Britt Lilly of Lilly Sport Boats in Arnold, MD, expresses it well. “Now that the winterization rush is finally over, we have at least half a dozen major insurance-related big repair jobs stacked up out back. Several of them were damaged by running into channel markers. It seems like that got popular all of a sudden.” As an example he has a 37-foot Cruisers yacht in for repairs from such a close encounter. Britt pointed out that the external damage on the port side of the boat appears minor, just some long scrapes and one small crack but the real damage is inside. “The glass hull flexes and bends from the impact, but that breaks loose all the tabbing and joints inside and causes a lot of damage to cabinets, floors, and bulkheads. Just about all the interior woodwork on this boat will need repair or replacing.”
Other winter projects include removal and remounting of the adjustable strut supporting the surface piercing drive on a 42-foot MDI power catamaran which has developed stress cracks and other evidence of failure in the fiberglass hull of the boat. Britt also mentioned that they were waiting for several engines that had been sent out for rebuilding and upgrading. When they return this winter, the reinstallation will consume a lot of time and energy, so Britt is looking forward to a busy winter.
Tracy Munson of The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) in St. Michaels, MD, sends us this update. “CBMM vessel maintenance assistant Joseph Connor reports restoration work on the draketail Martha is continuing through the winter months. Martha is receiving all new 42-foot loblolly pine topside planks, which were sourced and sawn at Tuckahoe Sawmill in Ridgely, MD. Her original white oak frames will be sweet nailed before new planks are re-fastened with bronze. Her Olds 455 has also been sent out for overhaul, sandblasting, and fresh paint. All the work is being done in full public view along the harbor side of CBMM’s campus throughout the winter months, with the boat launching by spring. The Hooper Island dovetail was built in 1934 in Wingate, MD, by Bronza Parks and donated to the museum’s collections in 1983 by Mr. and Mrs. David W. Glass.”
While we don’t usually venture far from Chesapeake Bay, this recent news release from Viking Yachts in New Gretna, NJ, recently caught my eye: “This year, Viking Yachts introduced the world’s largest convertible sport fishing yacht with a totally resin-infused hull. To optimize performance and engine efficiency aboard the new Viking 92, the boat builder worked with Marine Exhaust Systems. To keep the roar of the twin MTU Series 2000 V16 M96L 2635 hp Tier 3 engines at bay, the Viking 92 employs Marine Exhaust Systems’ TL Linear Series mufflers. Super quiet, they enable normal tone conversation to be easily heard over the exhaust sound.
“Viking yachts are defined by their state-of-the-art performance, without any sacrifice to exquisite appointments and exceptional onboard livability. ‘The Marine Exhaust linear muffler is efficient not only in the usage of space, but also in how it addresses engine exhaust noise,’ says Peter Frederiksen, Viking Yachts marketing director. The Viking 92 is available in open and closed bridge configurations. This new boat has a stunning profile in either version with several motor yacht cues, including dual mezzanine decks. The yacht’s interior is a showpiece of elegance and luxury. The 92 Convertible has six staterooms, each with its own private head and shower.”
Patrick Callahan of Worton Creek marina in Chestertown, MD, reports he has some big projects this winter. A 62-foot steel trawler has just gone into the paint shop for refinishing. In addition, the current Bertram 31 “remanufacture” is now equipped with brand new twin 370 hp Cummins diesel engines. Both boats should be complete and back in the water by spring.
Joe Reid’s Mast and Mallet shop in Mayo, MD, is also humming with activity. A 32-foot Cape Dory is having most of her interior wood work redone, her engine rebuilt, and her exterior varnish redone. On the other side of the shop is a nearly completed 22-foot Mast and Mallet outboard skiff, with an enclosed motor well. Another one is in the planning stages for completion before spring.
Another busy operation these days is Diversified Marine’s shop in Annapolis, MD. Matt Jones, restoration manager, pointed out an Albin 27 named High Jinx, whose glistening blue Awl Gripped hull was just rolled out of the paint tent. Another just completed project was a custom designed swim platform and boarding stairway installed on a 1986 53-foot DeFever motor yacht named Fly Away Home. According to Matt, the original swim platform and boarding ladder were difficult for both the owners and their dogs to use, so he designed and built this unique boarding system. The increased size and weight of the new system required a much more robust and complex supporting structure at and below the transom’s waterline. Matt says, “This was a real challenge. I got to use everything I’ve learned about boat building. It works great, and the owners love it.” Matt estimates that Diversified has “between six and eight major restoration projects” to keep them busy for the winter.
Classic Watercraft Restoration’s Dave and Ann Hannam have completed the move from Annapolis to their new shop in Edgewater, MD. Now that the move is over, Dave is back in harness with a full restoration of a vintage Chris Craft runabout. Plans for the new shop include the completion of the replica Gar Wood Gentleman’s Speedster Dave has been working on for some time. Dave says the Speedster will definitely be roaring up and down Rhode River this spring.
On the subject of planning for the future, the Annapolis, MD-based Marine Trades Association of Maryland (MTAM) has announced a new initiative to attract and train the next generation of workers and craftsmen for the boating industry. Known as the Marine Trades Industry Partnership, the program is funded by the Maryland Department of Labor and Industry through their EARN (Employment Advancement Right Now) initiative. The target population is young people from 18 to 24. Successful applicants will receive a two-day weekend immersion training program, currently scheduled for mid May. This intensive training program will be followed by a six-week paid internship at a Bay country boat shop or marina. At the conclusion of the internship, participants will be offered ongoing assistance in job placement. At press time applications are beginning to come in for the internships, and more than 25 repair and restoration facilities and marinas around the area have stepped forward to host and mentor interns for the summer of 2015. For more information or to download an application, go to mtam.org.
Meg Roney from Mathews Brothers in Denton, MD, says, “Our Patriot 29 went through a design change in 2014 to include changes to the console, sea hood, cockpit drains, and most notably, a tunnel, and became the Patriot 29 II. The Patriot 29 II will go through an even more extensive design change this upcoming year. The plan is to move the bulkhead back to the engine box, have a side entry to open up the cabin space as well as to increase the heated/cooled area of the pilot house/cabin. Raising the freeboard a few inches will give more head room down below, as well as wider decks up forward. We’re hoping this will increase our target audience by making it more user friendly for both the warmer and cooler climates.
She adds, “The whole crew would like to thank everyone who came out in November to make our Fall Festival a huge success. In addition to good music, good food, and great company, several people enjoyed taking tours of the premises to check out the jobs in progress … A good time was had by all!
“We will be keeping very busy this winter with projects in the glass shop, wood working projects, paint, varnish, and several other repairs/maintenance to make sure the boats are ready for launch in the spring. It will be here before we know it. Please note that we close December 23 and remain closed until January 2. Happy Holidays from everyone at Mathews Bros!”