1954 Penn Yan Captivator Aristocrat Flipped

1954 penn yan captivator flipped

We’ve flipped all sorts of boats, big wide ones, long deep ones and now our 1954 Penn Yann Captivator Aristocrat.

Forget the winch. No grunting needed. Her size, narrow beam and cylinder-like cross-sectional shape made flipping her hardly different from rolling a 5-foot diameter pipe.

Now that her bottom is fully exposed, I must say that I was surprised just how little paint is on it. We will know better once we begun stripping, but my guess is a couple of coats of red lead primer followed by about as many of some sort of gray paint.

The garboard-keel seams on port and starboard, while open, appear to be less so that we thought they were while lying on our backs looking up at the hull.

Once we have released both splash rails and masked her topsides, we will reach for the Circa 1850 Heavy Body Paint and Varnish Remover and strip the bottom down to raw wood.

We will surely share what we find and how we will attack the issues we unearth then.

1957 Lyman Runabout Helm Station Fabrication update

1957 lyman runabout helm station fabrication

When we lost him to a heart attack, John had just finished his initial pass at fabricating and installing the new starboard helm station seating and locker.

Save for the copious notes he kept, using the starboard components as templates, and all of the time he spent teaching his methods and skills to his step-son, RJ had precious little to go by. “I’m not nearly as good as John, but I am comfortable doing this.”

The last thing he needed was having me stand looking over his shoulder, so I just worked elsewhere and doing other things like winterizing engines – not my favorite task for sure!

He may not be John’s equal yet, but RJ combined his native talent with all he learned from John to fabricate port helm station seating and locker components that are indistinguishable from John’s on starboard.

Soon we will have a complete set, at which time the fun truly begins. Every bit of her interior must be released, sanded a final time, stained and sealed with three coats of Clear Penetration Epoxy Sealer and scuffed with Scotch Brite pads, before we can begin applying 16-20 coats of Pettit Easypoxy Hi-Build Varnish.

As her owner shared with me, “The grieving process is neither linear nor predictable.” At least RJ and I feel as though we can begin thinking of and remembering John and smile, not grimace!

1957 Lyman Runabout Helm Seating Fabrication Update 2

1957 lyman runabout helm seating fabrication

John has continued living with his “furniture-to-be.” That he’s made great progress is evident from what you will see in the clip.

The helm and passenger seats, and their accompanying lockers will be identical to one another and also as close to being identical to Lyman’s “pass-through” seating configuration as he can get.

He’s matched the radii along the edges, carved an exact copy of the Lyman anchor in the door that are found in original pass-through seating arrangements. We’ve managed to source sufficient OEM Lyman hinges for all moving components, all of which were transformed into jewelry by Mickey Dupuis and his team at D & S Custom Metal Restoration in Holyoke, MA.

But then there are the additional “John” touches, two weep channels in each locker top, additional framing and cleats that are both invisible and add sturdiness to each unit.

Her owners requested that John supply a lip, sort of a toe rail, running along the two outer edges of the locker tops, but only if he could envision and then create profiles that melded with other cockpit components. John did it and the result is both functional and elegant.

And we are working with Pattern Grade genuine mahogany planks that were sawed out of logs that had been graded veneer quality, save for the sides and back, which are ribbon-cut mahogany.

The starboard set should be fabricated and ready for disassembly and finishing by late today or midday tomorrow.

The port unit is next, but John has the starboard unit as his guide, so his “only” challenge is to match what he created there, which he will.

1957 Lyman Runabout -Boarding Step & Jump Seat Fabrication

1957 lyman runabout boarding step jump seat fabrication

Her owners challenged John to design, fabricate and install a pair of boarding steps that are also comfortable jump seat – units for our 1957 23’ Lyman Runabout preservation project.

Sourcing stainless brackets that were strong and worked simply proved to challenging, but Google sent us to www.boatoutfitters.com, who stock stainless steel folding seat brackets that are perfect for this purpose.

We caught up with John about halfway through this challenge. Today’s video celebrates another milestone facing into our wake.

I will allow John to fill in the details and demonstrate his units’ utility and versatility. Now it’s on to the helm station.

1957 Lyman Runabout Jump Seat & Boarding Step

1957 lyman runabout fabricate jump seat boarding step

John is in the process of doing his magic with wood once again.

Her owners challenged him to design and fabricate a pair of folding boarding steps that doubles as jump seats mounted to the 1957 23’ Lyman Runabout’s port and starboard hullsides just aft of the engine box.

As with mocking up the new pass-through helm seating and locker configuration, John reached for cardboard. We left him alone.

That the hullsides are somewhat concave both vertically and horizontally, meant that he could not simply fabricate a matched pair of mahogany wall mounts. The aft mount is thinner; its shape is different, as is the required bevel needed so the mount lands flush against the hullsides. John attacked the port mount early this morning, and by late this afternoon had roughed out a structure that works.

But, rather than steal his fire, I will hand it off to John ….

1957 Lyman Runabout Helm Seating Fabrication Update

1957 lyman runabout helm fabrication

Under John’s eye and steady hands, sheets of half-inch ribbon-cut marine plywood are slowly being transformed into what will be a commodious helm station, complete with a flat floor from the forward end of the engine to the firewall.

That John is in his element, muttering measurements and angles to himself is evident. That he needs his space and wants to be left alone is even more evident. “Helpful” kibitzing is verboten. Prior to launch this slow, exacting process, John and RJ finished fabricating and installing the balance of her new ceilings. With the ceilings in place, John knows precisely the arcs and spaces before him.

It will likely take him the better part of a week to complete the new seating configuring, at which time we must release all of it, including all of the ceilings so they can be finish sanded, bleached, stained and sealed with three coats of Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer (CPES). (The lockers will likely be assembled ahead of time so that we can attend to plugging countersinks ahead of bleaching, staining and sealing.

We will apply fifteen coats of Pettit Hi-Build varnish before installing everything for good. We received the final batch of hardware and hinges back from D & S Custom Metal Restoration yesterday.

Shauna Lawrence, Kocian Instruments, expects to ship the preserved gauge cluster in a few weeks. Weather is our major frustration at present. We sourced some beautiful, air-dried Honduran mahogany, which will be transported on an open flatbed trailer. Given the good things that multiple years of air drying has done for the lumber, transporting it through the driving monsoon-like rains we are now suffering is not OK and will not happen.

Looks like a dry window is opening the first half of tomorrow. Guess who will be on the road well before the first glimmer of sunrise emerges over the Green Mountains?

1957 Lyman Runabout Bilge Steam Cleaning

1957 lyman runabout bilge steam cleaning

Thank you, RJ!

Yes, the sky is blue and the sun is out, but it is November 15, so the sun is not very high in the sky and the “heat wave” 42 degrees Fahrenheit does not help much once he gets wet, which is inevitable.

At the suggestion of her owner, I purchased a North Star industrial water heater, which is designed to “plug” into the outlet valve on the pressure washer and the spray hose. It heats water to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, which materially increases the pressure washer’s effectiveness. “We” begin by applying hot Simple Green Industrial Degreaser, diluted with water to the entire surface and let it steep for 5 – 10 minutes.

Then RJ installs the 25 degree nozzle and goes at it, bathing himself and the bilge with steam in the process.

The entire process took 4 hours, compared to the 10 – 15 it would take us were we using our old school hand scrubbing method.

She’s back in the shop, where we will brace her hull and flip her so we can focus on stripping bottom paint, addressing issues, sealing all surfaces with CPES and painting her anew.

Guess what? The 1940 Lyman yacht tender is waiting for steam cleaning, which RJ will engage shortly.

1958 Cadillac Seville Emerges From Preservation

1958 cadillac seville vintage boat preservation

Cadillac Marine & Boat Company of Cadillac, Michigan started in September 1953 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Wagemaker Company. Boat builder Wagemaker of Grand Rapids, Michigan also owned U.S. Molded Shapes, Inc. and Mr. Raymond O. Wagemaker was president of all three firms. The Cadillac Chamber of Commerce was instrumental in luring the boat firm to the city. Across town was a branch plant of Chris-Craft that opened up in 1941. Cadillac made aluminum fishing boats and runabouts. U.S. Molded Shapes made molded veneer boat hulls for Wagemaker which finished them and marketed the boats as Wagemaker Wolverine. Cadillac also made wooden boats with hulls from U.S. Molded Shapes. During 1958-1960, the Company designed and produced a small number of wood-hulled boats, and at the top of the line was the double-cockpit, “Model 505”. The Cadillac Seville. She is a 15′ molded plywood runabout powered by a special edition, 30 HP Evinrude outboard engine. We acquired this boat out of a barn in late 2010, and began actively preserving her in late 2011. That process was completed today, May 2, 2013, as she, perched on her 1959 Tee Nee tilt trailer, emerges from the Snake Mountain Boatworks’ preservation shop and moves into our showroom. She is hull number M5883, which tells us that she was the 83rd boat produced by Cadillac Marine and Boat Company in 1958. While the video’s narration suggests that she is the 83rd of 87 Cadillac Sevilles produced in 1958, further research informs us that, at a price of $1,245 FOB the plant in Cadillac, MI, very, very few orders were made for this then super-expensive little boat. So M5883 was the 83rd boat delivered by the company in 1958, but that included total production of mostly aluminum and very few molded plywood hulls. True to her name, Cadillac Seville, she is long on luxurious adornments, from her fantastic cutwater to her bold “Cadillac Seville” name plate. Even the floor-mounted shifter and throttle are unusual. Enjoy meeting this fantastic example of what was considered “haute design” for vehicles of all sorts in the late 1950’s.

1958 15′ Cadillac Seville – Preservation Nearing Completion

1958 cadillac seville preservation near completion

This 1958 Cadillac Seville is an early example of cold-molded plywood hull construction. She has two cockpits, complete with two windshields. Her deck planks alternate in mahogany and avodire, which produces a striking result. Now that all the structural and most of the cosmetic work has been completed, we can begin reconstructing her. Wait until you see her original Evinrude outboard with matching Evinrude blue upholstery her Caddy Seville crowns and chrome moldings!

How to Install & Remove Tee Nee Trailer Rollers & Pins

tee nee trailer rollers pins

Here is the second part of this Tee Nee roller and roller pin how to video. You will see and be walked through how we insert the pin-roller combination into the trailer’s tongue, and then how we remove the pins and their rollers from the trailer.

Then we will offer you our solution to the rusted, corroded pin problem that all Tee Nee owners and preservation shops face: the Snake Mountain Boatworks stainless steel Tee Nee roller pin. Other than being stainless instead of mild steel, these pins are exact copies of their original counterparts. They are available on eBay at $10 each, packaged in groups of 6 or 7 pins, plus $6.00 shipping within the lower 48 states of the U.S.