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Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Cruiser

Framing, planking and fairing. Repair, or reconstruction. If it's hull related, you'll find it here.

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robertpaul
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Mon May 30, 2016 9:34 am

Thanks ever so much for the kind and encouraging words. I very much appreciate the support. I mentioned that I had used my last drop of Sandusky 9605 bilge paint. Excellent news... turns out there is an outfit here in Toronto (Tendercraft Boats) that carries this and other stuff that seemed hard to get here. I have asked them to put aside their one can of 9605 with my name on it or there will be trouble... big trouble. Between the nice words from you guys and a local source for all Sandusky (Pettit) products, I am having an excellent morning. I must say my wife, who is a sweetie in every sense, thinks I am somewhat mad to get so excited about a can of paint. C'mon woman! It's BILGE paint!
1937 35' Double Stateroom Enclosed Cruiser

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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Thu Jun 02, 2016 7:45 pm

After a frantic late winter and spring I will probably slow it down a bit due to conflicting priorities, mostly fishing. Went out for walleye yesterday and enjoyed a day on the water. None the less, I will post some pictures today showing the completed framing of the bow and part of midships. I need to fair them and finish a bit of painting, but that should be straightforward. I inspected the remaining three frame sets that would take me as far back as the engines, and I must take time to decide what to do. They seem in very good condition except for being oil coated, and though I will likely remove the floors to inspect them, I anticipate very little needs to be done. I know the frames aft of these three are fine or have already been replaced back to and including the transom bow.
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joanroy
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by joanroy » Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:29 pm

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. More time for fishing.

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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:08 pm

I have just installed a new stbd frame for frame set #14. After extensive inspection and dithering about, I decided to once again take Joanroy's advice and leave the floor and port frame, as they are in very good condition (ie. " ain't broke"). I have said in earlier posts that I spent a lot of time and effort trying to piece in repairs without removing the entire bottom. This series of pictures will reveal, to my everlasting embarrassment, how that approach yielded not only substandard results, but would have left major issues undiscovered and unresolved. I should mention that this frame is directly below the galley port hole, which leaked rainwater for decades. I have also made a pattern for the vertical frame above this and will make a nice piece to scarf in that will clear all the rot. The vertical frame was already cracked when we purchased Elude in 1989, and I did try a repair during the early stages of this refit, which are shown in the first photo. But, I am unhappy with it so I will clean it out and do a better job. A side note. With the bottom removed I can stand 'inside' and it is so much easier to repair the vertical frame than fooling around and contorting like a circus performer.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Sun Jun 19, 2016 3:55 pm

Summer is upon us and I am going fishing. However, I will report that I have completed all the stbd frame replacement and repair. I just spent the last few hours today aligning one of the original frames that had been knocked adrift sometime in the last fifty or sixty years. It was detached from the chine and the original bottom to about 10" from the chine. It was the type that terminates at the chine and is not tied to a vertical frame. The bottom is free of any sign of water contact and the 8 or so screws in from the chine were all snapped. The top of the frame shows considerable wear from rubbing against the bottom of the floor (floor as in a regular floor in your house) under the galley table. I removed all the screws and one of the two bolts in the floor (floor as in a boat frame floor) and pivoted it down without any trouble. I drilled a new 5/16"th (CC used 1/4) bolt hole and it is all set. I used a new drill bit and the original frame and floor were hard and fine where the bit went through. No mush and the bit came out hot. It is now properly in line with the chine and the other frames. The following pictures show where I scarfed in new mahogany into the original bottom and side frames (sets #14 and #15) where the latter were decayed at the chine and first batten. These are the ones that I tried to fix before with the bottom still on and did a terrible and incomplete (I had not cut out all the rot) job. See previous post. I am hoping to find time during the summer to fair the new stbd frames at the bow and to permanently install the stbd inner plywood bottom.

View the pictures from last to first...dang.
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1937 35' Double Stateroom Enclosed Cruiser

joanroy
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by joanroy » Mon Jun 20, 2016 5:06 am

I doubt if the old Pacemaker will ever see the water again. Unfortunately that's the way most old wooden cruisers meet their end. Although the Elude, on the other hand, is well on her way to becoming one of the rare survivors thanks to your efforts. That's some beautiful reframing you've done there and I know how many hundreds of patient hours it takes to get to where you are with it. Great Job!

Now that you're close to planking, have you made a decision on the method you'll use? Just out of curiosity, what is the original thickness of the inner and outer planking on Elude? I know your going with a marine ply inner which makes perfect sense at this time. What's your strategy for fastening and what will you be using for the outer? Are you considering 5200 or epoxy? Bow planking will be a challenge for sure.

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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:21 pm

JR. The inner planking was 3/8", and the outer planking 5/8". I selected 9mm 1088 meranti for the inner and can do all but 8' to the bow in full sheets. The bow curves mean I will cut the plywood to resemble the original planks. They conform very nicely and easily once that is done. I studied Matt Byrne's thread about how he did the bottom of his replica racer, and have decided to use 16mm 1088 meranti as the material for the outer planks. I mentioned this much earlier in this thread. I like working with it, it is very strong, won't split, does not change dimensionally with moisture and is durable. I also do not want to plane 3/4 or 4/4 solid mahogany down to 5/8". It would take forever and seems a terrible waste of nice wood. Our cruisers do not curve as tightly at the bow as do runabouts and I have test bent a plywood plank into place. The piece was dry and cold and it went in very nicely. If I steam it a bit or soak it, I expect it will be almost effortless. The planks at the bow vary in width from about 5 to 7 inches, so there is not much to twist. I want to ensure that once in place there is little or no spring back pressure on the fasteners. A few years ago I did bend in some pieces of drm and it worked ok, but the material seems light and prone to crushing by the fasteners. I spent some time sorting through for decent stock, but there isn't enough good stuff around. I could use african but half the material would be planed away as I said. I have not settled on the sealant between the inner and outer, but I will not be using epoxy. I considered Dolfinite, but based on the price in Canada it is apparently 50% gold with small diamonds mixed in. Fasteners are another quandry. I want to go with sb but the heads on those screws are about 1/2 or less the surface area of the original brass screws, and also considerably smaller than ss. Price isn't really an issue with screws as good ss isn't much cheaper.
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joanroy
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by joanroy » Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:40 pm

Not sure about using plywood for outer planking unless it's encapsulated somehow to make it watertight and sealed at chines and keel. It won't swell and take up like planks do.

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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by dag55 » Sun Jun 26, 2016 2:32 am

I think going for plywood planking is the right way in any sense and I would have used epoxi for glueing an sealing, it's the best combination with the ply and you do not have to worry about size of fastener heads, since they will more ore less only keep the planking in place until the epoxi have cured.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:43 am

It is my intention to use 5200 between the structure of the boat and the inner plywood bottom. This will provide an adhesive and a relatively flexible 'gasket' between the mating surfaces. I do like working with epoxy as a glue and as such it also fills gaps really well, but I am not confident that I can get a sheet in place and fastened up to each mating surface before the epoxy kicks. Working upside down I am fighting gravity so the plywood has to be snugged up all around using fasteners. That takes time. In the end the boat would float on just the inner bottom. The outer planks will be much more manageable. Although long, they are easily handled. Consequently, I was not too concerned about dry fitting them and then reassembling using a bedding compound (JR, I presume that is what you mean by encapsulating). But now Dag has me contemplating epoxy to glue them to the inner plywood. In either case I will use the full compliment of screws into the boat structure. The planks will be near 1/32" apart which provides space for the bedding material to fill, as I see done with runabouts. Sealing the edges of the plywood is another step in the process, but that is straightforward to do. I appreciate that you guys are taking the time to offer your advice, and be assured I do consider it seriously. For now, I continue the last bits to get the bottom ready for the inner plywood, and we are off to Iceland for a couple of weeks. This gives me more time to wring my hands over these choices. Here are a few pics of the stbd side as I close in on finishing the prep for the bottom. The new frames are bolted to the stingers and I am almost done plugging the old fastener holes in the parts of the original frames that remain. I will fair it out when I get back. I also have to prepare the intermediate frames, which will help draw the inner and outer together. Man, talk about mission creep!
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:40 pm

There were quite a few old wooden fishing boats in Iceland, some in service, some past their time. I was not allowed to buy one to fix up. Seems arbitrary and unfair to me. If the pictures are upside down, its because I want to work on this old boat standing up. Click on them and they will go right side up.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Sat Aug 06, 2016 5:04 pm

I finally overcame my inertia and have resumed working on Elude. I rationalized that it was too hot, I wanted to go fishing, and my wife dragged me off to Iceland. I am now picking my way down the remaining port frames, as stbd is done except for fairing and plugging a few more holes. Today, I worked on the outboard ends of the frame set directly under the port engine. The bottom frame is fine but the gusset and side frame showed obvious deterioration as you can see in the pictures. As is usually the case, removing the gusset could only be accomplished by cutting through the original sound deadening material and cutting out a bit of the bulkhead to which it was attached. I was careful with the bulkhead as I intend to glue the bits back when I am finished with the frame and gusset. Although I will replace the gusset, there was surprisingly little rot, except in the usual places where pieces were mated together. I will fix the side frame tomorrow by gluing in a small piece of 'recycled' mahogany from a floor I removed previously. I will include pictures of that process tomorrow.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:45 pm

I will finish up reporting on frame repair because it is almost all done. What is left to be done involves cutting out the ends of original frames where they are decayed, but retaining the bulk of the frame because the condition is excellent. These pictures wrap up the story from the last post. I think I am getting a little bit obsessive about things, especially when I see the picture below of the small piece I glued in last night. Oh well, she's opened up for the first and last time for me, so I have to do it. The next steps are to fair the bow frames and stem, and then add the caps on the new chines. That should be done by the end of August unless the weather stays crazy hot. The dome shelter is great for protecting the boat and being able to work in most conditions..... except it can get really hot. Signing off for now.

View these from bottom to top.....dang.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by jfrprops » Fri Aug 12, 2016 12:26 pm

I continue to be captivated by this job and post! Read every word. This is an over the top effort on your part.

My only comment this time is that I am with you on using the ply planking. Back in the day those sea strakes and skiffs that used that method for the lapstrake cruisers...proved very durable, flexible, and very very strong. Granted, they often had the ply custom made to their lengths....which was full length....but staggering shorter lengths will be fine and like you say the inner hull, especially give the care you have take with that, will provide super strength.

Keep at it and keep us in the loop.

John in Va.
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
1954 Whirlwind deluxe dual ckpt 16'
1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)

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robertpaul
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Fri Aug 12, 2016 5:25 pm

Thanks John. I appreciate your comments very much. By scarfing the plywood I can get the lengths I need. I do a 12:1 ratio so the joint is very long. Consequently it is very strong and does not compromise the bend in the plank. I made up two some time ago to test see if I could do it and they came out very nicely, with overall length of 15 feet each. I will take a picture and post it tonight or tomorrow. Thanks again for your advice.

ps The project is taking a little longer than I expected and it seems I was well on my way to growing my own lumber. Unfortunately the operator of the yard decided to 'harvest' when I was in Iceland.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Sat Aug 20, 2016 12:21 pm

I have completed all bottom frame repairs. I should do a final tally, but I think I have left five original frame sets, including the floors, intact. I did remove the bolts and replaced them, in a few instances drilling new bolt holes within a couple of inches of the original ones. In all cases the wood was hard and the cuttings from the bit were clean. The bit came out hot in every instance. These frames range from the engines forward to mid galley. This situated them above the water that would accumulate in the bilge and, of course, above the water still remaining after the automatic pumps would shut off. I did repair a most of them at the chine where there was some deterioration, but usually no more than six inches or so as seen in previous posts. Today I test fitted a couple of parts, part of the stbd chine cap and a plywood plank at the bow. I bent the plank over the frames without the inner bottom on to see how well it would take the curve and how much or little spring-back pressure there would be. Both the chine cap and plank bent in dry and cold with no difficulty. I will make up the rest of the bow planks and test them the same way before I install the inner bottom. This will help fair the forward frames. I have to do a small repair on the keel near the bow to clean out some deteriorated oak, but it is not a structural issue in the least. You may be able to see the spot in the attached photos. I will also manufacture the rest of the chine capping material and start installing that this upcoming week.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Sat Aug 20, 2016 3:39 pm

I promised John I would post a picture of one of the planks I made from two 8' pieces of 1088 meranti. I just cut the stbd bow garboard plank which was about 7'9". I include some shots of that and the original piece showing where the guys at CC sometimes missed a frame and how they fixed the situation.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by Peter M Jardine » Sat Aug 27, 2016 9:16 pm

Great work Robert.... stay the course!

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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:38 pm

Thanks Peter.... it just seems a very long course. I have said before, I can't imagine doing this on a cruiser that is any bigger or one that I had not owned and used for 20+ years. As a fellow cruiser owner you understand, I am sure. These boats have many nooks and crannies that can hide deterioration out of sight, even with a lot of probing and such. But, I have reached the point where I can start to think about where we will be cruising in the not too distant future. I will let you know when we head east through the Murray Canal to the Bay of Quinte and on to Kingston. Not yet.... but soon.

The following pictures show the stbd chine cap glued in place. This completes the lamination construction of the new portion of the stbd chine. I started to plane away the excess from the bottom rabbet but it was way too hot in the dome shelter. I intend to use an electric hand plane to do the entire job except for the last finishing passes, but I was anxious to see how it would work out and I had the bench plane handy.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Fri Sep 02, 2016 3:54 pm

On Wednesday I was able to finish the bottom, all the topside work, and repaint and varnish everything else. We launched her on Thursday, the engines fired right away and went for nice cruise near Kingston......... then I woke up! However, this picture is from about 2008, taken by some friends as we left Simcoe Island to go back to our Marina in Kingston three miles away. We hope to be back there in 2018, latest. I'm sorry about the quality of the picture. Our scanner is not working so this is a picture of a picture.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:21 pm

I had posted in August that I had finished all the frame repair. Since then I decided to clean up a few that I thought weren't too bad. I am glad I did, but the end is near....happily. I wanted to show the stbd frame end and gusset where I had to remove sound deadening material and a bit of the bottom of the bulkhead just aft of the fuel tanks. These pictures illustrate how I think the factory assembly process worked and you will see a small repair they made for appearances.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by joanroy » Fri Sep 23, 2016 5:23 am

Looks GREAT Rob! Thanks so much for continuing to document your work on Boat Buzz. So many of the old cruisers are becoming extinct and its just the best to see one being saved instead of being crushed. Looking forward to seeing your planking technique.

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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by jfrprops » Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:08 am

I am with joanroy......!!!!! great job....keep the pic and info coming.....thanks for saving a cruiser....

John in Va.
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
1954 Whirlwind deluxe dual ckpt 16'
1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)

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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Sat Sep 24, 2016 5:24 pm

The list of jobs for the stbd bottom restoration is getting very short. I have been painting the frames and gussets as I go along with Sandusky bilge paint (cc red). It goes on really nicely and seems to penetrate very well. Occasionally I have had to sand a bit down and I have noticed that it gets well into the grain. The scarfing of new material into otherwise excellent original frames has become pretty straightforward. As is always the case, now that I am nearly done I can do it quite quickly and get a good mating of the surfaces. I have gone back and redone a few frames that I had scarfed a few years ago and cleaned those up. For the side frames I have replaced material to above the first batten. At the batten the frames had rotted in and up about one inch. Today I also started planing the excess material off the stbd chine cap. Even with a power plane it is a nasty job, mainly because I have work from the crawler holding the tool at almost arms length. It works ok but I only have the stamina to do it for about an hour. You will see in the pictures that I have started to drill the bolt holes through the chine/gusset and temporarily bolted at the curve using ss rod. This gives me the final fit of the chine and will allow me to install the inner plywood bottom soon. The ss rod will be replaced with sb carriage bolts when the bottom is done. The transom frame and cheek are finished and the chine is bolted to them as per the original design. I had postponed repairing the side frame closest to the transom, but took care of that this week. I am going to replace the gusset again because the one I did before is a bit sloppy.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:08 pm

Since my last post I have managed to just about finish the port chine to the point where I can install the inner bottom. Unfortunately I would be racing the cold weather so I have decided to do a final dry fit of the inner bottom with the plan to drop it out in the spring and do the final installation when temperatures are favourable. Over the last few weeks I have planed he inner surface of the chine caps so that they are now flush at 90 degrees to the bottom. It was a very uncomfortable job as I was wedged under the frames holding my power planer at arms length against the chine. I had oversized the chine cap out of fear of undersizing and screwing it all up, so I had to take off a ton of material. The pictures below will show the near final cuts. The vertical part has to be one inch, and is now about 1 3/4". I will use a jig and router to get the precise depth when I work up the nerve. I have also been checking and replacing gussets on the port side to ensure they butt up to the chine perfectly. Although I built the chine against the original frames and gussets, the new chine was not flush on a couple by about 1/5 of an inch or so. I have pulled them all and some were really nice, but others needed to be replaced. I can only make that determination by disassembling and inspecting. Below you will see a frame and gusset that, after nearly 80 years, are perfect. As I replace the gussets I drill the chine and the gusset, bolting up with ss rod in order to get the final fit for the inner bottom. As I said before, I will replace the rod with sb carriage bolts at the appropriate time. I have included a picture of the ss bolts CC used. What I found interesting is that the bolt for the lower frame is in much better condition than the one for the upper frame. Seems counterintuitive. There is also a picture a small piece that split out of the upper frame when the boat was built. As on the stbd side CC workers simply drove a finishing nail though the piece to re-attach it to the frame. I can't tell if the nail is galvanized or just plain steel.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by jfrprops » Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:39 am

keep it up....you are making real progress....and keep the pic and text coming....!!!!

John in Va.
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
1954 Whirlwind deluxe dual ckpt 16'
1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)

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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:29 pm

Thanks John. The forecast for Toronto calls for relatively warm temperatures. Consequently I have decided to do repairs on port vertical frames near the stern that I was going to postpone until the spring. I made templates for some gussets and a section of vertical frame that was badly split. I cut the replacement gussets and the piece for the vertical frame. I test fit them and cut the offending split portion out of the vertical frame using the new piece as a guide. I have detailed that process ad nauseam so I won't go into that. The following pictures show the extent damage to the frame needing repair. I wanted to show how the battens on the boat were initially tacked together with nails. I am now pretty sure the nails are galvanized steel, and I think you may be able to tell from the picture.

Please view from the bottom up..... sorry.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Sun Oct 16, 2016 3:43 pm

These pictures finish up the previous post. Only one more gusset and frame set to take apart on the port side, We will have warm weather for a few days yet, so if I hurry I can finally have it all done. That means next spring it is all about installing the bottom. I will make the new outer planks over the winter and dry fit them as I go along. I also have to make the intermediary frames and bend them into shape. My objective is to have both the inner and outer bottoms completely dry fit so that I can drop them in April and start permanent installation. After that is accomplished I have considerable work to do on the topside planking. Working standing up will be a treat!
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Mon Oct 24, 2016 2:19 pm

I have started to finish machining the chines in order to get the inner bottom on for winter. I tried fitting the plywood inner bottom on last week, but with so much excess material still on the chine caps, I could not squeeze them in. As you saw in earlier posts I left the chine caps quite "fat" when I glued them on. I did this because I always worry about cutting things too fine. I now regret that I wasn't a bit more daring and trimmed the caps more, leaving much less to plane/router off. But it is what it is, and although it is an uncomfortable job I am pleased with my progress, albeit slow. What I do is use a electric hand planer to take off the excess. I find that it is easier to do than with a router, although I did try that with a flat board installed as a platform for the router base. I will take pictures of that set-up tomorrow. I still have a long way to go but the more I do the more confident I am that it will turn out ok. I will still leave the chine a little proud of the bottom until everything is dry fit, then I will finish them off. I expect that I will have them cleaned up enough to fit the inner bottom this week, stb anyway.
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Last edited by robertpaul on Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:03 am, edited 2 times in total.
1937 35' Double Stateroom Enclosed Cruiser

joanroy
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Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:46 pm

Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by joanroy » Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:19 pm

I'm following along and it looks GREAT Rob. I'd say your in good shape to have a bottom on her next Spring. Wish we had more blow by blow descriptions with photos of restorations shown here on the Buzz. Good info and motivating story for future cruiser restorers. Carry On.

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