Under Construction - 27' Emancipator
Also in the works - we are restoring a 1956 27' Emancipator. We made a trip to Sea Island, GA and picked up the boat from the grandson of the original builder.
08/20/08 Arrival - Lot's of work to do, but what a classic!
08/27/08 Week 1 - As you can see we have started stripping her back to her frames, and the engines are out. We are in the process of replacing rotten and broken frames, and also replacing portions of her chine and sheer.
09/03/08 Week 2 - This week we received the mahogany, so most of the week we milled and cut the stock to size. As you can see here we have begun replacing a few of the frames and a section of the chine. How this brings back memories.
09/10/08 Week 3 - This week we replaced the sheer and started planking the starboard side.
9/23/08 Weeks 4 & 5 - I've been on the road for a little over a week, but we should have the starboard side finished up today, and we will begin planking the other side tomorrow. We have also started installing the cover boards.
9/29/08 Week 6 - The side planking on the starboard side is complete. We stripped the transom back to plywood and removed the bottom half of the plywood to eliminate rot.
10/09/08 Week 7- This week we began by glassing the interior hull sides and chine. This was to stabilize the mahogany and to stop any moisture from traveling in and out of it. In the past, you wanted to let a boat breathe, but nowadays, you want to seal all the wood to stop any movement, which allows us to get a long lasting, excellent finish. This also eliminates the rot issue, so this never has to be done again. We also gutted all of the interior bottom frames and floor frames. We then sanded which removed all the paint and almost an 1/8" of the bottom planking, which because of time, had become water and oil saturated. It was important that we got down to a good surface to glass to. We repaired some rot, and began reconstruction. Because we removed all the frames and floor battens, we felt it was necessary to put a little more substantial structure in the boat. As you can see, we 45'd the new bottom frame both forward and aft and one end nearest the keel so that we could glass the frames and the entire bottom. We did this primarily because of the additional horsepower that is in the boat. We will, once this is complete, roll the boat over and remove the plywood that the previous boat yard put on to stop the leaking. The original mahogany bottom was in reasonably good condition considering it's age. We are glassing it inside and outside to make it into a boat that you never have to worry about the hull structure again, and eliminate any rot possibilities.
10/16/08 Week 8- As you can see, we have made some substantial progress. We finished all the interior glassing, glassed the bow deck, cover boards and cleaned it all up We have completed the transom, and the boat is roughly faired. We laminated up, and installed the stem cap.
10/28/08 Weeks 9 & 10- This week we have installed what will be the floor supports and the engine stringers. We have designed the engine stringers to go from transom to bulkhead, so that the engines will be pushing on the whole bottom, not just a piece of timber bolted to a floor frame. Using them also as deck supports creates an eye-beam effect and makes a very stiff overall boat. The engine stringers will be cut down to the height needed. As you can see, they are all glassed in. The engines were originally set not parallel to centerline, so when we reinstalled the engine stringers, we set them up the same way. We also installed the sheer guard this week, the forward bulkhead, strut and rudder port blocking. We are now ready to roll the boat over and remove the bottom plywood.
10/30/08 She is upside down now, so that we can remove the plywood from the bottom.
10/31/08 Week 11- Man what a job! Removing the bottom plywood back aft was fairly simple, but when we got up forward some of the original planking had been replaced, and a large number of screws were used to hold the planking in. Once the planking was removed, as we had found out from the inside, the original planking was in reasonable shape for it’s age. We ground it and cleaned it thoroughly. Unfortunately I did not get any pictures of it. But we built a tent over the bottom out of plastic, which we taped to the chine area. We then hooked it to a gun heater, and we blew hot air over the bottom of the boat. We got the bottom of the boat quite hot, and kept it there for long period of time. This did two things. It not only dried the bottom, and pulled the moisture out of it. It also pulled some of the oil that had been saturated into the wood. We finished by grinding the bottom one more time, and degreasing.