Including Special Shop Update!
April, 2008

Keels & Wheels May 1-4

The Thirteenth Annual "Keels & Wheels" Concours d' Elegance will be held once again on the beautiful grounds of Lakewood Yacht Club, 30 minutes south of Houston Texas. The 2008 Concours will benefit the Boys & Girls Harbor, Inc.

Again this year, WBA members will provide boat launch ramp support for the event. Those members interested in assisting with ramp duties should contact Robin McGeorge or Bob Van Guilder ASAP.

On display will be the very finest in automotive classics and exotics on the grass of the Yacht club grounds, covered with 100 year old oak trees which surround the beautiful palm tree lined inner harbor which holds the incredible variety of the most beautiful vintage wooden yachts, runabouts and sailing yachts.

In its twelfth year, the show displayed over 200 classic automobiles and 100 vintage wooden boats to an admiring crowd. The attendees come from virtually every corner of the U.S. and Europe to see this spectacular and unique display of automotive and marine classics and enjoy famous "Texas Hospitality". (See the source for this article.)

Shop Hops with Three Major Restorations!

At its founding, the WBA dubbed itself "a hands-on club." Never has this moniker been more appropriate. At the Club's shop facilities in Lucas, TX, three major restoration projects are underway simultaneously, stretching the skills and courage of our members. If you're interested in helping (and learning) contact any of these owners for a rendezvous at the Shop!

Troy Marshall's 1948 22' Hacker Triple

Beautiful new white oak for every frame. Don't miss Troy and Robin's presentation of their fact finding trip to Michigan at the April 17th meeting.

When Troy Marshall first saw his recent eBay purchase, he may not have fully appreciated the significance of the restoration that lay ahead. The noble 22' 1948 Hacker would require replacement of almost every stick of wood in her. Together with courageous and skillful Robin McGeorge, Troy forged ahead, creating new frames, chines, stem and keel, patterned on the old. Some of the original pieces were so damaged they couldn't serve as patterns, so Troy and Robin borrowed pieces from the good folks at Mahogany Bay in order to have correct patterns for their restoration. White oak frames, stem, keel and chines will support mahogany planks. Chine blank, seen at left resting on the keel, was kerf-joined and pegged to attain sufficient length. Next step is chiseling the complex stem and chine rabbets, requiring continuously changing depths and angles to accommodate planking.

Right: Robin McGeorge sands flush the pegs he's used to reinforce the epoxied kerf joint (below) in a chine blank for Troy's Hacker. The joint is stronger than the wood itself, ensuring a sturdy chine stem to stern. All framework is white oak.

Phil Wolff's 1952 18' Century Sea Maid

Phil Wolff isn't known for shying away from a project, thank goodness! His Century Sea Maid is bottoms up, bottom off, and undergoing major re-framing for a new bottom. The previous owner had acquired most of the lumber for a complete restoration, and that wood came with Phil's purchase of the boat.

Phil has already formed several new frames and is eyeing up the shaping of the new gripe he has procured. At right: He examines the shape and fit of the old gripe as he finalizes the forward frames. The old keel will serve as a pattern from the new one. Unlike Troy's boat, much of the original wood in Phil's boat will survive.

Richard Haug's 1962 19' Shepard Runabout

Innovation is the hallmark of Richard Haug's restoration of his 1962 19'Shepard Runabout. The robust craft was in need of a tight bottom, but rather than tearing out his old planking which was in good shape, Richard, with guidance from Robin McGeorge, routed out the joints between the planks, leaving gaps wide enough to fill with strips of mahogany, epoxied into place. This method creates a virtually solid wood bottom, free from traditional caulking and the gaps and leaking associated with it. The glued-strip method of filling seams is often used in boat restorations, particularly in the stabilization of the painted topsides of carvel-planked sailboats.

In the case of Richard's boat, the newly fused bottom will provide a stable base for a sheet of fiberglass to seal the bottom for good. Additional fairing has been done with a mixture of West System epoxy and microlight filler, providing an even, sandable, durable surface for the adhesion of the fiberglass.

Topside planking appears to be in good shape, but there's more work ahead on the decks and interior.

Haug Schools WBA on Dodge History at March Meeting

WBA Secretary Richard Haug presented a well-prepared history of the Dodge Brothers and Dodge's ventures in racing and recreational boat manufacturing. The firm, a next-generation spin-off of the Dodge Brothers' car company (which had been acquired by Chrysler), brought assembly line mass-production techniques to wooden boat building. Dodge Watercars competed with Chris-Craft and Gar Wood at the time, and left the world with some sleek and powerful designs, many of which survive today. Many thanks to Richard for his well-organized and informative talk!

Marshall, McGeorge to Present Mahogany Bay Trip April 17

Don't miss our next meeting on April 17th at the Midway Point restaurant at 635 LBJ and Midway. We'll begin the meeting promptly at 7. Troy Marshall and Robin McGeorge will report on their recent pilgrimage to Mahogany Bay in Michigan to gain knowledge for their restoration of Troy's Hacker Triple. Find out how well prepared our boys were for the winter weather, and ask them how exactly one drives across a lake in the wintertime. Our meetings also give everyone an opportunity to give input regarding the activities of the Club, and to enjoy fellowship with other members.

Join us for a light meal and moderate libation prior to the meeting. We'll gather at Midway Point at 5:30. See you there!

Please take a look in the shed or garage for the leftover parts or other saleable items you can donate to the club. Bring them to any WBA meeting, or contact David Kanally at for pickup.