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Thread: 1956 Oconto Cruiser

  1. #1
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    Jan 2019
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    scholfield, wi usa
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    Default 1956 Oconto Cruiser

    Last fall I bought a (titled) 1956 14' Oconto Cruisers, there are no numbers anywhere on the boat. I need to do some bottom work on it and would like to know it's weight. The weight is needed so that I know how many "volunteers" I will need to turn it over. Any other info will be appreciated, I understand that if it is a 1956, it would be the first year of production.

  2. #2
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    Between Bourgeoisie and Proletariat - Australia
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    Default Re: 1956 Oconto Cruiser

    14ft cruiser?
    Any pictures?
    Philip K. Dick 'Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away'.

  3. #3
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    Dec 2003
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    Sound Beach, NY
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    Default Re: 1956 Oconto Cruiser

    Welcome aboard, good luck with your project.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2019
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    scholfield, wi usa
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    Default Re: 1956 Oconto Cruiser

    I'll try to load some pic'c, give me a day or two.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2019
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    scholfield, wi usa
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    Default Re: 1956 Oconto Cruiser

    Here are some pic's of my 14' Oconto Cruisers boat.DSCN1639.jpgDSCN1640.jpgDSCN1638.jpgDSCN1637.jpgDSCN1636.jpg

  6. #6
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    Oct 2008
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    Walney, near Cumbria UK
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    Default Re: 1956 Oconto Cruiser

    I can roll this 18footer

    over with one helper. Roll here into her side and catch the balance. Go round one at a time, keeping her balanced, then the two of you lower her onto her mouth.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: 1956 Oconto Cruiser

    I will do my best not to build a ugly boat.

  8. #8
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    Jul 2000
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    N.E. Connecticut.
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    Default Re: 1956 Oconto Cruiser

    Very nice!
    She's a light little thing. If you remove the steering wheel and foredeck hardware and put the thwarts (seats) back in (or something like a 2x3 temporarily fastened across where the seats go) you should be able to just roll her off the trailer onto the lawn and roll her over with two people. Thats what I always did with our 13'6" Old Town runabout (virtually identical) when I was growing up.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2019
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    scholfield, wi usa
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    Default Re: 1956 Oconto Cruiser

    Great idea, this is my first attempt to restore a wood boat. So any suggestions are appreciated.

  10. #10

    Default Re: 1956 Oconto Cruiser

    She probably weighs less than 500 pounds.

    To those that question, this is a lapstrake outboard speed boat made by Cruisers, Inc. of Oconto, Wisconsin. The firm was formed in 1953 by second generation members of the Thompson family of Thompson Bros. Boat. Mfg Co. and for the first year or so Cruisers, Inc. made boats FOR Thompson which were sold as Thompson boats. 1955 would have been the first model year that Cruisers, Inc. has their own branded product line. The company still exists and is called Cruisers Yachts, making large fiberglass pleasure boats.

    The Thompson Antique & Classic Boat Rally will take place 29 June 2019 at Nestegg Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin. It focuses upon Thompson and all her spin-offs including Cruisers, Inc. but is open to any and all classic watercraft. The Rally is a non-judged, no award get together.

    Mr. Andreas Jordahl Rhude

  11. #11
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    Walney, near Cumbria UK
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    Default Re: 1956 Oconto Cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by 1940alan View Post
    Great idea, this is my first attempt to restore a wood boat. So any suggestions are appreciated.
    Make sure that she is well supported both on and off the trailer, so that the keel stays straight where it should be straight and there is no twist in the hull. With missing thwarts and no standing knees on them to brace the hull she may well be a bit flexible.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: 1956 Oconto Cruiser

    Thanks Peerie Maa.

  13. #13
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    Mar 2013
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    Green Bay, Wi, USA
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    Default Re: 1956 Oconto Cruiser

    It looks very similar to my 1955 model. I haven't found a hull number on the transom though, so its a guess at best.
    I found this boat near my home in Green Bay. Later this spring I will be looking for advice when I start working on it. The varnish inside needs some attention and there are some minoer cracks and delamination on the plywood deck.

    1955 Cruisers.jpg

    I have pictures of this boat from one of the Thompson boat rallys from the early 2000's - hope to make it to the one this year.

  14. #14
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    Jan 2019
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    scholfield, wi usa
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    Default Re: 1956 Oconto Cruiser

    Looks like the same boat, mine has no numbers anywhere on it. Your windshield is in a lot better shape then mine. The inside of mine has been painted and I will not be stripping mine because I am 77 years old and would like to use it in the near future.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Green Bay, Wi, USA
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    Default Re: 1956 Oconto Cruiser

    I don't have any good uncluttered pictures of the inside of mine. I'll try to get some this weekend.
    The moulding around the windshield is pretty well dried up and cracked, but I found a place to get some, and the steering system needs some attention.
    I'm retiring in May, so next winter will be the big overhaul. This year I just plan to keep things from getting worse and use it as much as I can.

  16. #16
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    Jul 2000
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    N.E. Connecticut.
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    Default Re: 1956 Oconto Cruiser

    As to the original or period correct cable steering systems in these little runabouts, they are very simply trouble free systems that work just fine,..... HOWEVER,....... please ensure you make sure all the hardware (turning pulleys and end eyes etc) are through bolted and not fastened with wood screws. This is an important for safety.

  17. #17
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    scholfield, wi usa
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    Default Re: 1956 Oconto Cruiser

    Good point.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Green Bay, Wi, USA
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    Default Re: 1956 Oconto Cruiser

    What kind of bottom work are you planning? It seems that all my planking is solid but there are some cracks in the paint that will need attention. I’m not sure how to approach that. Like you I don’t want to strip the whole thing this year. I’m also not sure what type of primer/paint that should be used.
    My steering issue is in the wheel and hub. There is some slippage in there - people have told me to just replace it with something new, but I really like that old 50’s style plastic wheel.

  19. #19
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    Jan 2019
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    scholfield, wi usa
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    Default Re: 1956 Oconto Cruiser

    The keel has a bad tempt of fiber glassing and leaks, Keel is most likely bad, need to look at it. The deck also has some rotting and needs to be addressed.

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