1948 Truscott Barrelback Runabout True 5200 Bottom Update

1948 Truscott Barrelback Runabout True 5200 Bottom Update

Our 1948 20’ Truscott Barrelback Runabout “graduated” from Danenberg pre-soaking with flying colors. We, well, Joe, trimmed the 5200 squeeze-out from the seams as we waited for the planking to exude excess moisture until it reached 15-17 percent when metered.

After applying four full coats of CPES, with the second one applied immediately after the first, and allowing it to cure fo0r 48 hours, we began priming her bottom using Interlux InterProtect 2000E Barrier Coat primer.

Then, beginning last Friday with gray, I applied five thin coats, alternating between gray and white, and thereby finishing with a fifth gray coats yesterday afternoon. Alternating colors helps identify holidays, and finishing with gray, which covers more easily, delivers a uniformly gray surface.

Following a quick scuffing with medium Scott pads and wiping down with a microfiber cloth dampened in acetone, it was time to begin applying Pettit VIVID Antifouling Bottom Paint this morning. You are viewing her after I applied the first coat this morning. The minimum recoating interval at 90 degrees F is four hours, and it is eight hours at 70 degrees F according to Pettit’s product information included on this page. It is 80 degrees F in here today, so I will apply a second coat later today.

Please visit our Materials & Sources page for a roster of and sources for most of the materials we use.

1948 Truscott Barrelback Runabout Danenberg Pre-Soaking Results

1948 truscott barrelback runabout-danenberg pre-soaking results

Our 1948 19.5-foot Truscott barrelback deluxe runabout survived Don Danenberg’s “Pre-Soaking” step in the process of installing what her terms a True 5200 Bottom.

We thoroughly wetted down her hull and left it soaking beneath a layer of .15 mil plastic sheeting, and then did our utmost to wiped out all of the air bubbles, per Don’s guidance.

We then repeated this step yesterday. This video presents the results after having removed the plastic film this morning, July 18. As Don predicts, there is now 3M5200 squeeze out standing proud of virtually all of the bottom plank seams.

Next, as Joe illustrates here, we are using a multi-purpose razor blade scraper with its angled handle to slice the 5200 fair with the bottom planks.

The result? The bottom is tight, tight, tight! The topsides, which we kept wet under the plastic film as well, have also swelled and closed the intra-plank seams noticeably.

After the moisture content gets down to 15%-18%, we will make one final pass with our longboard sanders, and apply multiple coats of CPES, with the first two applied one immediately after the other and allow it to cure for 24 hours before we apply the final two coats.

Five coats on Interlux InterProtect 2000E Barrier Coat Epoxy Primer, with a goal of reaching a 10 mil film thickness. Finally, she will receive three coats of Rochelle Red Interlux Perfection 2-Part Polyurethane paint. Yes, this is a topside paint. However, since she will be dry sailed and therefore remain dry when she’s not in the water, this topside paint, which Jamestown carries and is available in many colors, will serve the purpose nicely.

All that said, given what we see as very positive results, Danenberg-Pre-Soaking will henceforth be a regular component of Sanke Mountain Boatworks’ True 5200 bottoms.

Here for those of you who did not click on the “SHOW MORE” link in the last two videos on the subject, is the excerpt included therein:

Don has just published yet another incredible how-to article, Using Common Sense Is Allowed, pp. 44-55, Classic Boating, July/August 2022, which is a must-read for anyone serious about wooden boat preservation. (To the fellow who savaged me, claiming “Don Danenberg is my friend, and I know he would never wet a hull down and cover it with plastic sheeting,” please pay attention …) “…The outside bottom of the hull can now be … be hosed down with fresh water. “The next procedure I call pre-soaking. After the bottom planks are thoroughly wetted out, I cover the entire bottom with a very thin plastic sheet (.35 mil) and rub out all of the air bubbles as if the plastic were Saran Wrap. The thinner the plastic, the better this works. Cheap painters’ drop cloths work well. For the next two days peel up edges of the plastic to wet it and again rub out the air bubbles. This procedure changes the moisture content of the wood and causes it to swell, forcing out all excess rubber and, hopefully any trapped air. “The equilibrium moisture content for the wood in your boat is dictated by the average relative humidity and temperature of the environment your boat lives in. For example, in most of the United States with lakes, it is in the 18% range, while in Arizona, it is 11%. “Kiln dried mahogany from my suppliers is in the 6-10% range. Changes in overall moisture content of the wood can be retarded by protective coatings, not prevented. I know if this boat is to be kept in Michigan, this wood will eventually learn to exist at roughly 18% moisture content. Personally, I feel it wise to set it to this level before sealing it. (Claudon note: I received precisely the same advice from Don about the rest of the hull’s exterior planking.) … “When properly sealed against seasonal variations in relative humidity, this type of construction exhibits little or no expansion or contra traction great enough to crack the enamel paint at the plank seams. In order for this to work, of course, the bottom must be well sealed from excessive moisture absorption from extensive periods in the water. “After two days of wetting the bottom, allow it to set for two more days until the moisture is noticeably absorbed and the surface appear dry. Remove the plastic and allow the surface to become completely dry. Now you must quickly cut off all the excess rubber, fill in all the screw holes, grind and fair the bottom, and get it sealed before it dries too much.” (pp 51, 55)

1948 Truscott Barrelback Runabout Danenberg Pre-Soaking Experiment

1948 truscott barrelback-runabout danenberg pre-soaking experiment

The extensive write-up accompanying our July 8, 2022, update on my pair of 1948 Truscotts introduced you to Don Danenberg’s “Pre-Soaking” step in the process of installing what her terms a True 5200 Bottom.

So … here she is, thoroughly wetted down and soaking beneath a layer of .15 mil plastic sheeting. Don stipulates that all bubbles be wiped out, a task we discovered is easier to speak about than execute.

We will now leave our lab rat for 2-3 days. If there is significant squeeze out, as Don predicts, we will shave strips off the seams until they are fair. If we have yet to see significant squeeze out, she will be soaked anew and again swaddled in plastic film.

Our one departure here is that Rick had already filled and faired the countersinks using 3M Premium Marine Filler. Don advises holding off doing so until we are on the other side of pre-soaking, something we will surely do when my other Truscott, the 18.5-foot utility, gets pre-soaked. Here is the link to that video.

That write-up includes the following excerpts from Don’s latest Classic Boating magazine article” It was all provisionally sanded fair. Rick is now almost finished filling countersinks and declivities 3M Premium Marine Filler. He will then sand the bottom, chines, hullsides and transoms fair a final time. However, we will then use her as a Don-Danenberg-inspired lab rat. Don has just published yet another incredible how-to article, Using Common Sense Is Allowed, pp. 44-55, Classic Boating, July/August 2022, which is a must-read for anyone serious about wooden boat preservation. (To the fellow who savaged me, claiming “Don Danenberg is my friend, and I know he would never wet a hull down and cover it with plastic sheeting,” please pay attention …) “…The outside bottom of the hull can now be … be hosed down with fresh water. “The next procedure I call pre-soaking. After the bottom planks are thoroughly wetted out, I cover the entire bottom with a very thin plastic sheet (.35 mil) and rub out all of the air bubbles as if the plastic were Saran Wrap. The thinner the plastic, the better this works. Cheap painters’ drop cloths work well. For the next two days peel up edges of the plastic to wet it and again rub out the air bubbles. This procedure changes the moisture content of the wood and causes it to swell, forcing out all excess rubber and, hopefully any trapped air. “The equilibrium moisture content for the wood in your boat is dictated by the average relative humidity and temperature of the environment your boat lives in. For example, in most of the United States with lakes, it is in the 18% range, while in Arizona, it is 11%. “Kiln dried mahogany from my suppliers is in the 6-10% range. Changes in overall moisture content of the wood can be retarded by protective coatings, not prevented. I know if this boat is to be kept in Michigan, this wood will eventually learn to exist at roughly 18% moisture content. Personally, I feel it wise to set it to this level before sealing it. (Claudon note: I received precisely the same advice from Don about the rest of the hull’s exterior planking.) … “When properly sealed against seasonal variations in relative humidity, this type of construction exhibits little or no expansion or contra traction great enough to crack the enamel paint at the plank seams. In order for this to work, of course, the bottom must be well sealed from excessive moisture absorption from extensive periods in the water. “After two days of wetting the bottom, allow it to set for two more days until the moisture is noticeably absorbed and the surface appear dry. Remove the plastic and allow the surface to become completely dry. Now you must quickly cut off all the excess rubber, fill in all the screw holes, grind and fair the bottom, and get it sealed before it dries too much.” (pp 51, 55)

1948 Truscott Barrelback Runabout True 5200 Bottom

1948 truscotts barrelback runabout 5200 bottom

Our 1948 Truscott Barrelback Runabout has almost blasted through her True 5200 Bottom milestone! Her cousin, our 1948 Truscott utility’s stripping milestone is behind her.

I am now comfortable with having consigned both Truscotts to be fully preserved and resting on their identical Loadmaster custom trailers sitting on the green at the 2022 ACBS International Show in Burlington, VT, September 9 and 10. We hope to see you there!

After replacing a couple of the runabout’s rotted bottom frames and installing a new inner skin comprised of 4 mm Meranti mahogany marine plywood six-inch-wide planks laid at an approximately 45 degree angle with respect to the chines and keel, all of which was bedded in 3M5200, we fabricated and installed outer planking using three-eighths FAS-grade Meranti mahogany plywood, also bedded in 3M5200.

It was all provisionally sanded fair. Rick is now almost finished filling countersinks and declivities 3M Premium Marine Filler. He will then sand the bottom, chines, hullsides and transoms fair a final time. However, we will then use her as a Don-Danenberg-inspired lab rat.

Don has just published yet another incredible how-to article, Using Common Sense Is Allowed, pp. 44-55, Classic Boating, July/August 2022, which is a must-read for anyone serious about wooden boat preservation. (To the fellow who savaged me, claiming “Don Danenberg is my friend, and I know he would never wet a hull down and cover it with plastic sheeting,” please pay attention …) “…The outside bottom of the hull can now be … be hosed down with fresh water.

“The next procedure I call pre-soaking. After the bottom planks are thoroughly wetted out, I cover the entire bottom with a very thin plastic sheet (.35 mil) and rub out all of the air bubbles as if the plastic were Saran Wrap. The thinner the plastic, the better this works. Cheap painters’ drop cloths work well. For the next two days peel up edges of the plastic to wet it and again rub out the air bubbles. This procedure changes the moisture content of the wood and causes it to swell, forcing out all excess rubber and, hopefully any trapped air.

“The equilibrium moisture content for the wood in your boat is dictated by the average relative humidity and temperature of the environment your boat lives in. For example, in most of the United States with lakes, it is in the 18% range, while in Arizona, it is 11%.

“Kiln dried mahogany from my suppliers is in the 6-10% range. Changes in overall moisture content of the wood can be retarded by protective coatings, not prevented. I know if this boat is to be kept in Michigan, this wood will eventually learn to exist at roughly 18% moisture content. Personally, I feel it wise to set it to this level before sealing it. (Claudon note: I received precisely the same advice from Don about the rest of the hull’s exterior planking.)

“When properly sealed against seasonal variations in relative humidity, this type of construction exhibits little or no expansion or contra traction great enough to crack the enamel paint at the plank seams. In order for this to work, of course, the bottom must be well sealed from excessive moisture absorption from extensive periods in the water.

“After two days of wetting the bottom, allow it to set for two more days until the moisture is noticeably absorbed and the surface appear dry. Remove the plastic and allow the surface to become completely dry. Now you must quickly cut off all the excess rubber, fill in all the screw holes, grind and fair the bottom, and get it sealed before it dries too much.” (pp 51, 55)

Unfortunately, we received Classic Boating and read Don’s piece after we began fairing the countersinks in our runabout’s bottom.

We will execute Don’s Pre-wetting procedure completely on the utility.

Priming – five coats of Interlux 2000E Barrier Coat Primer Will be followed followed by applying multiple coats of red hard antifoul paint.

1940 Chris Craft Barrelback True 5200 Bottom Milestone

1940 chris craft barrelback 5200 bottom

Priscilla, our 1940 seventeen-foot Chris-Craft Runabout has blasted through her True 5200 Bottom milestone!

After replacing nearly half of her rotted bottom framing and installing a new inner skin comprised of 4 mm Meranti mahogany marine plywood six-inch-wide planks laid at an approximately 45 degree angle with respect to the chines and keel, all of which was bedded in 3M5200, we fabricated and installed outer planking using three-eighths FAS-grade Meranti mahogany plywood, also bedded in 3M5200.

It was all sanded fair with countersinks and declivities filled using 3M Premium Marine Filler before being faired and sealed with CPES a final time.

Priming – five coats of Interlux 2000E Barrier Coat Primer – was followed by applying multiple coats of dark green Interlux Ultra-Coat hard antifoul paint.

We will now flip her upright, repair several dings and gouges and then hand block sand her using 250 and 600 grit. Finally, she will receive upwards of ten coats of Pettit Captain’s Ultra Clear varnish and buffed.

Once she is reassembled, she will be ready for her final milestone, returning home to Delaware, OH.

1940 17 Chris Craft Barrelback 5200 Bottom Planking Update

1940 chris craft barrelback bottom planking

Priscilla, our 1940 17-foot Barrelback “lab rat” experiment is progressing rapidly now that we finally took delivery and milled the Meranti mahogany planking needed to complete her True 5200 bottom. As we shared in our last update, rather than install her inner skin using 6 mm plywood panels, we are reverting to what is a truly very old school alternative: replacing the inner skin using strips of planking laid at approximately 45 degrees to the keel.

In so doing, we will deliver a bottom, the inner skin of which precisely matches that installed in Algonac in 1940.

Once we dry-fitted each, approximately 5-3/4”-wide plank, everything was sealed with four coats of Smith’s CPES, after which we have applied three coats of Chris-Craft mahogany bilge paint to their inner surfaces. Next, we installed these planks bedded in mahogany 5200 using #6×1” Frearson-drive, flathead silicon bronze wood screws.

Happily, her bilge now presents exactly as it did when Priscilla left Algonac in 1940.

Planking the inner skin produces a tighter, more rigid skin that follows the bottom’s contours precisely. Any interior squeeze-out will be removed using nylon putty knives before it, too, receives three full coats of Chris-Craft mahogany bilge paint.

Post this experiment, SMB will make individually planking inner skins our standard for SMB True 5200 bottoms.

With the Meranti planking in-hand, and having milled it to land fair with the chines, and began dry fitting it to her bottom. Our first step involves measuring both bottom faces at their widest point between the keel and the chine.

Here, and as we’ve shared with you earlier, we once again confirmed that Chris-Craft’s rule-of-thumb was operating at Algonac when her hull was being laid out. She is 7/8” wider on port than she is on starboard at the widest point between her keel and chines. And, at the transom, she is a 1/2” wider on starboard than she is on port.

Joe will dry fit and fasten the outer planks temporarily, working from her keel to her chines. Once laid out completely, the planks will be released and sealed on all sides with four coats of Smith’s CPES. We will also apply one final “insurance” coat of CPES to her inner skin’s bottom.

The final assembly step involves bedding each outer plank in an at least one-eight-inch-thick bed of white 3M5200, before fastening them with #8×1-1/4” flathead silicon bronze wood screws. Finally, and that’s when she really begins looking good, we apply five coats of Interlux InterProtect 2000E Barrier Coat Epoxy Primer, with alternating gray and white coats, which helps expose any holidays. Per Interlux’s instructions, 2000E should be applied in thin coats.

1940 Chris Craft Barrelback 5200 Bottom Planking

1940 chris craft barrelback 5200 bottom

Priscilla, our 1940 17-foot Barrelback became our lab rat today as we tested what we are calling a New Day at Snake Mountain Boatworks when installing a truly True 5200 bottom.

Rather than install her inner skin using 6 mm plywood panels, we are reverting to what is a truly very old school alternative: replacing the inner skin using 6mm strips of planking laid at approximately 45 degrees to the keel.

In so doing, we are able to deliver a bottom, the inner skin of which precisely matches that installed in Algonac in 1940.

Once we have dry-fitted each, approximately 5-3/4”-wide plank, everything will be sealed with four coats of Smith’s CPES, and we have applied three coats of Chris-Craft mahogany bilge paint to the inner surfaces, we will then install these planks bedded in mahogany 5200 using #6×1” Frearson-drive, flathead silicon bronze wood screws.

Once finished, the bilge will present exactly as it did when Priscilla left Algonac in 1940.

We will then proceed as we do with all SMB True 5200 bottoms, installing the outer mahogany planks bedded in white 5200 using #8×1-1/4” Frearson drive, flathead, silicon bronze wood screws.

Planking the inner skin produces a tighter, more rigid skin that follows the bottom’s contours precisely. Any interior squeeze-out will be removed using nylon putty knives before it, too, receives three full coats of Chris-Craft mahogany bilge paint.

Post this new day, SMB will make individually planking inner skins our standard for SMB True 5200 bottoms.

1959 Chris Craft Sportsman Porcupined

1959 Chris Craft Sportsman Porcupined

Yes, it is Memorial Day, but we have a boat needing a new bottom, so have dropped all else to make some real progress, but also to discover what is or is not lurking beneath that plywood. Our 1959 Chris-Craft Ski Boat must get back to her owner ASAP, so we are on task.

The good news is that, save fore one of them, her frames are sound; yes, grease-sodden, but solid. Joe was able to sister the one port side forward frame that had broken.

We will not attempt applying bilge paint to the frames as the grease and oil has penetrated to the point it would not adhere. We will scrape and then sand all of the plywood inner skin landings on the frames.

Remember my endless comments about how these venerable ladies keep secrets beneath their skirts? Well, this lady’s secret is that what we have been removing is anything but her original bottom. Indeed, independent of what the owner was told then, whoever is the villain of this piece should be dragged and quartered.

Why? Just imagine using 3/8” A/C construction plywood for the bottom of a wood boat! It has delaminated everywhere. Once again, thank the Lord that she and her owner did not find the bottom!

At this point we are “porcupining,” which involves filling every empty screw hole with three to four hardwood toothpicks and waterproof Gorilla glue. Once all of them have been inserted, Joe and Rick will spray the bottom lightly with water. Doing so accelerates curing while strengthening the bond formed between the oak frames and hardwood toothpicks.

Remember, you can access all the materials we use and their sources by navigating to our Materials and Sources page.

Next, we will use our Fein MultiMaster tools to skim off the toothpicks, at which time the landings will be ruthlessly scraped, sanded and treated with three full coats of Smith’s – and only Smith’s Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer.

Following will be fitting the Meranti Aquatek Marine plywood bottom panels, sealing them with CPES and applying three coats of Sandusky Paint Company Chris-Craft Mahogany Bilge Paint.

None of the bottom planks, several of which just might be other than mahogany, can be saved. While the 5200 in which the plywood panels are bedded cures, we will be using the released planks as patterns and then sending them to the transfer station for recycling.

As always, you can delve much, much deeper into the what and how of a True 5200 Bottom by navigating to our True 5200 Bottom page.

She will be roaring across her home lake well before our promised July 4 delivery.

1956 Chris Craft Capri Bottom & Stripping

1956 chris craft capri bottom stripping

Our 1956 19-ft. Chris-Craft Capri has had a tough life, what with being assaulted by inept and worse “restorers” a decade or so ago.

We have recently reported on the travesties visited upon her decks, stem and engine hatch. Now that she’s been flipped, are we surprised to discover additional assaults perpetrated against her bottom?

The good news is that, save for needing refastening and a few minor repairs, her bottom planking is in excellent condition.

That said, and other things equal, she still needs a True 5200 bottom. However, as so often happens in life, other things are not equal. While her owner agrees that there is a True 5200 bottom in her future, given all we must preserve elsewhere on her hull and engine, it will not happen now, a decision we agree with based on our detailed and extensive examination of her bilge and its inner bottom planking.

The real issue in the bilge is lots of grease, oil and grime. Yes, that layer is pretty much gone directly beneath the engine, so we will release and execute repairs there. After we remove endless strings of useless cotton roving in some seams, roving that was not sealed with any sort of caulking compound, and yards and yards and yards of failed 5200 in others, we will refasten large parts of the bottom and then apply four coasts of Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer – CPES. We will then pay the seams with Jamestown Distributors’ TotalBoat ThixoFlex and sand the bottom fair.

Following applying three more coats of CPES we will prime with Pettit Tie Coat Primer and then apply three coats of Pettit Copper Bronze Hard Racing Bottom Paint.

Now that Methyl Chloride has been banned, and we can no longer source “good” paint stripper, we have turned to TotalBoat TotalStrip Paint Stripper. No, it is not what Circa 1850 was, but it is user friendly and we are adjusting to applying it and then coming back 24 – 48 hours later. It is still wet and has liquefied many layers of paint, even bottom paint, by then.

Finally, we’ve all faced challenges stripping concave hullsides. Using a standard, straight-bladed scraper risks leaving skid marks at each end of the blade while the center floats above the wood. A good friend suggested we try an Allway Tools 2-1/2-Inch 4-Edge Metal Tubular Wood Scraper, the blade edges of which are slightly convex. At only about $8 for a handle and 4-edge blade, why not? Bingo! It works beautifully … nary a skid mark appears behind each stroke.

It is available from Amazon.

1956 Chris Craft Sportsman 5200 Bottom

1956 Chris Craft Sportsman 5200 Bottom

We are just two coats of Pettit Old Salem Copper Bronze Hard Racing Enamel away from completing installing a True 5200 Bottom on this 1956 17’ Chris-Craft Special Sportsman.

While the Interlux Interprotect 2000E Barrier Coat Epoxy Primer cures for re-coating in five hours, the Pettit bottom paint wants sixteen hours at seventy degrees Fahrenheit. Since our shop stays in the mid-sixties, we will wait twenty to twenty-fours, or until midday tomorrow, to apply the second coat.

Her bottom will receive a third coat, but not until the balance of this preservation project is behind us. All of her topside and transom planks must be released. We do no know until then how many, if any, can be saved, and re-stacking of the topside planks is an absolute must, as is replacing at least one transom plank.

That said, on next Wednesday we will flip and load her onto her trailer, and place her in our storage facility until we and her owner agree on the path forward. His history with her – she was bought new by his family. He grew up with her as the core of family activities each year. She was sold and then banished to lying beneath a tree with a deteriorating canvas tarp as her only protection from the elements for forty years until he finally found her three or so years ago.

Those strong family and emotional ties are driving him towards investing himself in the balance of her preservation. We understand and anticipate a warm and compassionate conversation with him in the coming months.

But the best news is that, with her True 5200 Bottom in place and all structural elements now sound, we saved her. Mission accomplished!

Here are links to all the videos we shot to date: