Barry 2019-03-15

Taking a 46 year old classic runabout, that was badly decaying and ready for the tip and bringing new live and style into it, was a labour of love for over two years and more than 2000 hours for Hawkes Bay boating enthusiast, David Grace. 

The result is an outstanding craft that is way beyond what designer Frank Pelin every envisaged. David Grace bought the boat from a young guy in Upper Hutt who was in the process of restoration but due to family commitments decided to sell it early on in the resto.
There was a lot of work to be done, especially as she had rotten gunwales and the deck was a mess”, said David
“ My idea was to not just restore the boat but turn it into a “Riva” style runabout, the same as was used by famous people around the Med. I always liked the look of the boats and with the Pelin I had the basis to start with”, says David.

First he cut the topsides off at 30cm above the chine. With the hull on the floor of the workshop the trailer went for a rebuild and the Volvo engine and outdrive were removed. After a major cleanup he then set about replacing the frames, stringers and floor beams.

“The ring frames were a fun challenge as I had to use long cedar strips to get a rough shape before cutting the frames to fit. No plans to follow made it quite hard to get perfectly accurate”, added David.

David pointed out that there is no gunwhale until right near the bow and although he hasn’t counted the strips, it took 2 years to lay one strip per night!
The ring frames made so the deck could be removed when all the strips were in place. The deck was then turned over, and then glassed inside with 450gm glass and epoxy. Next the deck was turned upright, glued back on the hull and then sanded till smooth.

With the hull and deck completed David’s attention went to the cockpit and engine cover. The  local Volvo man was called on to service and reinstall the 1973 engine and outdrive. The first showing of the boat was the Wooden Boat Parade at Lake Rotoiti in early Feb and there are plans to take the boat to the Vintage Boat Regatta at Nelson Lakes in March.
David says he is very happy how the boat runs, and the fact it is obviously much lighter than the original, it hardly wets the chines even at the transom. Plans are to sell the boat and start another project.

© 2020 All Right Reserved By Boatmags.
Website Designed & Developed By Stealth Media Ltd.