Classic Australian Wooden Power Boats


Project Boats



Bob Carter

After a fairly long search looking for that classic of all hull shapes, a 16' winged twin cockpit Lewis runabout,
Bob Carter finally located Turbo-Fire, which had been renamed Spirit II, in NSW. The ex race boat, built in
1965, was tired, but complete, with all hardware, running gear and a Chrysler 318 ci V8.

The refurbishment of Turbo-Fire began in early 2007, with a write up on the early months in Volume 7, Issue
 3 of the Club's newsletter, "The Hollow Log". The following is more a pictorial account of the boat's progress
 over the past 18 or so months. .



Turbo-Fire in the 60's, when owned and raced by Phil Reeson
As discovered near Dubbo, in NSW
The hull was sound, but certainly showing its age after spending many years under cover in a lean too shed
Readying the 318 Chrysler V8 for removal
The engine had been dry sumped. Plenty of oil and gunk in the bilge
The boat originally ran a mean 327 ci Chev, but Bob will stay with the Chrysler. With a battery hooked up and a bit of priming, the engine fired easily and sounded strong. Even so, it will be rebuilt.
As the boat is stripped down, the extent of oil soaked timber becomes evident
More of the same. Stripping down also revealed suspect planks and ribs
And more gunk again, ready to be blasted away and drawn out of the timber
The transom looks solid, but would have to be replaced
And it virtually fell out
Transom out and some planks also coming out
Eight planks needed to be replaced, four either side of the red gum keel
More detail on the planks work
New transom being fitted up. Because of the extent of checking at the end of the planks, the hull was shortened by about three inches
The planks being installed. Several ribs also needed to be replaced



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