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Great South Bay Scooter Rehab - The Work Resumes

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Great South Bay Scooter Rehab - The Work Resumes
All~

I wrestled with the title for this tale - which will be a long one....

I brought this boat back from Long Island last winter - almost a year to the day that I rolled it into my shop (shortly after rolling out a VanSant Sneakbox - another delinquent tale). A good friend wants me to get this Scooter back into serviceable condition - sort of a quick-and-dirty repair/rehab - NOT a museum quality restoration. (I happened to have an empty northbound boat trailer, so home it came.)

CLICK images to enlarge.



I do not recall the whole back story on this vessel. It has changed ownership numerous times, has been repaired previously, and - most important - got harmed grievously during a recent storm. I do not know whether it was Superstorm/Hurricane Sandy or another big tide event, but the boat was afloat beneath a dock as the tide rose. The dock framing seems to have exerted itself on the port coaming and broke some of the ribs and so collapsed the deck.

Here she is after a year enjoying the farm....yearning for a warm spot next to the stove. You'll have to admit: She hides well in the snow.



She finally got called for "intake" yesterday morning.



The tarp had kept moisture and varmints out of her for the past 12 months.



Although the swirly paint job is not traditional, I believe she was built before WW II. She is typical of Scooters built for open water "layout" gunning - for Broadbill. She would have been towed out and tended by a larger vessel. After batteries were outlawed in the 1930s, Great South Bay gunners shot from Scooters instead. Those made for this purpose were beamier than the early (true) Scooters. They did not need oars or sails and most did not have ice runners on their bottoms.



Although there is a towing eye right on the nose, I was surprised to see no fairleads on either end. Also, a round - not pointed - bow is unusual.



The rounded "fantail" hides the boat from incoming Broadbill - they do not see a traditional upright transom.



I stapled a cheap tarp taut to the decks (over a ridge pole) - because I knew most of the deck would either be cut away or ground and resurfaced.



The White Oak rubrails are a great addition. Open bay Scooters often bang up against the "mother ship" or other tender when switching gunners, et cetera.



This hollow down the midline of the foredeck shows a framing failure.



Tale continues in my REPLY



Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


Last edited by:

Steve Sanford: Aug 22, 2020, 6:38 AM
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Re: Great South Bay Scooter Rehab - Can this vessel be saved? In reply to
Episode 1, Scene II

The stern needs lots of attention. This is one one the few spots where I have found a break in the 'glass skin.




With 67 acres, you might think I could store this vessel where it would not be hit by my tractor bucket when fetching firewood.....ssssiiggghhh.....

Of course, it's my trailer. (Luckily, Santa Claus brought me a new taillight.)



Once I rolled her into the shop - right after I installed the new taillight and the 2018 license plate sticker - the first job was to lift the boat off the trailer. So, I made up a pair of blocks to screw (temporarily) to the bow and stern.



The chain hoists make the job easy - and allow my back to keeping working for duck seasons to come.



The floor and the saw horses are dead-level - which helps with jobs like this.



The stern is decidedly NOT dead-level. Which is why I pondered over the title of this tale. Twisted Sister? Wild Torque-y? Richard III ?



The aft coaming is very close to level. (Like most of my gunning partners - just a half-bubble off....)



I could not wrestle the coaming back into its original position. But, you can see the collapsed/crushed port deck area.



In any event, the coaming is not long for this world. The Sawzall awaits off-camera.....



The demolition was not surgically precise - because I did not need to save any of the framing around the cockpit.



Tale continues in my REPLY


Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: Great South Bay Scooter Rehab - Can this vessel be saved? In reply to
Episode 1, Scene III

Close inspection revealed all traditional construction - prior to earlier repairs. The hull is batten-seam White Cedar planking over White Oak frames. Because the hull sections are so flat, I imagine no steaming was needed during construction. Many of the frames have been "sistered" - and many of the originals are now either punky or missing altogether.

The deck is carvel-planked White Cedar over bent (aka steamed) White Oak frames (ribs).



Many of the deck frames were sheathed with 'glass during an earlier repair. The deck planking is quarter-inch thick (or thin?). Before this vessel was 'glassed, the decks were probably covered with painted canvas.

The white-painted longitudinals serve as keelsons (although not over the keel) - to stiffen the hull lengthwise. They are not original.



This is the view forward - beneath the long foredeck.



After a bit of vacuuming you can more clearly see the battens that were clench-nailed over each hull seam. The battens are quarter-inch thick. I do not yet know how thick the hull planking is - but 3/8-inch is likely.



A thorough vacuuming up forward will wait until I make a new floorboard - so I do not have to lay on all those frames. A week or so next to the stove should dry everything out.




Some quick measurements show the twist - about 18 inches forward of the stern. The number is height above the shop floor.



I will have to devise a way to reduce that 1-5/8 inch "delta" to zero....



The patient is resting comfortably. Now I need some time to "dope it out" - and figure out how to meet the many challenges.....



The tale continues - when I have the time.

All the best,

SJS






Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: Great South Bay Scooter Rehab - Can this vessel be saved? In reply to
keep them coming

these are always educational and fun to see




"Just because the man does not offer you a drink Hastings, does not mean he is automatically guilty of other crimes" Agatha Christie's Poirot
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Re: Great South Bay Scooter Rehab - Can this vessel be saved? In reply to
Steve, that scooter looks like a great project. Here’s a photo of one we did at LIMM last fall, a Wilbur Corwin.



Great South Bay
West Sayville, N Y

Last edited by:

Tom Whitehurst: Jan 11, 2018, 5:08 AM
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Re: Great South Bay Scooter Rehab - Can this vessel be saved? In reply to
Good morning, Tom~

Excellent!

Interesting features: double-ended and mast partners inside the cockpit.

All the best,

SJS

Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: Great South Bay Scooter Rehab - Can this vessel be saved? In reply to
 Steve, I'm glad you take the time to walk us through your projects. I'm in awe of your boat building tallent, I can't cut a 2x4 straight. I'm looking forward to more posts on this and other projects of yours. Thanks Mike





Oxford, CT
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Re: Great South Bay Scooter Rehab - Can this vessel be saved? In reply to
The neat thing is when they we pulled it down from the exhibit the cover was on it. Inside were the spars and sails and a pike pole still there for over 50 years.


Great South Bay
West Sayville, N Y
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Re: Great South Bay Scooter Rehab - Can this vessel be saved? In reply to
Ironic, I contacted LIMM last year asking for details for a hunting scooter sail rig. Spoke with Arlene I think.... anyway she said they did not have one and could not offer any details. Tom, can you get pictures and dimensions?

Dave Diefenderfer
Manassas, VA

"Once you set out to build a boat, throw away your square. And if you work on her after she's launched, throw away your level." author unknown

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Re: Great South Bay Scooter Rehab - Can this vessel be saved? In reply to
Dave - I just posted a new thread regarding scooters and It might take a few days but I will try and get you the info. Regards Tom


Great South Bay
West Sayville, N Y
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Re: Great South Bay Scooter Rehab - Can this vessel be saved? In reply to
Good morning, All~


Tempus fugit.....or....the years just flowed by, like a broken down dam.....


I hauled this vessel north in 2017 - and have put it aside for many other boats and decoys (and houses and camps) in the intervening seasons. Nevertheless, she is now on the horses in the shop and has been getting (sporadic) attention over the last couple of weeks.


I have kept her dry and level - and upgraded the tarp and its frame.


[CLICK any image to enlarge]







Once back inside, I could safely remove the staples and ridgepole/strongback.






She is just shy of 14 feet LOA.






Her 5-foot beam makes her a stable shooting platform. With almost no shape to her bottom - little rocker or deadrise - I'll bet she's a bear to tow, however







I had removed her coamings and rubrails last time she was inside.






The foredeck cleat has been removed - and will get replaced later in the process. The "corrugated" deck is the result of 'glass over traditional carvel construction. The individual planks continue to shrink and swell with changes in moisture content. That bit of character will remain untouched.






I will reshape the cockpit completely. The existing - which I doubt was original - was too wide and too tall.







Just by intuition, I am also moving the cockpit forward about 6 or 8 inches.







The foot of the cockpit will get narrowed considerably.






Next - trying to get the twist out of her stern.....


SJS



Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


Last edited by:

Steve Sanford: Aug 24, 2020, 2:22 AM
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Re: Great South Bay Scooter Rehab - Can this vessel be saved? In reply to
I opened the forward end of the cockpit - with my new friend - the little left-handed skilsaw.









I next began solving The Riddle of the Twisted Fantail with my electric plane - exposing the ends of the deck and bottom planks and the framing. The plane is cleaner than a grinder - and this task was done inside the shop.






Another view of the challenge.....






My approach is to build a "cage" around the entire stern and force it back closer to its intended shape. I began by scribing the deck contour - dropping perpendicular measurements every 4 inches. This needs to be just an approximate fit - no cigarette papers needed to check my work.....







I used 2x4s to build a rugged frame.






I tacked a temporary spine onto the afterdeck to help keep the cage in place and (more or less) plumb.







Now to begin the twist.....


The boat is held to the sawhorse with a ratchet strap - but a sharp eye will notice that the horse is slightly airborne.







The starboard side is now lifted by the 1.5-inch thickness of a 2x4.






I will do no more on the stern until I have installed new bulkheads to lock in the shape of the deck and hull.


Stay tuned.....


SJS







Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: Great South Bay Scooter Rehab - Can this vessel be saved? In reply to
Fitting bulkheads into an existing boat - especially a decked-over vessel - requires lots of careful measuring....


I began by jacking up the foredeck - being careful to distribute the forces over some temporary blocking so as to avoid creating any hard spots. I gained about 1.5 inches in the crown here - and believe I have restored the original shape.







The reference board extends across the hull - and is marked every 2 inches.






I then use a perpendicular - but pointed - stick (paint stirrer) to measure up from the upper edge of the reference board.






One side of the stick gets marked with the port measurements, the other gets the starboard measurements.






These measurements are transferred directly onto the 1/2-inch plywood that will become the bulkhead. A smarter builder would use pattern stock instead.....







4-penny finishing nails are tacked every third or so point along the deck curve - enough to create a satisfying curve.






A springy batten - ripped from PVC lumber in this case - is clamped to each finishing nail.






I circled each of the measurements that were the same - i.e., symmetrical - port and starboard. I was pleasantly surprised to see how this boat had kept here shape over the many decades.







Here everything has been measured and marked.






Continued....


SJS



Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: Great South Bay Scooter Rehab - Can this vessel be saved? In reply to
I like your method of raising the deck. If I was keeping the deck on the Sneakbox that would have given it some crown. The lack of structure precluded a simple fix.

Joe
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Re: Great South Bay Scooter Rehab - Can this vessel be saved? In reply to
Steve- I'm glad to see that you started this project and I'll be closely watching This one.


Great South Bay
West Sayville, N Y
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Re: Great South Bay Scooter Rehab - Can this vessel be saved? In reply to
Good morning, Tom et al ~


Work continues - if painstakingly slowly...


Actually, this is the kind of restoration work I enjoy the most. I have a clear idea of where I need to go - but I am just a little uncertain as the best way to get there. My Dad always called the thinking/problem-solving process "doping it out". So, I proceed carefully, never having dealt with such a misshapen vessel. More than once it has occurred to me that building a new Scooter from scratch would be easier and quicker....


In any event, I completed the forward bulkhead. Although I'm sure the original had no bulkheads - and probably not even struts to support the deck - the exceptionally beamy, pancake-like shape needs some helps after her 70 or so years.







I had to make it in 2 halves in order to get it into place past existing frames. The starboard half will be fastened first and so has Mahogany cleats that extend over to the port side - for later fastening. The half-inch plywood will get sealed with epoxy (later this morning, I hope) prior to installation.







The next job is to lay out the cockpit framing so I can fit the aft bulkhead - and later 2 pair of quarter-knees. I began by measuring the angle of the deck crown at the cockpit opening so I could bevel the cockpit purlins (the longitudinal frames on either side of the new, narrower cockpit). The rubber bands and level allow me to find plumb.







I beveled the temporary deck chocks, too, to hold the purlins during the design/layout phase.






Before measuring for the aft bulkhead, I needed to force the aft saw horse down onto the floor. These 2x4 struts were tacked to the horse but just held to the ceiling by friction.






All 4 "hooves" are now firmly on the shop floor.






Here the forward bulkhead is temporarily in place and the purlins are held down by the ratchet strap - which mostly keeps the hull tight and level on the forward sawhorse.






This stretcher establishes the 'midships cockpit width at about 28 inches. The cockpit will be about 24 inches wide at its head, 28 in the middle and 18 at its foot. Such cockpit shapes are MUCH more work than rectangular cockpits - but the end result is pleasing to this traditionalist's eye.....






I will have to scarf in some quarter-inch plywood to bring the decks up to the new cockpit opening. So, I began by sawing a straight edge to which I can attach the new decking. I beveled the edge to create more glue-bearing surface. This picture shows, too, that I have spent quite a bit of time cleaning up beneath the decks - removing non-functioning frames and any exposed fasteners (screws and tacks).







Just a few more photos on the following post.


SJS



Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: Great South Bay Scooter Rehab - Can this vessel be saved? In reply to
I also needed to square up the aft end of the cockpit opening. I decided to extend the opening aft about 2 inches so I could remove the existing deck frames.







I am hoping this will give me enough flexibility in the stern deck to force it back to a shape that is both closer to original and that is symmetrical.








I used pattern stock (1/4-inch underlayment plywood) this time. I measured the starboard side because it looks about right. The port side is obviously distorted and needs to be pulled back into shape.


BTW: The floorboard (duckboard) has been cut to size and shape but is just temporary at this point. It makes working inside the hull much more comfortable than settling my old body across the many floor frames. Ultimately, it will be held in place with a wooden cleat up forward and a turn-button aft. I will not be sure I can keep it as a 1-piece board until the cockpit opening is completed - because I need to be able to get the board in and out of the vessel.







Back to the shop - by way of the kitchen...having friends for dinner tonight.


All the best,


SJS


Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: Great South Bay Scooter Rehab - Can this vessel be saved? In reply to
Very interesting, Steve. Thank you for sharing this. I know what you mean about building new being faster than a restoration. I've had the same experience with wood and canvas canoes. You think "I'll get this little rehab done before I finish the new boat that's being planked up". The new boat was in service for a year before the WC was done.

Thanks,
Jim
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Re: Great South Bay Scooter Rehab - Can this vessel be saved? In reply to
I'm drafting the backstory of this vessel. Thanks Cap for tackling this important project.
Mc
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Re: Great South Bay Scooter Rehab - Can this vessel be saved? In reply to
Good morning, Paul~


Glad to hear about the back story. As you craft your words, please conjure up a moniker for this vessel.


All the best,


SJS
Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: Great South Bay Scooter Rehab - Can this vessel be saved? In reply to
I wish I had the years straight but I'd say it was around 2000 I was driving aimlessly around a well-to-do neighborhood on Long Islands South Shore and my eye caught the tell tale contour of a duck boat; three of them. I knocked on the door to discuss them and a very forward and pleasant woman answered the door while on the house phone (one with a LONG spiral cord) and never stopped talking while waving me into the house with one of those like circular waving gestures "come on in!" I awkwardly entered the home and stood still waiting, not knowing why she'd invite a stranger into the house like that. She finished her conversation and hung up and then addressed me, thinking that I must be one of her son's friends being about the same age. I explained that I was not, but that I was interested in the duck boats. She didn't seem to care at all that I was now in her kitchen and pleasantly wrote down her husbands number and name and I thanked her and left.

I arranged to meet and ended up with two of the three boats, one of them was a flat bottom, square stern, pointed bow "two man" that we repaired and brought that boat to use on West Island, a small Island in the GSB just North of Kismet, Fire Island; the other is the one that is with Steve. I did some light repairs and immediately put the boat into service. We hunted the boat regularly, it became my preferred vessel. I'd pole it a 1/2 mile at times and rig out for brant and bufflehead, or trailer it to other areas for Bills.

There was a pencil dock near my house where I kept it. One day there was a classic Long Island Fall storm that drove rolling surf down the canal, filled it with water and it sunk in 3' of water. The wind drove it under the floating dock, the tide went out and the dock crushed it. I was able to get it out on the next high tide, I flipped it to dry and that's where it sat until the Boat Whisperer was able to bring it to Pencil Brook Rehabilitation Center.

More to Follow......
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Re: Great South Bay Scooter Rehab - Can this vessel be saved? In reply to
Aaaaaahhhh.....


This makes more sense. I thought she had simply been trapped beneath a dock with a rising storm tide. The weight of a dock crushing it better explains the distortion.


Back to the shop.....


SJS
Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: Great South Bay Scooter Rehab - Can this vessel be saved? In reply to
Good morning, All~


Progress continues - on all of the most challenging jobs in this resurrection.


After a thorough cleaning of the interior, I sealed the main "bay" of the floor/hull with epoxy - then painted with an epoxy bilge paint. The old Cedar planking and Oak frames would otherwise soak up lots of bilge water during future hunts.







This temporary aft bulkhead allows me to check measurements AND test whether I can install the finished bulkhead in a single piece. I bored the 2 finger holes so I could remove it easily later in the process.









This temporary stretcher establishes the widest point of the cockpit at 27 inches - inside measurement. The 2 little struts ensure the same height off the bottom.







The cockpit and side decks will be supported by 2 pairs of quarter knees. They will also support shelves on each side of the cockpit - for the usual shells, gloves, lights, thermoses.... I am using 1/4-inch underlayment plywood as pattern stock.







The knees are more or less symmetrical port and starboard - so a single pattern is the basis for both sides. Nevertheless, each finished knee will require some fine tuning.






As long as I was mixing up a batch of epoxy - to glue the laminated knees and aft bulkhead - I sealed the bottom of the future floorboard. This is actually the second coat.






I will not paint the underside - but did wash off the epoxy's "amine blush" with plain water.






The quarter knees and aft bulkhead were glued up with straight epoxy.







Instead of conventional clamps, I used several deck screws on each to provide clamping pressure during the cure. Each piece was sawn oversize - and I aligned only the bottom edges during clamping.







The patterns provide the cut lines.






Continued in next post.....(reached the max image limit)



SJS



Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: Great South Bay Scooter Rehab - Can this vessel be saved? In reply to
The bulkheads and knees continue....


After removing the deck screws, the band saw cut to the pencil lines.






After sanding the lower edge - mostly with my belt sander - I rounded over the exposed edges on the router table.






Here is the finished aft bulkhead - dry-fitted. I discovered during this process that the hull is less symmetrical than I had thought/hoped. The port "keelson" (not original to the vessel) is at least a half-inch closer to the centerline than is the starboard keelson. That discovery required a bit of Plan B.....






I began finishing the quarter knees by truing up each vertical inside edge on the radial arm saw.







The patterns were used next.






Here are all 4 - with lots of fine tuning in their future. The 4-inch holes with allow for storage of long stuff - a flag or pick-up stick maybe - above the shelves.






Before fitting each quarter knee, I needed to check symmetry one last time. The hole bored through the stretcher - and a taut sytring - showed me that the port coaming was off by about 3/16".






So, I tacked a piece of plywood to the deck to force it back toward the centerline. The cockpit will be fully established when I install the quarter knees and then fasten the purlins to the bulkheads and knees.






Another view. Note that the purlins are both temporary at this point AND upside down. I am using them for design purposes now. When installed, each purlin will be flipped rightside up and swapped from port to starboard and vicey-versey....and cut to final length.







The next step is carefully shaping the 8 lodging knees that will help to fasten the purlins in place.


SJS





Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: Great South Bay Scooter Rehab - Can this vessel be saved? In reply to
The lodging knees.


Maybe the term "lodging knees" is a bit pretentious (Pretentious ? Moi ???) on a such small craft. Perhaps simply "glue blocks" is more apt. I will defer to Jim Cricket.


Nevertheless, these are very important structural components and require very careful measurement and crafting. The face that lands on the bulkhead is square - but the face that lands on the purlin requires The Dreaded Compound Bevel....


I used 1-inch Mahogany so it will hold a screw securely. Note the grain running at about a 45 on each bearing surface.







I used polyurethane (Gorilla) glue and bugle-head s/s screws to fasten from the back of each bulkhead.






Here is the aft bulkhead with both lodging knees attached. The whole structure next gets sealed with epoxy.






All the best,


SJS











Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com