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Thread: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

  1. #1
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    Default Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    With the approaching launch date for the Harry Bryan Rambler Im beginning to think about the next project in line. Catnapper is a 16 Fenwick Williams Catboat built by Maynard Lowery on Tilghman Island Maryland. She was one of the last boats he built before his untimely death in a auto accident, and supposedly the last design Fenwick penned before he went to a nursing home.
    I bought her from her original owner in St. Micheals. She had beeen sittting in a garage for @ a decade, her keel well supported. I was aided immensely in locating her by forum member Draketail who passed along that her owner was possibly willing to part with her. DT put me in touch with the gentleman that had maintained her and had actually been an apprentice of Maynards. He told me Id have to meet the owner, as she was quite particular about who would become the boats next caretaker.
    Fortunately my job affords me the ability to get to a lot of east coast boating locations and I managed to trade a trip for one with a long Baltimore layover. Another forumite and friend picked me up at BWI and we drove over to the eastern shore to meet boat and owner.
    The owner was a bit coy about parting her her longtime vessel. She had sailed Catnapper with her late husband for many years. She also informed me that the Chesapeake Maritime Musuem had beeen trying to obtain the boat to put on display, but she did not want the boats future to be a static museum piece. She asked me about my experience with wooden boats and fortunately my friend chimed in and asked her if she had attended the previous small craft festival, and if so did she remember the dark green hulled Coquina with the bright cypress shear strakes? She remembered the boat and he them told her that he was the owner of the Coquina and that I had built her.
    Well that broke the ice and she agreed then and there to sell me Catnapper.

    I found a trailer and Lynda and I had a pleasant trip up from ATL stopping in Edenton NC. We hauled her home to ATL and subsequently to our new home in SC where shes been patiently waiting for some TLC. Despite being high and dry for many years the seams have opened very litttle, in fact those above the waterline are all very tight, of course it stays pretty humid down here year round. The garboard planks are slightly pulled out by maybe 3/16 at the stem where they make a hard twist so maybe refastening is in order there. Im planing on taking her down to wood below the WL, but first Id like top get an appropriate amount of moisture in her wood so Im thinking of taking another forumites suggestion and setting up a fan and mister with plastic sheeting from the rail to the floor. Once she takes up some I plan of removing the old bottom paint and recaulking.
    Anyway after the Rambler splashes there will be a new catboat in these parts to join a suprisingly large group of others here in Beaufort SC.

    AADD50E6-219B-4415-A46A-1AF9D9CE3559.jpg

    9631E951-4E24-4C5A-8149-0095788585AD.jpg2C8E6ED5-FDF5-4E7C-834E-4B2B10EF774E.jpg
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    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    What a sweet vessel!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    Nice! Can't wait to see pics of her in the water.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    Well, some of us were born to suffer, I suppose.

    Nicely done, Sir.

    Peace,
    There Is A Guest Cottage, Yes?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    Lucky boat and a lucky owner of a new old boat!
    Steamboat

    I get by with the judicious use of serendipity.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    Isn’t there a sister ship in the WoodenBoat fleet in Brooklin? Some here might know her.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenBauer View Post
    Isn’t there a sister ship in the WoodenBoat fleet in Brooklin? Some here might know her.
    Yes. SHENANIGANZ here. She's an open cockpit version: https://www.thewoodenboatschool.com/fleet.php

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    Nice find and story too. Mr. Williams drew some very pretty boats.
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    Nice!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    Ok, its about time to get started on the sweet little catboat. Brought her into the workshop yesterday.

    0AFFBF5A-3928-46B1-B891-D6C941D5860F.jpg

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    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    What a score!

    Draketail, if you have any other beauties up your sleeve, please give me a shout?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    Now, Reynard, you know we expect a complete step-by-step account of your restoration of this critter. Don't spare the photography!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    Willin'

    Sorry. My only other useful lead is a 43' draketail that is well past economic restoration.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    Any chance you will make St. Michaels with her this year? I love your Coquina, I can't wait to see what you do with catnapper
    "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito"

    -Dalai Lama

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    WOrkshop? That's a Fun Factory if I ever saw one
    Cheers
    Kent and Skipper
    Small Boat Restoration blog

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    boy she is saucy little thing, can't wait to see what you do with her

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    Getting the Rambler in the water, and a host of other things have resulted in slow progress. I did get the shop dust collection system finished up 72DC68B1-1395-4768-B7CD-F1AE06008F4A.jpg

    16DEB592-2BC3-4EFD-B9EE-097298D927E2.jpg

    And the spar racks built and now occupied with mast, boom and gaff. That mast is LONG!
    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    The garboard planks are slightly sprung at the stem. I pulled a few bungs and pulled a screw. Fortunately Maynard Lowery used SB. #10, 1.25”. I ordered some #12 1.5” to go back in at the hood ends.
    After pulling the one screw and probing the hole with an awl the wood feels solid, no signs of decay. She’s been out of the water for maybe 12 years. Surprisingly the seams really haven’t opened much at all. If it wasn’t for those garboard planks at the stem I’d be tempted to put her in the water on the trailer and see what happens. That said she does need to be wooded at least below the WL. And new bottom paint applied. The marine growth here is pretty epic.
    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    I missed this one, what a beauty!

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    Nice boat. I'm following...
    -Dave

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    Ooh, that's some nice shop you've got, Reynard! Are those wall racks your own idea?

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Hazard View Post
    Ooh, that's some nice shop you've got, Reynard! Are those wall racks your own idea?
    Thanks, and yes. I wanted to get the spars up and out of the way. They are in really good shape. Other than cleaning they look ready to use.
    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    I also wanted to ask you about the gapped planks along the wall, the ones all your clamps and power tools are hanging from. Do you have some clever brackets that key into the gaps to carry the tools?

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    Got thhe idea from a book on shop organization. 3/4” ply slotted 1/2 depth with a dado cutter. Seems to be working.
    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    3CAEA160-AC1B-44FB-BC9E-329C02C8E458.jpgUp on stands and trailer removed.
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    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    It looks like your shop is framed with pressure-treated stock right up to the collar ties. Built to last!

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Hazard View Post
    It looks like your shop is framed with pressure-treated stock right up to the collar ties. Built to last!
    Not an option here. They don’t call it the Low Country for nothing!
    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    First question of the project. The boat has been out of the water for at least 12 years. Despite this the seams (for the most part) are pretty tight. A bit of an issue at the stem where the garboard and the next 2 planks were springing out maybe 1/8th to 3/16”. I removed the screws at the hood ends and replaced them with 1 size bigger. Retightened and everything is back where it should be.
    So I need to do a bit of recaulking here, but the rest of the hull is the question. It was a LOT of work to get the Cotton out of the seams. Along the lower edge of the garboard is the only exception. The rest of the hull seems very tight. Maybe the humidity here helps.
    So I’d I need to recaulk her entire bottom or can I just do the lower stem and bottom edge of the garboard?
    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    I guess if it were me, I'd recaulk just the garboards and put her in the water. See how much she takes up after 12 years dry. Reassess after she's had time to swell.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Hazard View Post
    I guess if it were me, I'd recaulk just the garboards and put her in the water. See how much she takes up after 12 years dry. Reassess after she's had time to swell.
    Rob, thanks. Thats my thinking as well.
    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    Who wouldn't love her at first sight? Her name alone is worth the price of admission!
    Jay

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    Found a soft section of rub rail. Laminating a new piece in place with tape under the first of 3 laminations. It’ll get removed when cured for rough shaping.

    BCAA86F3-4F12-4361-A32E-6DF5ACE1A77A.jpg
    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    So I got curious and pulled the moisture meter out. The planking is running 12-15% as is the stem an keel. What’s optimum before caulking and seam sealer?
    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Catnapper, a Fenwick Williams catboat.

    I'd suspect you can't get it any lower in your climate without keeping it in the air conditioning permanently.
    If you don't know where you're going, you might not end up there.-Yogi Berra

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