"Petunia II" Lapstrake Lifeboat

"Petunia II"-15' Lapstrake Lifeboat

"Petunia II" was originally a retired Canadian lapstrake lifeboat that was in rather tattered condition. It was full of frogs, tadpoles and dark greeen water when we found her.

While the hull had a very interesting design, it was too far gone to be used in the reconstruction so we made a mold of the old boat and made a new fiberglass hull.

The mold was one-time-use only so, sorry, no more can be made...

One of the major items we used for building the new boat was a home-made steamer box. Most of the wood in the boat was red cedar and white pine.

We soaked the wood to be steam bent in a water filled box in the garage for a month so that the wood would be full of moisture. Steam bending works best when the wood already has moisture in the wood cell structure. It only needs to be heated using the steam box to make it pliable for bending, rather than waiting for the steam to penetrate the wood.

Here's boat-builder Bob, ready for heavy grinding and sanding the new hull.

And Vickie bending the freshly steamed and pliable wood for the rub rails.

And our finished "Petunia II' in her new home.

Lots of nice classic "yachty" details...

Note the woven "Bow Pudding" also known as a "Tugboat Beard".

The front deck is 1" x 1 1/2" red cedar, edge glued with West epoxy.

Presently the small wheel is not hooked up but in the future it will be connected to the electric trolling motor with rope.

Note the old "ELCO" bronze vent plaque. No the lifeboat is not a real "ELCO" but this is one of many old "finds" that was added to the boat design.

The "Beehive" stern light is a Perko antique that was actually new in its original box. A "find" from Ebay.

Another "ELCO" badge.

The coaming was steambent as was the rub rail.

Note the 1 1/2" manila rope rub rail. Each end is wrapped with thin manila twine.

Here "Petunia II" sits on her new trailer, ready for launching.

Hope you like the pictures. The building of the boat took about six months. She is powered by a 15 HP Yamaha 4-cycle outboard which is a bit much for the hull design but is very quiet, and a 54 pound thrust MotorGuide electric trolling motor, powered by two Group 27 Deep Cycle batteries.

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