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View Full Version : First project boat. My 50's 15' runabout



azza
04-15-2013, 06:04 AM
Hi all. I'm new to these forums, new to wooden boats and new to project projects in general!

This seems like a great forum, I've spent the past couple of days trying to read and research as much as possible on here. I have so many questions as I'm completely new to all of this, but am excited about the prospect of learning much more about the world of wooden boating.

I grew up on the water would drive my little 5hp tinny just about every day of the week until the fuel tank ran dry. Loved that thing, and loved boats in general (owned a couple sail boats also). After moving away from the water I always wanted to get back on it but never had the means. Last year I decided to give myself a challenge and find a wooden boat project on a very tight budget. I'd done the same with some car projects recently and loved the whole process. After months of searching this 15' runabout popped up last week. I met the lovely owner, we spoke for an hour and I'm now the proud owner of this lovely clinker. Well it's lovely in my eyes anyway!

As I mentioned before, I am new to the world of wooden boating, and to be honest both excited and daunted by the task ahead. That's where I hope some of the forum's wisdom can help steer me in the right direction.

I'm still trying to find out more info about the boat, but so far all I know is that it's 15' long and has a beam of about 6', is apparently from the mid 50's and of cedar construction. Sanding has begun on the starboard side of the hull, and so far everything is looking very solid (fingers crossed). The boat itself I imagine was just entry level when new. There's nothing overly elaborate about the construction to give me the impression it was anything special when made.

I've posted up a number of photos to see if anyone can offer some general information about the boat. I literally have nothing to compare it to as I've never owned or even been in a powered timber boat before (it was all aluminium and fiberglass when I was growing up). Yes the boat looks pretty rough and messy at this stage. I purposely didn't clean it up before taking the shots as I wanted to have some good "before" photos when comparing the finished product.

I have so many questions, but they'll have to wait for now. I'm still researching and just wanted to introduce myself for now.
Cheers!

http://imageshack.us/a/img845/5207/76263805u.jpg
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wizbang 13
04-15-2013, 07:36 AM
The very first thing I see , the very first thing I look for , with these type of boats , is that she is poorly supported on the trailer.
The forward part of the keel is one ONE bow roller and the winch is pulling her bow DOWN onto it !!
We cannot see the transom in the pics, but the boat should be ON her transom, on bunks, with the bow pulled up , so that the hull almost floats in the air.
So , look for dents in the bottom .
In addition to the usual rot, broken frames, fastening sickness.
Those curved seats are slick, never seen anything like them!!!

azza
04-15-2013, 07:49 AM
The very first thing I see , the very first thing I look for , with these type of boats , is that she is poorly supported on the trailer. The forward part of the keel is one ONE bow roller and the winch is pulling her bow DOWN onto it !! We cannot see the transom in the pics, but the boat should be ON her transom, on bunks, with the bow pulled up , so that the hull almost floats in the air. So , look for dents in the bottom . In addition to the usual rot, broken frames, fastening sickness. Those curved seats are slick, never seen anything like them!!!Hi wizbang thanks for the reply. I appreciate the input about the trailer. I actually want to get it off it as soon as possible so I can fix it up and modify it now so it supports the boat correctly. I'll get another shot or two of the trailer and see what suggestions are for improvement. I'll have a proper look for dents etch straight away. Haven't noticed any at all yet, but you never know. I really like the seats too. Bit quirky but actually very comfortable. The one thing that bothers me though is the front seat's distance to the steering wheel. It feels too close. I'd like to move it back half a foot or so, but not sure how it'll affect weight displacement and planing. Does anyone have any advice as far as this is concerned?Thanks again.Cheers

wizbang 13
04-15-2013, 08:35 AM
The most efficient way to run these old boats is with all the weight aft. Putting stuff in the front was to make more room . Many boats , even today, have center steering , many old performance boats from then had steering all the way aft.
That said, I would use it as is before changing it
When the bow starts bouncing up and down , trim of the engine is a better way to deal than moving weight forward.
Modern engines have power trim , old ones did not
bruce

nedL
04-15-2013, 09:14 AM
Very nice runaboout. As soon as I saw the pictures I was struck by a number of similarities in design, styling, and construction to the classic inboard Australian runabouts. You might try connecting with some of the people at the Classic Australian Power Boat Association http://www.cawpba.com/ for some help in identifying your boat.

azza
04-16-2013, 05:15 AM
Very nice runaboout. As soon as I saw the pictures I was struck by a number of similarities in design, styling, and construction to the classic inboard Australian runabouts. You might try connecting with some of the people at the Classic Australian Power Boat Association http://www.cawpba.com/ for some help in identifying your boat.
Hi mate, thanks for that. It makes sense to have style like a classic Australian runabout as I live in Australia :) Nicely spotted!
I'll check out that website right now. Thanks again.
Cheers

AndreasJordahlRhude
04-16-2013, 08:18 AM
Cool boat. I have never seen a lapstrake runabout with the planking running and curving up to the deck at the bow. Kinda cool. All those that I have seen have the planking running parallel to the gunwale/deck. The molded curved seats are neato as well. Andreas

Paul Scheuer
04-16-2013, 10:06 AM
There appears to be some sort of Logo in the hub of that steering wheel. That could be a clue to its manufacturer. Nice project.

BBSebens
04-16-2013, 10:39 AM
A lovely project. Nice find!

John Boone
04-16-2013, 11:13 AM
Sweet little runabout there azza. I agree with Wizbangs's comments about the need to provide better support on that trailer. Here is a shot of a 15' 7" ,plywood on frame skiff we just finished and if you look closely you can see the aft and forward bunks that provide support for the boat on the trailer. This boat has longitudinal bottom stringers approx 12" and 24" on either side of the keel. The bunks on the trailer are positioned so they are under the bottom stringers... The bulk of the boats weight is supported in this way by 10' of bunks. The forward roller was added for good measure but carries little weight.

http://i222.photobucket.com/albums/dd304/jsbpbacct/Boatbuilding/Luzier%2016%20Outboard/IMG_9812_zps1acd2509.jpg

Set up this way the boat easily unloads and loads on the trailer.

Best of luck with your project. We will all be watching for launch day.

Regards, John

azza
04-16-2013, 08:13 PM
Thanks for the kind comments everyone.


Cool boat. I have never seen a lapstrake runabout with the planking running and curving up to the deck at the bow. Kinda cool. All those that I have seen have the planking running parallel to the gunwale/deck. The molded curved seats are neato as well. Andreas
Yeah, to be honest I didn't notice this at first(being new to wooden boats), but as I search around on the internet most planking does seem to be different to mine as you describe. I wonder what the advantages/disadvantages are of this, or whether it's just an aesthetic choice?


There appears to be some sort of Logo in the hub of that steering wheel. That could be a clue to its manufacturer. Nice project.
The little logo in the steering wheel just says "custom", looks quite cool though. There is a makers badge on the boat and as it turns out it was built in the same suburb I lived in when I was a child and used to drive my tinny around.
Here is a quick pic of the steering wheel logo :
http://img688.imageshack.us/img688/1774/customb.jpg

azza
04-16-2013, 08:26 PM
Sweet little runabout there azza. I agree with Wizbangs's comments about the need to provide better support on that trailer. Here is a shot of a 15' 7" ,plywood on frame skiff we just finished and if you look closely you can see the aft and forward bunks that provide support for the boat on the trailer. This boat has longitudinal bottom stringers approx 12" and 24" on either side of the keel. The bunks on the trailer are positioned so they are under the bottom stringers... The bulk of the boats weight is supported in this way by 10' of bunks. The forward roller was added for good measure but carries little weight.



Set up this way the boat easily unloads and loads on the trailer.

Best of luck with your project. We will all be watching for launch day.

Regards, John

Hi John, thanks for the info. That's a lovely boat you have there also.

I checked out my trailer again this morning to see what I need to modify. It currently has two 3-4 foot long bunks towards the stern of the boat with 3 rollers under the keel. I'm thinking I could possibly increase the length of the bunks to better support the boat? Also make sure they're as close to the stringers as possible. Should they be tilted/angled back at all to bring the bow of the boat up, or parallel to the trailer frame? Sorry for the basic/silly questions.
I also inspected the keel of the boat and it appears to be perfectly straight, no signs of dents at all. I probably won't know for sure until I strips everything back and have a closer look though.
Thanks again for the help everyone!

wizbang 13
04-16-2013, 09:01 PM
Put a straight edge, 4 or 6 feet long , from the transom bottom running forward at different places.
If she is pretty straight there , with no dips, or "hook " as it is called, you are golden.
If the boat was built with good stringers, that is real good.
At speed, say about 20 mph and faster , any hook in the bottom aft may act like trim tabs , and may push the bow down , or push the bow down to one side, or grab the steering away from you and contribute to a bit of "trip".
Race boats will turn a boat upside down and flatten the back part of a boat with balloons and longboard to where a piece of paper cannot get through.
That is over the top for you of course, but you get the idea.
Also ,for later, always sharpen up the aft edge of the bottom . Do not let it be radiused or rounded. That is true for all planing boats.

nedL
04-17-2013, 11:16 AM
"I live in Australia :) Nicely spotted!" .... Well I was quite aware of that . :D I guess what I meant to convey was that with the truely atypical planking schedule (ends of the planking running out at the shear as they do), the sizing and shape of the ribs and stringers internally, the straight shear, the cutaway forefoot, and an overall disign impression she looks closely related to the vintage inboard raceboats that seem quite rare and sought after down there, and not just a "lapstrake runabout built in Australia". That is unless all your boats down there have those characteristics. ....... Up here, if you really know your boats, you can tell where they were built and what the are related to by such details.

azza
04-19-2013, 01:58 AM
Put a straight edge, 4 or 6 feet long , from the transom bottom running forward at different places.
If she is pretty straight there , with no dips, or "hook " as it is called, you are golden.
If the boat was built with good stringers, that is real good.
At speed, say about 20 mph and faster , any hook in the bottom aft may act like trim tabs , and may push the bow down , or push the bow down to one side, or grab the steering away from you and contribute to a bit of "trip".
Race boats will turn a boat upside down and flatten the back part of a boat with balloons and longboard to where a piece of paper cannot get through.
That is over the top for you of course, but you get the idea.
Also ,for later, always sharpen up the aft edge of the bottom . Do not let it be radiused or rounded. That is true for all planing boats.
Cheers mate. Lots to keep in mind. I'll feel a lot happier when I get it off the trailer.


"I live in Australia :) Nicely spotted!" .... Well I was quite aware of that . :D I guess what I meant to convey was that with the truely atypical planking schedule (ends of the planking running out at the shear as they do), the sizing and shape of the ribs and stringers internally, the straight shear, the cutaway forefoot, and an overall disign impression she looks closely related to the vintage inboard raceboats that seem quite rare and sought after down there, and not just a "lapstrake runabout built in Australia". That is unless all your boats down there have those characteristics. ....... Up here, if you really know your boats, you can tell where they were built and what the are related to by such details.
I think that's the beauty of dealing with creations from years ago. People did things specific ways in different areas/times and it's these unique characteristics that make all of this so interesting. I'm gradually piecing together information about my boat which is very rewarding. I've been given a few clues as to the possible builder of the boat when new but still waiting for confirmation. I've made contact with the retailer who sold the boat new. They're still a family business and have given me an opportunity to speak to the person running things at the time this boat would of been built. Looking forward to finding more info. After all of that, the planking does still seem a little unusual compared with other boats of the same era and area of construction.

My first job is to get the boat off the trailer and stored so I can work on it properly. Do I need to make a cradle (or variation of) for it? What is the best way to do this? I really want to get the hull sanded and trailer sorted out as soon as possible but can't do any until the boat has been taken off. Any advice/photos/videos are appreciated.
Thanks again for the help.

Paul Scheuer
04-19-2013, 12:44 PM
I think I can see the builder's logic for upswept planking. If all eight planks were carried forward to the stem, their width at the stem would be about half of what it is now. Perhaps thoght to be weaker attachment than the full plank width. Also, in order to carry the planks all of the way forward most of them would have to be significantly curved, with corresponding waste of wood.

azza
04-23-2013, 07:02 AM
I think I can see the builder's logic for upswept planking. If all eight planks were carried forward to the stem, their width at the stem would be about half of what it is now. Perhaps thoght to be weaker attachment than the full plank width. Also, in order to carry the planks all of the way forward most of them would have to be significantly curved, with corresponding waste of wood.
Thanks for the input. Yeah I'm still tracking down info. Think I have a name for the person who built the boat originally. Apparently some people have told me they remember the shape and construction of the hull very vividly. Hope to get a little more background information soon.
Still haven't had a chance to get the boat off the trailer yet. Currently figuring out my plan of attack with it as it's something I've never done before!