31
Jul
08

Our Thompson Brothers Runabout Part 3

Well…when we last left you waiting breathlessly for the next chapter in our restoration saga, we were ready to flip the vessel over on her keel to do the rest of the “brightwork”…eh…varnishing to you landlubbers.

I used Epiphanes high gloss varnish which sagged on one side, but not the other.  Go figure!?!?  I have no idea why this occured only on one side, but everytime I tried to fix it…it got worse.

Finally I waited about 3 days and sanded the varnish by hand, used steel wool to hand rub the sags and varnished again.  Next day…SAGS!!!  I was being taunted in my dreams about this oddity.  Then one Sunday morning, the dream came to me again…what to do about the sags.  When I awoke, it was clear!  I should try starting the varnish from the bottom up…not the top down, this way and extra varnish will have no where to go but onto blue making tape protecting the white spray rail.

After giving this a whirl…it worked!

 

This is the first of 5 coats of varnish on the sides of the hull.  The reproduction Thompson decals can be seen on the flanks of the stern.  the blue masking tape is protectiing the white spray rail from any varnish run-off.

This is the first of 5 coats of varnish on the sides of the hull. The reproduction Thompson decals can be seen on the flanks of the stern. the blue masking tape is protectiing the white spray rail from any varnish run-off.

 

Here is the other side of the vessel.  She shines up pretty nicely.
Here is the other side of the vessel. She shines up pretty nicely.

 
The fellow who is working on my 1957 Johnson 18hp Sea Horse wanted to bring his brother by to see the boat, despite not having ever seen it himself.  Seems he and his brother had a Thompson cedar strip fishing boat as children, so the brother was dying to see one in the flesh.  He was thrilled.  I could see a flood of memories coming to his mind.  He told several stories of their boat and the differences between the two. I took him in the house and showed him the Thompson Brothers brochure that was given to us as part of the purchase.  He poured over it like a child with a new Sears catologue.  He was nearly beside himself.

Then tonight, the fellow who sold the boat to us stopped in.  He’s a great guy, who has done his share of reworking both power and sail boats…even though he is a musician and teacher by trade.  Well he walked in the garage and was visibly moved.  What an honor!  I feel like we’re making his dreams come true for what he had wanted to do with this vessel.  He shook my hand and congratulated me.  Again…a real thrill for me!  I respect him a great deal.  He a fine trombonist and has been kind enough to teach me a few things about the horn for my own playing.  A sweet guy.  Really grand!

Anyway…back to the boat.  “To caulk or not to caulk”…that was the question a page or so ago.  So I caulked.  The seams were never caulked before, so this again falls under “artistic license” by the owners.

Caulking of the seams at the transom.

Caulking of the seams at the transom.

I'm glad I caulked.  Very nice feature for this boat.  We decided to use tan...bot white which is so common.

I'm glad I caulked. Very nice feature for this boat. We decided to use tan...not white which is so common.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The only thing left is to let the varnish really set up and cure.  I have to work two jobs next week, my regular job and work for the railroad, so I don’t imagine much will get done.  So a good time to releax and let things settle.

Today epoxy was used to fill all screw holes and voids or “chip-out” on the seat planks.  The old varnish and stain was sanded, and new stainless fasteners will be used to reassemble the seats, along with new hinges and seat back locks for the front seat.

All the seat planks are disasembled and have been filled with epoxy.  They will be sanded, stained, and varnished as time permits.

All the seat planks are disasembled and have been filled with epoxy. They will be sanded, stained, and varnished as time permits.

We’re down to 23 days before her “Coming Out Party” for the antique boat show in NW Ohio.  Will we make it?  I don’t know.  Might be a photo finish.

The fuel tanks are a 3 gallon and 6 gallon Johnson/Evinrude type steel fuel tank.  They have been disassembled and are being cleaned out at a radiator shop.  I hope to get them back tomorrow so I can drop them off to be bead-blasted and primed and painted in the original red.  The company doing the painting is going to treat the inside with the same paint used in aircraft refueling trucks tanks.  This should keep corrosion to a minimum and allow more years of good service.  Yes decals were ordered to make them original too.

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3 Responses to “Our Thompson Brothers Runabout Part 3”


  1. August 1, 2008 at 6:35 am

    Greg I highlighted the project on GoodMorningGloucester this morning. Expect a bunch of hits.

    Let me know if there is a particular picture of the project you would like me to include with the post to get people excited to come here and check it out.

    A before and latest would be perfect one at the top of the post and then the latest at the bottom.

    Congrats it’s amazing work you’re doing!

  2. 2 Steve Roberts
    July 27, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Good morning and Happy Monday … wow !!! My project !!! 🙂 This is so cool, I recently purchased a 1952 Thompson 14′ TVT … and I’m embarking on my first adventure into classic wooden boat restoration. I’ve got mine stripped down to the bare wood now and will soon start to refinish her … I was wondering if you could let me know where you purchased the decals for the sides ???

    Any help would be greatly appreciated ??? thanks …
    Steve

    • 3 conductorjonz
      July 27, 2009 at 10:26 pm

      Hi Steve!

      The boat is also my first adventure into boat restoration, something I always wanted to try.

      These boats are amazingly sturdy, seem to seal up quickly when placed in water. They ride exceptionally well,even in chop. I run a 1956 Johnson 30hp on mine, and that is plenty of power with headroom for top end speed.

      The decals are by Phill Blank. Go to this web page in the link and down near the bottom is his ad. They are waterslide decals, so I put a nice smooth coat of varnish on the wood, then applied the decal, then finihs coats of varnish. They’re really nicely done.

      http://www.thompsondockside.com/boathouse.htm

      The website is also for other Thompson owners and info. http://www.thompsondockside.com/index.htm

      Take care, and let me know if I can help.

      Greg


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