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Thread: Older Wooden Hydroplane restoration (minimost)

  1. #1
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    Default Older Wooden Hydroplane restoration (minimost)

    Hi all, new here and have read throug many of the topics and found some great info. I have an older wooden hydroplane, its been in the family since the late 70's not sure when it would have been built as it was second hand. It was one of my favorite activities as a kid, and even into my 20's when I could pull it out and we would take turns doing laps.
    I plan on resorting it, hopefully this winter, and give it a retro look that would have been popular at the time it was built. I have looked into it and amy fairly certain what I have is a minimost, or a version of it, the frame is in pretty good shape so hopefully will be able to remove the top and and hull plywood, sand the frame down, refinsih and then re-finish the exterior. I am a carpenter by trade and have built a few hollow wood SUP's so it looks fairly intuitive as far as what needs to be done.
    I will be on the lookout for a motor, I used to run a 9.9 but may look at going up to a 15 or even 18, ideally if there is something out there that has that retro look would be ideal, or I could look at getting something re-built, I don't want to go crazy with the $$$ as it is just a fun project.

    If anyone has any advice or tips that has gone through this before, or any info on the boat itself it would be greatly appreciated, if anyone is interested I can post progress pics and updates. n 20220710_205645.jpg20220710_205625.jpg20220710_205618.jpg20220710_205628.jpg

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Older Wooden Hydroplane restoration (minimost)

    look for rot, if none found - sand, paint and you're good to go
    Looking forward see the progress
    2016 kayak Mill Creek 13

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Older Wooden Hydroplane restoration (minimost)

    What's the condition of the wood?
    Has it been out in the wet and weather?
    If there's significant rot to might be easier to rebuild anew using the parts as templates
    Especially as it's pretty small.
    It looks like there could be rot in the centre beam and a couple other areas. However it's hard to tell from pictures.
    Thus might be a job for magical epoxy!
    Others hear with far more experience will give you a better idea.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Older Wooden Hydroplane restoration (minimost)

    The plans are still online for free. https://muskokaseaflea.ca/StaticWeb2/?page_id=63
    I would sand and paint that one and play around with different motors then build a new one. Probably cheaper, definitely faster (I remember kids building them in a week or less).
    The motors can be harder it needs to be light. The omc 15 short shaft is about as heavy as it will take.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Older Wooden Hydroplane restoration (minimost)

    Now I want to build one.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Older Wooden Hydroplane restoration (minimost)

    Quote Originally Posted by govett View Post
    If anyone has any advice or tips that has gone through this before, or any info on the boat itself it would be greatly appreciated, if anyone is interested I can post progress pics and updates. n
    Google "Minimost" and "Maximost"

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Older Wooden Hydroplane restoration (minimost)

    One can fix the rot and pretty up the deck and clean the inside, but an important thing with these is to fix the bottom.
    By "fix", I mean seek and destroy any hook and sharpen the chines.
    Then there is a bit of specialization to hooking up the engine..."rigging " her.
    Many of us ran funky wee boats around as kids never realizing even a fraction of the potential of what we had...I certainly fall into that category.
    I did not care about or know a freakin thing about stuff like rpm, propellor size,hook,trim,spark plugs,porpoising,performance.
    We had a ton of fun, but could have had more. Just getting them to plane and smelling 2 cycle oil burning was enough.
    As an adult who got back into my teenage style boat, I discovered a whole new world 30 years later.
    And YES we want to watch the project and follow along!
    Half the old farts here can't even get into a wee hydro, the other half cannot get out,but will love to do it virtually.And are willing and able to help.
    bruce (wizbang is a boat)
    Last edited by wizbang 13; 07-15-2022 at 06:09 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Older Wooden Hydroplane restoration (minimost)

    Looking at the Muskoka Sea Flea site, I think there is the information you need to make a decision as well as build which version you want. Definitely a fun project. I have found transom knees to be much overdone and prone to misshaping the bottom by many designers. I have never used transom knees and prefer to have a horizontal strength member along the top of the transom which is well attached to the aft side decks. Better support and no hook in the bottom that can cause porpoising in use but not visible when the boat is at rest.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Older Wooden Hydroplane restoration (minimost)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandlapper View Post
    Looking at the Muskoka Sea Flea site, I think there is the information you need to make a decision as well as build which version you want. Definitely a fun project. I have found transom knees to be much overdone and prone to misshaping the bottom by many designers. I have never used transom knees and prefer to have a horizontal strength member along the top of the transom which is well attached to the aft side decks. Better support and no hook in the bottom that can cause porpoising in use but not visible when the boat is at rest.
    hoo boy, inducing a hook is a poor way to stop porpoising. Akin to saying a "whale Tail" makes a boat better.
    They both make a bad boat better.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Older Wooden Hydroplane restoration (minimost)

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    hoo boy, inducing a hook is a poor way to stop porpoising. Akin to saying a "Whale Tail" makes a boat better.
    They both make a bad boat better.
    Wiz, my poor brain can't quite understand everything you said. On the few boats that I have tried a Whale Tail or similar gadget on the lower unit, it has simply added drag and has not improved performance. I do agree that they can make a poorly designed or built boat better, or one that has inadequate bottom keel supports on the trailer. I suspect we agree none the less.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Older Wooden Hydroplane restoration (minimost)

    Okay , We agree on the whale tail....
    But it sounds like you are saying a bit of hook can be a good thing.
    There are a few boats that ARE designed with some hook, I think Bartender is one.
    Purposely induced hook WILL prevent porpoising by "sucking" the boat down, like a giant suction cup, but these type boats top out at about 25mph.
    This little hydro is made to go FAST with a small engine, so any hook would just slow her down , and if pushed beyond 25 mph or so, I believe could become dangerous, pulling a side of the boat under in a turn and tripping her.
    no biggie, i jus like tawkin about botes
    bruce

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Older Wooden Hydroplane restoration (minimost)

    'Better support and no hook in the bottom that can cause porpoising in use but not visible when the boat is at rest.'

    I think he's saying the hook CAN cause porpoising

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Older Wooden Hydroplane restoration (minimost)

    Hey all, thanks for the replys and info. Main reason I want to rebuild vs new is because of all the memories. Plan was to remove the top sheet, as well as the sheathing on the haul, but now thinking I may just fo the top sheet and strip the paint and glass off the bottom. Once I start tinkering around ill probably have a better idea.
    Certainly want to research motors more, would really like something with a retro look, but might be hard to come by.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Older Wooden Hydroplane restoration (minimost)

    Quote Originally Posted by Toxophilite View Post
    'Better support and no hook in the bottom that can cause porpoising in use but not visible when the boat is at rest.'

    I think he's saying the hook CAN cause porpoising
    Will try to make it clearer.

    I tried a 15' classic lapstrake runabout for a friend who was interested in buying it. The boat had been stored on a trailer where the bunks ended about 6 - 8 inches short of the transom. This caused the bow to depress such that the boat was very wet with water rising over the bow and getting us wet. Unusable in that state in my opinion. Lots of work would be required to make it right and pleasant.

    The opposite aft bottom shape was caused by a builder cutting the bottom panels such that the bottom curved up a bit at the transom. As a result the bow ran high getting on plane, requiring extra power to plane. After looking at the bottom photos I advised the bottom be built out with strips and epoxy to make buttock lines parallel and straight. No more problem and boat cruised thousands of miles over rivers with better performance and less fuel use.

    Aft bottom hook does the same thing as a wedge added to causes a bow which was too high to go down because of weigh distribution or design or etc. Maybe we are at odds about what a hook is. I see is as hollow which has an aft downturn causing a lift to the transom. The opposite effect is caused by a bottom which has an up turn at the transom. This is used by some Carolina Sportfishermen to hold the bow high returning from offshore with a load of paying fishermen anxious to get home. Keeps the bow high at higher speed instead of plowing into large waves ahead. Not good for some reasons but it gets the job done.

    This medium is so poor in getting ideas across unjumbled, which is why I seldom try.
    Last edited by Sandlapper; 07-16-2022 at 04:41 PM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Older Wooden Hydroplane restoration (minimost)

    yea, hook is a "dimple" in the bottom aft, commonly caused by bad trailer support,that acts as a suction cup, forcing the bow down .

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Older Wooden Hydroplane restoration (minimost)

    These were popular in the 1960s and built with exterior ply, so I would check the wood, glue and fasteners to be sound. Brass was still being used in some building circles...example: Sears wood skiff kits of the 50s-60s actually had brass screws. If no wood needs to be replaced and everything checks ok I'd just refinish and paint. The ply appears to be checking but not bubbling so can be filled and sanded. I had a similar deck issue on a skiff and epoxy/glassed it...it filled the checks and probably structurally gap filled them. Been many yrs under constant use in the Florida sun and no issues so I think it was a success.

    I built the Minimax sister back in the mid 1960s as a teenager. Not much memory on the construction
    but probably used ext ply and weldwood...as was usual for the period. I did glass the exterior and painted the interior. Put a 1950s Evinrude tiller 15 on it which was overkill. At the time I weighed about 130lbs and would take a neighbor schoolmate out who weighed about the same...so 250ish lbs, gas and the omc twin was the most ever loaded. I remember painting a skull and crossbones on the side after the first trip. If I was repowering today a 1980s/90s omc 15hp would be the ticket...same weight and engine as the 9.9 with minor changes.

    About the "whaletails". I've only used one on a 17' glass with 70hp omc. The boat didn't need it to jump on a plane but it increased top speed (34 to 37) because I could trim it up higher without the prop venting. It was mounted above the bottom so no drag once on a plane. These foils are all about installation and do help in some cases.

    Good luck with the restoration...it brings back forgotten memories.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Older Wooden Hydroplane restoration (minimost)

    I'm pretty sure that is the boat I built 60 years ago when I was 14. It was in an issue of Popular Mechanics and pictured on the cover. The title said "Build this boat in 10 hours for $10". I didn't quite hit that mark, but I don't believe I spent more than 100 hours on it. Ha! Went like a bat out of hell with an old Mercury Super 10.

    Joe Carpenter

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Older Wooden Hydroplane restoration (minimost)

    Quote Originally Posted by joe carpenter View Post
    I'm pretty sure that is the boat I built 60 years ago when I was 14. It was in an issue of Popular Mechanics and pictured on the cover. The title said "Build this boat in 10 hours for $10". I didn't quite hit that mark, but I don't believe I spent more than 100 hours on it. Ha! Went like a bat out of hell with an old Mercury Super 10.

    Joe Carpenter
    We bought it used and the timefrme sounds about right, my uncle used it for a couple years and then it was all mine, ran it with a 9.9, wanted to try it with my grandpas 15H but he wouldn't let me.

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