You may recall a year-ish or two-ish ago we did a wonderful story on the Kane Brothers who restored a very cool Thompson with there Father and Grandfather. Recall that? Okay, so you may not and we will remind you at the end of the story. But this time, the Kane’s found a very cool..(One of my top 10’s )
“2 years ago I started the adventure of what feels like a never ending project.”
After enjoying our newly restored Thompson in the summer of 2016, we entered it in the 2016 Hessel Antique Boat Show. I’m proud to say we won “Best Outboard,” and “Youth Achievement.” Since my brother Daniel and I had finished our last restoration (Thompson), we considered getting a new boat project. This became a possibility when I found out that Classic and Antique Boats of Hessel were selling all the company inventory. Upon pulling in the driveway, one boat immediately caught my eye; a 1947 Chris Craft Rocket.
At first glance, the rocket needed a lot of work. Several days passed and I could not stop thinking about the Rocket. After talking it over with my dad, we placed an offer on what I hoped would be my new boat. My Grandfather, Ron Slanker, played a huge part in the negotiation of the boat. To my surprise, he called me a week later with the great news saying we got the boat! After hearing this exciting news, my grandpa towed the boat back home. Let the fun begin!
When we first got it home, we further inspected the boat and found a bad section in the keel that was overlooked at first glance. We took the boat down to my Grandfather’s machine shop in Moraine, Ohio and started working.
Not knowing the hard road ahead, we started taking off the hardware. You never know what all goes into a boat until you have to take it all off or put it back on. After the hardware, we focused our attention to removing the motor and finally flipping the Rocket over.
With a completely bare hull and all parts documented, we flipped the boat in early January 2017, in an unconventional way. We cashed in a favor with our family friends, who own a local heavy duty towing and recovery business. You never notice how nervous you can get, until you see your boat hanging in the air above you. After the boat was flipped, we began taking the bottom off. As many things go In this hobby that I have learned so far, things always take longer than you anticipate. We started the bottom work in February 2017, and progress was slow with constant new problems arising. One problem followed another, and what started off as just a bottom replacement, is now all new frames/sisters, new stringer, and new keel.
As of Thursday 1-18-18, we are now at the point to put the first layer of 4mm okoume plywood on. One year ago, I never thought this day would come. The plan is to put a 5200 bottom on the boat, and a cosmetic restoration (as all other wood is in good shape). My hope is to debut the Rocket in Tavares, Florida, in March of 2018.
Continuous support by my whole family helps tremendously with the restoration process. A special thanks goes out to my grandfather Ron Slanker and my dad Dan Kane who helped me keep the project afloat.
Thanks Alec, showing off with your fancy spelling and grammar learning. Now he’s just showing off. All kidding aside, we are all grateful to your Father and Grandfather for helping this all happen. And even more to you Alec and Danial, for reminding us all that passion and drive are ageless. I am proud to have you all as Woody Boaters! The Sons Of Varnish LIVE!