Sunday, January 26, 2014

Deck frames

It's too cold to work!   I was in the shed with coat, gloves and whatever...  Temp here is still below freezing and I'm just not up for that anymore... We had more snow yesterday.  
While freezing I started to take off the frames that I thought needed to be replaced.  At first I thought I could get by with taking off one side and then make two of them but that ended quickly with each frame having a bevel on it.  I also thought I could clean up most of them and reuse.  As I was taking them apart they started crumbling in my
hands.  So we need to make all new deck frames from # 4 back.  The first 3 appear to be ok.  That has been my observation on the other vintage boats I've done. The fwd 2 or 3 frames usually are in good shape.   
Along with the boat several parts came with it.  I cleaned up one of the rudders and it turns out to be mahogany.  Griff will like this one.

                                      The pile of frames I have to work with.

Friday, January 24, 2014

The History of Griff

I lifted this info from the blog of a fellow Mothist who just happens to be the class secretary and resident historian of the Moth boat, George A.

Bill Boyle is restoring yet another vintage era Moth Boat. This boat was constructed in 1947 in Atlantic City, New Jersey and was first registered as "Day" to Evening Star YC member Robert Armour on the 10th of July, 1947. After racing briefly under Armour's ownership, "Day" was transferred to another ESYC member (S. DeMille) in 1952. By 1957 she was purchased by the Zeidman family, renamed "Drifter" and moved to Mirror Lake (aka: Browns Mills YC) up near Whites Bog, NJ. Browns Mills had a very large Moth fleet in those days and the Zeidman siblings were part of that racing scene. In the early 1990s the son of Zeidman family brought "Drifter" to a Brigantine Moth Boat Regatta with a for sale sign on her. BYC member Joe Courter bought her, renamed her "Griff" and raced her a couple seasons before moving to a faster Moth. She malingered in Joe's garage until Bill Schill picked her up two years ago, "ripe for restoration". Sadly, he never got the chance to enjoy this project. This past spring I helped Bill's widow, Marty find homes for his Moths. 

So there you have it.  The complete history of the boat named Griff!!    I hope to add yet another chapter to this boat.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Griff is a mess

I did more demo and some clean up.  It's clear to me that this boat sat upside down for a number of years and the weather got to the inside of the boat.  All the frames are rotted.  I'm going to have to replace just about everyone of them.   If I had to rank this boat on it's initial condition I'd put it at #2 right behind the Abbott.   The Abbott came from a trash pile.  Griff was not too far behind.   I also cut out the CB case.  Someone added that along the way and moved it about 6 inches to the rear.  Or maybe just cut off the front 6 inches of a bigger box.  I'll put in a traditional case that's appropriate to the boat.

                         My second favorite tool!  Right after the belt sander!!!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Deck's off

I spent about 3 hours deconstruction the deck.  I stopped after hitting my thumb about 28 times.  The wood is very punky.  Only covering on it was varnish.   Back in '47 they must have had an abundant supply of brass screws.  They are everwhere.  The centerboard trunk is not original.  It's elongated.  Not sure why that was made that way.  I'll replace it.  The bow, on the other hand, could have come from an icebreaker! 

I hope to reuse all the frames.

 Icebreaker bow.

 Elongated trunk.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


This blog is about the restoration of a vintage Moth boat named Griff.
I acquired this boat from the widow of  fellow mothboater  Bill Schill.  Bill passed away last year and his wife asked if the mothboat gang wanted his boats.

Griff is a Ventnor look-a-like.  I don't have too much detail other than she was made in the late 1940's and is  # 868.     The boat is plank built both deck and hull.  I am going to restore only the deck.  I think the bottom is sound.  More on that later. 
Several options are available for the deck.  I could replank with cedar, I could use Ocume plywood, or cedar strips.   This boat is telling me she wants cedar strips.  I like working with strips as I've built several cedar stripped canoes.