In our December issue, Jonathon Newton of Hartge Yacht Yard details a 1950s-era Trumpy project they’re just wrapping up. Here are the full details.
Jonathon Newton of Hartge Yacht Yard in Galesville, MD, shares the story of a major project with us. “From April thru mid-July our three extraordinary carpenters, Peter Bell, Ernie Stuermer, and Jake Samberg rebuilt a large portion of the bottom of a 1950s 55-foot Trumpy. Employed for the job were oak and ipe for floor timbers, rudder blocking, strut blocking, and shaft logs; oak for frames; cedar for inner planking; and mahogany for outer planking. In order to do the woodwork, they also removed and reinstalled the props, shafts, couplings, rudders, rudder boxes, steering system, and interior. After 60 years in the water, the wood had done all it could and had given up.
A major concern for a project like this is finding good material: bronze fasteners and big pieces of wood. Not finding good pieces of oak for the large floors and blocking, we looked for other suitable wood and to our surprise we found a great chunk of teak, but didn’t feel that was a place to put thousands of dollars of this especially valuable wood. For a much better price we found large timbers of ipe at J. Gibson McIlvain Co. It is very strong, durable, and so heavy it sinks like a rock. The white cedar supplied by Cedar Specialties in New Jersey was as fine as any I’ve seen. Bronze fasteners came from Chesapeake Fasteners, but we had to make some of the larger and longer bolts ourselves. We were able to reuse the original Monel strut bolts, a remarkable alloy that we have never seen deteriorate.
As you may remember, June was quite hot, causing the bottom planks to dry and the seams to open. We did the starboard side first and left the port side alone except for the floor timbers. When the starboard side was watertight, we launched her to swell up for a week or so and then rebuilt the port side. It’s a fine thing that there are people around who spend considerable resources to maintain these historic and fine yachts that were so beautifully built in Eastport.”
Thanks for sharing Jonathon, and we couldn’t agree more.