The First Restoration


Sunshine l l l Restoration 

The first step of my restoration  was to get as much information as possible and to make sure that  it was accurate. Sunshine l l l was delivered new in 1939  to Lake Placid, A 17' Chris Craft  DE LUXE runabout,  it was purchased  by  Kated Corp. which was  owned  by Kate Smith and Ted Collins.  The  second owner of  the boat was  Max Cohen owner of  Mr. Deno's fine clothing also of  Lake Placid,  it was then sold  from his estate to Bill Morgan owner of Morgan marine who is the current owner and builder of  Hacker Craft located in silver bay Lake George.

 Sunshine l l l was in need of some TLC as she had been on dry land for a number of years. The top and sides were in good shape but time had taken it's toll  on the bottom. When we went to Lake Placid we talked to a lot of interesting  people who remembered Kate  and Sunshine l l l.

Below is a picture taken the day that we went to look at the boat, at Morgan Marine. Even after sitting for a number years, with a little bit of effort  we were able to take  her for  a ride.

Click on thumb nail to view Sunshine before restoration.

  Sunshine lll one of four boats Kate Smith owned



Sunshine l l l stayed in Lake Placid until October 1994 ,when my wife and I purchased her.  She was one of  four boats owned by Kate Smith. I was able to get the purchase date and a lot of good information  from the Mariners Museum. The restoration took about fours years to complete . But first things first. We needed a  place to do the work ,so we had to build a barn. 

After completion of the barn restoration was started . Next we brought  Sun Shine in and removed all of  her  hardware, removed the engine and  turned the hull upside down. Removing all of the old planks proved to be quite a feat.  when we removed  the old bottom we found that the ribs and inner  planking were still in good shape. Had to replace the chine on the port side and most of the transom and inner structure.

 I know that there is a lot to be said about doing the bottom with plywood and epoxy but I wanted to the keep it  as close to the original as possible, so I  chose to do it the old fashion way . With the canvas in between the layers. 

We had to build a steam box to get the bend on the front curve of the bow planks. To refasten the bottom silicon bronze screws were used in stead of brass.

Photo of engine and front compartment shows what the rest of the  inside looked like.

   Click on photo's to view.




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I am sure that there  are a lot of people that have done  more  restoring  than I have, my intent is not to bore you on how to do it or say my  way is better, just to show what one amateur  can do. If any one out there has done a restoration I hope they  will share it with us on speedboat classics.

 The following pictures will show some of the progress that was made. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. All mahogany used above the water  line was done in Philippine mahogany we found it very difficult to find the length and width that we needed for the bottom, for that we used Honduran  mahogany. Its amazing how over the years the boat remained in such  good condition,  considering  how some of the current day boat yards did their repairs on old wooden boats, I guess that  they figured  they were headed for the bone yard.

 Found all kind's of iron screws don't know  what there were thinking of. If you don't do it your self or take it to  a professional restorer it's not  going to get done the right way. I for one sure am glad that there are so many people dedicated to saving a little bit of a bye gone area.

 We realize that pictures take a while to load, but  one picture is worth a thousand words.

 Some of the repairs that were done by the yard were done with 5200, if you have ever had to take any thing apart that was stuck together with this stuff you will know what I mean. All wiring  was done over, the temp gauge needed repairing  and all the hardware was in need of new chrome.  Magazine. 

 I have been around the water all my life and growing up with my dad when he had old wooden boats and giving him a hand to repair them, helped me  in later years  with my restorations. 

well are you ready for some more pictures? Hope you enjoyed my project, did not want to bore you with how to do, just what  you can do if you believe in your self.







The Second Coming


A bit older a little wiser, after soaking every time I wanted to use her  It it was taking longer and longer, and even after it would still leak quite a bit.   this time bottom was done with 52 hundred. New keel, chine's  and transom the boat was a 1939 Deluxe model  first time around top deck was never  brought back to original so we finished it the way it  was when new.

Some pictures of second restoration


Much to my regret SUNSHINE was Sold , New owner has taken her back  to LAKE  PLACID  where she was

delivered to  KATE SMITH   in  1939.