Windswept/My Sweetie - a 23 foot Hacker Craft
Owner/Driver - Bob Angelica
Windswept is the first wooden motorboat, or for
that matter motorboat of any kind, that my wife Eileen and I have ever
owned. We were sailors. We owned a 34’ Bermuda rigged sloop that we
sailed on the Long Island Sound and to points East. We first visited
Lake Winnipesaukee in the summer of 2008 and fell in love with the
place. That October we bought a home in Moultonborough on a small cove,
too shallow for a sailboat. We decided instead to buy a motorboat, a
stink pot as our sailor friends would say. We were left a little
cold by all the modern boat designs we saw. Then, while surfing the Web,
we saw an advertisement for Windswept. We were taken by her
classic lines. She reminded us, in her own way, of the Sparkman and
Stephens wooden sailboats we had always admired on the Sound.
Windswept is a modern (2001) reproduction of a circa 1930 Hacker
Craft runabout. Her only nod to modernity (above the waterline) is the
elimination of the third cockpit, the movement aft of the engine
compartment and the enlargement of the second cockpit, very practical
with our grandchildren. We had a great first season motoring all over
beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee with Windswept. Near the end of the
season though, we learned the hard way about the risks to navigation
presented by all those rocks in the Moultonborough area. Nothing major,
and thanks to some great work by Bill John and Donnie McLean, Windswept
is now running better than ever!!!
In 2001, Windswept was shipped from the Hacker Craft factory on
Lake George, NY to Norm Gavin on Lake Sunapee, NH where the boat was
run for several years. Then is the spring of 2009, the boat was
acquired by Bob Angelica and was hauled to the Vintage Race Boat
Shop for a thorough survey and spring commissioning. The US Marine
Power motor fired right up and the boat ran fine on our sea trials,
but there was a slight vibration in the drive train. The boat
came with a brand new 4-blade prop but the drive shaft was bent and
was causing the vibration. After several discussions, we decided to
run the boat for the summer and replace the bent drive shaft in the fall. The last photo below shows
Windswept, as delivered to Bob Angelica at his summer home in
Green's Basin on beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee.
Windswept ran well during the summer of 2009. But in the fall
the rain was scarce, the lake was low and Windswept struck a
rock on the last cruise of the season. Oh well, we were going to
replace the drive shaft anyway, so in the fall of 2009 we hauled
Windswept back to the shop for repairs. We then removed the prop,
drive shaft, rudder, and strut and ordered replace parts from
Hacker Craft. Then we waited, and waited, and waited for
the replacement parts.
But the replacement parts never came, so we hauled
Windswept to Steve Rolling for a a new custom fit Sunbrella
cover, then we hauled the boat to winter storage.
In the spring of 2010, we picked up Windswept from winter
storage and hauled back to the shop for the driveline repairs. We had a friend
bend/straighten the strut and rudder, ordered a new drive
shaft with machined coupler from
H&H Propeller in Salem, MA
and a new 15x18 4-blade prop from
Accutech in Dover, NH.
On projects like this, it's all about sourcing the special parts.
took a lot of time to reinstall the running gear and properly
aligned the motor, because we wanted to make sure that Windswept
would run smoothly, without any driveline vibration. We also
changed the oil, filters, spark plugs and filled the gas tank
with Sunoco 93 octane rocket fuel. Then on 6/12/2010 we were
ready for launching ceremonies and sea trials. The motor fired right
up and the boat ran very well and very smooth. We were
happy after all the hard work.
Then on Monday 6/14/2010 we
hauled Windswept to deliver to Bob Angelica at the Lee's
Mills launching ramp, very near his summer home on Green's
Basin. Bob jumped right in and drove Windswept home, for
another season of many boat rides and summer fun on
beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee !!!
Windswept video - let it
load & crank it up!!!
After several seasons of use, in the fall of 2010 we
hauled Windswept back to the shop for fresh varnish,
bottom detailing and fresh paint, and a transom name change
in gold leaf lettering to My Sweetie.
The first step was to replace all the trailer wheel
bearings, then we hoisted Windswept off the trailer and
setup for work on cinder blocks.
While still recuperating from the sanding, detailing and
bottom painting on Lollypop,
we started this refinishing project on the much easier topsides.
First, the deck was sanded with 320 grit paper followed by
Scotchbrite Pads. We got it real smooth, but found one required
Then it was time to repair the wood around the aft lifting
post, where the lifting ring had been screwed down way to
tightly and actually caused surface cracks in the mahogany king
the aft deck repair, we proceeded to sand the hull sides with
320 grit paper followed by Scotchbrite Pads. The next challenge
was to carefully remove the transom gold leaf lettering, without
burning through the aged stain underneath the gold leaf. This
was tricky and we took our time, starting by carefully block
sanding with 120 grit, then 220 grit, and then 320 grit followed
with Scotchbrite Pads. We were very pleased with our results,
and the photos below show the gold leaf lettering removed
without burning through the original, aged stain. The slight
discoloring left by the lettering will by diminished by several
coats of thick, amber tinted Epifanes varnish, before the new
gold leaf lettering is applied for - My Sweetie.
After many hours of sanding and many hours of prep, we
finally applied the first coat of thick, amber tinted Epifanes
varnish. Applied using our rolling & tipping method and
just a titch of retarder added to the varnish, allowed the
varnish to flow out evenly before it began to kick, and provided for a very
thick and and very even coat of varnish. But we still had three more coats to
go, sanding and faring the hull between each coat and getting the hull smoother and smoother with each
coat of thick, amber tinted Epifanes varnish. We just love the smell
of fresh varnish!!!
The transom got several more build coats of varnish before the new
gold leaf lettering was applied. The additional coats had now
built up the varnish thickness on the aggressively sanded area,
required to remove the previous gold leaf lettering. The only
thing you can see on the transom now is the reflection of our
shop toolboxes !!!
coat of varnish was allowed to cure for a week before sanding
for the next coat. The extra time makes the sanding much easier,
as the varnish is much harder and sands better. The many hours
of sanding and faring the hull between each coat gets the
hull smoother and smoother. And with each coat of thick, amber tinted Epifanes
varnish, the finish gets deeper and deeper.
One of our monthly planning meetings for the
Vintage Race Boat Regatta
Then it was time to review the first design for the
transom lettering. After many emails, Jerome did a mock up
of our first design and we had a design review meeting.
Jerome liked his design, nobody else did, but we thought it
Meanwhile, we sanded, prepped and applied the third coat of
thick, amber tinted Epifanes varnish.
And finally, our second transom
lettering design was
The next step was the name change.
After several meetings, much discussion, many designs, and many
emails, the correct lettering/font for 'My Sweetie" was finally
decided. Then Jerome from
JC Signs applied the transom lettering. The first
step was to properly position the lettering mask, and then apply the
mask/glue that holds the gold metal leaf. Next, the lettering
mask was removed and gold metal
leaf was applied to the mask/glue. Then the excess gold metal
leaf was brushed away and vacuumed clean.
Then Jerome applied his magic to the lettering by creating
the "engine turning" or swirling effect in the gold leaf. This
is done by hand with a special brush, and was allowed to dry overnight before a coat of varnish.
After a nice thick coat of varnish,
Jerome returned and outlined the lettering by hand, using black
paint to highlight the gold leaf lettering. Once the black paint
was allowed to dry overnight the varnish build coats continued,
to protect the gold leaf lettering and to deepen the glow under
the amber tint of the thick Epifanes varnish.
We were very pleased with the new
transom lettering. The results were well worth taking the
time, the many design revisions, the many emails and several
And the results after fours coats of varnish - absolutely
After 4 thick coats of Epifanes varnish, the white deck seams
were painted using a special striping wheel. Then we let the
varnish cure for a couple weeks, as we headed south for spring
break at Tavares, Florida for the CRA vintage regatta and the
Sunnyland ACBS boat show.
Tavares CRA Vintage
Regatta Photos by F.
Sunnyland ACBS Boat Show
spring break, we spent several days sanding and detailing the bottom
with as much care as the topsides, taking the time to do it
right. Starting with 120 grit paper and finishing with Scotchbrite Pads,
the bottom very smooth and were
impressed with the quality and condition of the hull.
Then two coats of Interlux Brightside Sea Green marine paint were
applied to the bottom using our rolling & tipping technique, just like
applying varnish. This is a very high quality marine paint with a Teflon
additive that flows out beautifully, making the bottom very smooth,
very slippery and very efficient.
Remember - if you wanna be fast,
you gotta be smooth !!!
Finally, it was time to tape and paint the white boot stripe.
We used the blue 3M #2080 making tape and took our time to make
sure the line was correct. This tape leaves a very crisp line
and can be left on the boat for months, and still pulls off with
a straight edge. We also used Pettit Boot Top White paint
applied with a one inch foam brush. Tough on the knees !!!
the varnish well cured, each piece of hardware was carefully polished and
mounted with the proper screws, all pointing the correct way.
This takes some time, but is perhaps the most rewarding part of
the project. Great therapy.
After several days of polishing and mounting hardware, it was
time for a photo opt.
We will be posting lots
more of our project
updates and photos, so please check back often and follow our
progress. The next
step is to improve the interior ventilation.
For locals, please join our:
Saturday Morning Gatherings
Monthly Fun Run &
Florida Vintage Race Boat Circuit
Some related vintage race
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