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Old Jul 31, 2015, 01:01 PM
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Build Log
Dumas 24" 1938 16' Chris-Craft "Painted Racer" with a Twist

Well we're going to try our hand at a second Build Log. For a long time now we've wanted a few of the Dumas Chris-Craft models. With our recent move, and my age we felt that now was the time to either buy them or forget them. We were lucky enough to get some really good deals with some RC Groups Forum members and some very lucky bidding on eBay.

We decided to start with this one because it is so different to many of the "classic" Chris-Crafts. This Build Log will be of the Dumas kit, not a scratch build.

For many years now we've wanted to build a "fleet" of Chris-Crafts and we toyed with the idea of building them all at 1/12 scale. However, my dexterity is not what it used to be and so we've decided to build the cruisers at 1/12th and the runabouts at 1/8th. We know they're not going to look right on the water, but we really don't think my hands will fit inside the engine hatch of a 16" model!

We also want to say that this is NOT an advertisement for Dumas in any way, there are many great models on the market today, but we did notice that the kit includes instructions and notes that are very obviously slanted towards the inexperienced builder. We were very impressed. By the way a Mini-Review of this kit exists, check out Pat Tritle's thread on this forum, if you're new to boat building this is as good a place as any to get started.

... 'till next post
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Last edited by ClassicBoats; Jul 31, 2015 at 01:16 PM.
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Old Jul 31, 2015, 01:43 PM
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Starting

As mentioned above, the contents of this kit are IMHO, very complete. Besides all the build materials there is a very detailed set of Build Instructions, a detailed (and slightly entertaining) set of Figures and general set of Drawings.

We started off by replacing the kit's Frames 1 thru 4 with 1/8" aircraft ply as well as replacing the 2 Keel parts K1 with 1/4" aircraft ply. Since the rest of the Frames 5-8 are on a laser cut sheet of "ply" (looks and feels like a balsa ply of some kind) and are extremely well shaped, we're going to use these kit parts rather than substitute them with our a/c ply.

As you can also see, we don't always use the most sophisticated tools when building - see the bottles of bolts we use for weights and the old batteries we use for props.

Next, we'll continue assembling the remaining Frames to the Sheers.

... 'till next post
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Old Jul 31, 2015, 02:16 PM
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Welcome to the build. Your previous builds speak for themselves as to you craftsmanship, and I think everyone on the forum feels the same way I do, “the more the merrier”.

The 1938 16’ Chris Craft runabouts were also known as the “RED, WHITE, and BLUES” painted rather than mahogany bright work on the hulls and decks. In France they had a whole fleet of the painted runabouts for vacationers on the RIVARA. They fit in perfectly since they match the French flag colors.
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Old Jul 31, 2015, 03:30 PM
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Old Jul 31, 2015, 04:01 PM
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Cant wait to see the color theme
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Old Jul 31, 2015, 04:39 PM
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Boats on the brain!!
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I see that I'm not the only one who uses SLA's for holding ribs up and sheets down.
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Old Jul 31, 2015, 11:26 PM
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Mark
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Old Aug 01, 2015, 05:21 PM
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Keel, Battens & Chines

We have all the Frames now attached to the Sheers, all slanted slightly aft.

The Keel was glued into the first 5 frames and also the Sheers forward of Frame 1.

Two sets of Battens were glued into Frames 5 thru 8. Both these sets are made of basswood and ended up being about a 1/32" wider than their corresponding slots in the frames. We just notched them where needed.

The Chines for this kit are different from anything we've ever seen before; they are wider, much wider than expected. Although that shouldn't be a concern, it turned out to be one. The slots for the Chines in Frames 1 thru 5 are on an upward trajectory (when the hull is upside down, laying on the Sheers) yet the slots on Frames 8 thru 5 are on also on an upward slant. Meaning that, at Frame 5 there is a "hump" where the Chines must bend downwards towards the stern after they've come up steeply from the bow. Thankfully the Chines are balsa and a good 15 min. soak in hot water made them pliable in all directions. They then bent easily to conform to the required shape without breaking.

Next we'll be sanding the bottom before starting to plank it.

... 'till next post
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Old Aug 01, 2015, 05:24 PM
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frankg: Thank-you. You're right, of course about the colours; red, white and blue.

The tidbit about France is very interesting. Can you just imagine all those little red, white & blue racers speeding in every direction in the Med?

According to the official "1938 Chris-Craft 16 ft Racing Runabouts Spec Brochure" the customer could request any colour scheme; but the standard was a bright red bottom with a pure white boot top, hulls sides blue, covering boards and king plank white, decks red and genuine red leather upholstery.

PS: I'll be talking to you soon about your MACK lighting system.

green-boat: What else are we supposed to do with all those jars Dad handed down to us?
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Old Aug 02, 2015, 05:51 PM
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It was around this same time period of the special painted racer that Chris Craft was running into problems of obtaining good quality mahogany and started using red Spanish Cedar also in their hull builds. Since the finished product was to be painted it was a good option for building.
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Old Aug 02, 2015, 09:07 PM
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Another painted 16' Chris Craft variant was the 1947 Rocket. The 16' Chris Craft Utility Boat kit might be a good base to work from to build the Rocket. Pictures are from the 2011 Toledo Antique and Classic Boat Show.
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Old Aug 05, 2015, 01:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankg View Post
It was around this same time period of the special painted racer that Chris Craft was running into problems of obtaining good quality mahogany and started using red Spanish Cedar also in their hull builds. Since the finished product was to be painted it was a good option for building.

frankg: I've never seen any reference as to where the cedar came from ... that is very interesting. I don't want to get too far off topic, but I came across an official Chris-Craft document (The 1938 Chris-Craft 16 ft Racing Runabout Spec Brochure) that stated that this boat was essentially made of "Philippine mahogany" top, bottom & throughout. My guess is that the brochure was printed long before they realized they couldn't get the wood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CG Bob View Post
Another painted 16' Chris Craft variant was the 1947 Rocket. The 16' Chris Craft Utility Boat kit might be a good base to work from to build the Rocket. Pictures are from the 2011 Toledo Antique and Classic Boat Show.

CG Bob: Thanks for those pics, that Chris-Craft is fabulous! I'm thinking I'll use a darker blue for my Racer though.
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Old Aug 05, 2015, 02:14 AM
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Hull Bottom Planking

We're well on our way to planking the hull bottom. This is the first time we've ever used balsa for any kind of planking, so this might get real interesting.

We're laying in two planks at a time -most of the time- but managing the denting caused by the clamps on the balsa Chine is cause for concern.

Meanwhile back at the funny-farm ... we're trying to do what Tim B has successfully done and work on two boats simultaneously. My head hurts just thinking about it!

'till next post ...
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Old Aug 13, 2015, 06:50 PM
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Building the Transom

With the bottom now complete, we added the Transom bottoms K2 and used the tapered balsa block to shape the sides.

There wasn't much to this step, but we had to be careful with the knife edge of the tapered block to ensure we didn't rip or tear it as we sanded it down to conform to the outside of Frame 8.

We've decided to make the Transom all mahogany, that will contrast nicely, we think with the painted hull.

'till next post ...
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Old Aug 13, 2015, 06:57 PM
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Hull Sides

First of all, we now know why so many of you guys like balsa to build with ... it's a breeze to sand!! It sure took me long enough to figure that out, though.

Anyway, we were going to start the planking of the Hull Sides, then we discovered that there was no way in "you know where" that a strip of 1/8" thick basswood was going to bend without snapping from the transom to the bow, not even with a good overnight soaking in very hot water!

So then we thought, all right we'll use the 1/8" balsa instead of the prescribed basswood, but even after soaking it, the plank snapped at the bow and cracked at the transom.

What finally worked, and then only after soaking it in hot water, was a sheet of 1/16" balsa. So that's what we've used. They'll be an excess 1/16" on each side of the decks that we'll have to cope with.

'till next post ...
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