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P.O. Box 91    Gloucester, North Carolina     (252) 729-8021   blake@blakeboatworks.com

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Don't Flip Out - Spring's Coming!

Notes from the Field - "Cherokee" Huckins Restoration Project

February 2, 2001  Big happenings with Ms. Cherokee as February descends upon us. To prepare for bikini season, she's had a sort of liposuction with the removal of her stern. Tom and Leonard, with the help of a chainsaw and the finer "Sawzall" tool, cut out the transom. This leaves the vessel much lighter and open for engine room repairs and vessel length extension - Tom and Leonard are planning to extend the sides and make Cherokee a full five inches longer. This facilitates the placement and performance of the jet drives.

Rip and Tear
Leonard Preparing for the Big Transom Cut


Surgeons at Work Stern Reduction
Tom and Leonard Remove Transom


Not only was the removal of the transom cause for celebration, so was "Wild Bill's" birthday. He was surprised and embarrassed by a lunchtime festive moment. We let him have his cake and eat it too.

Birthday Boy
Bryan Cuts the Cake for Bill


Jeff Heyland completed his window restoration. He raised the galley windows five and one half inches so that boat owner Tom Darden, taller than the average boat builder, doesn't have an obstructed view. The raised windows will also make room for new mahogany cabinets.


Peeping Jeff
Jeff Finishing Up Window Restorations


Robbin, with the help of Bill Davis, is braving fumes by continuing to coat the interior with epoxy resin. Meanwhile, John is sistering the frames and deck beams in the master state room. He noted that the original configuration of the beams is one of uneven spacing, possibly because of the port light layout. The right angle connection of the stringers to the sheer clamp is secured by bronze brackets.

The Hot Zone Just Mocking Around
Robbin Coating Forward Interior, The Mock-Up Jet Drive and Engine


Bill Brown is working in the bilge below the V-berth for bow-thruster placement. He is reinforcing and prepping the hull for thruster tube installation. The jade-colored transluscent tube, which will be hidden below the decking, holds the push/pull prop arrangement. The bow-thruster mechanism is an important feature for vessels with water jets as it allows for low-speed turning and maneuverability for docking purposes.

All Systems Go
V-Berth Prepared for Bow Thruster

Good with Knives
Lloyd Preparing New Poles, Mary L up on Rails

February is a pivotal time on the coast. Folks are just beginning to recover from cabin fever and are looking forward to a good case of Spring fever. Lloyd Pigott takes advantage of the relatively slow time of year to mend his railway before the upcoming busy weeks. Right now he's preparing several new poles to which boats will tie up. He removes the bark from one half of the pole with an old fashioned draw knife. He leaves the bark on the submerged part of the pole in hopes of fending off worms a little longer. He just finished painting Earl Chadwick's boat, the Clara Joyce , a round-sterned workskiff that was built in the 1940's at the now extinct M.W. Willis yard in Marshallberg. Earl keeps a big rock sitting on his deck for ballast, which he simply paints around when redoing his deck. The windshield of Earl's cabin is so cracked and scratched it's a wonder he can see out of it. But after all these years, he could probably fish blindfolded...Signing off for now, Barbara "Fish Doctor" Blake
Mr. Earl's Wheel

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