JS-47  My Precious

Part 3 - motor mounts, intake manifold & fresh varnish !!!


My Precious - a Jersey Speed Skiff

Owner/Driver - Gerri Prusko

Riding Mechanic - Bill John

First - some background

In all started with an innocent boat ride at the 2004 Clayton Vintage Race Boat Regatta, with local skiff-head Len Finithy. The photos below were taken at Clayton on that fateful Sunday morning. That was it, in the fall of 2004 Gerri commissioned the Vintage Race Boat Shop to build her a reproduction of a Jersey Speed Skiff .


This reproduction of a Jersey Speed Skiff was done "in the spirit of vintage" with a wood deck and transom, bench seats and looks like a Jersey Speed Skiff of the 1960's. It runs a stock, warranted marine motor with a restrictor plate, a Borg Warner Velvet Drive transmission, is a legal CRA and APBA vintage race boat and runs on the Vintage Race Boat Circuit

These photos were taken at Clayton, NY by Phil Kunz.




These photos were taken at Wheeling, West Virginia by Phil Kunz.



Part 3 - motor mounts, intake manifold & fresh varnish !!!

Fall, 2010


My Precious is now back in the shop to replace the rear motor mounts, a few more coats of varnish, and prep for heading south to Florida to participate in the growing CRA Vintage Race Boat Circuit.

Tavares Spring Fling Regatta


The Classic Raceboat Association (CRA) is a Florida based organization that was formed to facilitate the exhibition of classic race boats of all types from the early 1900ís to the 1980ís. All race boat types are welcomed, and during the winter months when the APBA vintage circuit is in hibernation, we haul down to sunny and warm Florida to participate in a growing Florida CRA Vintage Race Boat Circuit. CRA is also available to assist regatta organizers in planning, establishing specific staffing, assigning boats to flights (heats), providing liability insurance and safety rules. Through these CRA sanctioned events, the public is educated about the rich history of powerboat racing and the colorful people who made it all happen.

Click here for the CRA Roar & Soar - November 13-14th !!!

In the fall of 2010, after several years of hard use on the vintage circuit and many, many boat rides, it was decided to replace the rear motor mounts and move the motor forward to increase the clearance between the motor/transmission and the bottom of the boat.



The existing rear motor mounts were very basic aluminum plates that bolted from the transmission to the stringers. This very rigid setup did not allow for minute alignment adjustments and also transferred all motor vibrations directly to the stringers. We also found a few cracks!!!


We replaced the rigid aluminum plates with stock, rubber mounted Crusader transmission mounts that allow for easy adjustment. We also fabricated new aluminum brackets and reinforcement plates for the rear motor mounts on the stringers. 



And while the motor was out, we finally got a chance to thoroughly clean and paint the bilge area. The new aluminum motor mount brackets were set in 3M-5200 Adhesive and through-bolted through the stringers. This was a major improvement, along with the rear Crusader motor/transmission mounts, adjustable for proper drive shaft alignment, and rubber/shock mounted to absorb motor vibration. This will provide for a smoother, quieter ride experience.



The photos above show the results of the clearance problem, a rather deep gouge that we repaired in the keel, made by the rear of the oil pan and bell housing. To get proper clearance we had to either butcher the oil pan/bell housing or move the motor forward. We decided to move the motor forward 2 1/2 inches, but that also raised the height of the motor under the already cramped deck hatch. No problem, we found an Edelbrock Performer EPS Vortec intake manifold that was one inch lower than the stock high rise manifold on the motor. One phone call to Jeggs and the Edelbrock #2716 aluminum intake manifold arrived in two days. We also added just a titch of bling to the motor compartment with a new set of beautifully engraved valve covers from our friends Ruth & Leo at R&L Engines

The APBA racing Jersey Speed Skiffs are restricted to run 283 or 305 cubic inch motors under APBA rules. But the competitors build them real strong with lots of power and are running them at well over 7,500 rpm's with special 2-blabe racing  props. The racing hulls are custom built, required to run a cage with riders belted-in and they are now running at speeds of well over 80 mph. Watching the APBA racing skiffs run is absolutely horrifying, for they run so fast and so close together !!!

Click here for history of Jersey Speed Skiffs


The motor in My Precious is a stock, warranted Marine Power 350 cubic inch vortec marine motor with a restrictor plate, running reverse rotation and producing 325 hp 4,800 rpm's. This motor runs a stock Borg Warner Marine Velvet Drive transmission, is a legal CRA and APBA vintage race boat and runs on the very active Vintage Race Boat Circuit. But with our stock motor, we are limited to running at 4,500 rpm's, occasionally blipping to 5,000 rpm's so we usually run at the back of the pack, running every vintage heat at speed and having lots of safe fun !!!



We swapped the intake manifolds, installed the new Edelbrock manifold and we were pleased that all the fittings lined right up and all the many fitting and hoses were easily connected. We also applied a second, rather thick coat of bilge paint that took several days to dry. Hey, you only get a chance to do this once !!!


While the bilge paint was drying, we painted the rear motor mounts and then reinstalled the motor in the boat. These photos show the updated motor mounts, moved forward 2 1/2 inches to provide clearance under the oil pan and bell housing. The new/lower Edelbrock intake manifold also provided clearance under the hatch.



This was very important, as we were NOT allowed to cut a hole in the deck - again !!


Then the varnish coats began, sanding with 320 grit and Scotchbrite Pads between each coat.  And with each coat of thick, amber tinted Epifanes varnish, the finish of the rich sapeele mahogany became darker and deeper, and the varnish fumes were just superb !!!





After the varnish had a chance to cure, we reinstalled the rub rails, trim and aft seat. Then it was time for sea trials, just to make sure all systems were working properly before we hauled to winter storage. So on Saturday afternoon, November 20th we launched My Precious at our beloved Wolfetrap and ran some pretty hot laps on beautiful Back Bay. The boat ran much better, the constant vibration was gone, and the new Edelbrock intake manifold worked well. It was rather brisk, we made a few adjustments, and we enjoyed our last boat ride of the season!! 





Then we hauled back to the the shop, Steve Rollins completed the cockpit trim, we installed the front seat and we took a few final project photos. Time to haul to winter storage, a very sad day.


On March 8th, we pulled My Precious out of winter storage and hauled to the shop to prep for the two day trek to sunny & warm Tavares, Florida. Special attention was focused on the trailer wheel bearings, lights and running gear. After a cold and snowy winter, we were very excited !!!


After many years of wanting to make the Mt Dora/Tavares ACBS boat show and many years of excuses, last year we finally made our first trek south to sunny and warm Florida, and we returned again this year in 2011. We hauled our Jersey Speed Skiff My Precious to participate at both the CRA Spring Fling Regatta and then the Sunnyland ACBS Boat Show the following weekend. The weather was sunny and warm, the vintage race boats were beautiful and fast, and we had a great time. Many thanks to Dick Whyte and the entire CRA crew for a fantastic vintage event. We had a great time and now Tavares in on our annual schedule, so look for our NH Navy again at the Tavares Spring Fling in 2012 - a gathering of good friends and beautiful vintage race boats.


This year, we left Wolfeboro on Sunday morning March 13th and arrived in sunny & warm Florida the next day. The weather was sunny & hot, with temps in the mid 80's at our condo.


Many thanks to Tom D'Eath for letting us store our boat for a few days, and then on Friday morning me gathered at Tom's to haul a few blocks to Wooten Park for setup and safety inspections. It was a great day, a reunion of good friends as we staged and prepped our beloved vintage race boats. It was sunny and hot with temps in the mid 80's, and nobody complained !!!






My Precious Part 4 - fresh varnish and prepping for new owners

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