 008

Donzi Marine race boat. Fiberglass. Race winer in 1966

1928 Racing Hydroplane, Uncle Charlie & me

Ever put a 40 Horsepower 1960 Evinrude Lark on a 1928 Hydroplane that was raced with a 22 horsepower outboard?

For two weeks, it was the fastest thing on the Barnegat Bay. That boat and outboard motor combination beat everything!

race outboard power early 1920s #seabuddy

sister ship to the racer I rode on the deck of

My Uncle Charlie would sucker any one into a race against this pre-war racer by holding back as we came side by side. Once the other boat was convinced that our and their boat was wide open, he would simply roll the engine mounted throttle wide open and took off! We had them by a mile every time. Never lost. Our 40 horsepower outboard  11’racer was the terror of N J.

I was a strapping young teen of 13 years of age this summer of boating fun and he was my bachelor uncle that sucked my dad into paying half for his and mine hobby of boating. We had a 15’ wood Sea Mac runabout, but that water ski boat did not even do 30 MPH. We wanted 60 MPH!

My Dad’s other brother had the 1928 racing two point hydroplane that had been taken on trade for a car repair bill.  That boat had been in the family but had not been in the water since before WW II as the no one could get its racing 22 horsepower outboard motor to start.

And, we had the 40 Horsepower shiny Lark two-stroke that ran!

Charlie came up with the idea of putting the running motor on the smaller boat and us going faster.

The Hydroplane was not water ready, it leaked and had dry rot. So Charlie and I slopped some fiberglass resin over the canvas covered racer’s bottom. It was Charlie’s idea was that the canvas weave would be an effective substitute for fiberglass cloth. We used both cloth and resin on the hull sides as there was no canvas there, just peeling paint

Another problem was it was a single person cockpit boat and there were two of us. So, I was assigned to lay out on the foredeck and simply hold on for the thrill ride that Charlie controlled from the cockpit.

The boat was fast, but way overstressed and far too gone for it to last. Each ride resulted in a stick or framing piece crumbling. We just threw them overboard as they came up. My deck was racing thin and so it collapsed. I then rode on the uprights, similar to a bed of nails, with just the padding of a PFD throw cushion in the worst spot. My body had many bruises, which I hid from my Mom.

period correct 1928 race boat and race engine

#seabuddy next to the sister ship 1928 racing boat & motor

Each night, we had to tie up the motor to the pier, to keep its power head above water. We let the rest of the boat sink nightly, and bailed her out when we went for a challenge race. After two weeks, our speedster was too far gone. The steering was always pulling out from the frames, she leaked very badly, and I was so sore from bouncing on the uprights that I just could not take it anymore.

Seabuddy’s photos are of a sister ship, age correct, but it is a smooth-bottom runabout  style, without the boat bottom step that the hydroplane had.

wood classic race boat outboard johnson powered

the cockpit only fits one person, and not #seabuddy as a teen

 

1928 racing boat with johnson 22 HP outboard motor

#seabuddy saw this sister ship to a teen remenberence

 

1928 racer with Johnson 22 HP outboard engine

I never got to drive the boat, Uncle Charlie did that, #seabuddy just held on for life

Classic Wooden Jersey Speed Skiff

wooden pappy seaman  jersey speed skiff race boat

restored classic wooden Jeresey Speed Skiff

 

A Jersey Speed Skiff in 2013 is either a vintage racer or a APBA modern race boat. What is the difference? To the casual eye the APBA boat has a roll cage and the Vintage or classic does not. #Seabuddy may be old, but not old enough to first-hand tell the full length story of Jersey Speed Skiffs.

Along the jersey shore since the 1800’s, men beach or inlet launched a human-powered (row) boat to ocean and bay fish from. Then a sail rig was added and the popular way to go fishing in New Jersey remained a small boat. Think of a flat bottomed, cedar-wood planked boat using ribs to help define and stiffen the boat shape. Some cousins or early examples of a JSS boat were the Sea Bright Skiff, the Pound Boat, and Utility Skiffs.

In 1922, Harold “Pappy” Seaman built a 16’ long one with a Gray Marine Engine inboard engine. That started the powerboat JSS class idea. His boat went 21 MPH. Fiberglass replaced wood in the 1960s. Bud Bender is the man known for fiberglass Jersey Speed Skiffs. Seabuddy met Bud at a past St. Michaels Antique and Classic Boat Show and Festival in Maryland. Today a skiff can break 80 MPH or more and they use a Chevy V-8 for power.

BTW, many of these early boats fished during the week and raced each other on Sunday. Pappy was from Long Branch, built some 102 skiffs, and the base of the sport seems to have stayed there in Long Branch, but with boat races up and down the east coast all summer long in both Vintage and APBA racing. The next Vintage Event seems to be at the Long Branch Ice Boat and Yacht Club on September 21, 2013 in New Jersey.

My photos are of SUDS, a restored, Pappy Seaman built, 1951 Jersey Speed Skiff. She is a 50 MPH boat. SUDS is powered by a 180 HP, 244cubic inch Fireball Graymarine 6 cylinder racing inboard engine.

She is a planked wood, no plywood anywhere boat. She has White Oak ribs and stem, and White Cedar hull planking, firewall, bulkheads, interior seating’s, and decks. The wood is held together by some 1,752 hand-peened copper rivets and 1,488 slotted screws. The boat was last in the water until the summer of 2012 in 1983. The restoration took 2,312 hours of labor.

#Seabuddy’s photos are from the Pt. Pleasant ACBS Boat Show. Historic photos from the web and other places.

 

Pappy seaman jersey speed skiff 1951 planked wood

Cockpit- note the firewall is planked, not plywood

 

wood restored classic jersey speed skiff

front cockpit

 

old wood from jersey speed skiff wood classic

sample of the old wood

 

Suds race boat pappy seaman

old racing photo of SUDS back in the day

 

jersey speed skiff in a racing turn

This is the way a Jersey Speed Skiff turns