57 Penn Yan Captivator Stripping Milestone 12 10 2014

DescriptionIt was a long, long day. With heat gun in hand, RJ completed stripping the coamings and the dash, but the starboard topsides were all mine.
Several of you questioned why I am not using a chemical stripper like Circa 1850 on the painted splash rails and eventually the bottom. We cannot be sure that we are not dealing with lead paint. Since lead will not vaporize below 1,000 F, so we set our guns at 900 F, which keeps the lead encapsulated with the scrapings, which remain dry and safe to handle.
RJ carefully released the stem-to-stern long spray rails, despite the forest of sheetrock screws from the outside-in, and an even denser forest of stainless square drive screws driven from inside and through the topsides every 8-010 inches. Happily with a bit of repair using Total Boat Thixio thickened epoxy, the starboard spray rail can be saved.
And the best news of all is that there is no rot in the topside planks behind the spray rails. We did unearth some rot in the three aft-most starboard ribs. The ribs will be sistered using steam-bent white oak.
The aft section of the port rail must be fabricated anew. We will match the factory scarf joint found on the starboard side, thereby producing a result that, other than the new white oak, matches the original design.
I misspoke in the video when I said she is ready to move into the main shop and flip. Before that can happen we must extract all of the residual black walnut stain out of the mahogany topsides, decks, coamings, etc. using Circa 1850 Heavy Body remover, scrapers, brass brushes and repurposed stainless kitchen scouring pads.

1930 Dodge Bros 16 5′ Runabout Project Update 12 8 2014

Minnow is a 1930 Dodge Bros. 16.5’ runabout who is incredibly original, from her gauges to her quite unique push/pull throttle and Lycoming flathead 4 engine.
Her engine will ride Old Dominion to Robert Henkel Inc. (http://ift.tt/1w7jSRy) in Harsens Island, MI to be completely rebuilt to as close to original as is possible. Given his life-long association with antique and classic wood boats, and especially his well-deserved reputation for delivering work that meets the highest standards of craftsmanship, we are pleased that he agreed to take on this rebuild responsibility.
Our focus for now is the interior of the hull and installing a new 5200 bottom that matches the original planking pattern exactly.
Here we, well John is “tooth-picking” every fastener hole in the bottom framing. Why? Once the Gorilla glue sets, we will cut every tooth pick off flush with the framing using our Multi-master Fein tool, A quick sanding followed by coating with bilge paint fives us a surface into which the new fasteners can bite and hold.
The interior layer of Okoume plywood comes next, the templates for which John fabricated using heavy industrial paper. Once each panel is fitted, its interior face will receive three coats of CPES and two coats of Sandusky Chris-Craft Mahogany bilge paint. The exterior surface will be treated similarly once it is installed.
But all that will be covered in upcoming progress reports. For now enjoy Minnow a’ la porcupine. By the time John finishes, he will have consumed close to 5,000 toothpicks and more than a pint of Gorilla glue.
Thank youu to her Oregon-based owners for entrusting preparing Minnow for next season following languishing on the hard for the last 45+ years!

1957 Penn Yan Captivator Project Launch

Snake Mountain Boatworks has been entrusted with preserving what will one day again be a truly sexy little runabout, a 1957 Penn Yan Captivator.

We are indebted to her owners, who found her in New Hampshire, for their commitment to this project and for trusting SMB to execute it in an historically-correct manner. By spring she will ride her newly-preserved, chrome yellow Tee Nee trailer, herself having been returned to her original glory, to this couple’s home on the shores of one of the Adirondacks thousands of lakes.

She has been treated terribly by at least one well-meaning but woefully uninformed woodworker. Her original upholstered, almost bucket seating was torn out and replaced by what probably was quite expensive slat-centric seating.

Fortunately for this boat, a friend who owns an original Captivator, and whose Vermont home is nearby, offered his boat to serve as our pattern when we begin fabricating the interior “furniture” anew.

Not satisfied with having destroyed her cockpits, this person then turned his/her attention to her decks, topsides and transom. Staining the beautiful, original mahogany planking black walnut seemed to be perfect. Not!
We began by completely stripping the cockpits down to the ribs, discovering that a half-dozen or so of them are broken, which presents unique challenges in the case of Striptite construction.

Today I am focusing on striping varnish and pulling stain out of the wood. The latter task is made every so much more doable by the Circa 1850 Heavy Body Paint and Varnish Remover I am using. As you can see when I turn my attention to the aft deck, this product allows me to bleed all of the old stain out of the wood, leaving only beautiful mahogany behind.

We will keep you updated as this project moves forward.

Eleonora – 1964 25′ Lyman Sleeper Saved, Launched & on Lake Champlain

Eleonora looked a bit forlorne when he new-owner-to-be and I first climbed onto her, stuffed into a storage shed in Hague, NY. A Lake George (NY) boat, she’d been languishing in that barn for several years when Marselis Parsons and I inspected her, and I quickly concluded that he’d made one of those rare barn finds.
Snake Mountain Boatworks had the honor of bringing her back. There were some rotted planks and many failed fasteners from keel to gunwale, all of which were released and replaced. We removed both bottom and topside paint, faired all surfaces, and repainted her in copper bronze antifouling paint and Interlux two-part Jade Mist Perfection epoxy.
We gutted, cleaned and repainted the bilge, but only after replacing 17 broken, rotted and failed ribs.
Finally, Eleonora is back and swinging from her new mooring in Lake Champlain’s Shelburne Bay.

Enjoy watching her emerge from the SMB shop, be launched and dance across theLake !

Little Chief 18′ 1948 Chris Craft Utility Deluxe – Preserved!

UPDATE: Little Chief wins Best of Show in her class at the 2012 Vermont Antique and Classic Boat Show!

Little Chief is now for sale and seeking a new home. Contact us for pricing and terms. Come by the shop to see her up close and personal

She has not seen water for well over ten years. With her ground up preservation complete, we launched her into the waters of Lake Champlain in Vermont on August 4, 2012, and ROAR she did!

This boat now has a new 3M 5200 bottom. Any rib deamed even slightly compromised was replaced. Every framing, planking and deck fastener was released and replaced with silicon bronze. All wood surfaces were treated with Smith’s Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer, and all interior surfaces were painted with multiple coats of Sandusky Mahogany Bilge Paint. Every piece of hardware, all of which is original, was transformed in jewelry by D&S Custom Plating in Holyoke, MA. The original 95 HP Chris Craft Model K engine was completely disassembled and then rebuilt by Restoration and Performance Motorcars of Vermont.

Little Chief has now left the preservation shop and is in the Snake Mountain Boatworks sale inventory. We will be happy to explore with you how she can be yours.

Here is Little Chief on her new Sea Lion trailer and ready to leave the shop:

Watch Little Chief slide back into the water for the first time in over a decade:

Watch Little Chief roaring across Lake Champlain with Little Chief:

Fully Preserved 1972 Hydrodyne Ski Boat Roars to Life! Wow!

What a fantastic experience! Having completed her complete preservation that included entirely new transom, engine mounts, interior flooring, seats and instruments; as well as rebuilding her 318 Super Bee II Chrysler V8, and removing and rebuilding gelcoat on the entire length of the hull below the gunwales.

Watch as she emerges from the shop, preservation complete:

Watch her roaring on Lake Dunmore in Salisbury, VT with owner, Angelo Lynn, at the helm:

Words can hardly be found to describe what it feels like doing “only” 40 MPH in a boat having about 14 inches of freeboard! (She has a much higher top end, but the engine needs some run-in hours on it first.)

1959 Cutter Jet de Ville – Classic Glass Beauty

Yes, Snake Mountain Boatworks mission is saving old wooden boats. However, the transition from wood to fiberglass that pleasure boating experienced beginning in the late 1950s produced a few stunning examples. Among the most stunning was the Cutter Jet de Ville, built in 1959, and sporting big fins borrowed from the auto industry.

These early Cutters were powered by Mercury outboards. The Jet de Ville was no exception, and when found in the woods of northern Vermont, this boat still had her original Mark 55 Thunderbolt Four hanging off her transom.

She was also resting on on a very rusty, flat-tired, but original trailer. A fellow working with a large excavator nearby offered to lift boat and trailer onto my transport trailer. My crew just stared at me as I drove up to the shop, so I had to explain.

Every piece of her original Volwrath stainles steel hardware was intact, as were her original steering wheel and related lines. Yes, the upholstery was completely trashed, but we had enough for patterns.

And, she is left-hand driven, which means she was sold and used in oval circuit racing.

Her preservation complete, she is again sporting her original colors, Merc sunset orange over white. She now rests on the same trailer, which we completely disassembled, sand blasted and repainted. The trailer’s wheels sport proper, NOS 1958 baby moon hubcaps.

Watch as Val Desesare fires up and tunes the Mark 55 that he rebuilt:

She has moved from shop to showroom and joined our inventory of preserved boats for sale.

Come and see her on display August 10, 11, 2012, at the Lake Champlain ACBS Boat Show – at the Boathouse in Burlington, VT.