Saturday, May 7, 2016


We started the day by installing four frames in the bow that had been previously removed.
These are the first frames installed that do not go behind stringers to hold them in place. Two of them laid flat and could have most likely been installed without steaming them. We steamed them all anyways as this made it a simple task to put a Jorgensen clamp at the top, and move them into place by hand, or foot as required. I drilled and screwed them to the hull with temporary screws. I will replace the screws with Bronze screws next time.

The first four went so well, we decided to remove, and install four more.

The frames in the bow were interesting as within a span of 12" the frames went from concave to convex.

Four frames remain, which are sawn not bent, another learning curve.

While steaming the frames, Patricia made use of her time sewing in a new zipper, and making necessary repairs to the Dodger from our other boat project, our 31' Ericson Independence sailboat.
I removed a 3' section of a damaged plank, Port side aft. This was a bit of an expiriment to see how difficult hull repairs would be.

Monday, May 2, 2016


After reading all we could about steam bending white oak, watching videos of other boat builders, professional and amateur alike, hearing about the limited amount of time you have to work the wood before your window of opportunity is gone, and other associated horror stories, we decided it was time to give it a try.
We started by removing one frame from each side of the boat. The plan for our first effort was to steam two frames, assuming we would botch the first one by taking too much time. Or if it were to break, we would have a backup frame and hopefully get one of the two installed.
Two air dried White Oak frames 1” x ¾” x 60” were steamed for one hour.
Much to our amazement the first frame slid into to place taking all of about twenty seconds. Patricia was in the boat with a flat blade putty knife to assist the end of the frame over each lap, on the other end of the frame I was able to push, pull, and tap as necessary to move the frame into place.
It went so smoothly we installed both frames without a problem.
For our next effort we removed four frames, two on each side of the boat, leaving an existing frame between each to be sure that hull shape was maintained.
The installation of these four frames went as smooth as the first two. We are on a frame bending ROLL!
To date we have removed and installed ten frames, and plan to replace ten more.

One lesson we learned as you will see in the following video is to not sit the camera on the boat while filming. The boat has a fair amount of movement while wrestling the frame into place.

Saturday, April 30, 2016


Step one -
Purchase an Earlex Steam unit from Highland Woodworking.

Step two -
Build a box out of 3/4" CDX plywood, interior dimensions 5" x 5" x 60" long.
Two rows of 1/4 wooden dowel rods are inserted thru the box to allow for up to six                             frames to be steamed at one time. HVAC tape is placed over the holes where the dowel                       rods are inserted to hold them in place and keep the steam in the box.

After a couple of uses the tape began to pull loose, I screwed a piece of 3/4" CDX plywood                 over the HVAC tape on each side of the box, problem solved. It appears the box will hold up thru the steam bending of the 20 or so frames we plan to replace.
Step three - Drill a hole in the bottom of the box to connect the steam unit, drill a hole in the top of     the box to insert a thermometer, drill a small hole in the bottom end of the box for water                       to drain out.

Step four - Add water, plug in steam unit, create steam.

Frames were deteriorated badly in the bilge.
Upper portion of frames were very solid. 

The best way to remove the deteriorated frames were to cut them from boat.

New stock - White Oak frame material and sheet goods.

Cutting the dowels that were inserted thru the box to form racks for the frames to lay on.

Chamfered ends of frames to easy the installation over the laps in the planking.

Wood steamed for one hour 

Steam box set up in operation

Three frames installed on the Starboard side, two removed ready for new frames.
Same on Port side.

Thursday, April 14, 2016


The plans to pull the motor out of the boat have been in the works for weeks. The mobile engine stand is built and ready to receive the motor, the frame to accept the LVL on which the chain fall will hang is ready for re-assembly.

My son-in-law is expected to arrive in exactly one hour to assist in the heavy lifting, and Patricia confirmed the street address and nearest medical facility in the event a call to 911 becomes necessary.

With personal safety at the top of my list as well, I assured her the only real danger we face is dropping the motor through the bottom of the boat which will basically bring this project to an abrupt end.

The plan is really quite simple -

  1. Lay the LVL across the bow of the boat
  2. Insert the pocket of the two frames onto the LVL and insert two pre-drilled bolts each side
  3. Stand the frame up directly over the motor
  4. Hang the 1/2 ton chain fall from the LVL (purchased from Northern Tool and Supply) 
  5. Lift the motor high enough to clear the transom, approx. 10'
  6. Pull the boat forward
  7. Lower the motor onto the mobile motor stand

Frames leaned against the side of the boat for alignment over the motor,
 and to see how much leveling would be required once in place.

LVL bolted into frame pocket

Upright, level, and by all appearances ready to go

Attaching the chain fall
This 1/2 ton chain fall is looking really small,
this is one heavy piece of Detroit Iron


And away

Easy on the way down

Almost there

Fit like a charm on the mobile motor stand I built a couple of weeks ago

Rolled into the shop, ready for some disassembly

Sunday, March 13, 2016


With spring weather forecast for the weekend our plan was to have a full weekend of working on the boat. As plans sometimes go we ended up with a Saturday morning meeting, and other things that kept us from the boat all day on Saturday.

Sunday morning we arrived at 08:15 and fully un-covered the boat for the first time is a couple of months.

I had a couple of hours left to complete the frame that will be used for pulling the motor. Patricia started in on removing the Mahogany decking.

With the frame completed I un-bolted the headder from the vertical supports, and stacked the three pieces of the frame assembley aside ready until I have enough help to erect the assembly over the boat.
I still need to pickup a chain fall from Northern Tool, or Harbor Freight.

Patricia starting in on pulling the first of well over a hunderd nails that held the decking in place.

I joined in on the deck removal operation using a variety of methods.
Multi tool for cutting nails, nail puller, shims, and wedges.
All in all not too difficult of a project.

Side decks removed

Everything looks pretty good in here, with the exception of a couple of ribs.
It does not appear these ribs will be too difficult to replace.
Famous last words.

Fore deck removed

In anticipation of replacing ribs we removed one rib from the boat to see how big of a project this was going to be.
Patricia removed the screws from one Port side rib, and I pulled it out with minimal effort.
The detoriated bottom six inches of the rib broke off in my hand during removal, which is why we are replacing the ribs. 

With the rib removed you can clearly see the dark oil soaked, and detoriated end of the rib.
Something tells me they are not going to go back in, as easy as they come out...........

After considering building a steam generator, we have decided to spend the time on the boat and purchase an Earlax steam unit from Highland Woodworking.

This unit appears adequate for steam bending the ribs.
This leaves me only having to build the 5" x 5" x 60" box for steaming the ribs.

And just like that ten hours had passed.

We did take a one hour lunch break, as our new favorite mexican resturant Zama is only five minutes from where we are working on the boat,

18:30 hours we covered the boat back up with the tarp, and headed home.

Until next time.

Sunday, February 28, 2016


Early November I packed up and sent my carburetor, generator, distributor, and fuel pump to Lakeland Auto Marine in Sandusky,Ohio. They re-built the carburetor, re-wound the generator to 12V, re-built the fuel pump, and changed the distributor from points to electronic ignition.

Having family in Toledo I had planned to make the trip home from Atlanta, and swing by Sandusky to visit Lakeland Auto Marine to pick up my parts in person. I also planned to visit Homestead Hardwood in Vickery, Ohio and haul some lumber home with me as well.

Itching to get back to working on the boat with the un-seasonally warm weather throughout the month of February, and not being able to find time to make the trip north I decided to have the parts shipped back to me.
As well, I placed my order for some 3/8"and 1/4" Mahogany Plywood, 3/8" Fir plywood, and some White oak for rib replacement.

I will be purchasing the solid Mahogany lumber locally.

Lakeland Auto and Marine returned the parts in the same box, with the same rags I sent them packed in.

Carburetor, Generator, Fuel Pump, Distributor

Ahh the smell of new wood!