All Boat Misc

1910 John Leckie, Limited, Toronto – Gimballed Compass

This is a gimballed compass, meaning it stays level while being tossed around at sea. Physicist Edward Ritchie was a well-known American compass maker who developed the first liquid-filled instrument in 1861. He was prolific, and the company he founded, Ritchie Navigation, is in business to this day. This instrument dates to somewhere between 1910 and 1920. John Leckie operated a netting and hardware business for commercial fishing between 1861 and 1908, and that business continues to this day under the name Leckie’s Lakefish Net and Twine.

Didn’t want to break the glass so I removed the drain plug and used the air compressor to push the glass out. I had never tried this and was surprised when it popped out with so much force my family heard it upstairs and thought something exploded!

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1937 Envirude Barn-find

Found in a barn in Youngstown, this outboard was destined for the scrap pile. Rinsing the barn dirt off started to expose the good condition of the motor. Dismantled the lower unit to inspect the gears and water pump which had minimal wear (after removing a substance I hope was grease…lol) despite their 83 years.

The project snowballed into a complete dismantle and next was the gas tank and head unit. Each part was lightly cleaned, inspected and set aside. The tank and carb needed a good cleaning but didn’t need to have any parts replaced.

Reassembled and added a 1/2 quart of TruFuel and checked for leaks. 3 pulls later, It ran for a few seconds and stalled. Noticed a leak in the fuel line connection to the carb and the water pickup tube needed to be secured to the water pump. A few adjustments and the second attempt ran until I turned off the fuel valve. On to the next project…


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1947 GoodYear Outboard motor

I was visiting my favorite scrap yard before they closed and noticed what looked like an outboard motor.  The owner’s wife said she thought it would look cool restored but didn’t know who would do it.  😉  I couldn’t resist.


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USS Trippe

This is definitely a project that won’t fit in the shop.  The Buffalo Maritime Museum is making a replica of the War of 1812 sloop USS Trippe and I was asked to help out.


(Sloop: t. 60; cpl. 35; a. 1 long 32-pdr.)

Contractor—a merchant sloop purchased by the Navy on the Niagara River in New York in 1812—was converted to a warship by Henry Eckford of New York; renamed Trippe; and placed in commission soon thereafter, Lt. Thomas Holdup in command.

For awhile, Trippe and her sister ships, fitted out on the Niagara River, were bottled up by British shore batteries at Fort George. However, Commodore Chauncey’s squadron joined the troops under Col. Winfield Scott in a combined attack upon the fort, and it fell on 27 May 1813. The fall of Fort George forced the British to evacuate Fort Erie as well. With the river open, Chauncey’s ships began passage of the Niagara rapids on 6 June 1813 and, on the 19th joined Oliver Hazard Perry’s fleet at Erie, Pa.

Trippe and the rest of Perry’s squadron remained at Erie for another month. At first, the need for additional men to complete its crews kept the fleet in port. Later, a British blockade restricted its movement. However, the British were not exceedingly vigilant; and, on 4 August, Trippe and the other ships crossed the bar to leave Erie harbor. They remained near Erie until the 12th when they set sail for the western end of Lake Erie.

Perry established his operating base in Put In Bay at South Bass Island. That location afforded him excellent lines of communications with American forces to the south and put him within easy striking distance of Commodore Robert Barclay’s British fleet, based just inside the mouth of the Detroit River at Amherstburg.

For over a month, the British ships remained at their base under the protection of heavy shore batteries. However, Barclay had to order his ships out of the river in order that supplies might be delivered to British troops operating near the Detroit River. They weighed anchor on 9 September and departed Amherstburg. At sunrise the following morning, American lookouts sang out, “Sail ho.” Perry’s ships, including Trippe, cleared for action and headed out in the line of battle with flagship Lawrence in the lead. Though they outnumbered the British nine ships to six, the Americans were outgunned 54 to 63. Undaunted, Perry, hampered by light winds, edged his men-of-war closer to the enemy.

By midday, the two forces opened fire. The British concentrated on the lead American ships, Lawrence, Caledonia, and Niagara. Meanwhile, Trippe—stationed near the rear of the American force—fought a long range duel with Lady Prevost and Little Belt, battering Lady Prevost severely. The Britisher’s captain and her first lieutenant received serious wounds, and she herself, reduced to an unmanageable wreck, fell off to leeward. Perry’s flagship suffered similar damage, but he moved his flag to Niagara and ordered his ships forward, through the enemy line. Trippe charged ahead, firing furiously. The British resisted the American onslaught heroically, but—one by one—they struck their colors. When Chippeway and Little Belt attempted to flee, Trippe and Scorpion overhauled them and herded them back to their defeated fleet.

The Battle of Lake Erie, Trippe’s only action in the War of 1812, assured American control of Lake Erie and enabled American troops led by General William Henry Harrison to win a decisive victory in the Battle of the Thames. Throughout the remainder of her career, Trippe carried supplies to support General Harrison’s land operations. In October, the British attacked Buffalo at the east end of the lake and forced the Americans to evacuate the city. They found Trippe aground near Buffalo Creek and set fire to her. She and her cargo of supplies burned completely.

Official USS Trippe website –>

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Maritime Center working to re-create War of 1812 vessel

  Kevin McCarthy, Trustee of the Friends of the Edward M. Cotter. works on a replica of the USS Trippe, War of 1812 Armed Cutter, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013. He’s putting a cedar bender on the hull. It is being constructed at The Buffalo Maritime Center in Riverside. They hope to finish for the bicentennial celebration of the Battle of Lake Erie in Sandusky Ohio in September. The Friends of the Edward M. Cotter own the boat. {Sharon Cantillon / Buffalo News}

Published: 02/2/2013, 10:48 PM

Resurrecting a piece of area’s naval history

Maritime Center working to re-create War of 1812 vessel

BY: T.J. Pignataro / News Staff Reporter | @TJPignataro

Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, the naval hero from the War of 1812, was never one to give up on a ship.

Neither are volunteers at the Buffalo Maritime Center who, two centuries later, are endeavoring to re-create the armed cutter USS Trippe, one of Perry’s nine vessels in a fleet that he led to victory in the Battle of Lake Erie on Sept. 10, 1813.

A replica of Perry’s 34-foot vessel is being assembled not far from the Black Rock site where the original was built in 1811.

With a lot more elbow grease, epoxy and spar varnish, what is now a wooden hull of a ship inside an Arthur Street industrial building should be transformed into a seaworthy replica of the USS Trippe in time for September’s bicentennial commemoration of the historic battle off shore near Put-in-Bay, Ohio.

“It’s a means to once again tell Buffalo’s history that has become somewhat lost,” said Roger Allen, a master ship-builder and the director of the Buffalo Maritime Center who is advising a volunteer crew in crafting the boat. “The history of not just the War of 1812, but the history of Buffalo’s maritime tradition, is evaporating.”

Kevin McCarthy, trustee of the Friends of the Edward M. Cotter fireboat – the organization that owns the Trippe replica – is equally excited.

“It’s a memento of a time that shouldn’t be forgotten,” he said.

The Trippe won’t be forgotten if these local maritime history buffs have anything to say about it, but there’s a lot to accomplish in the next seven months – both on and off the vessel.

First is a Feb. 19 scheduled presentation to the Niagara River Greenway Commission in hopes of securing a $90,000 grant that will be essential to completing the project in time. Those funds would be allocated primarily toward materials needed to complete construction and to outfit the Trippe, such as nearly $50,000 to complete all the spars, sails and rigging for the vessel; $20,500 for the fabrication of a 6,800-pound lead keel; and $5,000 for a 16-pound replica long cannon.

As the Greenway Commission process moves forward, volunteers will continue pushing ahead with affixing old-growth redwood cedar veneer over the already-crafted mahogany strips that make up the hull before moving ahead with construction to the deck and interior framing, according to Allen and McCarthy.

When that work is complete and the bicentennial celebration is wrapped up, officials from the Maritime Center envision the Trippe returning to a permanent location at its historical home port.

“We’re hoping we’re going to be able to dock her in Black Rock,” Allen said.

The Maritime Center got a huge helping hand in launching the project when shipbuilder Jim Watkins donated the handcrafted, solid mahogany ship hull. He spent three years building the hull, and it’s valued at $70,000.

Watkins had planned to use the vessel as a cruising boat to travel about the South Pacific but later decided to make the donation to the Friends of the Cotter organization through McCarthy, his longtime friend.

Not only was the hull in great condition, but it was designed in a “very, very similar” fashion to that of the Trippe, making the transition to its new purpose almost seamless, said Allen, who was recruited to the Maritime Center a few years ago. Allen’s resume includes stints as a master shipbuilder at the Philadelphia Maritime Museum and curator of boat-building technology for the state of North Carolina.

The Trippe “would have served as a sniper and a courier vessel,” Allen said.

In the Battle of Lake Erie, a half-dozen or so Kentucky long-riflemen aboard the Trippe sniped at royal forces in the rigging or crow’s-nests of the British naval vessels while as many other riflemen below reloaded the weapons. The Trippe would also have moved both men and munitions among the fleet during the battle.

It’s believed, said McCarthy, that the Trippe led Perry’s fleet when it traveled in a straight line and was in the “most leeward,” or downwind, position when the fleet sailed abreast.

After surviving the Battle of Lake Erie intact, the Trippe was returned to Buffalo and pulled up onto a beach along the Buffalo River at about the site where the General Mills plant now stands. There, she was burned by British forces during the December 1813 torching of the village of Buffalo.

Allen, McCarthy and others intend to put the Buffalo Maritime Center on a voyage similar to that of the Erie Maritime Museum in Erie, Pa., the home port of the re-creation of Perry’s Flagship Niagara, where day sails, extensive volunteerism and educational programming are offered 90 miles down Lake Erie. The Niagara enjoyed overwhelming fanfare locally in September when it docked in Buffalo for Navy Week.

“We’re working on something a little bit smaller, but it isn’t anything less historically significant,” McCarthy said. “The intent would be to use this as a rallying point where we bring all these diverse groups together to tell a common story of maritime history around Buffalo.”

For more information, to donate or become a member of the Buffalo Maritime Center, visit

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Arrrr…walk the plank!

I thought I would get caught up on some of my boat projects…

I got tired of balancing on the trailer when hooking up the boat so I made a wide plank.  Of course you can buy a bolt on version but that would be too easy…lol

It started out as an easy project.  A 6″ x 60″ piece of plate steel from the Metal Supermarket and a few holes…the project was going well until I went to apply the grit coat.  I picked up a can of GOOP Anti-Skid from Pep Boys and when I sprayed it on the top, it came out of the can in a stream.  I went to grab a brush to even the finish and by the time I came back, all the layers of paint had bubbled like I had applied paint stripper!  !@#$%^&*(  can is going back to The Boys…especially when I looked at the date on the bottom and it was from 2009!

Plan B – grind a rough surface and clear coat it…

Project 2 was an old paddle that didn’t fare well over the winter…I’ll add the final pictures after some sanding and finish.

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Boat Dash Upgrade

Re-configure the gauges and accessories in the family StarCraft SS160 boat.  Used stainless steel to mount the gauges.

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