View Full Version : What have I gotten myself into?
LandLubber No More
11-27-2003, 02:19 PM
Hi all: I am new to this forum but just from browsing through, it seems like a wealth of knowledge is available here. I am an East coast canadian sailor who has lived here in Ontario for the past few years. I just took possesion of a 1967 Pacemaker (29.5 ft) cruiser. She needs some work (I think I can handle it). The biggest problem is that the transom needs replacing. My first question of all the experts out there is what type of wood should I replace it with. I have a ready supply of White Oak, but is that the best choice. Thanks in advance for your advice.
Hello, LLNM, don't know if I can offer any help but would sure like to know more about your boat? For starters how is she built originally and how important is it to you to replace the transom as close to the original as possible? A flat transom I presume?
11-27-2003, 04:02 PM
Congratulations, Ex-lubber. Good to see another forumite from the Ottawa area.
What's the original transom made of? If mahogany, you can probably find something similar at Adams & Kennedy, down in Manotick Station (off the 416). Other exotics can be ordered in from A & M, or Langevin et Forest in Montreal. Otherwise, I don't see anything wrong with white oak, although some will tell you it doesn't glue well (scholars differ).
How about a picture?
LandLubber No More
11-27-2003, 04:13 PM
Thanks for the replys guys. IT is a flat transom, unfortunately I have no idea what the original construction was. A previous owner replaced the transom some years ago with plywood. It has been out of the water for 2 years. There are several planks below the waterline which need replacing, she needs some scraping, painting and lots of TLC. The original 327 Chevy engine is in good shape and she came with a spare shaft and propellor. The interior is in great shape, new fuel and water tanks and the electronics all look good. I know I have my work cut out for me but I couldn't beat the price $0!!!!!!!!! I will post a pic soon. Cheers!
Peter Malcolm Jardine
11-27-2003, 04:41 PM
White oak is fine, or mahogany...The usual way these transom's are constructed is with horizontal edge glue planking, vertical stringers, and the frame tied into the longitudinal floors on the bottom of the boat. If the previous owner has not disturbed the original frame work, then you will have a template to work with. Be careful about taking everything out. The other common problem is the plank ends below the waterline... commonly they are rotten as well.You can construct a frame that goes back about 10' or so and rabbet the plank ends into the new "plank" that runs port to starboard, rather than fore and aft. Don't be afraid to overbuild your transom a bit. I find most of the boats like yours, CC, trojan, shepherd, etc.. are a little light in the rear end. It's a great opportunity to beef it up a bit, with some reinforcements for your rear cleats. Welcome aboard, :D to the strangest cruise ship you've ever been on tongue.gif
[ 11-27-2003, 04:44 PM: Message edited by: Peter Malcolm Jardine ]
11-27-2003, 07:31 PM
Thing about white oak though is that is expands a lot when moist, so if you DO use it, take that into account. The panel will probably want to move up to 1/2" with take up, even if you epoxy it (it will just take a bit longer)
Mahoghany is used because it looks good and because it doesn't swell that much with moisture, so its a traditional glued transom material.
Also any softwood with some rot resistance, especially Black Locust, would be great. In fact for a flat transom I would think Black Locust would be awesome. smile.gif
LandLubber No More
11-28-2003, 10:23 AM
Thanks for the advice guys. I have some time to decide on the type of wood, although I am beginning to be partial to a finished mahogany transom. It would match the interior and give her a more classic look. I grew up on wooden boats but they were all fishing boats built for function rather than looks or form. I have a supply of cherry and walnut, are they suitable for trim? I am thinking around the house, windows etc.. . The deck will eventually need replacing but I think I am OK for a while. I want to finish the Hull, get her in the water and then worry about the "nice to haves" like a new deck. I have read that these Pacemakers do not do so well out of the water, so I am anxious to get her hull finished and in the water so she can tighten up. What is your opinion on "Slick Seam" for the seams?
11-28-2003, 07:14 PM
[/quote]I am beginning to be partial to a finished mahogany transom.[/quote]
Last I checked, Adams & Kennedy had some Spanish Cedar in stock. It's very suitable for marine use, and quite similar, in appearance, to Honduras mahogany.
They also carry a marine ply. w/ Honduran Mahogany face veneers. It's not cheap, but it's unusually attractive.
The transom should be framed in white oak & planked in mahogany. Pacemakers of that era had a couple of routine problems. You found one of them,- rotten transoms. This is because when they built them, the stern building frame was a solid sheet of plywood that had the finished mahogany planking nailed on top of, and between the mahogany & plywood was a perfect place for the rot to start. At a boat yard in the late 60's & 70's you could tell who knew how Pacemakers (& Egg Harbors)were built & who didn't. The guys that didn't know would start by removing some of the mahogany plugs (bungs) thinking they would unscrew the planks, only to find the heads of bronze anchorfast nails. The guys that knew how they were built would start with a skillsaw or axe. -- One of the other common problem with them are cracked ribs at the turn of the bilge in the aft 1/3 of the hull.
12-01-2003, 09:07 AM
"Also any softwood with some rot resistance, especially Black Locust, would be great. In fact for a flat transom I would think Black Locust would be awesome."
Black locust "softwood"?
Whatever wood you use should probably be quarter sawn, or "vertical grain" to minimize the shrink swell cycle.
12-01-2003, 07:04 PM
Have a lookat the Egg Harbor Owners Association website, Pacemaker boats were made by the same company in the 60's and we have a few Pacemaker owners who drop in to ask questions and look for parts and restoration advice. Look under the boats for sale section and you will find a 27' boat from the 50's that may be quite similar to yours, it's a twin engine express with an open cockpit.
Post some photos!
LandLubber No More
12-02-2003, 09:11 AM
The Egg harbour site is very good. The 1954 29'6" project boat is very similar to mine.(mine is in better shape though) It is nice to see some of those finished classics. I have been unable to even find a picture of what my 67 Pacemaker looked like in her original condition. I would like to be as true to her original design as possible, but that will depend upen $$$ and my time. I will get some pics up in the next few days, I want to get her cleaned out and wrapped for the winter this week. Cheers!
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