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Thread: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

  1. #1
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    Default Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    I posted another thread about the hull deck joint on my ClipperCraft and received some interest so I thought I'd post a few pics about her and what I'm trying to do. I'm a beginner to boat building and restoration although I have experience with boats and sailing. I've been reading up on boat construction and design...I started with Sam Devlin's book on stitch and glue boatbuilding and have been reading S.S Rabl's Practical Principles of Naval Architecture. I just started Rabl's Boat Building in your Own Backyard...so much to learn!

    I believe this ClipperCraft is a rare design, possibly a one off. The only other one I have seen that is similar is a sweet inboard double ender called a BarClipper which appears to be a copy of a Bartender. The boat I'm working on has a funny transom that looks like they truncated the double ended stern and installed an I/O. Does anyone know any more about these boats? It looks like this boat has been sitting in a barn for 25+ years so it is incredibly dry, making it the perfect candidate for a restoration.

    As mentioned in my previous thread, my plan is to strip the hull to bare wood and repair any rotten areas (the bottom of the transom was rotten), refasten the bottom, then fiberglass the outside of the hull. I want to sand the entire interior and seal it with epoxy, fillet the frames, and install a new propulsion system.

    So far I've removed the old engine and out drive, fuel tanks, wiring, and cut out the rotten area of the transom. I've stripped one side of the hull to bare wood and am currently working on the other side. I'm working with my dad, who is very knowledgable about boats, so this is kind of a father/son project and an opportunity to learn from my old man. We are designing a new stern...hoping to make her back into a double ender.

    The propulsion system I chose has turned out to be a lot more difficult to install than I had anticipated. We are installing a Mercury SportJet. They don't sell 'kits' for the SportJet, and the installation manual is an ordered part...it doesn't come with the jet or the engine. All of the other components needed are also sold separately so it is a challenge! We have to construct a 'tunnel' for the jet to sit in. I am aware of the pitfalls of jets, but they are perfectly suited to where I live along the Columbia River.










    Today we worked on removing 3/8" of the plywood bottom so we can glue in a new piece. The installed piece will be the bottom edges of the 'tunnel'. The actual tunnel walls have to be 3/8" thick for installation tolerances so we are going to use a sheet of Garolite G-10. Here is the cutout for the intake of the jet.




    Last edited by Powerwagon; 01-18-2020 at 12:00 PM. Reason: Pic repairs

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    So what we have here is a 'BarClipper' built by Jim Staley, however he was building it and opted to stop at frame 2 and slap a transom on it. This was to make it capable of the IO, and I'd venture he did it at the request of a customer. Yes, the classic ClipperCraft lapstrake boats were built in this era, but they were flat bottomed then, the Kokanee version didn't come about until later.

    I have a wealth of information on Clippercraft in the later years, but not much from the 1960's. Back then it was just Jim and maybe one or two others.

    Your inspiration for completing the build should be the Bartender Grain o' Sand



    This is a 26' boat built for a Hamilton pump. It's in the old articles in WB. This particular setup will allow you to use the existing transom to build out, then use the hull to shroud the pump, leaving room for the reverse gate, linkages, etc.

    Neat project, i'll be following along closely. Maybe if you drift over to Spokane, bring her with. If I'm down that way, I might bug you for a look.

    E

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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    Spokaloo - the Grain O' Sand is an inspiration. I was planning on building a bartender prior to finding this BarClipper with a truncated stern. The boat is beautiful and I'd love to learn more history, both of the boat and the brand. I love the Bartender design and would love to see more pictures of the Grain O' Sand. I have only seen the ones from the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Show.

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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    Get the back issue with the writeup, it's worth it.

    E

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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    Will do. If you have any other ClipperCraft info/pictures please share! There isn't a lot out there. I found an old ClipperCraft brochure from the 60s and some later sales literature from the Bay Area but that's about it.
    Last edited by Powerwagon; 01-18-2020 at 12:08 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    I've got about 20 megs of stuff relating to the later boats, more in the 1970s/80s/90s era. Not sure how applicable it is in your situation, but I could upload it to somewhere if you have a spot for it.

    E

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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    Spokaloo - I'm not sure where to upload that much data...maybe via email?

    We worked on the old girl again today. This part seems the hardest because the jet tunnel construction has to be strong, precise, and blend with the new stern. We glued down a new section of bilge that builds it back up to original thickness with fresh wood to build on. It is the first non demolition project we've done so far.
    Last edited by Powerwagon; 01-18-2020 at 12:08 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    A dropbox or something like that is probably easiest.

    I'd also recommend a cradle of some sort to do your project in. This kind of work on the trailer can mess up the hull shape slightly. I have a set of roller cradles I'd loan you, if you wanted to drive up to Spokane to get them.

    E

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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    We definitely need to get the boat off the trailer. I have a heavy duty dolly (actually for my slide in camper) that we were going to modify for the boat. I might take you up on the dolly offer, I'll talk to my dad. We built a gantry to help pick up the boat so we can slide the trailer out.

    I dont have a dropbox..ill look into it. Thanks!

    edit: Here are some pictures of the interior of the boat and the helm station. I posted a question about folding boat seats a few months back as I was trying to figure out what seats were originally installed. It seems like seating arrangements in boats this size are problematic...they take up a lot of space or are uncomfortable. I'd like to install the seats on top the fuel tank boxes.

    helm station



    interiobr />

    Last edited by Powerwagon; 01-18-2020 at 12:17 PM.

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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    Worked on the boat a little bit today. It seems like there are is a lot more thinking, measuring, thinking, remeasuring, mocking up, making another template, thinking, and measuring than it appears reading these build threads! Maybe I'm just really slow.

    I measured a centerline, which seems to vary depending on what I measured from, and marked the final cutout for the jet. Figuring out where the new transom is going to go is a bit of a challenge...how to make reverse work?


    Transom mock up.








    The jet nozzle will be a little over an inch lower once the cutout is made...every time I look at this I have more respect for yacht designers and boatbuilders.
    Last edited by Powerwagon; 01-18-2020 at 12:25 PM.

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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    Just keep it high enough for the reverse bucket to move properly. You aren't worried about a wave hitting a transom that narrow, so it can be a bit more exposed down by the pump, with the rest shaped as you like for the big wave that might poop you.

    E

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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    It seems like there are is a lot more thinking, measuring, thinking, remeasuring, mocking up, making another template, thinking, and measuring than it appears reading these build threads!
    I suspect so. Some keep a comfortable chair in a corner of the shop to sit and figure things out.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    I spent most of my shop time today thinking, measuring, and realizing that my plan needs revised again. The waterline needs to be above the top of the jet nozzle and in the current configuration it wouldn't be completely submerged. Additionally, the reverse bucket outlets would terminate right into the transom limiting their effectiveness. We have an old oak chair for pondering...it is pretty comfy.

    Some research indicated that the jet intake can protrude slightly below the bottom of the boat, so rather than cut out the hull further, I figured the nozzle can be lowered over 2" by pressing the jet up against the hull bottom and making a tapered fairing around the outer edge. This also seems to solve another problem as the reverse bucket outlets are low enough to discharge under the boat. Sweet!

    I spent some some time modifying the gantry we built to accommodate a little trolley. I added some angle iron on top and made some cheeks to straddle the 2x6s.

    The next step is to build the stern extension. :O Still trying to figure out where to start.
    Last edited by Powerwagon; 01-18-2020 at 12:25 PM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    For what reason do you feel you need the nozzle completely submerged?

    It is common on river boats with little deadrise to have portions of the pump above the waterline at rest.

    E

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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    The installation plans show the jet nozzle submerged, and it is referenced that the waterline should be above the nozzle...not entirely sure why. The transom extension is pretty tricky. I've cut several patterns and am debating overlapping the extension with the existing hull and fairing it or just adding an extension screwed to a cleat and a stern breast hook, bottom and horn timber.

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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    I've been working on the boat, stripping paint, repairing some bad fasteners on the transom. We removed the windows in preparation for rolling the boat over...and found that the front ones were mounted with points!

    The windows are old and one is broken, so I'm going to have new ones made of safety glass. I think I'm going to have to build frames for the forward facing windows as they were just sitting in the frame with a little caulking and, as mentioned before, points.

    The stern modification is underway, we are rebuilding the rotten section we removed. Once we finish the transom reconstruction we will roll it over to refasten the bottom. I've searched this site and the web for ideas on rolling boats over. We have a tentative plan to build a frame around and in the boat. Any ideas and experience are welcome!
    Last edited by Powerwagon; 01-18-2020 at 12:26 PM.

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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    Started some more work on the transom repair. We are filling in the empty area where we removed rotten wood. There is a cleat at the bottom for the filler pieces to land against, and the two layers were glued and screwed. Once the transom is faired flat we are going to sheath the whole thing under another piece of 3/8" plywood.

    We'll likely have to remove the toerail in order to properly glass the hull and we will need to do that prior to rolling her over. Does anyone have any anecdotes or advice about rolling boats BACK over? I've seen a lot of pictures and information on flipping them after initial construction but not as many going the other direction. Thanks!
    Last edited by Powerwagon; 01-18-2020 at 12:27 PM.

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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    "Does anyone have any anecdotes or advice about rolling boats BACK over?"

    Considering the vulnerable cabin I'd go with the "two big rings" approach. Basically capture the hull in two solid rings so it can be rolled safely at will (& at muscle...). More work than the two sling approach but the sling approach results in greater point loadings so it's harder to protect the topsides. Great advantage of the rings is you can go back & forth depending on what your work plan is & how it changes due to discoveries or mistakes.
    But for a one time flip a gang of friends & slings is great entertainment. Moe

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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    The tentative plan is to build a cradle around 3/4 of the boat. Ive seen the cradle tied into the frames to maintain the shape of the boat and keep it rigid. We were thinking of having the forward framing go through the window so it could tie into the frames. The aft framing would be easier, and then have two the exterior frame sides with rounded corners for rolling. When we get to that point I'll buy some adult beverages, invite friends, and hopefully roll it onto the side and then all the way over.
    Last edited by Powerwagon; 05-06-2017 at 12:36 AM.

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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    Quote Originally Posted by Powerwagon View Post
    When we get to that point I'll buy some adult beverages, invite friends, and hopefully roll it onto the side and then all the way over.
    One often hears that suggestion here. In my opinion, it is the ABSOLUTE worst way to go about this.

    One gets a bunch of men together to do a job involving muscle...the first thing that happens is that half of the crowd starts ordering the other half around. The addition of "adult beverages" makes a bad situation ten times worse.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    Maybe crack open them AFTER the boat is upside down and safely back in the garage!

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    Quote Originally Posted by Powerwagon View Post
    Maybe crack open them AFTER the boat is upside down and safely back in the garage!
    Yes, well, that would be better. I always turned over runabouts by myself:
    Suspend on straps>inch one side up until you getting to the tipping point. It's better than a bunch of feral guys yelling orders at each other.
    The slickest way is to use snatch blocks with very wide sheaves. Easy.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    I've been busy with work and other things...but have had some time to work on the boat. We pulled the boat off the trailer and set it in a cradle on top of my camper dolly. Much better! We decided to finish building the jet tunnel prior to building the stern extension so that the cutaway for the jet would be as low and small as possible. We started my repairing the I/O cutout and beefing up the transom.

    The construction of the 'tunnel' the jet sits in was more complicated than I originally thought, as the tolerances between the bottom of the boat and the opening the drive shaft fits through are very precise. We cut out the pieces and assembled them, and finally installed it. We mechanically fastened a 'cleat' around the outside of the tunnel to strengthen the joint to the hull.



    The interior of the tunnel....the holes are for the controls! I have thru-hulls for them. We are going to fair out the internal cutout and fiberglass the bottom to the inside of the tunnel when the boat is flipped over.





    I'm learning a great deal as this project progresses...how to better use the tools I have, epoxy skills (or my lack of them!), planing, chisels, field engineering...you name it. It's a lot of fun and seeing the builds on here is inspiring.
    Last edited by Powerwagon; 01-18-2020 at 12:30 PM.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    Hey - progress! Glad to see it coming along.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    this looks like a fun project. it is a great one in that it involves your dad too.

    jim

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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    I've been busy with work and house projects for a while but have been slowly working on the boat. The time it takes to make patterns, mock up panels, realize a better way to proceed, and restart is time consuming. It is also fun! It just doesn't seem like much progress when photographed...

    We came up with a plan and implemented it, starting with a deck and bottom (horn timber sort of?), stern post, sheer clamps, and chine logs. There are also vertical and horizontal cleats attached to the transom for the extension to land on.


    Bottom of the extension.



    Last edited by Powerwagon; 01-18-2020 at 12:33 PM.

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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    Glued up the sheer clamp and chine logs (so tiny but I'm not sure what else to call them) and installing the stern post.




    Last edited by Powerwagon; 01-18-2020 at 12:36 PM.

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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    All progress is good progress. Nice to see it's still moving along!
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    Glued the other hull panel on and faired the sides down to the stern post. The belt sander is no joke! That thing removes a lot of material!! We are going to add a 'cap' on top of the exposed edges to protect it and allows us to attach a stainless strap.

    Sheer line looks pretty good, We have a flat spot that needs to be faired right before the extension starts to curve inward. Actually, we have a lot of fairing to do! We left a few inches above the jet nozzle in case the jet needs more room...the cutaway is a little larger than I measured. I'm hoping that once it's faired and in the water the extension won't be noticeable. *fingers crossed.
    Last edited by Powerwagon; 01-18-2020 at 12:37 PM.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    I found a picture of another BarClipper (makes three total I know of) that is double ended. This one has an outboard and the same sort of console I saw in the inboard version.



    A gentleman on the Bartender message board posted it.




    Inboard version.

    I referenced the 22' Bartender plans I previously bought to measure the stern angle for the ClipperCraft. I followed it as closely as I could. The Bartender is much wider aft and the deck curves inward dramatically, while the ClipperCraft has a gentler curve. I felt that the curved 'Clipper' stern would look weird with the cutaway for the jet.
    Last edited by Powerwagon; 01-18-2020 at 12:39 PM.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    I'm not sure how many people are interested in following this project but I'm posting up for fun! We've been trying to figure out the best (safest) way to roll the boat over. As mentioned previously the 'two ring' method is solid and proven, so we are trying a variation on that. We have two gantry cranes and two trolleys so we are planning on picking it up between the cranes and rolling it onto its side, setting it down, and resetting the pick points. We'll then pick it up again, rolling it the rest of the way over, and setting it on the frame we built inside.


    We built two supports that are sitting on the stringers and bolted to the floors/frames. They are also tied into the top of the frames blow the deck.


    There are two 3/4" plywood cheeks on either side of the framing.


    Closeup of the cabin hoop, hoping to protect the cabin. The 2x4s on top of the framing tie them together.



    We are going to add some additional bracing and fasteners, along with some pick points on the ends of the framing. I think the structure is overkill but at the same time I'd rather make it too strong rather than not strong enough. The fasteners on the bottom of the boat are pretty tired so we are going to ratchet strap the hull together while we flip it. I'm going to add a few more supports after it is upside down to support the hull more fully. Any experience there? We have four dollies to put under the corners after it is upside down which should make it easier to move around. I'm hoping we didn't forget anything...



  32. #32
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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    you post and we watch just don't have any advice right now. i think it is looking good so keep up the posting.thx

    jim

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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    We finished putting all the fasteners and lift points in and rigged up the gantry cranes. A friend gave us the yellow/orange one and it has an electric hoist on the trolley. I probably should have mounted that BEFORE I tipped up the crane. Live and learn! We rigged up two chain falls, a chain hoist and the electric hoist to the four pick points and lifted her off the dolly/cradle.




    We put two eye bolts to lift with, each facing the opposite way.


    We lifted her up and then started to roll her, but realized the aft crane needed to go up about a foot to clear. We set her down and lifted the gantry up and then lifted the boat again...this time we had enough room to set her on her side.





  34. #34
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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    After we set the boat down we ran straps under her and swapped the pick points so the far hoists (on the trolleys) were pulling her over from the bottom. The straps just spun her around until she was upside down.


    Upside down and blocked up on the bow and stern for added support. I was pretty excited to get her over safely and without incident.


    The jet tunnel and unfinished reverse bucket garage. I see a lot of sanding in my future...


    Tomorrow I have to go over and clean up the shop...we had so much stuff stored under the boat that I can barely get around any of the tools or the workbench! I'm planning on buying some foam and filling in the voids in the transom extension, making a curved recess for the reverse bucket. I need to reinforce the plywood dangling there as well. More sanding will be in order.
    Last edited by Powerwagon; 11-10-2018 at 11:11 PM.

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    Default Re: Rebuilding and Repowering a 1966 ClipperCraft

    The electric hoist goes REALLY fast. It is rigged up with a 2:1 purchase, I can't imagine how fast it'd be if it was rigged directly!



    The safety bar functions correctly, lowering the load slightly until it clears. It caused the boat to swing a bit when we lifted it, even just bumping the motor. I think it is more suited to unloading a pickup truck or lifting engine blocks than working in concert with chain falls. Our cabin saver design seemed to work pretty well, I was concerned about it getting smashed or crushed during turnover. It's funny...I'm super excited to get to work on the bottom...but I have so far to go! Each step seems like a milestone of sorts.

    I'm wondering what her name is going to be, I have a few ideas for good names. I'm inspired by the names of the old steamers on the Columbia, the Telephone, the Regulator, Bailey Gatzert, Lot Whitcomb, Wilhemina, the Wolverine, the Swan, Mudhen, the Chester, Bayocean, Mary D.Hume, the Duke, the Dispatch, and last but not least the T.J. Potter. Such a rich history and great old names...there are many more. Exploring the river, its tributaries and sloughs, is interesting, especially comparing the history to the remants and ruins that remain. The remains are mostly treacherous pilings!

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