G-18  Compulsion

Part 1 - Building the Hull


Compulsion - a reproduction based on a 1930's Gar Wood Speedster Design

Owner/Driver - Bob Mueller

First - some background:

During the spring and summer of 2006, the Vintage Race Boat Shop completed a reproduction of a Jersey Speed Skiff for Bob Mueller of Wolfeboro, NH. This reproduction was done in the spirit of the vintage with a mahogany wood deck and twin bench seats and looks like a Jersey Speed Skiff of the 1950's/60's. It is a legal CRA and APBA vintage boat and runs on the Vintage Race Boat Circuit. These boats are fun and safe to run, and with a stock warranted motor will run at the back of the pack, providing for years of fun and safe boat rides!!!


That was a fun project, the boat ran extremely well, and we wanted to do another reproduction project. Then a conversation and a handshake with our friend Bob Mueller lead to our next project, a vintage 21 foot gentleman’s racer Compulsion. The hull is an aft cockpit, Gar Wood Speedster speedster design, very similar to my beloved Obsession. In fact, we spent a lot of time measuring the lines of Obsession and made only a few modifications. This new hull was constructed of white oak frames with Honduras Mahogany planking, and powered by a 383 Chevy “stroker” motor. The bare hull and motor were transported to our Vintage Race Boat Shop in February, 2008 where work began on the project completion, and we ran the boat at the vintage regatta in Clayton, NY in August 2008. The Gar Wood deck hardware did not arrive from the chrome shop in time for Clayton, but we went anyway. Our new hull design ran very well, and the boat ran at the front of the pack all weekend long. We had a great time at Clayton, running lots of hot laps on the course, in fact there were 6 fast speedsters running at Clayton !!!

Clayton Vintage Regatta - 2008

Clayton Vintage Regatta - 2010


The project begins !!!


These photos were taken on 9/7/2007, on our first trek to the Fish Brothers for a project progress check. We were very impressed with the craftsmanship and the strength of the hull.










These photos were taken on our second trek to visit the Fish Brothers in Glens Falls, NY just south of Lake George. It's actually a very nice 3 1/2 hour scenic cruise from Wolfeboro, NH and on this second project progress check, the bottom was completed, "Compulsion" was now right side up and the framing was being completed. We spent a lot of time checking all the lines and all the details, to make sure the hull would have the "right look". We were very pleased ???!!!






Then on 10/29/2007 we got a magical email from the Fish Brothers: "Just a quick note to inform you that we have completed the bare hull you have contracted with us here at Fish Brother's Marine Service." Unbelievable, the bare hull was completed on-budget and two months ahead of schedule. Lots of phone calls followed about the 383 “stroker” motor that was being built by Larry’s Machine Shop in Stonington, Connecticut. They were behind schedule, but were focused and working hard the get the motor completed, dynoed, and ready for pickup. The following pictures were taken on our third trek to visit the Fish Brothers on 11/2/2007, to check the completed bare hull and to discuss the list of items still needed to finish our project. Their workmanship was just superb, and we were very pleased to personally see that indeed, the lines of our beloved "Obsession" had been successfully transferred and reborn in "Compulsion". This boat is absolute stunning ???!!!













On 12/12/2007 we trekked down to Larry's Machine Shop in Stonington, Connecticut to pick up the 383 Chevy stroker motor. Garry had the motor all prepped for pickup, all we had to do was to secure in the back of our truck and off we went to deliver the motor to the Fish Brothers in Corinth, New York.



Pete Fish and his Gang were ready for us when we arrived with the motor, and it only took a few minutes to hoist the 383 stroker motor from the back of our truck to his shop floor. We finally got a chance to remove all the packing stuff and admire the beautiful motor, complete with burgundy paint on the engine block and transmission, and powder coating on the heads, intake manifold and bell housing. It's always the "little things" that make a difference, so the next step for "Compulsion" was addition fitting out of the aft cockpit, flooring in the forward engine cockpit area, fore and aft bulkheads and lifting assemblies, custom fit cutwater, stainless steal rub rails, transom bands, and hatch trim.




After the 383 stroker motor was installed and all the little details were completed, the bare hull  was picked up from The Fish Brothers and transported to our Vintage Race Boat Shop on February 15, where the project would continue with stain/varnishing, bottom detailing, installation of bottom fin, cavitation plate assembly, cockpit/dash panel fitting out, steering, plumbing, wiring, upholstery and hardware.



We had quite a trek home,  passing through "white-out' snow squalls all the way. We went through snow, sleet, hail and brimstone, but we took our time, the new custom trailer with surge brakes hauled extremely well, and we made it safe and sound back to beautiful Wolfeboro.



Click here for Part 2 - Stain & Varnish Work

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