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Thread: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

  1. #1
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    Default Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    The story:

    I met Mark Van Abbema several years ago when he was living on his boat " Heart of Gold II" on Ft Myers Beach Florida. I had always admired his design of this sharpie/houseboat. We became friends and I was aboard his boat several times and was struck by the openness and headroom of the design. Mark designed and built this boat, and brought it from Missouri to Florida several times. He lived on her quite comfortably for several years on a sandbar across from Bonita Bills Marina and bar. The tide would go out and there she sat on her flat bottom, high and dry where no other vessel could go. I loved it.
    I built a hatch for one of his other designs which his Mom was living on at the beach for the summer, and I asked to be paid with a set of plans which I thought " some day" Ill build her.
    Mark sold her, and went on to other things back home and I lost track of her,

    That is until today.

    I found her for sale on Craigslist, and in a very desperate state. She had been hauled ashore for a couple years and used as a sign to advertise a local business on the beach. Mark designed her to have no thru hulls to maintain watertight integrity. The owner drilled several holes through her forward anchor well and planted a palm tree in her.
    That's right.
    She was being used as a planter.
    I surveyed her today and bought her on the spot. She will be shipped across the bridge to my shop in a couple of weeks where I intend to do a full on restoration and live on her at Bonita Bill's.
    You can see her story , construction and sister ship here on Mark's Site here: .http://markvdesigns.tripod.com/boatbuilding/
    I will post the restoration of her fully as I go.
    This is how i found her, in front of a bar.











    Her anchor well being used as a plantebr />

    Last edited by Robmill0605; 09-13-2011 at 08:44 PM.
    " He who works with his hands is a laborer.
    He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist".
    St. Francis of Assis (1181-1226)

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    such a shame, glad you are going to bring it back to life
    I can resist everything except temptation. - Oscar Wilde

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    Well done and good luck!
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    Great find, Rob. Looking forward to following your rescue.


    Steven

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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    What a great thread. Will be following this one closely

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    Good ole craigslist... What a story, this thread is worthy of a sticky.. Good luck with the rebuild.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    Thanks. Ironically I always admired and wanted this boat. I'm sure Mark will be happy to see her restored. I'll do my best for her.
    " He who works with his hands is a laborer.
    He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist".
    St. Francis of Assis (1181-1226)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    Great news.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    Here she is in better times.

    " He who works with his hands is a laborer.
    He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist".
    St. Francis of Assis (1181-1226)

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    I always thought she was an elegant boat. Do you think there's rot , or is it all just remedial/ paint and those plugs needed?

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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    The aft cockpit lockers are completely rotted and will need to be torn out rebuilt. The hull itself looks solid throughout. I was concerned about the " planter" in the anchor well, but that is also ok. The interior has no apparent leaks and so far looks good.
    " He who works with his hands is a laborer.
    He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist".
    St. Francis of Assis (1181-1226)

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    Interior pics of her sister ship, headroom throughout is 6ft 9 inches:










    " He who works with his hands is a laborer.
    He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist".
    St. Francis of Assis (1181-1226)

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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    What a surprisingly pleasant shape and design!! Congratulations on the purchase, I'm another really looking forward to watching this thread as it progresses. Could you post a few pics of the interior as she is now? I take it from the transom that she had an outboard engine??

    And a centreboard!! That was a bit of a surprise, thanks also for the interesting link.
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

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    "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great!"

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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    Quote Originally Posted by Larks View Post
    What a surprisingly pleasant shape and design!! Congratulations on the purchase, I'm another really looking forward to watching this thread as it progresses. Could you post a few pics of the interior as she is now? I take it from the transom that she had an outboard engine??

    And a centreboard!! That was a bit of a surprise, thanks also for the interesting link.

    Sure,I'm going aboard her today and will take some more pics of the damage and of the interior as she sits right now and post them tonight. It does not have a centerboard ( was never installed) however it is outboard powered. I've been awake most of the night , thinking;

    "I really did" just buy her.

    It begins.
    Last edited by Robmill0605; 09-14-2011 at 06:41 AM.
    " He who works with his hands is a laborer.
    He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist".
    St. Francis of Assis (1181-1226)

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    Looks good, best wishes.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    Good for You!
    I CRINGE when I see potted plants on a boat, any boat.
    Even the cute flower vases used to "stage" boat show boats.
    Get em off and keep em off!

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    ...I CRINGE when I see potted plants on a boat, any boat.
    Even the cute flower vases used to "stage" boat show boats.
    Get em off and keep em off!
    I think they look great on livaboards that rarely leave the dock. Gives the owner a homey feel.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    I hope Mark is doing OK, and that he chimes in. I remember the excitement I felt when I saw the boat featured in WB, I was seriously considering a liveaboard travelling boat at the time.

    He built her on here but before my time.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    I drove by the sister ship tonight, next time I'm up there I'll remember the camera.

    Good luck on the rebuild. I'll follow the thread.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    Wow, what to say. I am very pleased that you bought the boat, I was wondering what happened to it. I guess that the rumors of it being a "billboard" were true. Incidentaly, Two days ago (september 12) was the 10 year anniversary of her launch. At least now I know that it is in good hands. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.
    I hope you don't mind me still using it for my avatar.
    Mark
    Don't Panic!

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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    Happy 10th anniversary the pair of you!! Sounds like a very propitious beginning to a new life for her!! A very nice coincidence!
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

    LPBC Beneficiary

    "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great!"

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Van View Post
    Wow, what to say. I am very pleased that you bought the boat, I was wondering what happened to it. I guess that the rumors of it being a "billboard" were true. Incidentaly, Two days ago (september 12) was the 10 year anniversary of her launch. At least now I know that it is in good hands. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.
    I hope you don't mind me still using it for my avatar.
    Mark
    Hey Mark!
    I'm so glad you responded. When I saw her on craigslist I just about flew out the door after her. I'm having her moved to a secure site for the restoration close to my new shop. I still have her building plans, and thank you for the offer to help with technical advice. Please continue to use her for your Avatar. She's your brainchild after all. Send me your email in a Pm please. I'll make sure she goes another 10 years as a boat, not a billboard.
    " He who works with his hands is a laborer.
    He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist".
    St. Francis of Assis (1181-1226)

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    Quote Originally Posted by openboater View Post
    I drove by the sister ship tonight, next time I'm up there I'll remember the camera.

    Good luck on the rebuild. I'll follow the thread.
    Thanks! That would be great.
    " He who works with his hands is a laborer.
    He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist".
    St. Francis of Assis (1181-1226)

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    I had a busy day today went aboard her and inspected her closely. I also found out that she was about to be destroyed. Cut up and put in a dumpster if she did not sell because the town was having a fit about it being on a sidewalk as a billboard. I also found out that she was picked up by a big forklift and dragged down the street with no intention of her ever seeing the water again.
    Inspection of the bottom showed some scrapes but that's it. A testament to Marks robust construction. I took along a bilge pump and pumped out all the rain water out of her stern lockers. This is the area will need a total rebuild. The hatches and framework are rotted but the hull and frames seem fine. After I cleaned out the beer cans and trash people walking by tossed in her cockpit I got a better look.

    The cockpit lockers are trashed:








    Sorry Mark, I know it's hard to see her this way.
    Last edited by Robmill0605; 09-15-2011 at 03:19 PM.
    " He who works with his hands is a laborer.
    He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist".
    St. Francis of Assis (1181-1226)

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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    Quote Originally Posted by Larks View Post
    What a surprisingly pleasant shape and design!! Congratulations on the purchase, I'm another really looking forward to watching this thread as it progresses. Could you post a few pics of the interior as she is now? I take it from the transom that she had an outboard engine??

    And a centreboard!! That was a bit of a surprise, thanks also for the interesting link.
    The interior is full of junk. The head had a composting toilet that ripped out. The fuel tanks ripped out. The stove ripped out and even the throttle controls just literally torn from the bulkead. The sliding aft door and all of its tracks willl need to be rebuilt as well as the window frames.

    Here's the tour:

    Aft stateroom







    Thankfully the gas heater survived .

    " He who works with his hands is a laborer.
    He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist".
    St. Francis of Assis (1181-1226)

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    Going forward the composting head is gone, the propane water heater is there however. I'm guessing it was an expensive unit




    Even with all the trash and junk you can see how airy and open the boat is. This is looking forward, to the galley and helm.




    The galley. I have the stove that they removed, but it too is trashed. Oh well.




    The dinette

    " He who works with his hands is a laborer.
    He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist".
    St. Francis of Assis (1181-1226)

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    The throttle controls removed by tearing it out of the hull. Nice huh?




    The solar panels are gone, the mast is junk but the coachroof seems ok. All of the coachroof trim will need to be replaced also.




    Last but not least, is the forward anchor well ,and the storage well full of dirt for the " planter" I have a lot of work to do. Next is hauling her the hell out of there!

    " He who works with his hands is a laborer.
    He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist".
    St. Francis of Assis (1181-1226)

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    Quote Originally Posted by Robmill0605 View Post
    I surveyed her today and bought her on the spot. She will be shipped across the bridge to my shop in a couple of weeks where I intend to do a full on restoration and live on her at Bonita Bill's.
    What a lucky boat to have been found by you Rob.

    Serendipity!
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    Doesn't look too bad at all Rob, if the hull is nice and sound and the superstructure still solid you've done very well indeed!!
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

    LPBC Beneficiary

    "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great!"

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    It amazes me that thye just ripped stuff out with no concern for anything, yet they leave the VHF there along with that pricey heater.

    Nice project, enjoy it. The boat is fortunate you came around when you did
    George

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    It's actually not in as bad shape I expected. The aft locker were beginning to rot when I sold it, so they would have had to be replaced anyway. The galley stove was from an old motor home, and it was totally worthless, so you arn't out there. I'm surprised that they left the water heater and cabin heater, that was about $900 worth of stuff. I am looking forward to see what you do to her, you are a much more meticulous woodworker than I ever was.
    Mark
    Don't Panic!

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    Here are a few pictures of what it looked like just before launching.




    Don't Panic!

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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    It's great to see her living on. Mark, I remember when you began building her, ----- I guess time flies.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    I've made arrangements to have her moved and managed to get a secure site with power right next door to my new shop where I build furniture. I'm semi retired now, so I plan to work on her almost full time until she is restored.
    Upon closer inspection I've determined that the only way to get rid of the cancer is to completely tear out the cockpit and rebuilt it. I plan on keeping her and living on her so I'm going to do whatever it takes to do it right.
    " He who works with his hands is a laborer.
    He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist".
    St. Francis of Assis (1181-1226)

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Rescuing the original Mark V 39 " Heart of Gold II"

    Quote Originally Posted by Larks View Post
    Doesn't look too bad at all Rob, if the hull is nice and sound and the superstructure still solid you've done very well indeed!!
    I think so too. The bottom of her hull is two inches thick and her sides are one inch thick.The superstructure is sound. It's a great start and ironic that I was actually thinking about building from scratch from my plans, so I'm ecstatic about having her!
    " He who works with his hands is a laborer.
    He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist".
    St. Francis of Assis (1181-1226)

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