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You are browsing the archive for building a gentleman's racer | Port Carling Boats - Antique & Classic Wooden Boats for Sale.

by Rob

Gentleman’s Racer “Bug Bite” hits the water!

September 11, 2019 in Uncategorized

Congratulations to master builder Kevin Fitzke of Minnesota, USA,  on the creation of his Gentleman’s Racer “Bug Bite.” We have featured Kevin’s work in an earlier post when the boat was under construction in his shop. Since then, Kevin has launched Bug Bite successfully.  Enjoy the photos, his comments and the brief video  below.

Additional notes from Kevin:
“Bugbite is a little under 17′ in length and is 5′ on the beam. It’s has a pretty dramatic chamfer on the chines and step which create an illusion of a small free-board. As for speed, I’m not entirely sure how fast this boat will be. From what I’ve been able to find in the old Motor Boating magazines and such is I believe this boat broke the speed record at 69 mph in 1940. However, it’s a little confusing if it was this actual design or if it was a early Ventnor three-pointer design. Either way I’m not looking to try to break any speed records, I just think it’s got some great lines to the design and I’ll have plenty of fun at cruising speed.

For a very brief video of “Bug Bite” in action, please click on the link below.


by Rob

A beautiful new-build Gentleman’s Racer “Bugbite.”

July 2, 2019 in Uncategorized

Our congratulations to Kevin Fitzke. of the USA who has completed a two year creation of a classic-design Gentleman’s Racer.
To say that Kevin is a talented craftsman is an understatement . “Bugbite” is a masterpiece. Enjoy Kevin’s  photos and description below.

Designed by A.Apel of Ventnor Boat Works
-Ventnor’s factory boat is very similar to this printed plans version but has some difference according to the 1936 catalog i.e. bigger step, more dramatic sheerline, forward chine section, signature Ventnor trim tab etc.

Plans originally published in the 1935 Feb. issue of Motor Boating Magazine
– Plans were again published in the 1936 Motor Boating Ideal Series Book, vol. 17
– Unknown how many of the factory or replicas were ever built. I have some photos of a couple different factory and replicas.
– Sunflower Craft Boatworks made a version (Printed in The Real Runabouts book vol. 1) that is located in Michigan.
– However, there are four other known boats being built to these printed plans. In which only one of them is functional (Ike K. in Seattle Washington)
Bugbite –

– Been about two years so far in the build
– White oak framing, cold molded with bronze fasteners
– Lloyds Marine plywood planking, cold molded with bronze fasteners
– 1/4″ Philippine decking with chrome plated brass screws exposed
– Marine two-part hybrid varnish on the deck (11 coats)
– Marine two-part urethane paint and clear coat (5 coats)
– Gold leafed and hand lettered name, Bugbite and racing number
– Hand made aluminum windshield and air scoop (In progress)
– Aviation inspired dash
– 1965 GM 283 cu.in. motor with Borg/Warner hydraulic transmission (About 190 hp)
-Tuck-n-roll upholstery (In progress)
– Custom trailer

The name Bugbite is because once you get bit by the boat bug you are hooked. It is also a pretty small boat hence the ‘Bug”. The racing number, F-36 is for the 225cu.in race division (F Class) this boat was designed for and 36 is my age right while I complete the boat.

I’m not sure if this boat is technically a replica, reproduction, modern classic, contemporary etc. in terms of what to officially call it? I’ve been calling it a modern classic based on the Ventnor designed boat.

by Rob

First Time Boat Builder Creates a Masterpiece

May 20, 2016 in Uncategorized

Congratulations to David Harrison, of Orangeville Ontario, on the completion of his first boat. To see this 16 foot Gentleman’s Racer, you would think that David had been building boats for years…
Gentleman's racer-1
Dave has completed this wonderful John Hacker design Gentleman’s racer, complete with 90 hp Chrysler Ace engine with 6 volt power. He fabricated everything for the boat, including the steering
wheel that was incorporated into a Model T wheel frame.
Follow the sequence of photos below to appreciate the patience, skill and determination that went into this build.

Gentleman's Racer-2

We used oak door skins for templates to install the planks

Gentleman's Racer-3

16 ft. African mahogany planks arrived . We began milling them to the proper size.

Gentleman's Racer-4

…began to steam the transom planks

Gentleman's Racer-6

Decking complete!

Gentleman's Racer-7

Gentleman's Racer-8

The Chrysler Ace engine is installed

Gentleman's Racer-9

Grid flooring will allow for greater air circulaiton

Gentleman's Racer-10

Voila! Masterpiece completed!

Port Carling Boats – Antique & Classic Wooden Boats for Sale