Need help identifying this boat

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by Young827, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. Young827
    Joined: Aug 2013
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    Location: Minnesota

    Young827 New Member

    I need help identifying my grandfathers old boat (pics are attached). I would ask him but he passed away 10 years ago. I received this boat about 15 years ago and am finally planning to fix it up. The only problem is I'm not 100% sure on what type it is. My grandfather had said he bought it around 1950 and he always called it a Larson Cedarstrip boat. Researching online I could find one similar to it which was called a Larson Speedrunner. Is that correct? The other question I have is about the type of wood it is made of. I'm 98% sure the supports are white oak but not so sure about the top boards / trim or side strips. My first thought is it is cedar but I had someone say they think it is redwood. The boat spent 20 years sitting in a barn and as a result has some minor rotting damage on the top which is why I need to know what I sould use for replacement. If anyone can help me answer these two questions it would help a lot. Thanks
     

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  2. rasorinc
    Joined: Nov 2007
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    Location: OREGON

    rasorinc Senior Member

    `Sorry I cannot help you with the ID of the boat, however you may have a real Gem
    in your hands. Go slow and do a fine job on the restoration and you will have something
    real special, with a family history to boot.
     
  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    It probably is a Larson. Haven't seen one in years. The planking is very likely cedar, not redwood, which would be too heavy. The deck may be mahogany, though it could also be one of several different species. The steam bent ribs are white oak and done the old fashion way. Some of the last strip planked boats had mahogany strips. In the late 40's a fire destroyed the factory, so much of the history of the early years was lost. In the early 50's they started building 'glass boats.

    I believe the boat you have, predates the 50's and is likely one of the last of the stripped builds in the late 40's, possibly pre-fire. If it has a canvas bottom covering, this would be indicative of the later wooden builds from Larson. FWIW, there are very few surviving examples of these boats, so you have a sweety, likely worth a full up restoration. She doesn't appear to be a "Falls Flyer", but I suspect she's one of their lower cost "utilities" or what I really think she is is a 1949 "Larson Fishing Boat" (yep, that's the model name). I only know of one restored example and it's a "Flyer" and lives in a museum.
     
  4. Young827
    Joined: Aug 2013
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    Location: Minnesota

    Young827 New Member

    Thanks for the response. Yeah I don't think it is a Falls Flyer by looking at photos of them. Like I said I did find one close match of this boat online which was built in 1951 and resided in Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum in Alexandria, MN until it was sold at an auction. As for the bottom I believe it has a canvas bottom which was covered in an epoxy of some sort which is currently peeling off. Unfortunately the top boards all need to be replaced due to rot as well as the first top strip on the sides but the ribs are all good and the rest of the boards seem good. I found the origional steering wheel as well as the pulley sytem sitting in the corner of the barn so I should be able do a good restoration.
     
  5. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The bottom canvas wouldn't be set in epoxy, though it was around then, it wasn't highly available and it wasn't what we know today. Epoxy back then was used as a bulk adhesive (inside joints), not as a coating. Non-reactive viscosity reducers and other modifiers didn't come to be until the 60's and not readily available until the 70's.

    Without better pictures, it's difficult to tell what species was used on the decking, but mahogany is a good bet. This was commonly available back then. If you could sand back an area of decking and get some pictures of the grain, identification would be easier.

    What are your intentions with this boat?
     
  6. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
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    Location: Beaufort, SC and H'ville, NC

    philSweet Senior Member

    I see the registration numbers are still visible. I think I'd start with MN records and get copies of the registrations and titles going back as far as you can.

    Unfortunately, just because it is extremely rare, doesn't mean it will be worth serious money. I tried to help a friend unload what is believed to be the best remaining example of a Dumphy Marauder. Totally original down to the trailer hubcaps. Original motor, steering, trailer, one owner. Couldn't give the thing away. There's photos of it in my gallery.

    Yours is older and classic in a sense that the Dumphy never will be, so might end up being worth something. But mostly, do with it what makes you happy and don't expect too much in the way of economic rewards. Just getting on the water again would be huge.

    My guess for the deck is Mahogany and White Ash.
     
  7. Young827
    Joined: Aug 2013
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    Location: Minnesota

    Young827 New Member

    PAR - epoxy might not be the right word. The bottom has a canvas look to it but it is coated with something that is flaking off. I'm not sure if my grandfather recoated the bottom at some point. I do know he painted a lot of the boat. My current intentions is just to get the boat fixed up. I will try to sand down the boards later today and upload the pics.

    philSweet - Good call on trying to look up regitration numbers. They are still visible and I know the last time it was registered was 1987.
     
  8. Young827
    Joined: Aug 2013
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    Location: Minnesota

    Young827 New Member

    Here are some pics of the boards close-up.
     

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  9. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Varnish or shellac most likely. Pull a rib or two, near the very aft end of the boat. A common location for rot to form under them, toward the centerline.
     
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