Sunday, 25 May 2014

Meanwhile IN the boatshop...

What with cottage opening and boats going in the water - few of our regular volunteers were a bit scarce this week - but lots got done in any case with those of us who don't have those distractions!

Last week we packed up the Gas-Hopper for while as we need the first bay for getting the boats to be used this summer ready to do that! First in was Dileas our 1949 Hunter Runabout. Glen has been rebuilding the waterpump for the Crown and has done a beauntiful job of it. There is also some refurbishing of some of the bottom coating but the varnish still looks pretty good.

one of our most reliable Gatsby Boats
and this will help!

Elsewhere in the shop we carried on with filling, fairing and skiff development....

Anton feels his way through!

current raffle skiff ready for more work

bottoms up in raceboats!
stained and first coat of varnish

George making skiff kit parts for this summer Boats 4 Folks program
So there you have last week and this coming Thursday (May 29th) is Shore Leave Night at the boatshop. This month George will be making up his secret homemade burger patties and some other surprises, Anton to be the cook on the BBQ down beside the river behind the boatshop! Only $10 a head for food and beer but RSVP or nothing for you...maybe.

Our Ditchburn "Jingo" arrives at Boatshop!

Well the rescue of this classic from a bonfire fate in Callander began in November 2012 with a hair raising run from there to a field north of Orangeville. This week saw her make it to the boatshop where the hull cleanup and stabilization can be carried out. Longtime volunteer Scott dropped what he was planning to do on Thursday morning and joined me for the run to Jingo. Volunteer John Way whose farm the boat was stored on, met us with a "no problem" cheery view of the extrication!

Jingo is behind all those trailers...
and up to her knees in mud!

Frankly the situation looked dubious, the roadway in to her was mud and ruts 18" deep in places. There were several trailers parked between her and less muddy ground - all of which was quite downhill from the road. Not a perfect setup. However farmers have quite a different view of things as we were about to see....

John went for the front end loader and began to grade the driveway by back-dragging the blade so he could move high dirt to low dirt places. Along came his nephew who turned out to be a wizard on the excavator - which just happened to be sitting around - this really got things moving. He swung the bucket in a huge arc which flattened the surface then drove back and forth with the crawler machine which further solidified the drive way. Eventually we could get our truck in to move the miscellaneous trailers out of the way. They then used the excavator to drag Jingo's trailer up to the roadway where we could get hooked up. Scott was on board for this ride securing loose items - so he is the first volunteer to have a ride in Jingo!

out of the mud - Scott at the windshield..
up the ramp to the road...

onto the road and ....

ready for us to hook up!


Once on the road the excavator made picking up the tonge and landing it on our hitch a moments job. We intalled our magnetic lights and magnetic plates, tied her down and off to the farmhouse for tea and air in the tires!

need 4x4 in the driveway!
The ride back was uneventful - thank goodness and she trailed smoothly even on a pintle hook connection.

Once maneuvered into position at the boatshop we had a first real look at her outward condition. Going to be a big job and the move didn't help. More ribs have broken on the port side with considerable sagging evident. Our first task will be to stabilize the hull even before we go inside to clean the junk out. I suspect this can be a tricky thing to do and none of us has done it before - if you have some knowledge of how to proceed - your input would be timely as this needs to be done sooner than later!

We have made it to the Glen!
there is an area of soft in the deadwood strut

 Jingo was built in 1929 by Ditchburn in the Orillia plant - one can see the family resemblance to Windswept III built in the same plant a few years later but the hull construction and style is the same. She may be planked in cypress, I didn't find any soft planks to speak of which is quite amazing considering her last decade or two of life. The cabin is a much later addition, she originaly had a windshield, hard top over half the cockpit and canvas sidecurtains.

a bit sad looking but...

most of the hull looks promising.

So what will her future look like? Hopefully we will get her stabilized and the junk out of her including the ugly cabin - pretty soon. After that we will be looking for indoor storage while a restoration plan is conceived and made ready for execution. Your thoughts on this or your willingness to be on a team to look into creative solutions would be welcome...

let's get back to this condition! (C. 1970)

Monday, 19 May 2014

Our new favourite thing

OK so we're no different than anyone else - a new trick comes along and all of a sudden we are using it for everything - almost. The new trick is actually a pretty good one and it saves a lot of time. It is called "smooth grey Bondo" - yup -  the stuff they used to plug into the holes in your car's fenders back in the day. Turns out is the same resin used in fiberglass, waterproof, durable and toolable in 20 minutes. This discovery came about following our dismay at the uneven lay of the boards we scarphed and glued into the bow sections of the 16' Shepherd Outboard - onto the computer with Clarion Boats and they put us onto this trick for fairing the underhull before creating the new planks. It is all about fairing! So we got started on both the Shepherd and TNT bottoms.

Anton applying the goo

"bubble, bubble toil and trouble"

and shaving it down to fairness.
This is amazingly quick to do and is quite easy to work with once demonstrated. In this case it will be encapsulated between layers of the bottom and so not visible. The idea is to give the new planks a fair hard place to land.

Same deal on the TNT - although we thought we were ready to paint before discovering this stuff. It has allowed us to raise the bar on quality of finish without sanding through the bottom planking! It will also allow us to improve the shape of the bottom which had some concave sections in the running surface.

just getting started on TNT bottom
 Mini-Hopper jumps along too!

Bernie was in this week getting the epoxy all over the boat, deck, bottom and all. The areas to be varnished bright have been stained and epoxy coated as well. Next step is the inner panels, figuring out the steering, a keel or fin to keep it going straight and some more finer details.

preping the decks for epoxy
staining done inside and out

a dramatic picture! Totally faked!

It is time to get the summer boats ready for the water so the Gas-Hopper will have to go into storage to make space for doing this. We got the trailer mostly back together except for the electrics and loaded the boat up. Gas-Hopper is away and Dileas is in the shop.

Trailer restored by Blastal Coatings!
And the skiff finally got it's staining done too! Thanks to Ray and Jim!

next step is varnish on the whole inside.
And in the engine shop Joseph got our 1957 Johnson 18HP all ready for the season so it is over in the museum for now. Next!

Don't forget this Thursday, May 29 at 7 PM, is our monthly Shore Leave Night. Weather permitting we will have another BBQ and bonfire on the lawn behind the boatshop. Still only $10 a head for food and beer! RSVP! 905 873-0141

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Door's Open - Open Doors!

Finally! We can leave the big door open when we are working in the shop and it makes a big difference to the walk-in visiting. It is great to welcome visitors and this is the time of year they are most populous! In the past week several old motor donations have been promised which will help the sea flea programme a lot.

Speaking of which - Mini-Hopper progress.

Bernie has the oak motor boards epoxied in place as well as the framing for the cockpit ceilings. I think the boat is ready for the mahogany stain treatment...

George and Bernie gluing in the motorboards
Wow! almost ready to go - fast!

And on the TNT front.

Steve and  Jason learn the fine points of a good finish - when it comes to sanding "some's good - more's better"! If your fingers can feel it, your eyes will see it when you apply a finish. And where you have filled little dips and screw holes with epoxy, the epoxy sets much harder than the wood so it must be "shaved" off with a very sharp scraper before final sanding - other wise the sandpaper removes the wood and leaves the epoxy like a little volcano in the ocean.

gives "Sand & Sun" a whole new meaning...

Not much progress on the Shepherd Outboard this week, yours truly was tied up with re-assembling the restored trailer for Gas-Hopper. Our plan is to get the Hopper back on her trailer and moved to storage until the boats going in the water this season have been "summerized", touched up and whatever they need! First in will be Dileas our 1947 Hunter.

getting there. Paint by Blastal Coatings - THANK YOU!

And then there's the motor shop - this week featuring JJ and Peter. A few engines have been completed and several more are just about there...

JJ and our faithful 18 HP Johnson
a visitor offered to bring in some Scott parts!

and on a final note, our volunteer and board member Ray, has put a huge amount of time into his new purchased Contessa which finally made it to the water this Monday! This is his first real boat and his participation here is what gave him the knowledge and comfort to jump in!
Ray steps aboard for the first time as Captain

JJ and Ray ready to go

add crew (also first time)

and head out to sea! 

 Well "head out to Lake" just doesn't quite do it...

And that's the week that was..

Sunday, 4 May 2014

OK, now what?

That's a pretty good way of putting our status at the end of this week - inner bottom is on the Shepherd, hull is complete on the Mini-Hopper and the TNT is ready for the next step. Oh and Ray's Contessa will be out of the shop tomorrow if the engine test goes OK.

First the Shepherd - Great to see the bottom panels actually glued and nailed down - sucker's not going to leak through there anyway! However there may be a few little snags resulting from our inexperience...I'll try to explain. In the forward sections the compound curves seem more uneven than they should have been with hollows if you hold a fairing batten where the outer planks will lie. Do we fill these areas or try to force the new planks down into them....waiting to hear back from Dwight on this.

you can see the issue - the surface is wavy and seems like a problem.

On the other hand if you stand back a few feet it looks promising!

with old planks tacked in...
inner panels all faired to chines

Soon we will have to decide how to create the outer bottom planks. The originals have no rot but are very dry and stiff. We have no way in the shop to "re-saw" the 8/4 mahogany boards into the 1/2" plank stock we need - takes a very big band saw. New plywood planking was discussed - we could do it ourselves but I am not comfortable with this solution - one concern would be for the plywood to delaminate in a high speed hull. So we'll see if we can find help with the re-sawing.

Next the Mini-Hopper - Which is looking really good now. Bernie is creating the inner cockpit side panels but first we are trying to get a handle on the steering gear solution which might need to be glued into the side compartments before they are closed in. Looks to me like the solid parts are almost ready for mahogany stain!

all construction marks scraped and sanded out
and looking fast already!

Next to it the TNT with all bottom fastenings filled and faired pretty much ready for primer. A bit more sanding of the transom which was just stripped this week.

tempting to overlay a mahogany panel on the transom but...
On the skiff front Wayne set all the keel nails, removed the screws, filled the holes and faired the whole works beautifully - ready for stain.

using a nail set with the floor as anvil - real focus here!
and finally in the motor shop Joseph was in the for the day and after wrestling the test tank outside has several engines running and tuned for the opening of the season. He is open to a bit of outside work like this if it is a financial benefit to our programmes.

Our second Johnson 18hp is now resurrected!

If you know of any more derelict 3, 5, 7 or 10 hp outboards from the 50's that could be donated to the cause we would be most appreciative!

We have been offered a booth the Classics Against Cancer car show on Father's Day in Cedarvale Park - if you would like to be on this team let us know!