John C Peterson

The John C came in for some major work. The engine was to be replaced with a new Caterpillar, the ribs were to be replaced around the engine, and a few other things were to be fixed. Of course we all know how it goes when you work on an old wooden boat. Its like opening up a can of worms. DESCRIPTION
DESCRIPTION After taking out the engine and sitting it on the deck we were left with an oily cruddy mess. After working a week in her bilge you could step out of your pants and they would remain standing. In this picture things don't look too bad do they? A bit of muck and mess, but most of the bad stuff is buried under the ceiling (which is the floor to you landlubbers)
This boat had been worked on before, and the top pieces of the ribs were replaced while she was in the water. Due to the turn of the bilge however, the new pieces didn't come down very far and the joints were they were made up to the old ribs were too close together. So we started ripping them out. That's not as easy as it looks. Not only does every single tool you set down go rolling down into the bilge, if your not careful you go rolling down too... DESCRIPTION
DESCRIPTION Here the stopping point is defined. The fuel tanks on either side can not come out, and the main pump in the middle is not to be disturbed. Right between the posts in the picture there was a large hydraulic tank that we took out and sent off to be cleaned and painted.
This view, taken from where the front of the engine would of been shows what I like to call the GMM (pronounced GMM) or the Great Mucky Mess. As you will see in later pictures, as things were removed we had to make provision for holding up the cabin and deck above. Working around temporary posts not only gives you a nice handhold when your sliding toward the keel, but also provides wonderfully hard surfaces to smack your head into. DESCRIPTION
DESCRIPTION The shaftlog and stuffing box look like they could use a little tender loving care don't they? Lets add that to the list of things that need to be fixed.
Finally Ribs start to go in. These are on the Starboard aft and are made up to the large stern frame that goes clear across the boat. DESCRIPTION
DESCRIPTION Its a long walk from the bandsaw in the shop to where the rib goes. The only way to make it bearable is to throw it on your shoulder and sing while you march. Preferably songs about railroads and ships and other tough guy things...
These ribs are tough to make. There is such a large change in angle around the turn of the bilge, and they are in such tight quarters that they were real misery makers. DESCRIPTION
DESCRIPTION A clamping we will go, a clamping we will go, Hi Ho the derry oh, a clamping we will go. Oh, excuse me, that picture brings back memories. I barely fit under there. "You can never have too many clamps", Pop always says.
Ahh, this is different. Instead of having the shaftlog come up and end with the stuffing box fastened into the end grain, lets fasten cheek pieces to the sides of the shaftlog and put a frame all the way across, fastened to the cheek pieces. That way nothing can move about, and there is plenty of white oak to bolt the stuffing box to. DESCRIPTION
DESCRIPTION Look at that clean white oak. Once the pieces of the ribs, which are four inches wide and six high for a total rib size of eight by six, are fastened together permanetly they are liberally coated with a mixture of linseed oil and turpentine. That has a peculiar smell that always makes the wife turn her nose up at me.
The Port aft corner was worse than the starboard one. We replaced a long section of the deck clamp as well as the ribs. Because of that we had to take a plank or two off and stick posts up through the boat to support the deck. DESCRIPTION
DESCRIPTION This outside view shows the posts going up through the boat as well as the mess used to hold up the boat. That small plank removed right under the gunwhale was the only bad plank in her hull above the waterline. If I remember correctly its problem was it had been cut too short which left a really large butt joint which leaked water in and rotted the back of the joint out.
The starboard side is in much better shape. DESCRIPTION
DESCRIPTION What to do, what to do, what to do. About the time this picture was taken we started thinking about what to do with the Stern post. Tis a bit leaky, a bit loose, and a bit rotten. And to make matters worse, its not actually perpendicular to the shaft line. And the hole for the shaft is nasty. Hrmmm. What to do...
The ribs are in. The ceiling is next on the list. DESCRIPTION
DESCRIPTION We reused as much of the ceiling as possible, most of it was nice and hard.
The cleaned and painted hydraulic tank is back. Instead of hiring in a crane we set up one of our A frames. Cheaper than a crane and all it requires is a lot of heavy lifting to get it in place. DESCRIPTION
DESCRIPTION I finally made up my mind about the sternpost and just cut it off. Now there is no more messing about with it, We will just replace it. Here is where the can of worms comes along and just slaps me in the face. If you click on this picture and look at in larger size you can see the logging on top of the shaftlog is rotten, and the two planks that lie alongside the logging are in bad shape as well.
While working on the Stern Post area, we are also making new cross frames to go underneath the engine beds. As Pop likes to say, "Paint it white and trim it white" A coat of paint really sharpens everything up in here. DESCRIPTION
DESCRIPTION Because of the damage around the stern post we ended up making a new horn timber. Here you can see the knee that ties the aft end of the horn timber into the last stern frame. Once again, these are tight quarters to work in.
The forward end of the horn timber dies out on top of the logging, and in order to mate the two together I made a wedge that lies on top of both. Then we bolted everything together. Drilling down through the wedge, horn timber, logging, shaftlog, and keel is a tricky operation, and requires a multitude of different length drill bits, a lot of patience, a powerful drill (we use a Milwaukee Hole Hog) and a willingness to endure smashed knuckles. DESCRIPTION
DESCRIPTION Here lie the finished engine beds, waiting for an engine.
A couple things strike my eye in this picture. First, the logging and the cut in the horn timber seem to be a bit forward of where the stern post used to be. I ended up cutting off the end of the keel and shaftlog so that everything was in line, and then we put in a much larger stern post. The second thing I notice is my lunch box sitting there on the cribbing. This was right around the time my good friend Mike Riggins decided it would be funny to fill my lunch box up with water. With my lunch in it... DESCRIPTION
DESCRIPTION The horn timber actually acts as a plank on the bottom of the hull, so in order to hold the planks that run alonside the horn timber we made cheek pieces for it. Bolts were run from the side of one cheek piece, through the horn timber and out through the other cheek piece.
New framing was installed in the stern and this is a view from inside out. DESCRIPTION
DESCRIPTION Looking back into the stern, it becomes easy to see how hard a place to work it is. Very crowded, very little head room, and very uncomfortable. We tried to make it nicer for future shipwrights by routing the edges of the framing, so you are not getting cut up while laying back there. You can also see the galvanized rods that run from the deck beams down and back into the stern frame. These help support the stern.
Its time to start replacing all the wood work in the engine room. We started by putting new support pieces under the benches and replacing the deck posts. You can see the new engine beds run back as far as possible. Its always best to tie them into everything you can as all the thrust from the engine is transferred to the boat through them. DESCRIPTION
DESCRIPTION The juxtaposition of antique car and wooden boat makes a nice study doesn't it?
Its warm enough to start replacing planks on the outside. As soon as they are all replaced the caulkers can start recaulking the entire boat. DESCRIPTION
DESCRIPTION This is the same area but looking aft.
The new Stern post is in place and planking is continuing. You can see from the cotton and oakum hanging out that the corkers are getting impatient. They are chasing us around the boat pounding cotton in the seams almost before we make the planks fast. DESCRIPTION
DESCRIPTION Because it was almost impossible to make this frame perpendicular to the shaft line the great inventor, Pop, came up with yet another of his famous jigs. This one holds a small router and rotates around a piece of shaft held centered in the shaft log. It did most of the work and left only a bit of truing up with a hammer and chisel to be done.
The same setup worked on the aft side of the sternpost DESCRIPTION
DESCRIPTION Everyone was in a rush to get the boat in the water so they could go catch their quota of oysters for the season. Here she is after being moved back towards the shop.
The newly rebuilt stern. We had to turn the rudder to keep it from hitting the capstan on the way over to the railway. Moving an 82 foot boat on a 32 foot long crosscar is no joke. Lots of heavy lifting, jacking, and carrying of blocking, and when the boat is finally moved it looks like a tornado went through the yard. DESCRIPTION
DESCRIPTION On the way down the railway you would be able to see how close she is to rubbing against the shop if some knucklehead hadn't stuck his greasy finger on the camera lens before shooting the following pictures. My apologies...
Once we finished the structual work we started replacing the cabin area behind the main engine. I wanted the boat to look somewhat like it did originally, so we used a lot of tongue and grove around the curved benches and on the cabin sides. It is a nice look. DESCRIPTION
DESCRIPTION The steps into the engine room used to sit on top of the curved bench which made it very hard to get in and out of the engine room. A slight change in the bench and a bit of figuring gave a set of steps with a changing angle for each step, but all the steps are now the same height.
I disagree with Pop when it comes to paint schemes. I'm not a fan of paint it white, trim it white, so we went with white everywhere except wearing surfaces which were painted gray. DESCRIPTION
DESCRIPTION The electrical connections were put in a new cabinet.
It still looks like a rats nest where the wires and controls come from the wheelhouse down to the engine room, but we did all we could. Many of the original wires were unused, so they were traced out and removed, while others were traced out, disconnected, reran, and reconnected so they didn't tangle around other wires. The new engine is now almost all hooked up. DESCRIPTION
DESCRIPTION We put in a lot of new plumbing. In this picture you can see the new connections for the keel cooler, as well as the connections for the auxiliary pump which takes water from either outside the hull, or in case of emergency from the bilge. Turning both white handles on the ball valves switches between the two.
Here is the Port side of the main engine. DESCRIPTION
DESCRIPTION One of the jobs we were supposed to accomplish in the very beginning was fixing the two doors on the boat. Both had loose joints due to slamming back and forth all the time. We carried them into the shop and Pop reglued the joints, and routed in some stainless steel plates to further support the joint. They came out pretty good.
The last we saw of her was backing down the ditch on her way out to work. This was a fun project and I look forward to doing more like it in the future. DESCRIPTION

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