Now that the boat shows are behind us and winter is looming in the near future, most boat shops are settling down to what Marty Lostrom of Scandia Marine Services refers to as: “The grind of winter layup.” Marty also shared her concern about the scarcity of workers in the marine field: “After the layup season we have tons of winter work already on the books, enough to keep a full crew busy all season long. The problem is you can’t find workers to do the job. I’ve tried everything I can think of: advertising, hiring bonuses, you name it.”
Marty’s concerns are echoed by most operators I’ve talked to. Most report a busy summer just completed, lots of demand for winter work, and a frustrating hiring situation.
Although Scandia Marine Services of Annapolis works primarily on sailboats, Eric Lostrom showed me Gator Magic, a 1973 Chris-Craft runabout in the yard for some major work. The original engine was a Chris-Craft marinized Chrysler block, in dire shape. Eric has replaced it with a new Mercruiser and is replacing the original galvanized steel fuel tank, which has rusted out. Extensive rebuilding of engine beds and stringers and refinishing of the hull and deck will complete the job, “By spring, hopefully,” Eric said.
Rob Hardy of Composite Yacht in Trappe, MD, has not slowed down for the winter: “Composite Yacht continues to remain busy. Our all new 32/34 is taking shape, and we expect to have a hull mold in the very near future. We’re also in the design stage of an all-new 46, and we look to be setting stations for it soon as well. In between boat parts, our laminate shop has been making parts for wind tunnels. Then, of course we’ve had numerous paintjobs come and go, several repowers, pipework, and so on. We also have a 46 from our Markley mold under construction and our current 34 Offshore with twin Yamaha 350s is nearing completion.”
Smokey Glover of Willard Marine in Virginia Beach, VA, sends us the following report: “U.S. Coast Guard contracted Willard Marine Inc. Virginia Beach, to convert the only Volvo powered Cutter Boat Medium (CB-M) to Yanmar 4LHA power in order to match the other Yanmar powered CB-Ms in the fleet. The conversion included modifications to the engine bed, exhaust, electrical, cooling, and fuel systems as well as exchange of the waterjet impeller. The boat has been delivered to St. Petersburg, FL, the home port of the parent vessel. Willard Marine is currently working several U.S. Coast Guard contracts, as well as work for other government and commercial agencies.”
Dave Hannam with Classic Watercraft Restoration (CWR) in Annapolis, MD, reports he has started work on the 1960 Chris-Craft 17-foot ski boat called Bona Fides, which recently shipped down from Rhode Island and was held in a private collection, where it sat for 18 years. This ole woody is in for a complete tune up of all systems including electrical, cooling, fuel, and oil and filters. Everything is getting a good looking over so that the new owner can launch her in her new home in Deep Creek. Also in the shop is a 1949 Chris-Craft Utility. CWR is building out the complete interior, which includes a new engine box and all interior seating including an easy step through front seat. Next up, engine re-haul, install, and hook up. DV8 2XS Gar Wood update – logged in 20 awesome running hours so far!”
Joe Reid of Mast and Mallet in Edgewater, MD, says, “This fall the crew has been busy with a Dyer 29. She had some minor wood repairs in the cockpit floor and cabintop overhang. Then, it was on to the cosmetic treatment for fresh paint on the cabin, deck, and cockpit. All paint was Interlux Brightside. On the cockpit deck we used Interlux Interdeck, which has the nonskid material mixed in the paint. Also, fresh varnish was applied around the windows and windshield. This winter we plan to install a bow thruster and a swim platform.
A West Coast-style boat called a Bartender is here for a fuel tank replacement. She is approximately 30 feet and double ended with a CAT diesel for power. The sailboat repair side is working on a Gemini catamaran. We’re installing new supports for its cockpit overhang and maintenance on the diesel and saildrive. Also, the rigging and the steering system will be checked for any replacements. I’m also anticipating the arrival of a half a dozen Thomas Points for winter storage and maintenance.”
David Evans Jr. of Evans Boats in Crisfield, MD, says, “We have been working on the same boat for the last month or so with some small odd jobs. We are wrapping up the construction of our newest 50-foot Custom Evans that will take port in Noank, CT.”
We don’t usually report on Navy ships in this column, but since this major event took place in our back yard in Baltimore, MD, as part of the port’s first Fleet Week, it’s worth a mention. As the official news release states: “The U.S. Navy’s newest and most technologically advanced warship, USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) was commissioned into active service on Saturday, October 15, at North Locust Point in Baltimore. Zumwalt, the lead ship of a class of next-generation multi-mission destroyers, features a state-of-the-art electric propulsion system, wave-piercing tumblehome hull, stealth design, and the latest warfighting technology and weaponry available.
The ship will be crewed by 147 officers and enlisted personnel and a 28-person aviation detachment. The 15,995-metric ton Zumwalt was built at Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME. The ship is 610 feet in length and has an overall beam of 80.7 feet and a navigational draft of 27.6 feet. Two main turbine generators and two auxiliary turbine generators and two 33.6 megawatt advanced induction motors power the ship to sustained speeds of 30 knots.” It appears that even the Navy is getting on the electric propulsion bandwagon.
Lauren DePatteo of F&S Boatworks in Bear, DE, shares the results of a busy season with us: “We will have three new exciting editions splashing into the water soon. Freyja; she is 64 feet with two staterooms and three heads and should be splashing in November. Special Situation is our 78-footer making her appearance with five staterooms and five heads. At 61 feet we have Esme; she comes with three staterooms and three heads. We have a couple of 75-footers on the boards for the next builds. Check out our website fsboatworks.com for more information.”
Tracy Johns of Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) in St. Michaels, MD, brings us up to date: “CBMM recently welcomed a new shipwright and three shipwright apprentices to work on the log-hull restoration of Edna Lockwood. The team is restoring CBMM’s queen of the fleet and National Historic Landmark by replacing her nine-log hull, in adherence to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Vessel Preservation. All work is taking place in full public view at CBMM’s waterfront campus in St. Michaels now through 2018, with the 50-foot-plus pine logs currently being shaped. The Chesapeake bugeye was built in 1889 on Tilghman Island by John B. Harrison and dredged for oysters through the winter, and carried freight—such as lumber, grain, and produce—after the dredging season ended. Find video updates and more at ednalockwood.org.”
Those of us who have spent hours trying to read electronic screens in bright sunlight will welcome the following development reported by Centurion Boats, a subsidiary of the venerable Correct Craft manufacturer in Orlando, FL. “Centurion Boats has been awarded a patent for reimagining towboat control with the Side by Side High Definition (SxS HD) Touch Vision dash system in the Ri Series. This ambitious design has improved driver control of World Championship Centurion boats as well as the look of the dash. The SxS HD Touch Vision consists of two high definition screens that team to display related content when needed or show two separate sets of information for the ultimate in multi-tasking on the water. Visit your local Centurion Boats Dealer to experience the amazing function of ambitious design. Both of the 7.5-inch, high-definition, side-by-side screens shine with larity even in direct sun. These screens are perfectly angled in the dash to allow the driver maximum visibility of the system and the water ahead.”
Torqeedo, manufacturer of marine electric motors, sends us this report of amazing progress in marine electric propulsion: “As yacht designers increasingly respond to the growing demand for clean, zero-emission boats, Torqeedo’s presence at boat shows has expanded well beyond a booth. At the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, November 3–7, many new, innovative boats were on display, powered by odorless, virtually silent, Torqeedo electric motors. RAND’s Picnic Sport Boat is a statement in minimalistic Scandinavian design, but with a bold twist. The 10-passenger, 16.4-foot runabout draws the eye with its subtle lines and wooden elements made from sustainable Kebony wood. The hull is manufactured from recycled plastic bottles and windmill blades. Designer Carl Kai Rand chose the Torqeedo Cruise series to complement his carbon-neutral vessel. It will top 21 miles per hour with the Cruise 10.0 and can run an astounding 16 hours before needing a recharge.”
Brit Lilly and his crew at Lilly Sport Boats in Arnold, MD, have several projects in the works, but the highest priority at the shop according to Brit is, “Getting ready for Key West!” The following article from a late October issue of the on-line newsletter offshoreonly.com, sums it up. “Offshore racer Lilly is home in Maryland now with the 2016 Super Boat International Superboat Vee-Class National Championship trophy he earned last weekend in Clearwater, FL. Not a bad accomplishment for a guy in his first full SBI season. But the 30-year-old son of offshore racing great Art Lilly isn’t going to spend a whole lot of time staring at the hard-earned trophy he fought for in offshore racing’s most competitive class… the SBI Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla., are a little more than one month (mid- November) away. In fact, he was planning on testing LSB/Hurricane of Awesomeness, his 29-foot Extreme canopied V-bottom powered by a 650-hp Joey Griffin engine, yesterday. Lilly and his teammate Ron Umlandt have a couple of mechanical/setup gremlins to work out…” Congratulations and best of luck to Brit and his team in Key West.
by Captain Rick Franke