I recently purchased an MFG Cambridge - 1957 (I think it is a Cambridge). The previous owner had the boat in a temporary shelter which leaked, the mahogany deck will need to be replaced. Any tips/tricks or things not to do in this endeavor? I have fully restored a sailboat - I confess I am a sailor, but have always loved vintage runabouts. I am not afraid of the work and have skilled carpenters that I work with that can assist though they are not boat builders.
I also have another question concerning the ribs. They look like fiberglass cord? Does that sound right? I just got the boat home from Michigan and will be taking it down to my warehouse so that I can dis-assemble and check/repair the keelson, the thru-hull attachments etc. I will be attaching photos soon. Thanks to all.
Well thank you so kindly! I took the photos at high resolution so they are too big to upload here. I will downsize them and upload to this site. At first I saw the ribs and thought "gee, why did they paint over rotted wood?" As the appearance is not of nice sanded and finished wood. Then I saw where the ribs terminated and saw some fiberous cord at the unfinished edges and realized it was most likely fiberglass. I have much to learn, though this won't be as complicated as the sailboat I restored, just different. I am so excited to have this boat and I stand corrected, it is a 1956 and the motor is vintage as well.
Ok I just tried to upload smaller versions of the photos of my MFG. Why are all the photos coming in upside down? I posted to the moderator and the photos showed upside down but once they landed on the page, they were correct.
Ok so here are photos of my recent purchase, a Cambridge, correct?
This will be a winter project and hopefully hit the water next summer. I wold love to see photos of your restoration. The foredeck needs replacement on mine. Did you replace yours? I need to get the "curve" correct and make sure it stays fast. I know there are techniques for bending plywood but this is my main reason for reaching out to the MFG owners for recommendations on the technique used to create the curve in the plywood etc.
Bending the plywood is no problem it's only 1/4" thick. I'll send you my photos.
Take lots of photos as you remove pieces and be careful with them because you might need them for patterns. Note how everything was attached and save fasteners if you can
Thank you, yes indeed. When I restored my sailboat there were tons of pieces, putting them into Talenti jars and labeling were a must! Thanks for the info on bending the plywood, I thought it would be more daunting.
I have a Question Princess ?
The wood splash rail.... Is it all wood ? or it inlayed on an aluminum strip ?
I have aluminum strips with no wood. I'm guessing my MFG is a 59 ?
BTW... on you your simplex outboard controls, if you don't like the dull black and red knobs ?
Mc Master Carr has some shiny ones pretty cheap
Really pretty boat by the way !
Wow, what a restoration you did on your boat! I noticed the windshield is all wood, I have seen some with wood and some with the metal frame and plex, is one factory or both styles factory? I am very familiar with McMaster Carr so will look up that link. The biggest issue is the foredeck with has rot spots in it from the leaks. I also noticed that termination point of the ribs, the fiberglass cord is just hanging out there, I am thinking of trimming those loose ends it to make the boat look a bit more ship-shape. It looks like the caulking/sealant where the transom and hull meet looks a bit gloppy on my boat, I may try to clean it up a bit for a cleaner look. I am fortunate in that I found this boat with not much work to be done. The supports for the benches are the aluminum tubing which I will be crafting some teak/mahogany pieces to fit over those - possibly with wine glass holders!
I was at lunch with a friend out at a restaurant near a very old lake in the Kansas City area, this lake is now a residential lake, but way back when it was a weekend getaway type of lake with many old vintage boats. At my table on the wall was a framed newsletter from the lake dated 1957, in the newsletter was an ad for Lyman. I was just telling my friend about the MFG and how they came about. We both were curious though, if once Lyman turned down the offer by MFG to make their boats, was there a copyright infringement since MFG used the same design? I am curious to know.
One last question. I see you used Total Boat, do you like the product? I have used other stuff from West Marine in years past and used the technique of thinning it 50/50 to start so it would soak in and each subsequent coat would be less thinner so that you get a high sheen and protection. What was your application process? Thanks so much! Photo attached of the Lyman ad.
Hi Pirate, this is my first boat purchased after 70+ years so I'm not an expert. As I might have mentioned we paid $1 for it from Craigs list including Evinrude Lark 35 motor (owners manual free online) and Gator trailer. At first I thought it was a wood hull and thought no way! I think the windshield was available both ways judging from the period ads. Can't help you with the fiberglass question. How long does fiberglass last? The transom is a continuous part of the fiberglass hull. The wood sandwich serves to stiffen it and make it look nice. I used Total Boat because I saw it mentioned a lot by boat restorers (also Epifanes). I had some problems with peeling on varnish over old wood. Not sure why but no previous experience there. The front deck can be tacked down along the edges, make sure it gets covered up by the edge moulding later. Get it from a plywood or hard wood distributor. The stuff from lumber yards can be trash.
Thank you for the info Peter, much appreciated. I have purchased marine type plywood from a company called World Panel Products. They specialize in things of this sort, teak, mahogany, both plywood and solid wood. Wow, a dollar! And tons of love apparently! I paid $1200 for mine, which I thought wasn't too bad considering it doesn't really need any structural work and included the motor and trailer. When I started my search for a vintage boat I was shocked what boats like Chris Craft, Streblow, Thompson and Lyman were going for in very rough condition. I don't have deep pockets and also didn't want to do the uptake process and all of the maintenance that an all wood boat would require, so after a few years of searching I found this MFG and couldn't be happier.
I think the splash rail is all wood, I have not fully inspected it yet. I will certainly look up the link on McMaster Carr, I have purchased items from them in the past. I was lucky in that the boat really doesn't need much. Thank you! I am excited to be here on this forum!
Welcome to MFG Cambridge ownership. Like you, I also have a sailboat and love to sail off the Southern California coast. My Cambridge is strictly a Newport Beach bay cruiser but the reception I get from other boaters is fantastic. Getting a “thumbs up” from a million dollar yacht owners is quite satisfying.
My boat was a mess, But with lots of sanding and patients, I was able to save the wood. Four coats of varnish and she will be a head turner. I see you have a Tee Née trailer and a period outboard. You have an absolute WINNER. BTW, the history of MGF is outstanding. The make the body panels for GM Corvettes. So I named my Cambridge “SeaVette”.