Unique vintage boat rat rod project / drivetrain

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by hotrodin57, May 10, 2015.

  1. hotrodin57
    Joined: May 2015
    Posts: 14
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Wisconsin

    hotrodin57 Junior Member

    I just recently purchase this very unique boat I found and I'm very excited about it. I'm really new to the whole boat thing as I'm mostly an old car guy. The minute I saw this I knew I had to have it as its a little of both. Anyways now I have the challenge ahead of me to get this thing back into the water. I thought I'd post it here and see what you guys thought about it and what type of drivetrain I should use. I'd like to keep it as small and compact as possible so to not consume a ton room in the boat. Initially I'm thinking some sort of small engine with a v-drive unit so to keep engine to back as much as possible. I'm really digging the patina of the boat so I'm thinking of making it a Rat Rod boat so with that in mind I want to keep the budget reasonable. Not looking to make it a speed boat more just a cruiser so don't need nothing to crazy. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
    Posts: 7,769
    Likes: 274, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 702
    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    It all depends on the state of the bottom and how much rusting has set in, in the underwater part. The old car certainly blended into the boat !
     
  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 472, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Well, that's a convolution. She appears to be a 18' sailboat hull, possibly a motor launch, with an early 40's Chevy crafted on.

    About the patina, well, if you don't want it to leak and get your socks wet, you'll have to do a faux patina, over a sound, repaired hull at the least.

    As to the engine, well just about anything will do. The boat's not designed to go fast, so get use to 6 MPH, because this is about what it'll do wide open. A 20 HP garden tractor engine will do, but the engine will need to be uncovered, unless it's marinized (prevents the damn thing from going boom, when you'd prefer it didn't). To get a better idea of an engine/transmission size, you'll need to weigh the puppy. Less than 4,000 pounds (full up, you, crew, engine, fuel, Fidel the wonder dog and a cooler full of beer, etc.) and the 20 HP will do fine.

    I'd go another route, possibly ghost flames or maybe an old bubble gum ball and a police car paint job.
     
  4. hotrodin57
    Joined: May 2015
    Posts: 14
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Wisconsin

    hotrodin57 Junior Member

    Yeah I think you are right on about it being 18' with a 40's body on top. Someone spent quite a bit of time piecing this thing together as its riveted entirely. The story I was told about it is that it was used as an old ferry boat for school children back in its day between an island off of Wisconsin shore.

    As for the body work I got that covered as I'm a metal fabricator and have done body work on old cars before so no problem there. I actually thought the same thing about making it to look like an old cop car as that was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw it. Still on the fence as where the design will go. Rat rod boat would also be different as I have never seen anything like that as well.

    I was told the same thing about it from another guy about it not being built to handle much for speed. With that in mind I just want to make it a cruiser. I think people will really get a kick out of it if I just get the thing back out in the water.

    If I were to go with a small engine like you mention what would you think would work best for a transmission? I need something small and compact and sized correctly to the engine. This is my biggest obstacle right now
     
  5. hotrodin57
    Joined: May 2015
    Posts: 14
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Wisconsin

    hotrodin57 Junior Member

    Most of the rust is just surface rust. There is one hole in the bottom but it can be easily fixed. I'm a metal fabricator by trade so any sort of body work and metal fabrication needed to be done will be no problem.

    My biggest challenge is sourcing a suitable drivetrain that will work with overhauling the entire boat. I prefer not to manipulate the boat much if possible. I want to keep the original look as much as possible
     
  6. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 13,621
    Likes: 383, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    That looks like a good candidate for a 20HP motor or so. There are plenty of used ones that came from sailboats. For example small diesels like Yanmars, Universal, Westerbeke or gas Atomic 4.
     
  7. WindRaf
    Joined: Oct 2014
    Posts: 343
    Likes: 5, Points: 0
    Location: Italy

    WindRaf Senior Member

    It 'a particular boat, but beautiful.
    It deserves a restoration well done.
    my tip

    -Search someone who has an ultrasonic thickness gauges
    -replace sheets damaged, if necessary
    -then blasting complete
    -then axis line as the original
    -for the power of the engine should know the length and weight of the boat
     
  8. BMcF
    Joined: Mar 2007
    Posts: 967
    Likes: 45, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 361
    Location: Maryland

    BMcF Senior Member

    Well that is just plain too cool not to restore. Whoever built that did a very nice job.

    That engine bed is tiny....that boat might have had only a 5-10 HP single cylinder for propulsion.
     
  9. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
    Posts: 7,769
    Likes: 274, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 702
    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Putt-putt-putt-putt.......that sort of boat ! It occurs to me that saltwater would have killed it long ago.
     
  10. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 472, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Small transmissions are something I've struggled with over the years, but they're available, just depending on how much you want to spend.

    There's no doubt about the hull form being a displacement type, which simply means it can't go any faster than 6 MPH, even with a blown big block Chevy in it. It's a simple, probably fairly heavy (for it's size) boat, so the engine will need to be simple and as light as you can find. Again, 20 HP will do.

    A riveted hull means you'll need to insure the seams are truly sealed, which is a ***** to say the least. The first thing I'd do is seal the shaft log (and any other obviously leak points) and drop her in the water, just to see how bad it really is.
     
  11. hotrodin57
    Joined: May 2015
    Posts: 14
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Wisconsin

    hotrodin57 Junior Member

    What do you mean about the hull type being displacement and being restricted to only 6mph no matter what the engine type? Sorry I really new to the whole boat thing and want to really understand it more. Any insight would be great. Thanks!
     
  12. hotrodin57
    Joined: May 2015
    Posts: 14
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Wisconsin

    hotrodin57 Junior Member

    It actually in really good shape for its age. As you can see water does pool up in it so it doesn't leak as much as one would think. Anyways I'm a metal fabricator by trade so fixing the metal hull is no problem.

    I was told from previous owner that this boat possibly had a small single engine diesel at one point.

    With the small hull size I want to keep the engine small. Been toying with the idea of possibly using an old vw engine. I was originally thinking of getting something along the lines of 40-50hp but from my understanding the hull type really restricts its speed. Not to familiar with this as I'm quite new to the whole nautical thing
     
  13. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 13,621
    Likes: 383, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    40-50HP is way overpowered. You will burn twice the fuel to make about 5% more speed. 10-20HP is about the range for it. A one cylinder Yanmar is probably as small as you can get.
     
  14. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 13,621
    Likes: 383, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    If you generate more power, the bow wave will get larger and the boat will squat and create a large stern wave. The power will be dissipated on wave making rather than accelerating the boat.
     

  15. hotrodin57
    Joined: May 2015
    Posts: 14
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Wisconsin

    hotrodin57 Junior Member

    Thanks for the insight Gonzo. Learning quite a lot about boat design already
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.