View Full Version : GRENFELL 36 SEDAN - Advice Needed
04-17-2009, 11:39 AM
:) Ahoy Mateys ! I am considering the purchase of a Grenfell 36 Sedan, built in 1966 in Canada. She has lapstrake planking and although I have rebuilt several boats both wood and fiberglass, I know nothing regarding the lapstrake construction. I feel sure that some of you have had experience with this type of planking and would be most appreciative for some input. The construction is mahogany planking over oak and mahogany frames and ribs. At this point I don't know what type of fasteners were used and what the history of repairs and/or maintenance is. Basically, I am looking for the strong and weak points of this type of construction. It would be a bonus if any of you have actually had experience with a Grenfell. Fair winds. Joe
As a generic precaution for lapstrake construction, look for cracked ribs (most often at the turn of the bilge in the aft half of the boat), splits in the planking along rivet lines, & there should not be a presence of caulking at the laps. The most common fastening is with copper rivets (should last a LOONG time in fresh water (50 - 100 years I'd think possible)). Lapstrake is a light construction, so if the boat has been out of the water for quite a while (years), I'd look to see she was well blocked & things aren't starting to sag & hog. Other than that it's mostly just ususal wooden boat stuff to look for.
04-17-2009, 03:12 PM
Grenfell's are very well built and highly regarded boats here in the Pacific Northwest, with the bulk of the population found in BC. I believe you will find the boat copper and bronze fastened. Early boats were carvel planked but most of the later construction seems to have been lapstrake. Traditionally, the Grenfells are frequently painted a dark blue, but whatever the color, the Grenfell look is unique and unmistakable. There is an active contingent of owners who hold rendezvous and have some interconnection, but my google search didn't turn up a club per se. Most Grenfell's I have seen have been maintained in above average condition; a good indication that the one you are looking at may be a relatively good boat too.
Here's a 36 for sale now:
Grenfell 36 in Tacoma (http://www.yachtworld.fi/veneet/1966/Grenfell-36-Sedan-1975154/Yhdysvallat)
These were almost all built by commission for people who wanted something other than what could be obtained from Chris Craft, Owens, or similar larger builders. Unlike Cavaliers and Sea Skiffs, Grenfells are generally solid wood construction, so are somewhat more upmarket than similar looking vessels. Good luck in your hunt.
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