Skipper before the fire.
“Skipper” is a 32’ hard top launch that came to an untimely end at the end of the 2015 boating season.
Little remains after the fire.
Little remains after the devastating fire.
She was built by the craftsmen at Norse Boatworks of Penetanguishene in 1947 and used as a family launch in the Georgian Bay area. Her heavy construction and smooth lines made her a safe, dry boat. The boat has been in the family for years. Skipper was always kept in immaculate condition, and had recently undergone a substantial restoration. But, after only eight seasons, a fire and ensuing explosion, attributed to a carburetor leak in one of her twin V8 engines, resulted in a total loss.
The family has commissioned Andrew Lee, owner of SIRENS Boatworks to build a replica of her, exactly as she was. SIREN’s boatwright Montie Masterson has the project lead. “Traditional wood boat building is becoming a lost art” states Montie. “We’re excited about this opportunity.”
Steve Killing of Steve Killing Yacht Design drew her lines from the burnt out shell, which is at Andrew’s main shop in Merrickville, Ontario. Digital measurements were taken and lines were computer drawn. A smaller 25’ Norse of the same era was acquired to serve as a reference, and possibly for select hardware.
Lines drawn by Steve Killing
A CAD programme helps bring the dimensions to life.
The Skipper build started in the fall of 2016. Skipper’s framework and keel are white oak and her planking is western red cedar, carvel from the keel to the splash rail, and lapstrake from the splash rail to the sheer. Like the original, only silicone bronze fasteners are being used; screws in the carvel and rivets in the lapstrake.
The mold template is prepared
Ribs and a new bottom emerge.
Over she goes!
“The owners have tremendous sentimental attachment to this boat. They’re very passionate owners who’ve contracted us to deliver an exact replica,” states Andrew Lee. “This build involves all aspects of boat construction – from design and construction; to mechanical and electrical planning and installations, to sea trials and commissioning. We’re very excited about the opportunity to provide our committed and passionate owners exactly what they want,” claims Andrew.
When asked about the build timeline, Andrew responds that “The boat was flipped upright last week, and we’re getting prepared for the next phase of fitting her interior framework. The owners really want to launch her in 2018 and we’re moving in that direction.”
The “major lifting” of the rebuild is completed.
SIRENS Boatworks specializes in wooden boat repair and restoration. The scope of their capabilities is extensive…..they have the facilities and expertise to handle smaller boats right up to 50’ motor yachts.
SIRENS Boatworks is located in historic Merrickville on the Rideau, about 45 minutes south west from Ottawa.