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Thread: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser

  1. #1
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    Default Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser

    We have just acquired this beautiful old lady. She was built in 1954, and is fitted with two Volvo Penta 4-cylinder petrol engines.

    Her builder, Arthur Bishop, was a very highly regarded boat builder in Claremont and then East Fremantle, Western Australia. Several of his boats are listed in the national maritime historical register.

    The previous owners had commenced a restoration and illness has forced them to give up the project. The cabin tops have been rebuilt, with new ply, and glassed and painted. The windscreens and surrounding timber are all new. One of the engines had failed and has been rebuilt, re-fitted, but not yet completely wired up. Much of the interior timber brightwork has been removed, sanded, re-finished, and stacked ready for re-fitting. The teak sole has been partly sanded.

    There's a lot to do but she has a lot of merit, and a lot of the most expensive and difficult work has been done already.

    We are very grateful and at the same time daunted by the responsibility!

    Some photos; I apologise for the quality, they were mostly taken at night.

    How she looked a few years ago:


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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser








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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser









    Last edited by Aquinian; 04-24-2015 at 05:03 AM.

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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser






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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser






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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser






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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser






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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser

    The next to last photo seems to show a lot of water intrusion - I guess that's why the cabin top was rebuilt.

    Overall, nice boat, but you do have your work ahead of you. Are planning on adding any color to the exterior paint? It might define the lines better.

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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser

    Very nice. As you said, it looks like most of the hard & expensive work has already been done. The finish work and putting her back together inside is the rewarding, easy and fun part. Good luck with her. Keep us posted. ---- Would love to see the engine room area.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by orbb View Post
    Are planning on adding any color to the exterior paint? It might define the lines better.
    Yes, excellent suggestion. Perhaps some colour along her cabin-top edges and the rubbing strake?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by nedL View Post
    Would love to see the engine room area.
    I will post some photos later. The engines are Volvo Penta 18B motors (83hp each). They're classics.

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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser

    Very nice! I noticed that the planks appear to be riveted to the frames. Is this normal for a boat this size? I usually see it only in small craft.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.
    Skiing is the next best thing to having wings.

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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser

    Don't know, Rich. She appears to be Jarrah planked below the waterline, and Huon Pine above. Apparently Arthur Bishop built boats that way. Not sure if anybody else did.

    What amazed me when inspecting her was that I could not find a cracked rib ---- I hope I'm not jinxing myself with that observation! She takes in a little water, but not much, so the caulking seems OK as well. And the planks look fantastic from the inside. She will need to be lifted and antifouled before next summer, so we'll get a better idea then. The two major sources of worry are the screws (I have no basis for this except recent experience with another boat and the sheer age of this one) and the engines. One's just been rebuilt so that should be fine, but these are pretty old motors.

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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser

    Lovely boat! Re the painting, I'm not a fan of coloured edges to cabin tops, etc. I'd suggested doing a bit of historical research and see how most boats of her ilk were originally painted. This is a great site to start looking: http://waitematawoodys.com/ Good luck and look forward to following your progress.
    Flat bottomed boats, you make the rockin' world go round.............

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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser

    Thanks Johnno, fantastic blog! Are you suggesting that the photo at the top of this thread, showing the boat all in white, is traditionally how they were painted?

    Btw, I loved the story about the seagull race. And the ship's dog named "Spare Provisions"...

    Engine room photos:






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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser






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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser

    Controls/gauges








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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser

    Swan River, Nedlands, yesterday (April 25, ANZAC Day)

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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser

    Some remaining rot/destroyed timber. This is the worst looking piece of timber on the boat. I don't know why the shipwright that did the new cabin tops and windscreen timber didn't sort it out.



    And a close-up with the small block which is sitting loosely there removed:


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser

    How the ceilings were finished previously:



    And how they are at present. We could remove the remaining paint from the ceiling itself (the underside of the ply) and polish it, or paint it white (my plan at this stage). Also we could paint the bows, or paint them high gloss white and then just highlight with the brightwork trims as previously.


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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser

    And the saloon after some sanding yesterday:



    Last edited by Aquinian; 04-26-2015 at 07:09 PM. Reason: Typo

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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser

    Aquinian, hi there. I'm not at all sure about the traditional colour schemes of the boats over there but here's a good link for boats up my way. They might give you a few ideas.

    http://www.millarsphoto.com.au/category/36

    Of course a lot of the traditional wooden cruisers had bright cabin sides but I'm not suggesting going that far! However, once you have a bottom colour, bootstripe, deck paint colour, and a that lovely brightwork inside, you might have enough for her to look fabulous without adding any more colours.
    Flat bottomed boats, you make the rockin' world go round.............

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser

    The worst bit of side deck. The glass has deteriorated here and the ply is disintegrating. Doesn't look like rot, but more like delamination from being soaked.

    I'm thinking that we need to seal this up with winter coming and deal with it properly next summer. Any advice welcome!



    The "new" cabin top (probably around 2 years old now) paint. Will this be fine with a sand and re-coat? It looks to me like normal paint deterioration, crazing.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser

    She's a neat looking old boat. That swim platform isn't original is it?

    You can always grind down the area around the loose fiberglass on the deck and slap a piece of cloth and some resin on it. That will hold over the winter. As far as the paint on the cabintop that looks about 5 years of deterioration to me. I like to sand it down till there are no more cracks remaining which often times ends up being down to bare wood or fiberglass...
    Fish and ships or is that chips

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser

    The swim platform is ply, so I doubt it's original!

    Actually, it's quite well done. I had a good look at it today and it will clean up nicely. I'll probably just varnish it and then ponder something more "period" when the bigger problems are sorted. And she does have bigger problems...

    The paint must be older than I thought, I agree. The history of this boat is difficult to pin down because of the previous owner's illness. He "lost" about a year, I think.

    The engines have been dunked. The story is that the previous owner, a lovely chap, took ill after he had mostly installed the re-built engine. The history becomes very obscure at that point, for obvious reasons. While he was out of action, the batteries died, she filled up with water, and her neighbour, who happens to be the club bosun, threw a submersible in there and rescued her. Three times. I found that out Saturday.

    OK, so the price was such that I didn't care really what her mechanicals were like, I could see that there was plenty of corrosion there and I thought I'd be up for refurbing all the ancillaries anyway. I didn't even pull the dipsticks. I keep thinking, what an idiot, but then I know it would have made no difference at all to the decision. These girls are not rational decisions.

    The other problem she has is delignification (is that a word?) of the shaft logs due to electrolysis, I think. Here's a couple of very ordinary photos from today.






    The yellowy stuff looks like some kind of earlier "repair" which I suspect is a wood hardening product. I don't know what to do about this.

    The plan at this stage is to pull the motors apart in situ - heads off, lift, split gearboxes, remove boxes and blocks, leave her in the pen and take the drive train home for rebuilding. Then when the engines and boxes are finished, pull the boat out, drop the motors in, sort out any caulking that needs attention, and antifoul and paint her, then back in the water. I don't want her out for more than a couple of weeks so she doesn't dry out. Our weather is like southern California but warmer.

    The shaft logs threaten that plan! I'm wondering if I can pinch a few years by drilling a lot of holes and injecting the logs with epoxy. I'm sure that's heresy for many, but I want a usable boat by next summer, not a five year project.
    Last edited by Aquinian; 04-27-2015 at 08:35 AM.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser

    No to the drilling and epoxy.

    Can you get a fairly clear picture from the side of the shaftlog from the packing gland back? And how much room is there between the end of the packing gland and the back of the shaft coupling?

    With those two things I can draw a picture of what I have done in the past with Shaftlogs that looked much like that.
    Fish and ships or is that chips

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser

    S of K, will get some decent photos this week, and thank you very much for the assistance!

    My girls have been sanding and cleaning downstairs and they have done an amazing job. We'll have her interior back to something really quite nice in a few weeks at this rate. The engines and gearboxes are own priority, and then we'll have to address the shaft logs. I presume this is an out of the water job?

    Regards,
    John.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by johnno View Post
    Aquinian, hi there. I'm not at all sure about the traditional colour schemes of the boats over there but here's a good link for boats up my way. They might give you a few ideas.

    http://www.millarsphoto.com.au/category/36

    Of course a lot of the traditional wooden cruisers had bright cabin sides but I'm not suggesting going that far! However, once you have a bottom colour, bootstripe, deck paint colour, and a that lovely brightwork inside, you might have enough for her to look fabulous without adding any more colours.
    Great site, thanks Johnno. Wow, there are some lovely boats around!

    I think the general theme is, white, white, and more white on the outside, with white on the inside with much brightwork highlighting.

    I really like the idea of brightwork highlights on the exterior, on the gunwale rubbing strake (particularly as this boat has such a lovely stylish sheer line!) and along the cabin top edges. But realistically, there's a lot of much more necessary work to do before we can consider that.

    Thanks again for the pointers. Much appreciated.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquinian View Post
    S of K, will get some decent photos this week, and thank you very much for the assistance!

    My girls have been sanding and cleaning downstairs and they have done an amazing job. We'll have her interior back to something really quite nice in a few weeks at this rate. The engines and gearboxes are own priority, and then we'll have to address the shaft logs. I presume this is an out of the water job?

    Regards,
    John.
    The shaft has to be removed so yes, its an out of water job. Unless you are really really quick... :lol:
    Fish and ships or is that chips

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser



    Well, she has twin rudders with her twin screws, and I haven't seen her underside yet, but I'll bet the rudders have to come off too in that case!

    Both shaft logs are affected similarly, by the way.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser

    wow, looks like you have some work to doing the paper mashe over the top of that 'wood'... Looks like a good project though, did you get a survey before you got the boat to determine how much work would be involved in fixing it up?

    Just curious, looking at a 26 footer of unkown origin myself and trying to work out what may be involved.

    Will you keep her at the dock for most of the duration or will you get her up onto the hard somewhere to do the prop shafts etc?

    Good Luck, look forward to seeing some more photos as work progresses.
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  32. #32
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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser

    Simon, no survey, the price made it unnecessary. I can flip her without loss if we decide there's too much involved.

    Yes, some work here. I am inclined to pull her out, clean the bottom, and inspect, before making any further decisions. Depending upon your knowledge and skill, and the price of the opportunity, a survey can be useful to absolutely necessary. And the boat guys are all looking for work at the moment, so they are offering good deals. The market is shockingly bad!

    I spoke at length to the shipwright that did the cabin tops rebuild last night. It was four years ago. He said they built new sides, new tops, and new windscreen frames. Basically the whole lot is new. He said it was all rotted. $30k. Ouch! He also told me the previous owner had it for eight years and never had it out of the pen!

    My ever-evolving plan therefore looks something like this:

    Dismantle and remove motors and gearboxes in situ. I have two sons 21 and 22 y/o, and plenty of mechanical skills in all three of us.
    Haul the boat out, clean, inspect, drop back in.
    Rebuild (or acquire replacements) the motors and boxes.
    Take moulds off the shaft logs and get prices on bronze cast replacements and compare with replacing with timbebr /> ...

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser

    S of K,

    Here are the shaft log photos. Poking around in there today it appears that the first five or six inches of them are soft and spongy. The yellowy material is some kind of epoxy product evidently placed there to provide some external support, I presume in the hope that a major repair could be avoided. There's more of it on the frame where the shaft logs taper to nothing (i.e. stern end).






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    Default Re: Restoring an Arthur Bishop 33' Cruiser




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