Vintage Race Boat Shop
Part 2 - fresh varnish and a Chrysler Hemi rebuild
A 1930, 24 foot Chris Craft
Owned by Gary & Cyndy Kiedaisch
First, some background information:
Gosling was delivered from the factory in April 1930 to Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire with the name Gosling on her. I have a copy of the original Chris Craft hull card. We suspect the name gosling came from Lake Sunapee's long time Goose mascot. She has always been named Gosling. The Gosling was sold (date unknown) from Lake Sunapee to owners who kept her on Lake George until 1994. Cyndy and I bought the boat in 1994 and had it restored by Muller Boat Works over the winter of 1995.
The bottom was replaced with a new, old style planked construction. In lieu of using canvas in between the laminates as was the standard in 1930, an oil resistant rubber membrane was used. This proved desirable as the bottom still flexes as it was designed to, provides a smooth quiet ride and does not stress the hull as does a solid epoxy bottom. The decks and transom were replaced as well. All the remaining wood is original.
A 1954, 331cc Chrysler Marine Hemi motor was installed with electronic ignition, a high rise intake manifold and Holley carburetor. This was an attempt to get modern power performance while maintaining an antique power plant. The original tri pod, single barrel carburetors are in the barn for safe keeping. Because of the Hemi's weight, similar to the original weight of the Chrysler 6 and heavier than modern V8 power, the boat rides heavy and solid, although relatively slow with a top speed of 42 MPH. The five cluster instrument panel is original and the instruments were rebuilt in 1995.
Our current project:
In the Fall of 2007, Gosling was hauled to the Vintage Race Boat Shop for a complete refinish and to rebuild the Chrysler Marine Hemi motor. The refinish work was done at our shop and the Hemi was rebuilt by R&L Engines in Dover, NH. The first step was to pick up Gosling from Gary Kiedaisch's boathouse, and haul to the Vintage Race Boat Shop. Then we hoisted the boat off the trailer and setup for work inside our shop.
After all the hardware was removed, the many, many hours of sanding began. The deck, hull sides and transom were sanded with 320 grit paper, followed by Scotchbrite Pads. Then the first build coat of Epifanes varnish was applied.
The sanding continued on the most important part of the boat - the bottom, We spent several days sanding with 80 grit paper, followed by 120 grit, followed by Scotchbrite Pads. Then two coats of Interlux Brightside Sea Green paint were applied.
Remember - if you wanna be fast, you gotta be smooth !!!
Then it was time to pull the big Chrysler Marine Hemi motor out of the boat and transport to R&L Engines for a complete rebuild and detail work. It was a very tight squeeze to get that huge Hemi out, but we took our time and with the engine leveler attached to the motor, we were able to tilt the motor almost vertical to get the clearance that we needed. The motor was then hoisted into the back of our truck and was delivered to Ruth and Leo at R&L Engines.
The next step was the application of the gold leaf bow numbers. After several discussion, many designs, and many emails, the correct lettering/font was finally decided, and then Jerome from JC Signs applied the gold leaf bow numbers. The first step was to properly position the lettering, and then apply the mask/glue that holds the gold metal leaf. Then the gold metal leaf was applied to the mask/glue. Then Jerome applied his magic to the lettering, by creating the "engine turning" or swirling effect in the gold leaf. This was allowed to dry overnight, and then a coat of varnish was applied. After a nice thick coat of varnish, Jerome returned and outlined the lettering by hand, using red paint to match Chris Craft hull logo. The blue outline paint was allowed to dry overnight, and then the varnish coats continued.
With the gold leaf lettering complete, the varnish build coats continued, one coat per week to protect the gold leaf lettering, and to deepen the glow under the amber tint of the Epifanes varnish. And the results - absolutely stunning !!!
After the fifth coat of varnish was allowed to cure, the hardware was reinstalled, and Gosling was moved into winter storage, awaiting the completion of the Chrysler Hemi rebuild.
And then it was time for sea trials - another successful project !!!
Here are some video clips of our sea trials - let them load and crank it up !!!
Spring Commissioning & Sea Trials - 2010 !!!