Archive for March, 2010

The 1947 Garwood Ensign Puzzle

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

In a few emails with Tony Mollica, it may have been discovered that this boat is a 1947 Ensign. He stated that, “when production ended in March of 1947, unfinished hulls were sold as is and new owners finished them as best they could.”

I will continue to search for a hull number, but this may have to wait until I’m ready to start taking the old Garwood apart…

Under this assumption of having a “factory unfinished” 1947 Garwood Ensign, what options where available at that time, and what do I have to work with? Evaluating what I have to work with and what actually fits within the available options of the time will probably determine many aspects of our restoration. However, we do like the clear finished wooden sides as opposed to the white painted sides. And, the previous placement of the battery in this hull is pretty cool. (I think I’ve seen it next to the engine under the floors in other ensigns…)

But what’s Right?
I guess more research is needed…

So what is there to work with…
Most of the hull seems to have been properly assembled, it’s mainly the deck that doesn’t belong to an Ensign. Parts within the boat are starting to give clues as to what seems to have been assembled in-factory vs. afterwords. The bilge, topside frames and planking mostly have red paint buried under coats of green and grey paint. However, parts of the transom and all of the deck are unpainted. Was this a standard practice at the factory or is this an actual clue as to what doesn’t belong? A lot of the deck framing is also made of various sizes, pieces, and types of wood – mostly red oak and pine.

The puzzle of trying to figure out what we have seems to have brought on even more mystery, but the challenge of discovery is also a welcome part of the restoration process that goes along with classic wood boats. It’s hard just waiting to get started, but boating season is just around the corner and additional projects must come first! We have to checkout our Riviera for another season of riding and there’s a small addition to our garage I want…)

On a side note: Tony also said that the Antique Boat Museum volunteers are currently restoring a Garwood Ensign, that the ABM has lots of photos and drawings for reference, and that the ABM sponsors a boat show whose feature this year is the Garwood.

More Lost than Before…

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Let me go over a few things here…

  • Bow to stern the boat measures 16 feet down the middle. It’s 6′ 4″ wide with about 7′ of open space in the cockpit behind the front seat divider.
  • The previous owner said it was a 1934 Garwood?
    He obtained it at auction with two other boats; a 60-something Chris Craft Capri that his son redone and a Century which he uses at a lake cottage…

  • Looking though Tony Mollica’s Garwood Boats book:
    • From the rounded bullnose I thought it look more like a 1946 or 47′ Ensign.
    • But the center gauge looks like one used on 1936’s and 1938’s
    • The split cutwater says post-war…
    • On the stern, the “Racing-style” quick-fill gas cap looks Garwood
    • …And the matching vent too
    • There are not any “Garwood” step pads (frames seem to be aluminum or some-sort of potmetal that’s chrome plated?)
    • Didn’t see any windshield brackets like I have in the book?
    • Engine is not the original, there mismatched engine bed logs with red oak wedges and shaft log has been relocated plus there’s an adjustable angle strut…
    • Not to mention the hot rod steering wheel and gas pedal on the floor… (not seen anywhere in Tony’s book?)
  • The bottom has an “old-school” poly-type fiberglass bottom. (It doesn’t seem connected when you tap on it, there’s just a strip of wood attached at the waterline that seems to be holding it in place.)
  • The boat has an Indiana registration sticker from 1985 – It hasn’t been out of the water very long…
  • And every time I look at it, I think what a cute little boat. Bet she’ll really scoot!
  • The interior layout is like an Ensign, Utility, or Deluxe…
  • But the bow doesn’t have a raised/stacked quarter-round like the Ensign?
  • I’ve unsuccessfully looked for a Hull Number inside the transom, on the aft deck frames, inside the engine box, on either engine stringer, on the backside of the dash, on the wood portions of the seats, on the bilge side of both floor hatches, on the keel, on the insides of both stringers, along the top-half of the starboard stringer, on the framework for all the seats, and yet have not found anything! Arg!

Anyways, I’ve uploaded a few more pictures to the gallery…

ID-search 018.jpg AftDeckColor.jpg 109_0982.JPG EngineOut 009.jpg

The Search Continues…

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Got some time this past weekend and pulled the GreyMarine 6 engine out to take a closer look for a hull number. I’ve been looking for sometime and have yet to encounter one anywhere.

I have looked at the deck under the bow, all along the main stringers, on the keel, behind seat backs, inside the engine cover… Also, behind the fuel tank, but there’s been extra wood added in places covering some original wood. And, back of the dash was checked out, but lots of add-on gauges have been installed throughout the years. However, the “original” gauge cluster has number 05477 stamped on it. Could this be something?

Anyways, I’ve uploaded a few more pictures to the gallery…

EngineOut 005.jpg ID-search 003.jpg gar4.jpg gar2.jpg