Bob Speltz 14′ Chetek Runabout Restoration Club Project Updates (1998 – 2002)

Bob Speltz 14′ Chetek Runabout Restoration Club Project Updates

The Beginning
| Sep 98 | May 00 | Aug 00 | Dec 00 | April 01 | Oct 01 | Feb 02 | Oct 02 |

Chetek Restoration Oct 02

Work on Bob Speltz’s Chetek has temporarily stopped. Until now, Larry Quinn has been working on and coordinating the project, however due to personal circumstances, he no longer has the time to work on it nor the space to keep it. The immediate need is a new workshop space for interested members to continue to work on the boat.

So far, the main ribs, keel, and stem have been replaced. The bow ribs need to be cut, steamed and replaced. Then, the bottom gar planks and cedar strips can be fastened. Storage is required for the trailer and finished 25 hp motor.

If you can help out with any of the above needs, please contact Larry Quinn at 952-937-5891.

February 2002

Currently I am working on removing the inside stem and cutting a new one. At the last work meeting, January 31, Dave Doner and myself started that process. I am using a book titled ‘Frame, Stem and Keel Repair’ by Peter H. Spectre. The book covers repair work on small craft like a sharpie up to large schooners. The inside stem on the Speltz boat is a one-piece steam bent oak member.

By using a hack saw blade in a gloved hand I was able to carefully cut the nails and screws holding the cedar strips and ribs attached to the stem at the bow. The remnant of the inside stem provides a pattern for the new one.

At the next meeting I will have the new inside stem cut and soaking. At that time we will steam bend it and clamp it onto the outside stem, which is already in place. The dates for the next two meetings will be Thursday, Feb. 28 and Mar. 28.

Thanks to Fred Boss for cutting and shaping new oak knees, splash rails and support members for the Speltz boat. I am looking for someone to plane and shape some red cedar boards for the gar planks using the old boards as a pattern. If interested, call Larry Quinn at 952-937-5891.
Yvonne Duperon

October 2001

The display of the Chetek at the Rendezvous got a lot of attention. It was a success in several ways.

We were able to contrast a boat taken down to the skeleton next to the complete and original Chetek Aqua Flyer that belongs to John Pole. Secondly, we demonstrated the process of steam bending ribs with a homemade generator and box made by Bob Buttery. And most importantly, we talked to a lot of people about their boat projects and encouraged them to take the next step. Thanks to all who stopped by. We are always looking for suggestions on how to proceed, along with concrete offers of assistance. Special thanks to Mary and Ray Keating for their donation to the project. Also thanks to Bob Buttery for his time and efforts and demonstrations of steam bending. Things have not been normal for any of us lately, but I plan to refocus on finishing the bottom of the Speltz boat. The next sessions to work on the boat are scheduled for October 26, November 29, and December 20. Call if interested in participating. I also need someone to cut oak parts from a pattern. Larry Quinn 952-937-5891

April 2001

Work continues on bending new ribs. Currently I am soaking white oak ribs and will steam and bend them on Thursday, April 26. At our last get-together, Lewis McGonagle, a long-time BSLOL member, stopped by to lend a hand. Also, new member Mike Loisel stopped over and had a look at the Speltz boat. And last week I received a phone call from Bryan Fenwick stating that he will donate decals for the T-Nee trailer once it is painted. Our thanks to them for stepping up to be a part of this very special project.

Last minute update…We had two additional get togethers and installed seven more ribs. At one point we had 32 clamps holding the ribs in place while they cooled. We are making good progress and will attempt to have all the ribs installed in time for the Rendezvous in Red Wing. The Speltz boat will be at the Rendezvous as part of the display of ‘Boats in Process.’:
Anyone interested in attending one of our work sessions or talking about this project is welcome to call me in the evenings after 7:00 p.m. at 952-937-5891 — Larry Quinn

December 2000

Club members got together on Thursday, November 16 to work on the Speltz boat. A new keel was cut and shaped out of mahogany. The material was purchased in Northeast Minneapolis from Youngblood Lumber Company which is a great source for rough-cut lumber. We also worked on removing some of the oak ribs, all of which will need to be replaced. Bob Buttery brought his steamer over, which we will use to steam bend the ribs.

I purchased some green rough-sawn white oak from a logger south of Cannon Falls. This lumber will have to be resawn with the wood grain and then cut and planed into a 1 1/4″ x 3/8″ size for ribs. Then it can be soaked for a week before steam bending.

On Thursday, December 14, we steamed the new outside stem and joined it to the new keel with a 30 degree angle cut and a brass bolt through both parts. By running a string line along the keel we were able to check the straight line and make adjustments as needed.

The following members participated at the last two meetings:
Bob Buttery,
Andreas Jordahl Rhude,
George Mitchell,
Dave Doner
Larry Quinn

Anyone with an interest in restoring a cedar-strip boat is welcome to call me. Our next get-together will be Thursday, January 25.

Bob Speltz 14’ Chetek Runabout Club Project
Larry Quinn (952) 937-5891
(Located near Highway 7 and Woodland Road)

August 2000 Update:

The boat once owned by Bob Speltz, a fourteen foot Chetek outboard runabout, is being restored by BSLOL members. Now located at the home of Larry Quinn, the boat has been stripped of all hardware, seats, decks, and framing. The fiberglass coating has been removed and now most of the bad planking between the spray rails has been take off. The western red cedar-strip planks as well as the steam-bent white oak frames are pretty much “history.”

New bead-and-cove planking as well as cedar garboard planks and a new keel are the next order of business. A white oak outer stem has been steam bent thanks to Sherwood Heggen.

Once a month a crew of about four or five have been working on the boat. She ain’t pretty at the moment, but one of these days she’ll begin to look like a boat again!

Thanks go out to Dave Doner for having the Tee Nee trailer sandblasted and prime painted. All the extraneous items were removed for the trailer as well. We are in need of replacement fenders, the unique tear-drop shaped ones used by Tee Nee Trailer Company.

If you’d like to help out, give Larry Quinn a buzz at 952-937-5891. This is a BSLOL group activity, so it will be nice to have greater participation from more members.

May 2000

Bob Speltz 14′ Chetek Runabout Club Project
by Larry Quinn

Work on the Bob Speltz boat has started again. At its previous location, the deck was removed, all the hardware taken off, and the fiberglass removed from the hull. This work was accomplished thanks to the efforts of Bob Buttery, Andreas Rhude, Bob Clark, Fred Boss, Sherwood Heggen and John McCurry. Also, the 25-horse Johnson motor and tank have been restored by Jerry Valley.

The boat has been relocated to my garage in Minnetonka. On Thursday, May 25, three club members got together to work on the boat. Bob Buttery, Andreas Rhude and I flipped the boat over and set it up on sawhorses. The keel was removed by cutting the nails between the ribs and the keel. We also started removing the gar planks.

Our plan is to remove the gar planks and damaged cedar hull strips up to the splash rails. The splash rails will also be replaced. A new oak stem has been cut and steam-bent to shape by Sherwood Heggen. A new keel will be cut from a pattern of the old one. After the hull boards are temporarily refastened, the boat will be flipped over. The next job will be to steam bend and replace the damaged oak ribs one at a time. After the bottom is refastened to the new ribs it will be ready to be fiberglassed as it originally was. Then the deck boards can be replaced and the boat painted and finished to the original style.

At our next meeting in June we will continue to work on removing and then replacing gar planks and cedar hull strips. BSLOL members are invited to attend and help rebuild a cedar strip boat. The following is a list of dates that we will be working on the boat. Please call to get directions if you would like to participate.

Thursday, July 27
Thursday, Aug. 24
Thursday, Sept. 14

Larry Quinn (952) 937-5891
(located near Hwy 7 and Woodland Rd)

September 1998

by Sherwood Heggen

On Sept 19,1998, a number of BSLOL’ers showed up at John McCurry’s garage to start restoration of Bob Speltz’ Chetek. We did an inventory of the hardware and a general survey of the things needing attention. The boat appeared to be in useable condition but had some obvious concerns which would need correction. Starting at the decks, there is deterioration in the form of cracks and old age. The decks between the fore and aft cockpits had some novel strips of wood nailed over the seams in a board and batten style. Who put those on or why is unknown, but we decided they would not remain when the new deck was put on. The boat hull and decks are built of Western Cedar and the topsides and bottom are covered with fiberglass. The cedar appeared to hold up under the fiberglass but some of the oak steam-bent ribs appeared questionable.

General assignments for restoration were handed out. Jerry Valley took on the assignment of restoring the Johnson 25hp outboard. Bob Buttery and Fred Boss took on initial tear-down. The boat was turned over to prepare for a removal of the fiberglass.
At a later date, the fiberglass was removed and a more thorough assessment was made of the boats restoration needs. We determined that the stem, keel, and all of the ribs and a forward section of both garboard planks would need replacing due to rot. The stem is steam bent as well as the ribs and would require a steamer. Since steaming is a new process to everyone on the team, research and development to meet needs was necessary. A steamer was available to us, but it used and open flame to heat the water. Because of the element of danger due to fire and working at someone else’s property, we were inspired to build our own steamer using a heater element from a hot water heater from ideas we have seen published.

That is where the project is as of mid-November. Our next effort will be to shape, steam-bend, and install the stem. After that, we will replace the keel, turn the boat over and begin replacing ribs.

The project team is open for additional members. If you would like to get involved in this chapter project and enjoy working on boats, you are welcome to contact me at 432-4345.