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Winter Restoration

November 15th, 2010 Comments Off on Winter Restoration

By James B. Holler

Hurry Home is the name that was painted on the side of a 1947 Ventnor raceboat as a gift for a son who was fighting in Korea. He activily raced the boat for a few years and stored it away in a barn where I found it in 1984, in need of restoration. Weldon Ferguson and I worked on it together for a year before it was ready to show. The boat has made a big hit wherever I take it and it has been featured in photos, videos and a calendar. I have enjoyed running it at many fresh water lakes and Raceboat Regatta, `92 through `96. It was up at Clayton, NY. in `94 that Howard helped me repair my broken engine mount bolts. Since then I stored my boat at his place and have seen many beautiful projects completed in his workshop.

Time had taken its toll on the fine work that Weldon did. This boat has become part of the family, now, and it needed sprucing up. In January I talked it over with Howard and we decided we would work on the boat together 2 nights a week and Saturdays. He pulled it in and we took the engine out and removed all the hardware. Then we went to work removing the deck screws, for some reason they were coming loose and poping up. We removed almost all the screws and lifted up the decks and put 5200 on the frames and then rescrewed using new silicon bronze. After both deck sides were done I decided we had better do all the topsides too; in all we replaced 1,200 screws. We puttied all the holes with epoxy putty and faired everything with Interlux epoxy fairing compound. One night when we thought we were done, Howard turned off all the lights in the shop and using a single 40 watt droplight we looked the boat over with the light at a low angle. I marked the high and low spots with chalk. When we were done, the boat was covered with marks!

The decks are only 1/4″ plywood and many places had hairline cracks which we filled with a Petit primer made for gelcoat cracks. The aircraft cloth tail needed special attention on hundreds of cracks, all painted with a tiny brush. Weeks later we were ready to prime the whole boat. Howard chose to use the Petit Polyester Primer. The boat was smooth as silk but all the red paint spots bled right through! We then bought Dupont Uro Activated Urethane Primer, two coats and it looked completely different and perfectly smooth. The first Dupont Centari topcoat color took us all day to apply. Four coats on an 18 ft. boat is a lot of painting! While she was drying we disassembled the engine and prepared all the parts for painting, black or red. We polished all the brass and clear coated with automotive 2 part urethane.
Three weeks later we worked several evenings taping the red trim on the boat. It was a shock when we first sprayed the rich liquid red over the beautiful antique white. But round and round we went, Howard spraying and me handling hoses. Later that day when we pulled off all that paper and tape she sat there shimmering in the sunlight and I knew that I could again be proud to show Hurry Home.

Now we are waiting for the sign painter to come paint on the name and that unforgettable eagle, on the deck. See you at the show!

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