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Old Jan 30, 2009, 06:08 PM
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Ed Crowell's Avatar
Southern Calif
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Build Log
1934 GarWood 16ft Speedster scratchbuilt

Greetings,
A friend of mine had some plans for a 20 inch Gar Wood speedster. I had the plans enlarged to 32 inches, which is the same size as the Thunderbolt that Pat Tittle built. I will use the same motor and kit from Mack Products.

Here is a little history of the Speedster.

Ed Noble of the Lifesaver Candy Company, and a Gar Wood customer, had been speeding on the St. Lawrence River in his famous 33' Baby Gar, "SNAIL". He told Wood that he and his friends only wanted a small, sporty racer that would be like a water version of the popular European sports cars. Wood's answer was high performance sixteen footer with 2 seats aft of the engine that he called the "Speedster". Noble fell in love with the boat and the first ones produced in 1935 were sent to the St. Lawrence River for Noble and his friends. His speedster was named the "Miss Behave" and others in the group were called "Miss Adventure", "Miss Chief”, "Miss Conduct" and "Miss Me". Speedster racing became a regular event on the St. Lawrence River right to the start of World War II. It has been said that the 16 foot Gar Wood Speedster is, pound for pound, the most valuable classic production speed boat in the world. An original cost roughly $1,340.00 when new, including a Gray Fireball Engine. Only twelve, 16 foot Garwood Speedsters were produced between 1934 -1937.





Here is a picture of the boat and the start of my build.




Ed
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Last edited by Ed Crowell; May 07, 2013 at 08:48 PM.
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Old Jan 30, 2009, 06:42 PM
Veni, Vidi, Feci
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Motor City
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Auspicious start!
Are they "model plans", or original plans (where you need to design the model parts)?

PM
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Old Jan 30, 2009, 07:27 PM
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Southern Calif
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Pat,

I am using model plans and they are not very good. Some of the hardware I will try to scratch build.

Ed
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Old Jan 31, 2009, 03:35 PM
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Southern Calif
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I am actually a little further along on the build than these pictures I am posting. I was going to post them when I started the build log. But I had to leave.

Here I started to assemble the frames on the keel. Found a big problem when installing the chines and stringers. The frames are not symmetrical, I should have cut the frames in half on the center line and used it to draw both sides. So I had to do a lot of measuring, adding and removing stock on the frames. Also had to fix alot of the notches in the frames so the stringers would fit properly.

After the repairs were completed I started the planking with balsa.

Ed
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Old Jan 31, 2009, 05:23 PM
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United States, MI, Macomb
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Fantasy boat ride in the 16ft Garwood.

It's eleven o'clock in the morning and Im walkng down the dock to my slip with a cooler under my arms. I've got three cold beers and a chicken salad sandwich. I put a cigar in shirt pocket and told the wife I would be home for dinner. I pull the cover off this sleek beauty and step in the cockpit. The smell of mahagany and varnish is a welcome aroma. After years of painstaking building in a crampt cedar shed the engine rumbles to life. The cooling water starts to flow from the exhaust with a hint of mist. I close the engine doors, and untie the lines. It's a nice warm day on a closed lake surrounded by mountain peaks. The water is so clear you can see to the bottom. There's absolutly no waves and the mountains are reflecting in the water like a mirror. I wave off to the teenage girls working at the gas dock and start pushing the throttle lever. The motor gets even louder, like a mechanical symphony. I don't know where I'm going and I don't care. Ahhh, welcome to heaven!!!
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Old Jan 31, 2009, 05:27 PM
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ED- Nice choice of a subject to model, the 16’ GarWood speedster. As they say great minds think alike, since the Gar Wood speedster “MISS BEHAVE” is in the line up for Legend Model Boats in the new series “Boats of the Antique Boat Museum of Clayton, NY”. The boat is on display at the museum, and on our last trip last year to take lines of the next release , an 18’ Century Sea Maid, we also did the MISS BEHAVE, along with a ton of pictures. The original boat was powered with the same motor as the Century Thunderbolt , a Gray ‘160’ Racing fireball motor with triple carbs. Between the two boats the Century had the edge being a one step hydro, but that is not to say that the Gar Wood was a slow poke. She could rock and roll with the best of them. If anyone would like to own the real thing, the Turcotte Brothers in upstate New York can build a 20’ version of the speedster from their company “Gar Wood Custom Boats”.
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Old Jan 31, 2009, 06:20 PM
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Southern Calif
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Tollytime,
That was great I can almost smell the exhaust.

frankg,
What size will the "Miss Behave" be?

Ed
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Old Jan 31, 2009, 10:19 PM
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ED- The model will be 1/6th scale which is a 32” model in length. Like I said great minds think alike.
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Old Feb 01, 2009, 09:35 AM
WooHoo!
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Wet Goose Marine may be able to provide some fittings.
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Old Feb 01, 2009, 10:08 AM
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Southern Calif
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frankg, Looking forward to seeing your kit one of these days, the Thunderbolt is a great looking kit so I am sure the Gar Wood will be a success.

woodbob, I have been on their web site and drooling on my keyboard. One thing I have going for me is my brother in law has a mill and lathe, and is excited to help me make the windshield posts and probably some of the other parts.

I have a lot of woodworking equipment so I will try ripping the mahogany planks. I noticed on some pictures of the Gar Wood speedster the planks on the deck are much more narrow than on the side planking.

Ed
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Old Feb 01, 2009, 10:13 AM
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Some more pictures of the planking. The bottom is completed and starting the sides.
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Old Feb 02, 2009, 09:19 PM
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The sides are now planked. I sanded the bottom and sides and filled the cracks with joint compound and re-sanded. Then I coated the inside with a coat of thinned epoxy. I mounted the motor and installed the cockpit fairings then started the planking of the deck.

Ed
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Old Feb 02, 2009, 09:56 PM
Grumpa Tom
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It looks awesome so far, and man you work fast!
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Old Feb 03, 2009, 01:46 PM
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Southern Calif
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Kmot, I really don't work that fast. I had started building this boat a couple years ago and it has been sitting for over a year. I was working on my EC-12 sailboat which I finished 2 weeks ago. Now I can concentrate on the Gar Wood speedster.

So these last 2 pictures will catch me up on the build, from now on it will be a slow process.

I have completed the outside planking, sanded it down and put a thin coat of epoxy on the outside. Now to build the hatches.

Ed
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Old Feb 21, 2009, 12:25 PM
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Have not done much work on it for a few weeks, I sprained my back. Then when I felt better I came down with a virus that's going around. Well I built the hatch cover for the back where I will put the receiver and battery for the lights and have access for the rudder arm.

Checking the opening for the motor hatch I found it to be out of square, so I did some careful measuring, then sanded the opening so I could insert a square frame which I epoxied in and sanded it fair to the deck. Next I will build the hatch over the motor and do a temporary install of the hinges to see if the doors will open and close properly.

Ed
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