Building an all wood 18' Flatbottom

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by johnmillerboats, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. johnmillerboats
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Location: Arroyo Grande, CA

    johnmillerboats Junior Member

    I'm new to this forum and was wondering if anyone is into these kind of boats.

    My father was one of a few boat builders in the early 50's that pioneered the development of conventional flatbottom boats that used v-drives. He was a wind tunnel model builder for Northrop Aviation during WWII. He also worked for Hughes Aircraft after the war and helped finish the so called "Spruce Goose", which had absolutely NO spruce in it!!!
    I worked with my dad from 1962 till 1986 building boats. His boats set many world records in 1/4 mile drag racing in the 50's and 60's.
    In his remembrance, I started building an all wood flatbottom, similiar to what we built back then, earlier this year.
    Here is a couple of pics of the boat,

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Pericles
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Location: Heights of High Wycombe, not far from River Thames

    Pericles Senior Member

    johnmillerboats,

    Welcome to the forum. That is a terrific looking speedster. The finish is sensational. Congratulations.

    Pericles
     
  3. nordvindcrew
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    nordvindcrew Senior Member

    tribute

    what a terrific way to honor your dads memory. It's a beauty!!
     
  4. tom28571
    Joined: Dec 2001
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    tom28571 Senior Member

    Ditto the above. Be careful though, those can get away from you in a heartbeat.
     
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  5. johnmillerboats
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Location: Arroyo Grande, CA

    johnmillerboats Junior Member

    Thanks for the compliments!
    I painted the boat, so now the hull is finished. Got all the underwater gear installed, the steering, and the v-drive. I have a b-block 383 dodge motor for the boat. Hope to have the boat done soon, but I can only work on it in my spare time, customers come first!
    Here's some pics.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. johnmillerboats
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Location: Arroyo Grande, CA

    johnmillerboats Junior Member

  7. johnmillerboats
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Location: Arroyo Grande, CA

    johnmillerboats Junior Member

  8. Kay9
    Joined: Oct 2006
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    Location: Central Coast Oregon US.

    Kay9 1600T Master

    Just breathtaking work there.
     
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  9. neil grinder
    Joined: Jan 2008
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    Location: bellflower

    neil grinder New Member

    nice job love the finish if your dad was to see this boat i know he would have love it god bless
     
  10. Paul Lastrucci
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Location: Pretoria

    Paul Lastrucci Junior Member

    John, I am absolutely astounded by your workmanship; from the photos it is fantastic. In this fast paced world I thought that this kind of talent had become a black art. Well Done!
    Your story grabbed me a bit and it sparked some nostalgia, because my dad was also involved in powerboats in the early sixties here in South Africa where I live and they used to build and race a 16' flat bottom front engine similar to the Cracker box or E runabouts. They built a couple of them and his specific boat was powered by a tri power 283 SB Chevy. I grew up around them and I still have all the hardware bits from this boat e.g. transom mount rudder, skegs, shaft, bronze Gaines prop, motor mount and the complete engine.
    Unfortunately over time the boat simply rotted away. I would love to build a replica of this E runabout equivalent someday and finish it as pretty as yours. I have not been able to locate plans this side as most of the then owners, including my dad are well into their eighties and cannot remember specific detail or have any plans anymore. I have looked at the Glen L Cracker box however it is significantly different to what the boys did this side, so it looks like I will have to scratch build it from photo's. I would like to preserve their efforts
    I am just blown away with the finish and colour scheme of your creation. Is she up and running yet with the BB Mopar?
    Kind Regards
    Paul
     
  11. neil grinder
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    neil grinder New Member

    do you have a old photo of this tape of boat . i like to see it thank you
     
  12. Paul Lastrucci
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    Location: Pretoria

    Paul Lastrucci Junior Member

    Here it is, the pictures were taken in the late seventies so apologies for the quality

    Regards
    Paul
     

    Attached Files:

  13. johnmillerboats
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Location: Arroyo Grande, CA

    johnmillerboats Junior Member

    Thanks for the compliments!
    I hope to have the boat ready to get wet by April. The 383 block is at the machine shop, waiting on pistons, so they can bore it. Should have it back in 2 weeks so I can put the motor together and install it. Had to wait 3 weeks to get the pistons. Not very many companies making parts for the B-block motors.

    Paul,
    Did your dad buy a frame kit from a company, or did he design it himself. There were only a few guys left building them in the sixties. Wickens, Patterson, and maybe Hallett. I have a restoration job coming up soon on a 62' Patterson crackerbox. If and when I get the job I'll take pictures of it and send them to you.
    thanks again,
    john
     
  14. charmc
    Joined: Jan 2007
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    Location: FL, USA

    charmc Senior Member

    John,

    Congratulations on a wonderful project!

    Your finishing skills are fantastic. It's great to see someone willing to put the time, skill, and dedication to build a boat with that level of quality. Dad'd be proud!
     

  15. charmc
    Joined: Jan 2007
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    Location: FL, USA

    charmc Senior Member

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