Vintage Race Boat Shop


G-48  Obsession

Page 11 - Getting ready for the Florida Vintage Race Boat Circuit !!!

 

Owner/Driver - Bill John

1946 Gar Wood, hull number 7115, modified

Speedster design, single aft cockpit, 21 foot

Bottom modified to a shingled/stepped hydroplane

Honduras mahogany hull with Spanish cedar steps

Chevrolet 510 cubic inch marine stroker motor, 630 HP

Prop is a Menkens high rake 3-blade, 13x17 cupped

Tracked at 75 mph on GPS at the 2004 Detroit Gold Cup

Obsession video - let it load & crank it up!!!

After years of hard running on the vintage circuit and constant use on beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee, our beloved Obsession was hauled back to our Wolfeboro shop for some TLC. The hull remained in excellent shape after our Edge-Bonding project over ten years ago. The edge-bonded seams still looked fresh, but more importantly added great strength to the hull. All the mechanics and rigging were thoroughly checked out at our Wolfeboro shop, but the refinishing project would be done at our new home/shop in Mount Dora, Florida.

Click here for the story of Obsession !!!

         

         

         

         

 

New Location - Mount Dora, Florida !!!

 

During the last week of April 2014, we headed north from our new home in Mount Dora to close up our Wolfeboro shop and hauled all our tools and beloved Obsession down to our new home and shop in Mount Dora. It was sad, but it was also time to move on after ten years in our Wolfeboro shop, keeping both bays busy with many interesting and fun projects. Ten years of vintage race boat shop therapy, check out our many projects !!!

Our Vintage Boats

 

On May 27th we finally began work in our new Mount Dora shop. The first step was to test our new hoist setup to lift our beloved Obsession off the trailer onto dollies. We installed a large eye bolt through the garage door header to lift the aft of the boat and our hoist to lift the bow of the boat.

         

         

         

We lifted our beloved Obsession high off the trailer to clear the fin on the forward section of the hull. We took our time, letting the boat settle over the trailer for a while before we took the traumatic step of  removing the trailer. The next step was to lower the boat onto the dollies and then roll the boat into our new shop and setup for our refinishing project.

       

       

The first step was to remove the hatches and all the hardware, placing each piece in a plastic baggie with the mounts screws and labeling the mounting position. This boat has a lot of hardware, and took a full day. Good therapy !!!

       

       

       

       

Then the Mylar lettering on the hull sides was removed using a hair dryer and fingers, being carful not to pull the paint. This is a long and tedious process !!!

       

       

And then the sanding began !!!

We started with 320 grit paper on our DeWalt 5 inch random orbital sander. The sander is connected to a Fein vacuum system that provides for near dustless sanding. Obsession already has many, many coats of varnish over the years and this project will add four more. The boat has been well maintained through the years, and still has the stain that we applied during the restoration process, over 30 years ago. We are actually fairing the hull with varnish, and with each coat the surface gets smoother, darker and deeper. The first sanding is perhaps the most important, for the varnish is well cured and nice and hard for easy sanding. This is a chance to get the surface nice and smooth, before building up with four more coats of fresh Epifanes varnish. We use a lot of sandpaper and buy it by the case. We also sand between coats with 320 grit paper followed by Scotchbrite Pads for a very smooth and very deep finish that will dance in the sun !!!

Stain & Varnish

         

         

         

         

After many hours of sanding therapy, the next step was to thoroughly vacuum the surface.

       

       

After many hours of sanding and prep work, we finally applied the first coat of thick, amber tinted Epifanes varnish. Applied using our rolling & tipping method and just a titch of Epifanes 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 and fumes of fresh varnish !!!

         

         

     

While waiting for the first coat of varnish to cure, we sanded the hulls sides with 320 grit paper on our DeWalt 5 inch random orbital sander. The sander is connected to a Fein vacuum system that provides for near dustless sanding. We spent a full day sanding the hull sides, working the sander vertically and horizontally, getting the surface nice and smooth. After many years of hard running, this edge-bonded hull is still in excellent condition. Here is the link for our edge-bonding project !!!

  Edge-Bonding

         

       

After many hours of sanding and prep work, we finally applied the first coat of Epifanes #19 black enamel paint. We applied using our rolling & tipping method, allowing the paint to flow out evenly before it began to kick and providing for a very thick and and very even coat of paint. But we still had one more coat to go, sanding and faring the hull between each coat and getting the hull smoother and smoother with each coat of thick Epifanes paint. We have tried many kinds of high quality marine paints, but have found that for the topsides of our vintage wooden boats, the traditional Epifanes enamel paints to be the most durable and the high gloss of this paint is outstanding !!!

     

     

Then two coats of Interlux Brightside Sea Green marine paint were applied to the bottom using our rolling & tipping technique, just like applying varnish. We sanded between coats with Scotchbrite Pads. 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. We have tried many kinds of high quality marine paints, but have found that for the bottoms of our vintage wooden boats, the Interlux Brightside polyurethane paints, with a Teflon additive to be the most tenacious, smoothest and the most efficient bottom paint.

Remember - if you wanna be fast, you gotta be smooth !!!

         

After the first three coats of varnish, we sanded thoroughly again with 320 grit paper and then prepped for staining and darkening the covering boards. The boat has been well maintained through the years, and still has the stain that we applied during the restoration process, over 30 years ago. At that time, the covering boards were stained a dark walnut color, but over the years and many coats of thick Epifanes varnish later, the original dark walnut stain had turned a yellowish tint and needed to be darkened. We used a Minwax Polyshades dark stain that is made to be applied over previously stained/varnish surfaces. It darkens the color but still allows the wood grain to show though. After the stain was applied, we applied the fourth/final coat of Epifanes varnish.

         

After sanding, we taped the covering boards.

         

Then we applied the stain, using our rolling & tipping technique.

     

     

After the stain was allowed to dry overnight, we lightly sanded with Scotchbrite pads and then applied the fourth thick coat of Epifanes varnish. Will it flow out nice and smooth with minimal dust and be good enough for the "final" coat ???

 

Nope, the varnish gods were not smiling upon us. The fourth coat came out pretty good, but not good enough for the "final" coat. So as the saying goes, there is always one more coat in the can. What the hell, two more coats of thick, amber tinted Epifanes varnish are planned !!!

 

The fifth coat of varnish flowed out very nice and smooth with very little dust. So we only had to sand very lightly with Scotchbrite pads on our Dewalt sander to prepare for the sixth and final coat of Epifanes varnish.

          

The sixth and final coat of Epifanes varnish flowed out very nicely and we were very pleased with our results. We then let the varnish cure for a week before installing all the many pieces of hardware.

         

         

         

Perhaps the most rewarding part of the project was polishing and mounting each piece of beautiful Gar Wood chrome hardware. Each piece had been previously carefully removed, marked and packaged individually in Ziploc storage bags for safe keeping. Now each piece was hand polished with Mothers Chrome Polish and then carefully mounted with the correct screws. Wonderful therapy !!!

         

         

         

         

         

         

Then it was finally time to tape and paint the bootstripe.

     

     

Finally, our refinishing project was completed. So it was time to roll our beloved Obsession out of the shop, hoist back onto the trailer, fill the tank with fresh 93 octane rocket fuel and then trailer fire the monster 510 cubic inch stroker motor.

        

         

         

         

       

Our first event down here in Mount Dora, Florida was the 2014 November Monthly Fun Run & Gathering, followed by the Tavares Fall Thunder Vintage Race Boat Regatta. Our beloved Obsession was looking good and that 510 cubic inch stroker motor just purred in the warm Florida sunshine and the flat fresh water of Lake Dora !!!

Obsession Video

Obsession Video

Monthly Fun Run & Gathering

         

         

   


 

     

Then in the spring of 2015, it was time for a tune-up to prepare for the Tavares Spring Thunder Regatta. We did not skimp on parts and we installed the best, complete with an MSD Marine distributor cap and rotor, Autolite #63 spark plugs and a brand new 830 cfm Holley carburetor. After the parts were installed, we met our engine builder Leo from R&L Engines at the Tavares boat ramp to trailer-fire the motor, check the timing and adjust the new carburetor. All went well and we were ready to rock & roll at the Tavares Spring Thunder Regatta !!!

Fall Thunder Regatta Video  - Pete Boden

Spring Thunder Regatta Video - Pete Boden

Recap & Photos - Tavares Spring Thunder Regatta

Come on down and join us for all he fun. We got warm Florida sunshine, palm trees, flat water and Margaritas !!!

Florida Vintage Race Boat Circuit

Next project update - motor refresh & interior refinishing


For locals, please join our:

Saturday Morning Gatherings

Monthly Fun Run & Gathering

Florida Vintage Race Boat Circuit

Some related vintage race boat links:


Site Meter

Return to Our Beloved Vintage Wooden Boats

   

Return to Home Page - Vintage Race Boat Shop