Race Boat Shop
Page 12 - Pulling the motor for a refresh and
refinishing the interior !!!
1946 Gar Wood, hull number 7115, modified
single aft cockpit,
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
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
was hauled back to our Wolfeboro shop for some TLC. The hull remained in excellent
shape after our
project over ten years ago. The edge-bonded seams still looked
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
Click here for the
story of Obsession !!!
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
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 !!!
Monthly Fun Run &
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
Update - Summer of 2015
As show on the
previous Webpage, our
summer project for 2014 was the complete refinishing of the
bottom, hull and deck and then we ran at all the fun events on
the Florida Vintage Race Boat Circuit. So now our 2015 summer
project is to pull the motor for another refresh and refinish
The first step was to hoist the boat off the trailer and lower
onto our shop dollies.
Then we rolled the boat into our air conditioned garage/shop to
prepare to pull the motor. First, the many screws on the hatch hinges were
removed, and then we removed the hatches to give us full and
easy access to the motor. Next, the throttle cable, fuel
line, water pump hose, exhaust pipes and electrical wiring were
disconnected followed by attaching the motor hoisting chains and
motor leveler. The motor was now ready to be hoisted out of the
Next, we rolled the boat back outside our shop and positioned
under our hoist. Then came the scary part, hoisting the motor up
high, rolling the boat back inside the shop, backing our shop
truck under the motor and finally lowering the motor into the
back of our truck. But all went well, and cause for much
celebration afterwards - Margaritas !!!
R&L Engines was our engine builder back in New Hampshire and had
done all of our previous motor work, including boring and
stroking our 454 cubic inch Chevy reverse rotation motor all the
way out to our current 510 cubic inch, 630 horsepower monster
motor. But we are now down here in Mount Dora, Florida so under
the advice of our mentor, Dave Nagel this time we took our
beloved motor to Muscle Machine in Eustis, Florida for another
refresh/rebuild. The teardown revealed that the block and all
the parts were good shape and that the motor only needed a valve
job and basic rebuild. This was very good news and cause for
more celebration - Margaritas !!!
While the motor was out of the boat, we remove the
floorboards for four fresh coats of Epifanes varnish. We
sanded between coats with 320 grit paper followed by Scotchbrite Pads
using our DeWalt 5 inch random orbital sander. The sander is
connected to a Fein vacuum system that provides for near
dustless sanding. After four coats of thick, amber tinted
Epifanes vanish we finally got a pretty much dust-free final coat
that just flowed out beautifully.
We also thoroughly cleaned the bilge and applied two fresh coats of
bilge paint. The photos below show the freshly painted
bilge and the heavily reinforce motor mount stringers. Also
notice the heavy aluminum bracing on both the back and front
motor mounts, built extra strong to hold the bored and stroked
510 cubic inch Chevy big block monster motor !!!
These photos of the bilge area under the rear cockpit
floorboards show the freshly painted bilge and the running gear.
Notice the shaft log, drip-less stuffing box and required APBA
shaft collar. Also notice the shifter detent assembly and the
T-handle assembly connected to the drag link that controls the
transom cavitation plate. Everything well thought out, built
real strong and well proven after many years of running on the
APBA vintage race boat circuit since 1992. Check out the link
below for our photo archives of vintage events.
Our Photo Archives
Bilge Cleaning Note: We have
tried all the expensive marine bilge cleaners but have found
Proctor & Gamble "Dawn" to be the best. And the best way
to keep a bilge nice and clean throughout the season is to
frequently squirt Dawn down into the bilge area, scrub
with a stiff toilet bowl brush, pour in couple of buckets of
fresh water into the bilge and then go for a nice boat ride.
This biodegradable Dawn detergent will slosh all around
the bilge dissolving all oil, grease and sludge deposits while
you enjoy a nice boat ride, running at different speeds. And
then while you idle back to the dock and level the boat, the
bilge pump will pump the biodegradable residue overboard. And
the bilge will also smell real nice !!!
We love varnishing, it is our
therapy, and by using thick, amber tinted Epifanes varnish,
we are actually fairing the surface with varnish, and with each
coat the surface gets smoother, darker and deeper. Again, lots of
hours but the results are always well worth the extra time
Follow these same steps for painting and
varnishing - the results are stunning !!!
Sand with 320 sanding paper
Sand with ScotchBrite Pads
Thorough vacuum in both directions
Final prep with tact cloth
Cut a West System 7" foam roller in half, slip
on a 3" roller handle
Use a quality "Jen" brand 4 inch foam brush
Add a titch of Epifanes Retarder to a fresh can of
Roll the varnish on a small section, in both
Wick the varnish with one light brush stroke, dry area into
Do not over work the varnish with the brush, the
Retarder will let it flow
When done, walk away, let the varnish flow out and
then cure overnight
Stain & Varnish - how we do it !!!
The interior refinishing
was finally completed and then we checked with Glen
Treadwell and Mark Fields at Muscle Machine on their
progress on the rebuild of our Chevy 510 cubic inch stroker
The motor assembly proceeded nicely
- these photos show the cam being degreed.
Once the motor was assembled, it was time for some Dyno work to
break in the rebuilt motor, set the timing, tune the new Holley 830 CFM
carburetor, and adjust the valves. We also had to order some
special parts and software for the Dyno setup because this is a
marine reverse rotation motor. But all worked fine and we made
several pulls on the motor, running up to 5,000 rpms. But the
motor was just beginning to come into the power curve, so we
changed the rev limiter chip and ran the motor up to 6,000 rpms
and we finally got what we wanted - over 600 horsepower and over
600 pounds of torque. We could have changed the carburetor jets
and increased the timing to get more out the our motor, but we
had enough power and wanted to run on 93 octane pump gas. Many
thanks to Glen and Mark at Muscle machine, these guys know their
Glen Treadwell & Mark Fields at Muscle Machine also
run several dragsters !!!
Meanwhile, back in our shop our beloved
Obsession waits for the new/rebuilt motor.
After all the fun, excitement and magical sounds of the Dyno
work, it was finally time to reinstall the marine exhaust
headers, transmission and cooling system. And then on October
29th we finally got the phone call that we were waiting for from
Glen Treadwell at Muscle Machine. Our motor was done and ready
for pickup. Unbelievable, our motor was done on schedule and
under budget. So we trucked over to Muscle Machine to pickup our
The next step was to hoist the motor out of our truck and roll
our beloved Obsession under the motor. Then we carefully lowered
the motor into the motor compartment, rolled the boat back into
our shop and completed the motor installation.
Once the motor installation was completed, it was time hoist the
boat back on the trailer and then trailer fire the motor to
ensure that all systems were working correctly. So we
trekked to the nearest Mobil station and filled the gas tank
with 93 Octane rocket fuel. Then we hauled to Gilbert Park here
in Mount Dora to trailer fire the motor. We backed the boat into
the water just far enough to ensure the water pickup was
fully submerged and then we started the motor. It fired right
up, the gauges were all working fine, the cooling water was
flowing nicely through the motor and the exhaust system, and it
sounded just awesome through those four inch side pipes !!!
So we thought we were ready to rock &
roll at our Tavares Fall Thunder Regatta. And then it happened.
After several minutes of running and everything seemed just
fine, we watched the oil pressure gauge drop from a nice steady
forty pounds down to very scary zero. Yup, the thrill of victory
to the agony of defeat in a matter of minutes. We shut the motor
down immediately and hauled the boat back to our shop. There we
found lots of oil in the bilge and spent the rest of the day
flushing the oil out of the bilge with lots of water and Liquid
Dawn with the bilge pump pumping the oily water out of the
bilge. We got the bilge squeaky clean but we also made quite a
mess of the driveway, and Gerri was not pleased !!!
What could have possibly gone wrong - the
motor ran fine on the Dyno at Muscle Machine ???
Well, after the motor was run successfully on the Dyno at Muscle
Machine, the motor was removed from the Dyno and the marine
cooling system, transmission and remote oil filter assembly were
installed. This included the remote oil filter adapter plate on
the block that connected the the hoses to the remote oil filter.
We suspected the massive oil leak was from the remote oil filter
adapter plate, so we hauled the boat back to Muscle Machine,
praying they could find and fix the oil leak without the need to
pull the motor out of the boat again.
Our prayers were answered within two hours, Glen and his gang
found and fixed the oil leak. As suspected it was that pesky
remote filter adaptor plate. So we hauled our beloved Obsession
back to Gilbert Park in Mount Dora for trailer firing and if all
systems checked out, sea trails around beautiful Lake Dora.
Everything went fine with no oil leaks, constant strong oil
pressure and lots of power. Many, many thanks to Glen Treadwell
and Mark Fields at Muscle Machine. These guys are the best and
are highly recommended.
Video - Crank It Up !!!
Tavares Fall Thunder
Regatta - November 13-15, 2015
Schedule & Participants
Florida Vintage Race Boat Circuit
In our Mount Dora shop
after another motor refresh and interior refinishing, Obsession
was available for sale to make room for our next reproduction
project - a 225 Ventnor hydroplane. Then on 12/9/2015 we
received a very generous offer that we could not refuse. The agent
flew down for inspection and sea trials on
12/18/2015 and made a final offer.
the sun came
out and the water was flat for our final inspection and sea trials with
Antique Boat America !!!
Video - Crank It Up !!!
After our successful sea trials, we
hauled our beloved Obsession back to winter storage.
But after 36 years
of ownership, countless ACBS Boat Shows, lots of fun running on
the APBA Vintage Race Boat Circuit and many, many fun boat
rides, we were having second thoughts.....
Well - we finally
did it, on 2/7/2016 we signed the papers, and then waited for the bank
transfer. Then on 2/18/2016 we got
the phone call from our local bank - money transfer received !!!
On March 20, 2016 our beloved Obsession was
picked up and hauled north to
Muskoka, Ontario and will be
for the new owner by our
friend Paul Brackley at
In the Spring of 2017,
our friend Paul Brackley at
applied new gold leaf lettering and more coats of
fresh varnish !!!
The End !!!
Page 1 -
The Story of Obsession
The Story of Gar Wood
Check our our next vintage/classic race boat - Schiada
For locals, please join our:
Saturday Morning Gatherings
Monthly Fun Run &
Florida Vintage Race Boat Circuit
Some related vintage race
Return to Our Beloved Vintage Wooden Boats
to Home Page - Vintage Race Boat Shop