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

Post by jfrprops » Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:05 am

I agree with Joanroy......great stuff...wish more folks would post in such detail.....

John in Va.
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
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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 28, 2016 3:33 pm

Thanks guys. The port chine bottom rabbet has been machined and sanded to its final dimension which enabled me to start to dry fit the inner bottom plywood sheets. I will trim the excess off the bottom of the chine cap when the outer planks are dry fit as well. I still have to do the same to the stbd chine, but I am somewhat higher on the learning curve so it will go faster. The next miracle was to find an easier way to lift the 4'x8' 9mm 1088 maranti plywood into place in order to fasten it to the frames. I needed to develop a method that will enable me to do this by myself without too much messing about (with the attendant cussing) when I do the final installation with adhesive and fasteners in the spring. I did a dry run today and it worked surprisingly well. Although on my back on the crawler, I did not have to wrestle with the full sheet at all, and positioning was straightforward. It looks the same as last year when I buttoned it up for the winter, but now all the frames are repaired/replaced and the chines are fully built.

The pics should be viewed from bottom to top.....
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:08 pm

I have finished machining the inside of both new chines and the inner bottom is dry fit and in place for the winter. I seriously underestimated how long the job would take. I will drop it and do the permanent installation in the spring when it is warm enough to use 5200. I think I have reached the point where lifting the full sheets of plywood and bending them into the frame is pretty straightforward. I use the rig I posted before, but once the sheet is up I lower one of the props and put a couple of pieces of 2x4 in the centre and lift it again, using it like a lever. The pictures below will show how it works. As the sheet takes the curve of the frame it 'shortens' its width and slips nicely over the lip of the chine and into place. Anyway, I will finish fairing the bow frames and fit 6" wide strips of plywood in to take the compound curve at the bow. After that I will start making and dry fitting the exterior planks.

That is it for now.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:19 pm

Getting close to finishing the dry fitting of the inner bottom at the bow. I need to re-do a couple of small pieces at the most fwd part of the port bow to get a more precise fit, but that is just being fussy. The fit for the rest is good, and the intermediate frames will pull any minor uneven seams into line. I will finish the stbd bow tomorrow, including fairing the rabbet on the new knee and piece of stem that I scarfed in in the spring. The port fairing went quickly. After that I intend to button her up and report for jury duty. I probably won't post again until spring although I will be making up the exterior planks and dry fitting them as they become available.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by joanroy » Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:32 am

How will you fasten your inner ply? I'm formulating a new bottom plan for a Red and White and I am considering using Raptor plastic fasteners with 5200 on the frame faces to hold the inner ply, epoxy lamination between the plys, then bronze screws through all the layers as final fastening. The cool thing about the plastic fasteners is they can be sanded smooth and the bronze fasteners wlll go right through if you hit one. I'm planning a three layer ply epoxy laminated cold molded type bottom with a final layer of epoxy coated dynel. What do you think?

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

Post by robertpaul » Mon Nov 14, 2016 5:57 pm

JR, a cold molded bottom is beyond my experience so I cannot comment on that. With regard to my plan to attach the inner ply bottom, I intend to use 5200 on all the contact surfaces (chines, frames, keel, keelsons, transom...etc.). When dry fitting it became apparent that even with the rather gentle curves in the bottom, the ply is still under some tension when attached. It is not enough to strip out even a single 1 5/8 drywall screw, but it is there. Consequently, once the adhesive is applied I will lift the plywood sheets into place and use my lifting rig (previous posts) to snug it up to the frames in the middle. This will cause the sheet to bend and naturally apply pressure to the keel and chine rabbets. I will then use sb screws to fasten it into place all around, starting in the middle and working out. I checked out the Raptor staples and brads you mentioned and they look very interesting. I wonder though, if they would serve to draw the ply up snug to the frame as will a screw. If memory serves, a Red and White has quite pronounced curves in the bottom so your plan may be better for your application. Today I worked on the final plywood strips on the stbd bow. I only have about 18" to go before it is all closed in.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by joanroy » Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:28 am

Rob, how was your original inner bottom planking fastened. Was it just tacked somewhat temporarily and then held fast with the screws through the outer planks, or was the inner fully screwed and then the outer also fully screwed over? Also, did your original bottom have the odd lookin small pan head screw with the washer type head fastened from the inside out between the frame sections? What was the purpose of the inner screws. Just trying to get a sense of how the original double planked bottom on my cruiser is held in place. Thanks.

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

Post by robertpaul » Tue Nov 15, 2016 9:43 am

JR. I just took the following pics of an inner bottom plank that I intend to turn into dowels. I think they will illustrate answers to your questions. One thing to keep in mind, the hull was upside down when assembled so the workers could use their knees and body weight to press the inner planks snug to the frames when they first nailed them down. They used galvanized steel nails. After that they came along with the outer planks and fastened them straight to the frames. I don't know if they also did the intermediate frames at the same time or flipped the boat over for that.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by joanroy » Tue Nov 15, 2016 1:02 pm

Thanks for the photos. I'm kinda thinking, during original construction with the boats upside down, the diagonal planks were tacked with the finish nails, then the outer planking installed and fully screwed through to the frames, chine, etc. At this point the boats were probably flipped upright and the washer head inner screws installed to pull the thin inner planks tight to the outer. This is why I'm thinking about fastening the inner with the plastic nails. CC probably spaced the finish nails, inner screws, and the outer screws accordingly so they wouldn't hit each other. With the plastic it wouldn't matter because the bronze would go right through the plastic nail.

I know you situation is different and much more difficult because your installing from underneath, but I'm wondering if it would be helpful to you when you install the outer planking to use the washer type screws inside as you go along to help pull the bottoms tight together and eliminate any voids in between the layers? Just a thought.

I'm looking into purchasing a Raptor gun and nails to experiment with this fastening technique and see how well they hold. Plastic would be totally corrosion proof. I let you know how it works out.

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

Post by robertpaul » Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:15 pm

Are you going to flip your R+W? It is 25' (I think) which is pretty big. I would really like to see some pics of that! I see the attraction of the plastic nails and firing them in with a brad gun. I suppose it will depend upon the frames and the material you use to repair or replace them with. White oak will turn bullets and African Mahogany will do the same. DRM would be penetrated easily. It would be fast and as you say, eliminates the issue of hitting metal with a subsequent fastener. I did encounter some nails that had been hit with the pilot drill, but not many. Being production boats, I think the workers at CC had a pretty good idea where to drive the nails and figured they would miss the vast majority with the 3" brass screws that fastened the outer planks. I also expect they worked pretty fast. Sometimes they missed the frames altogether and drove a dowel into the hole to fix it. I am not sure that I will re-use the inner screws except maybe at the bow where the plywood is installed in narrow strips to take the compound curve. There will be intermediate frames between the main frames, consequently the spacing will be every 6". Look again at the photo of the inside of the inner plank above and you can see where there was a main frame on the left (bigger screw holes) and an intermediate on the right (smaller screw holes). Check out how close they came with the screw to the nail at the bottom of the picture! The pan head screws are between the two. I am inclined to minimize how many holes I drill in the inner bottom and I believe the frames will ensure a solid bedding between the inner and outer bottoms. One thing is certain, I have quite a pile of those little screws and they seem in very nice condition.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by joanroy » Tue Nov 15, 2016 8:22 pm

After following along with your work, I actually had a debate in my head exploring the possibility of restoring the Red and White in the upright position. Finally came to my senses and decided if it's flippable, flip it. Not easy, but doable. Totally impractical to even consider such an event with our cruisers. If my 36 is ever upside down, it won't be intentional.

Anyway, the Red and White sits in my back yard shrink wrapped begging for restoration. The engine is at the shop restored and ready to go. Our current shop space is too small and serves other purposes, so I'm in the permitting approval process to build a new 30X50 shop big enough to flip and restore the Red and White and eventually Winter store my 36 DSEB. I'll definitely photo document the work and share it here on the Buzz. In the mean time I'm enjoying watching your process. Its not every day you get to see a cruiser bottom replacement. It's been interesting and having spent a bit of time on my back under boats, I feel your pain. Happy Boating!

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

Post by robertpaul » Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:42 pm

The bow inner bottom is completed and dry fit. The frames and keel/stem rabbets are faired as is everything else. Come spring it will be drop, seal, goop, re-install. Goodnight Mrs. Calabash, where-ever you are......
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:13 pm

Found a picture from around 2006, heading down the Cataraqui River to Kingston.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by joanroy » Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:01 am

That's a pretty picture from Eludes past, and thanks to your efforts, I'm sure we'll be seeing more of her in the future. Carry On!

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

Post by robertpaul » Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:16 am

I'm preparing the outer planks for the bottom. Pictures like this one remind me of why I am enjoying the reconstruction of Elude.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:48 pm

Winter is dragging on a bit although it has been a soft one by any measure. I have fabricated quite a few blanks for bottom planks into lengths of up to 15' by scarfing. I have decided that the best approach for me in fitting the new planks will be to start at the keel (of course) and run the entire length with the new planks. I will then fit the original planks next to them to ensure the fit before using them as templates. So, I have a nice pile of finished garbord planks and blanks from which to cut the subsequent planks. I have also been down to the boat to start a plan for replacing and/or repairing the side planks that have some deterioration at the butt joints or edges at the battens. The port side is going to require much more work than stbd, but even so the work will be very straightforward compared to the bottom. I will use African to re-plank the sides, but my estimate is that only about 10% of the total hull above the chines requires attention. Attached are a few pics of typical areas that I can fix by removing the original plank, cutting back to clean wood, and laminating in a new piece with epoxy. I will remove the planks to ensure that there is no rot hiding where I can't find it from surface probing. In a few cases I will install an entirely new plank because in the distant past shorter pieces (some less than 4') where used at the stern to repair rotted bits. I can buy lengths up to about 14', so that helps. I still have many hours of work ahead to install the bottom, but it feels nice to finally start planning for what happens when the bottom is done. I will add that this is where I am grateful that cruisers have painted hulls. Achieving a perfect flush fit like on a varnished runabout hull would be impossible for me to do.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by joanroy » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:53 am

Spring is just around the corner and it sound like 2017 will be a big year for Elude! Once the bottom is done, the side planking repairs will seem easy and you'll actually be able to work in an upright position. Hooray! Good Luck and Carry On!

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

Post by robertpaul » Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:54 pm

The weather is incredible for February so I decided to do some more prep work for the side planking repairs that I have to do after the bottom is finished. There is nothing more I can do to the bottom until consistently warmer weather arrives in April. I wanted to inspect the frames behind the second plank up from the port chine, so today I removed that plank from amidships aft. This is an original piece, although the last four feet to the stern were replaced over 30 years ago. I was very pleased with the outstanding condition of the frames and battens and will have virtually no structural work to do. Having two planks off will make installing the bottom intermediate frames much easier. Here are some pics. The last two are sideways....sorry.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:00 pm

As the excellent weather continues, I have decided to do as much repair as I can above the port chine near the stern. Rain water trickling down through the deck opening for the original boarding ladder bracket led to issues immediately beneath as you will see again in this series of pics. The transom is always a weak spot for plank rot and I have uncovered epoxy filler repairs that were done prior to us acquiring Elude in 1989. Note in the pics the hairline cracks in the paint that betray these non-wood repairs. What is neat though, is that the epoxy repairs did not seem to promote additional rot in the planks or the frames. The transom cheek is perfect. I think the rot in the batten preceded the repairs. Anyway, I thought that I would pull the plank and repair it, but after inspection I decided to replace it entirely. It is 8' long and the first 4' are pristine. Only under the boarding ladder bracket is it rotten, and at the transom of course. I will fit the new plank tomorrow and then remove the next one down. You will see where the splash rail was cut for old repairs. I removed the splash rail and was delighted to find the planks at the seam forward of the cut in the picture are in fine condition except for the first 3 inches or so. The splash rail has been on the boat for 79 years and when I backed out the screws at the forward end, the piece sprung to its original shape straight as a die. The first two pics should follow picture 3, but I messed it up.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:33 pm

I have removed the lower plank that was under the splash rail. The splash rail covered the seam between it and the plank above. There was only dried bedding under the splash rail and no sign of any filler between the planks themselves. Once I put some heat on the old bedding compound it came off easily with a pull scraper. It was not an adhesive. The edges of both planks are perfect until near the stern under the boarding ladder location. The following pictures are of the new plank I installed yesterday (first try so a bit of sizing is still necessary), the seam that was under the splash rail, the problem area under the fool boarding ladder location, and the framing revealed once the next plank was removed. Tomorrow I will fabricate and dry fit the new batten pieces for the last four feet where all the problems were. It will then be easy to properly size the new planks and dry fit them too. The plank I removed today is in really good shape so I will try to scarf five feet onto the end to create a single plank about 13 feet long. That way there will be only one butt block joint near the stern (on the plank above) There is one vertical frame located just behind the cut ends of the planks in the pics that needs some repair. I will have to wait for the weather to warm up before I can scarf in new material with epoxy glue. Other than that one frame (which is under the accursed boarding ladder location) all the others are in crazy good condition as your will see in the pics. This is going way better and faster than I thought so I hope to have all the side planks dry fit over the next two weeks. I can't begin to explain how pleasant it is to work sitting up or standing. If I get silly I may even be able to dry fit the transom planks.... be still my heart.

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

Post by robertpaul » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:32 pm

Here are some pics of what I did today. I had to cut out the last 6 inches of the plank immediately under the new plank I put in on Sunday. Check the above post and you will see what I mean. The last 6 inches were decayed, but the rest of the plank to forward is perfect so I will not touch that portion at all. The first five feet of the original plank that I replaced on Sunday are really nice but the remainder was too far gone to repair. Consequently I decided to use the first five feet to do the repair today. Everything is dry fit for now. I hope this is interesting for folks.
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jfrprops
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by jfrprops » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:41 pm

keep at it......stay strong! You could have glued any day in Feb. here in Va.....

nice work, enjoy following your steady progress...

John in Va.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by joanroy » Wed Mar 01, 2017 7:53 am

Agree! Love following along and you documentation is important. Thanks!

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

Post by tuobanur » Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:54 am

Love watching this stuff, thanks for sharing and great work BTW.
Terry
1941 Model 101 (16') Deluxe Runabout "Miss Dot"

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

Post by robertpaul » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:57 pm

Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated as always. I was lazy today and did not go to the boat. Still, I managed to plane down the original plank I am reusing. From the pics you can see how nice the pre-war material still is.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:28 pm

I have been pressing on with repairing/replacing the port planking and battens at the port stern. I will be able to re-use some of the original planking however not always as expected. The following pics will show what I have done and where my plan to re-use was over-ridden by how butt joints were lining up. My planer has been working hard because the 4/4 African I buy is always around 5/4. So I am making lots of chips. The material is nice but my planer knives are dulling fast.

Pics: view from last to first.....again
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:40 pm

Before freezing my tush, I managed to fabricate and dry fit a new plank that is second up from the port chine. I do have two vertical frames to attend to when the weather warms up enough (this last blast of winter is annoying). The one in the recent posts above, and one more that is a few feet forward of that. The latter is split where the first plank will be and dodgy for the second plank up. The plank I put in today went in nicely and I have yet to clean it up a bit with the edge plane. I got cold. You will see in the picture the original plank immediately above it that I will pull out tomorrow and repair. There is minimal deterioration in it and I think it will fix up nicely. Currently the bottom edge is a bit ragged in one area which shows up in the pics. The bondo repair you can see lasted 20+ years but it is time to splice in real wood-real good. I clamped a piece of original planking that is in sweet condition to finish up to the stern. I can't line up the frames with the existing fastener hole so I will have to plug them, which is easy. But I wonder if it is better to install new african mahogany instead? The lower edge will be below the waterline, so I am seeking opinions. I would love to use original planking.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by joanroy » Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:48 pm

Nice Rob! I can't make a below the water line call on whether or not to use the old plank or a new plank. From my experiences as a restoration contractor, all I can say is the majority of the time old growth old wood is much nicer stuff than pretty much any wood you buy today. It's all about density and straightness of grain. Looking Good!

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

Post by robertpaul » Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:45 pm

Thanks JR. If you look at the last pic above, I put that original plank through my planer to take about 1mm of the top to get rid of some paint and to test the wood. You would think I was planing iron. It is unbelievably dense compared to DRM and even African. I can't for the life of me throw away ANY mahogany that I have 'harvested' from Elude. I will make plugs and dowels and re-use any way I can. But I have so much from the side and bottom planks that I feel like a hoarder on one of those tv shows. I can't just pop these or the bottom planks back in because there is enough splitting, rot, and other age related wear and tear that they are just past their time. But the parts (75%) that are nice can be re-used. I think when I am done I will make a coffee table or two.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:57 pm

I have been busy over the last four weeks (aside from a week in sunny Florida), and just today completed the final dry fit for all the new and repaired planking on Elude's port side. I still have a couple of frames to repair once the weather is warmer, but that won't take more than a few days when the time comes. I removed all of the planks that showed rot and assessed them for replacement or repair including one that is 16' long and runs to the stem. Except for rot along the last two feet on the top seam, it and the framing behind it are in astounding condition. I have marked where I have to make a pass or two with my edge plane with a black sharpie, so in the pictures it can make an edge look a bit ragged where in fact it is pretty even.

AFTER BOAT BUZZ FIX
I have restored the original pics. To match with the original explanation I have written the first several words from same in the caption below each pic..... savy?
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