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by Rob

A Norse cruiser rises like a Phoenix from the ashes!

December 13, 2017 in Uncategorized

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.

 

by Rob

A 42′ Elco cabin cruiser is reborn.

November 30, 2017 in Uncategorized

The rather tired Elco cruiser awaits surgery at Sirens Boat Works.

The folks at Sirens Boat Works in Manotick, Ontario have kindly forwarded a report on their recently completed restoration of a very substantial Elco cabin cruiser.  This was obviously a mammoth, two year project. Hats off to Sirens for preserving a significant piece of nautical history. Their description is below.

TENANGO is a 1930 42′ ELCO Flat Top.  She has been a major focus of SIRENs Boatworks since August 2015.  “She came to us needing significant below waterline work to make her seaworthy. We were contracted to restore her hull”  states Andrew Lee, owner of SIRENS Boatworks.

An external “exo-skeleton” is installed to support the boat while bottom replacement commences.

“Our work was extensive”. To begin, an external skeleton that supported her weight while under repair was fabricated and installed.  This structure allowed workers unrestricted access to her 42’ hull to replace all her framework and keel. “ It was a major effort….TENANGO is a large boat and is built very strong. Even though much of her keel and framework was in poor condition, it was amazing how much effort was needed to dismantle her” reflects Andrew.

We replaced the entire keel with mahogany; and all the framework with white oak;  and installed new western red cedar planking from her waterline down. She’s fastened with traditional bronze fasteners.

While the boat was in the shop the talented owners completed considerable restoration work to her beautiful mahogany interior and significant brass hardware.

“TENANGO has significant pedigree with a colorful history. We are proud to have had the opportunity to have been a significant part of preserving her legacy” claims Andrew.

“Tenango” approaches the finish line.

Voila! The beautiful results of thousands of hours of labour over a two+ year period.

“Tenango” will no doubt provide many more years of service and enjoyment for her proud owners.

SIRENS Boatworks specializes in wooden boat repair and restoration. Owner Andrew Lee and his team work on all types of wooden boats using traditional woods and fasteners combined with modern adhesives.  The scope of their capabilities is extensive.  “We’ve worked on everything from a varnish job on a 10’ hydroplane to replacing complete transoms on cruisers, and today, we’re into a custom new build of a 32’ launch.” states Andrew.

SIRENS Boatworks is located in historic Merrickville on the Rideau, about 45 minutes south west from Ottawa.

 

 

by Rob

Sirens Boat Works continued

January 13, 2016 in Uncategorized

As well as a huge Elco cabin cruiser squeezed into the shop, the staff at Sirens Boat Works have several other projects on the go: a 1930’s Chris-Craft cabin cruiser sporting a new transom, a 1960’s skiff beautifully restored and two Shepherds, an 18 footer undergoing a strip and re-varnish, as well as a 22 footer with more major work undertaken.
1930's Chris-Craft Cruiser - before the new transom
(Chris-Craft minus the transom)

Chris-Craft transom magic!
Vive la difference! What a difference a new transom makes!

18 ft. Shepherd ready for refinishing
(18 ft Shepherd gets a face-lift!)

Shepherd planking work

Shepherd - wood work almost done

multiple craft undergoing surgery!
1960's skiff refurbished

by Rob

Newer Kid on the block…Sirens Boat Works

January 12, 2016 in Uncategorized

Congratulations to owner Andrew Lee and his staff at Sirens Boat Works in Merrickville, Ontario. This company was off our radar until a recent tip alerted us to yet another quality boat restorer. The great variety of boats in the shop speaks to Sirens’ capabilities; everything from a huge Elco cruiser to a Peterborough sponson canoe.
Elco cabin cruiser
Elco on supports
Elco bottom work
Notes from Andrew:
We dropped the keel on the Elco, then we started scarfing in our new sections of frames. We are using a cold molded method for the frames from white oak. Engine room aft are all new full length frames and floor timbers.
We chose to do a mahogany lamination for our new keel.

Peterborough canoe with sponsons
Andrew explains Sirens’ history below:
Intro to Sirens
We are a team of builders and finishers who all share a passion for the craft of wooden boat restoration.
I (Andrew Lee) started Sirens Boatworks 10 years ago in Montreal Quebec. I was a one man shop in a 600 sq. ft garage. I was being fed work by a Chris Craft collector out of New Hampshire for several years.
The time came when I needed a bigger shop when my client was restoring a 1928 28’ Chris Craft triple cockpit – which was reputed to be owned by Al Capone. I moved my shop to Brighton, Ontario to a 1200 sq. ft shop on my father’s property
In 2013 I was contacted by Steve Flewitt of Aylings Marina in Merrickville. They were looking to have a restoration expert on site to service and repair the many wooden boats he stores at his boatyard. I fell in love with Merrickville, quickly made the move and rented out a 2400 sq. ft. shop just down the road from Aylings.
I have since brought on qualified team members who all share the passion for wooden boat restoration.
We are privileged to have the following team members
James Lee: My father has been working with me off and on for the past 10 years. He has Boatbuilding in his heritage and is a natural when it comes to quality craftsmanship and truly understanding wooden boats.
Shawn Neeson: Shawn has been working with me for the past three years, He has a strong background in refinishing and is my right hand man, He also takes care of all accounting duties.
Alexis Nimis: Alexis has been working with me for the past 3 years, She has a strong background in finishing. She is extremely detail oriented, understands wood, and is able to create flawless finishes.
Brendan Lewis: Brendan is the newest member of the team, He has over 20 years experience as a cabinet maker and has recently turned his focus to the craft of wooden boat restoration
Myself (Andrew Lee) : I am a trained cabinet maker who has dedicated the past 10 years to all aspects of wooden boat restoration.
At our newest location in Merrickville we are able to work on boats up to 60ft in length. With a U lift on site its easy to lift boats right out of the Rideau Canal and put them in the shop for work.
(Editor’s note: Stay tuned…more photos to follow…)