Salvaging a 1961 Cruis-Along Clipper 29

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by CBRent524, Oct 16, 2017.

  1. CBRent524
    Joined: Sep 2017
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    Location: Portsmouth, New Hampshire

    CBRent524 Junior Member

    Howdy,

    We found a wooden boat that has been neglected. The story is probably not uncommon. Back in the day the family summered on Lake Winnipesaukee. Mom and Dad kept boating after the kids were grown. Mom passed in '78. Dad pulled the boat out of the water. Put it on blocks and covered it with a tarp. It has been ignored since then. Now Dad has passed. The kids want to clean up the property and put it on the market.

    The boat is ruined. The keel broke in several places and the hull is damaged beyond repair. However, there is plenty of mahogany in the boat. We went out and salvaged as much of the interior as we could. The hardware is pretty amazing too. Lots of heavy chrome plated brass.

    However, the hull is another story: tough to salvage. They used hundreds (thousands?) of copper screws to hold this boat together. We can't just knock the boat apart. The screws have to be carefully removed, or the wood is destroyed during removal.

    Can anyone suggest methods to deconstruct the hull? At this rate it will take as much work to salvage the wood as it did to build the hull! I have gained a new respect for the craftsmanship of these boats. This is a mahogany tank!

    Otherwise I'm not sure it makes sense to salvage the wood. I do want to save as much of the boat from the bonfire as possible, but it doesn't look good...

    Side note: the family tells me of the "other boat". It was bigger but closer to the house. It was such a harsh winter two/three years ago they went after it with a sawzall - fed it to their wood stoves bit by bit. :-(

    Any suggestions are appreciated.

    ß!
     
  2. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    What are you intending to do with the salvaged timber ?
     
  3. CBRent524
    Joined: Sep 2017
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    Location: Portsmouth, New Hampshire

    CBRent524 Junior Member

    In a perfect world I'd be able to salvage enough mahogany to build a 18 foot runabout. I thought I'd be able to rip it down to 4" or 6" wide and plane it down to remove imperfections. I don't know if this is feasible at this point.

    We will spend one more day trying to harvest wood from the hull. The leading plan is to use a dowel cutter. The dowel cutter will go around the head of the screw. If that works my timber will have a thousand plugs in it...

    I did take a punky piece to the cabinetry shop. I hacked off the rotten area. Then ran it thru the band saw and planer (yes, triple checked for hardware). I swiped it with a few grades of sandpaper then wiped a coat of 5 minute epoxy on it. The result is beautiful. It's a shame to see it go to waste. I'm not sure it makes sense at this point.

    ß!
     
  4. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Removing screws that are that old is never going to be easy, but a common practice is to hammer the screwdriver hard once installed in the screw slot. If that doesn't work, hammer again, and try to turn the screw in the direction of tightening, before trying to remove it.
     
  5. CBRent524
    Joined: Sep 2017
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    Location: Portsmouth, New Hampshire

    CBRent524 Junior Member

    I will give it a shot. It makes sense. The screws are soft copper. So, we can seat the tool better/deeper and extract it.

    Thanks!
     
  6. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    CBR it is a shame to let a lot of good mahogany be wasted to the camp fire. I do hope that you are able to salvage a few bits of it for old times sake if for no other reason.

    This southern gentleman has fond memories of Lake Winnipesaukee. That was the place where I first fell in love with my much revered, now deceased, wife, in 1954. I/we discovered that we were kindred spirits one pleasant evening when we were moving along quietly in a rented rowboat on that lake.
     
  7. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The fasteners aren't likely copper, but "de-zinced" bronze after a long life with stray electrical currents. They're a pain to remove, but the best tool is a bolt extractor. Use a sharp bit and center the pilot hole well, so it doesn't break on removal.

    All wood can be salvaged, but there comes a point of cost effectiveness, even if the wood and labor are free. Hour many dozens of hours, broken drill and extractor bits can you afford, not to mention refacing, refinishing, etc.?
     
  8. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Haha....the cursing would set in pretty quickly trying to use screw extractors on screws of slender proportions, I would give up before lunch I suspect. :(
     

  9. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I routinely remove #10 and #8 fasteners with extractors. Yes, it's a fiddly bit of work, but you can setup a system to make it easier. I use two drills, one with a bit, the other with an impact driver with fastener head tip. I first smack the fastener head on the end of a screwdriver and try to turn it out. 90% of the time, this doesn't work and the head strips out or the screw just spins. I try not to get too greedy with this part, so I can save the fastener. Next, I try the impact driver on it, assuming there's enough slot or cross (or whatever) left to work with. This works fairly well on good fasteners, but on well corroded ones, not so much. Lastly after testing a few, I'll just assume I have to "extract" the lot, so I drill out as many as I can reach in one sitting, then start with the extractor. I twist it in and use a vice grip on it to break it free and start the process. Once I get a few good turns on it, they're usually ready to come out with little more than hand pressure on a nut driver than fits the back of the extractor.
     
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