Monday, 31 December 2012

Lightning - a double entendre

International Lightning Class + hydroplane....get it? Oh well - I tried.

Busy week this week in the boatshop - in fact by popular demand there were crews out Saturday and Sunday! Saturday was mostly on the Lightning, the centreboard winch got fully sorted and installed permanently. George had taken the little pully that the board haul-up cable runs over, installed a bearing in it and came up with a better bolt to act as axle.

It looks good and should work!

The centreboard is a steel plate of about 200 lbs and no piece of cake to manhandle - however with a crane? - no problem. We put a dolley under the boat so as the board dropped into place the bottom landed on the dolley and made it easy to adjust position and move the boat around. Scott and Ray got the bronze bolt intalled with new leather gaskets.

One flying centreboard...

and landed - just need that stopper...

Once that was done, we carried on checking the fit of the coamings and headed off an error we were about to make - whew! Looks as though they are going to look OK. There are a couple of spots where it is tempting to replace the originals but so far we are resisting..we'll see.

Then on Sunday it was Gas-Hopper Day! We moved the shop around to make space under the crane for the raceboat then hauled it around the building and poked it into the front of the shop.

Let there be light(ning?)
pointy end out - Scott & Anton ready.

Once under the crane we had to rig lifting gear without damaging anything. The engine is a Ford 6 - much hot rodded. It has some interesting features - the distributor is off a 12 cylinder engine and has two coil wire sockets. In this case it is wired up so the two coils only have to run 3 cylinders each - giving a hotter spark. The cylinder head is aluminum and finned, there are triple Stromberg 97 carbs, the ports are polished.

Anton wrenching, Ray and Scott worrying
really tight fit coming out.

Another interesting mod is the oil cooler which is welded into the pan and has fittings that go UNDER the stringers from each side. they had to come out first and you can't actually see them.

Turns out it was good decision to pull the engine - it has condensation in some locations in spite of the wadding Dave had jammed in various openings. However the essentials seem to be in very good condition and major expenses are not forseen on the engine - so far.

the 12 cylinder ignition - with 6 wires!
engine on stand - stage one done!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Of Lightning and ChrisCrafts

Howling cold wind outside but nice and warm in the boatshop this morning! Nice to see Grant, Chris, Peter, Jim, Ray (briefly) and Scott braving the weather to mess about in boats (on boats more accurately).

The Lightning mast now has about 6 coats of varnish and will harden for a week before sanding. Scott sanded out the motor well and applied a final coat of buff paint. Chris made up a shim so the centerboard winch could be mounted - which it now is! We set the coamings in place to check fit as the whole deck structure is new - a hidden shim strip will be needed at the rear of the cockpit to make it all fit using the original parts.

motor well - fascinating eh?
Chris fitting centerboard winch.

Scott and Chris dryfitting coamings
coamings all fit nicely again

Once the centerboard is in, we can paint the decks and "dry fit with screws", the coamings. As all the interior bright bits have been mostly varnished for along time, I think this boat is suddenly going to look finished! (That will be a missleading impression)

Grant was fashioning a new mahogany cornerpost for our 31' ChrisCraft Cavalier which is kept in Picton. The cabin side windows leaked no matter what we did so new ones are being made but first the underlying structure is being renewed to get rid of soft wood and bad joints!

Grant planes the curved surface into the new port corner post

Meanwhile the theme for the ACBS Gravenhurst Show this year is raceboats and we are shooting to have GasHopper in running condition by then. Peter has the engine ready to come out and that will happen shortly. This is getting pretty interesting - the engine is reportedly a Ford flathead 6, hot rodded - the ignition is off a 12 cylinder engine, head is alloy, triple Stromberg carbs...lots of fun!

GasHopper - a 225 cu in Hydroplane from 1945. Raced by the late Dave Norton 1955 - 60

The K&C Cruiser fleet will have two nice ChrisCraft Cruisers based in Picton this summer. They are part of our Gatsby fundraising programme - if you would be interested in spending a week on "your own cruiser" stay tuned or let us know, we are developing this programme now...

picture yourself here..on this boat
or on this boat...

Look for at least a couple of our boats in the ACBS booth at the Toronto International Boat Show which opens Jan 12 and runs through Jan 19th. If you wish to assist in telling our story there please let Malcolm know so he can schedule you in. Full details about the show are available on-line.

Lots more happening! Our first Shore Leave Night last week was well attended and lots of fun. Open to all, it will be the second Thursday evening of the month, every month, in the boatshop, nibbles and nips - bring something and someone!

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Our Museum has a Ditchburn!

At least potentially we do. About a month ago we received a message from the ACBS that a Ditchburn up near North Bay was about to be cut up and burned! Grant and I went up to have a look and what we found was a little sister to Gordon Russell's 52' Ditchburn "Windswept III". This boat was built in 1928 at the Orillia Plant in the same manner as Windswept - which is to say true carvel construction of heavy planking on steamed ribs with externally caulked seams. She is 34' and what I would call a Day Cruiser style. High foredeck with a cutaway sheer leading to a low stern - she is about half deck and half open cockpit - elegant simplicity.
As Jingo looked when last restored in about 1976...
and as we found her.

With her large rear cockpit and wonderful heritage & lineage she seems perfect for handicapped boat rides and that's a large part of what we would like to do with her. Mind you there's a touch of restoration to be done before that. Her hull planking seems amazingly sound although there is a series of broken ribs along the port quarter chine area and some softness in the tumblehome on both sides.

The actual rescue was a bit of an adventure but we had lots of wonderful support both here and in Callander to make her removal happen. Thanks to Rob of Fred's Towing, John of Halton Tire here in Georgetown and in Callander/North Bay, Elizabeth Hughes (former owner), Paul Baker, Karl Lewis, Brent Bywater, Matt Parfitt and the folks at Kaltire.

leaving Callander on day 2
Fuelling up after a wheel came off!

and nearly home!

Stay tuned for more and watch for Paul Baker's article in ClassicBoat if you are an ACBS member!

Saturday, 10 November 2012

SeaFleas, Lightnings and Outboards!

Today we had volunteers Chris, George, Jim, Trevor and Bernie with his cousin Will (from Calgary) in tow...not to mention a few visitors! So lots got done...

Will and Bernie discuss our Boats 4 Folks programme...Calgary next?

Lightning was attacked by Chris and Tevor who had the mast scraped down to bare wood in most places. Next step will be to plug the screw holes before a final chemical stripping of the tough spots, a bleaching of the black stains and a final sanding. Then lots of varnish!

Trevor did at least half the scraping!
Chris did some too...

Meanwhile George had taken the new oak plank sections for the new transom in Quail home where he deftly jointed (mating the edges) and splined the mated edges. Now it was time to epoxy the two into one panel! A sticky job at best but the two of them did a perfect job - we think. Once the new panel has been sanded it will be difficult to see any joint.

Getting the epoxy into the whole spline groove...
All set up on Georges nice clamps - not too tight!

As the new transom panel is curing they shift to the pattern for cutting out the new piece. It takes a lot of diddling to figure out the new size because of the angle it is on and the fact that the new one will be set in up against the front face of the old one - so it isn't just a matter of copying the old one. It appears that if they cut the new one with a 15 degree bevel it should be about right....stay tuned.

In and out, in and out, fiddle, fiddle...
and finally cut...

Bernie and Will took on figurring out if our Glen L "TNT" Utility would fit in the booth for the winter. After some measurring and sketching Will concluded we would have no problem so it was "All Hands" grab the deck (and the rest of it) for the move into the main building. A bit of wrestling for sure but in she went! The Johnson 18 off our Richardson will adorn her transom for the winter but we need a motor for this one for nest summer. Methinks an old 25 or 30 horse Johnson, Evinrude or Merc would be just right - soemthing from the 50's? Got one that runs?

Young Trevor is all excited about the possibility of taking a turn at the wheel of the TNT next summer!

Our little micro-museum is taking shape now.

A curator who develops this story would be a great team addition!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Lightning & skiff progress

A rainy day on the outside but lots of fun on the inside!

Chris, George, Jim and Ray all on hand today and lots of progress resulted.

The Lightning was the prime focus:

Ray sands bench seat inserts...
George and Chris rip out the gunnel stock from a 20' Mahogany plank

Jim polishing the bronze chainplates
Bronze chainplates done!

Meanwhile a little work got done on the last skiff built on Big Daddy Festival Weekend....

George marked out the "sculling notch"
and jig sawed it out...
Chris begins making the transom "pretty"

And finally it is time to get the mast and boom for the Lightning down from our spar rack!

The unseen George feeds the spars to Ray and Chris..

We sorted out the rigging which looks well done and complete although a few things will have to be replaced. Some of the turnbuckles are a bit agriculteral looking and some fraying has occurred!

All and all a great day in the boatshop!

Friday, 12 October 2012

A Laurent Giles Sandpiper Travels to the Glen

There has been a lot of excitement amongst our rabid sailers over the gift of this boat and while it is truly a magnificent gift for us, the story of why she was given is less joyful. Her builders were Howard and Sally Williams, beginning in 1987. Meanwile Howard built quite a few other smaller boats, many of which are still at Sally's in Tobermory. Howard passed away last year at age 80 with the Sandpiper essentially constructed but not fully finished. There are no spars - we are researching what rig to use - the plans show a few choices but gaff sloop seems most likely - and there are no fittings, motive power (calls for 1 cyl Yanmar), tiller or interior.

A special thanks to Udo Nixdorf of Georgetown and Tobermory for putting all this together and being a good neighbour to Sally!

Yesterday was our scheduled day for picking up the Sandpiper so Chris Rogers, George Graham, Grant Reynolds and I took a Ferris Beuler Day Off to fetch her....

Sandpiper just emerging into first water - it is raining!

Chris, Udo, Sally, MB, Grant and George
After a real neigbourhood pot luck lunch and sharing lovely storys of boating, we are off with Sally standing in the road waving...

She trailed beautifully and got lots of attention at our Timmy stop in Owen Sound
Safe home to the boatshop, now we just need to make room inside...

Done! but a bit tight.
George and Grant sponge out the rain water.

So thank you Sally for a wonderful gift that will see some kids get sailing! Meanwhile we need to scrounge a few little things including the Yanmar, brass port lights, sitka spruce, deck fittings, etc, etc. Should becoming part of the Sandpiper's future appeal to you - come on out!

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Camp Ooch and ACBS Fall Colour Cruise

If you look back to earlier posts you will see the great weekend the Kids & Classics volunteers had coaching 8 youth at Camp Oochigaeus in Toronto through building 2 of our Boats 4 Folks skiffs. K&C cecided that we would donate one of those skiffs to the Ooch summer camp once we had varnished and painted it up. This past weekend was the scheduled delivery date.

I planning the outing to Ooch we noticed that the ACBS Toronto Chapter was staging a new event called the Fall Colour Cruise - starting near Bala! Wow - right on our way to Ooch! So it was decided that we would trail Despina along and have a twofer day.

As the ACBS event was to begin at 9 AM, it meant an early start from the Glen Boatshop - 6 AM!

That big light? The Moon! Ready to go!
Interesting "Mist Lakes" north of Barrie.

Ray was the crew for this run and we arrived in Bala on schedule, launched and headed out to the rendezvous in East Bay. We were the first out there! But fellow Shepherdiste 'Pete' Laurence and his wife Pierrette soon joined us! Eventually somone came along who knew where we were supposed to be!
Second arrival!
Ray at the helm!

Lots of pictures!

Boats gather at the marina harbour.

The Fall Colour Cruise was a touch short of fall colour although the overcast probably accounts for some of this. The damp above didn't affect the boaters however and we all had a great time. The route set up by leader Chris Bullen lead through small out of the usual route islands and was really lovely.

Shepherds ahead and behind!
Loved these old timey boathouses.

After a nice open water run up the lake we arrive at Dukes new incarnation in Pt Carling near the locks. First opportunity to meet and greet our fellow 'splinter boaters' and survey the other boats up close. These are real restorations! Some beautiful work on some beautiful boats.

Looking towards Duke's.
And the other way...

Pete and his nifty jacket...

George's fabulous 24' Shepherd

George Thompsons lovely 24' Shepherd may be the last of the 24's which are the rarest of the breed by far. After drooling over the fleet we checked out the reinvented Duke's premises..what a difference! level floors and everything. Downstairs there is now a cafe that opens to the boat slips that were full of Minets, Greavettes and a pretty Grew dinghy just like Scott's.

Part store and part shop - very nice
Very pretty Grew Dinghy

However upstairs was not to be outdone! The boatshop operation is going strong under Jeremy Fowler who was quite interesteed in discussing our kids-at-risk programmes and would like to see something similar in his shop. I was interestede in the layout of the shop and the lessons it may have for our own community boatshop...

long benches with storage under.
everything on wheels and adjustable.

After a lovely break Ray and I must head off to Bala, load up and head off to Camp Ooch - just as the drizzel really sets in! I suspect we had the best of the cruise...

Ray takes us through to Bala Bay
and the Ooch team begins to unload.

in spite of the rain we had a gracious reception at the camp and everyone loved the skiff. They had no idea that the skiff would turn out to be a thing of beauty! Once the kids have had time to eee the results of their work the boat will go into a building until spring. Sarah Nelles gave Ray and I a tour of the camp which is quite amazing and well thought out. They have their own lake and a complete waterfront.

carefully unloading the Ooch skiff

on display in front of the medical centre

a fully accessible waterfront