I have now stripped all the hull sides and decks off my 1948 Speed Liner 14′ Deluxe Racing Runabout. She’s down to just the frames, transom, and hull bottom. She got the first bath she has had in 30 years today. The next step will be to flip her over and remove and replace the plywood bottom. While I have her flipped upside down and after I have removed the hull bottom, I’m going to open up all the weep holes a bit to allow the water to drain all the way to the stern where I will have the bilge pump located. I’m thinking I will fiberglass the new hull bottom since it will be painted anyway. At this point, I think the hull bottom will be black and the hull sides and decks will be stained Chris-Craft mahogany red. These are the same colors I used on my 1950 Thompson 14′ TVT Deluxe Runabout and they came out very well. I think I will stain the covering boards a dark walnut color.
Once I get the hull bottom off, I will sand the frames, stain them a dark reddish-brown color, and seal them with Smith’s CPES. The mahogany frames are generally in pretty good condition. I have a lot of screw holes to fill with dowels so the new screws will have fresh wood to bite into. Besides replacing the plywood bottom, I am also considering replacing the existing middle seam battens with new mahogany because they have some splits and cracks. And no one likes splits and cracks. Right?
The hull bottom seems to be in okay condition so far, but I had to drill a number of holes in it in order to drain off the water I used to give the boat a bath today, so I guess I am committed to replacing the hull bottom now.
The really exciting news is that I discovered the hull ID number plate cleverly hidden on the back side of the rear cockpit dash. Who would’a thunk to look there? I don’t know why they have to make it so hard to find these things, especially when it is so critical to being able to register and title a boat.
Even without any wood on it I think the boat has a very cool shape to it.
Double Jack Rocks!