What Color Are Your Engine Mount Wedges Supposed To Be?


Bilge color wedges?

Engine blue wedges?

Here is a geek fest story to have some fun with, or not, possibly some big gun will chime in and make a definite answer. It does make sense to be either color, and we certainly have seen enough of them in the blue color. But is that correct? Well. See below.

Bilge green, and a speck of blue

That’s right, on Plaidtastic the Plaid Rocket at Katzs Marina, while working in the rare green bilge, they noticed that the paint on the Lead wedges was… you guessed it, bilge green, and that makes sense as well. But is it? Is this something that happened post war, and pre war it was another thing. Was a blue wedge odd looking against the green? And in this case it was painted Bilge Green? So many questions. It does make sense to have them in the bilge and paint it all. but does it really matter? I mean the comment section is the real answer… right? Was bacon the original inspiration for bilge color? mmmmm think about it. Readers want to know!

Yowza that’s one big big piece of bacon!

30 replies
  1. Dan T
    Dan T says:

    “Uncle Morty” should be the universal name to describe a poorly done amateur restoration. Like, “don’t buy that boat! It’s a real Uncle Morty or,Wow, that’s a beautiful boat. Definitely not an Uncle Morty.” Not that all amateur restorers are Uncle Mortys, but I certainly have my Uncle Morty days. I think I’ll name my next project boat “Uncle Morty”!

  2. WoodenRookie
    WoodenRookie says:

    Don’t ya know Uncle Morty has a treasure trove tool belt. Deck screws, auto splices, house caulk, baling wire, duct tape, 5200, everything a boat should need to keep going.


  3. LehrJet
    LehrJet says:

    I love an engine mount story as much as the next guy, but when can we get a good Ebay listing? There’s got to be a Gar Wood paper weight, or Chris Smith decoy out there somewhere. Need to finish up my Christmas list.

    • Mike K
      Mike K says:

      Christmas you say! what about the annual party no word yet. the rumor is that matt cant afford it with the loss of the major sponsor!
      i hope its not cancelled!

  4. Mike Green
    Mike Green says:

    This is from a untouched pre-war 19′ Chris Craft Barrel Back, the picture shows the wedges painted and the factory got a little sloppy when they painted the lag bolt. Most of the ones I have seen were painted the engine color but I’m sure there is exceptions to this.

  5. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    No one should be that worried about the color of engine wedges! Go make some bacon, or go boating if you live somewhere warm.

  6. steve bunda
    steve bunda says:

    One should also use the correct lag bolt and set screw in the lag. That is if the owner wants the boat to be judged. Mike’s picture shows the correct fasteners.

  7. Rob
    Rob says:

    I suggest we call an expensive and poorly done professional restoration a ‘P.T. Barnum’. Plenty of those around too.

  8. Matt
    Matt says:

    Well, that makes sense. It seems like to speed up production, putting the wedge on the boat first and slopping bilge paint on it might save production time, which would have been learned while building boats durring the war. Maybe? its mesearch not research.

  9. don danenberg
    don danenberg says:

    I guess its all in what you have seen of very original boats?
    Since the 1980’s, the vast majority of what I have seen showed them painted with bilge paint. Mostly red, sometimes gray (early prewar), I just don’t recall them being blue?

    According to Rick Kanipe (son of Forrie Kanipe, Quality Control manager at Cadillac plant), all ferrous running gear that could rust, like linkages, etc, were hung on a wall and spray-painted red bilge paint. He didn’t mention engine wedges?

    I believe the engines were shipped from Algonac by truck, did they come mounted on wedges? Perhaps they could have been painted in the engine paint department?

    I’ve seen the photo of that paint department, are they sitting on wedges there, although the engines were hung to be sprayed?
    Decades ago I saw a photo of a truck rollover, with CC engines laying about the hillside. Who has that photo, are there wedges there?

    Since the mid-eighties, I’ve painted them bilge paint, because that is what we found.

  10. Captain Nemo
    Captain Nemo says:

    Logically, the bilge would be painted b/4 engine install. The wedges would be installed w/ the engine. They should be painted blue.

  11. don danenberg
    don danenberg says:

    Matt asked about red bilge paint. This “engineering change No. 598” dated 9-29-39 shows the change to #3-573 mahogany bilge paint (Is this where Interlux came up with #573 CC mahogany stain?), in place of gray bilge paint.
    According to Chris Smith, natural finished hulls might bleed the bilge paint and gray would be noticeable?

  12. don danenberg
    don danenberg says:

    To show how quickly and easily such changes were made, this “Shop Memorandum No. 618, dated 7-7-39 (also signed by AW MacKerer), and Two Months before the change from gray to red, calls for a change from red to gray?

    Its not about wedges, but shows how quickly things could change?

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      I love the period correct typos in those memos! Crossed words and random superscripts, I can picture the manager typing those out hunt and peck style with two fingers before giving up and hand writing the last part.

  13. tparsons56
    tparsons56 says:

    You know it’s going to be a long winter when you find the subject of the color of wedges intriguing. Wait – officially the start of winter is still 8 days away – now I’m really depressed.

  14. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    I think there should always be a nice pair of legs attached to your wedges regardless of their color.

    • Red dog
      Red dog says:

      Those wedges are brown, like her nice tanned legs. Not blue ,red or gray….Devil with the blue dress on.

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:

      You are welcome jimmuh! I tried to post the picture this morning but fell asleep since the subject was so riveting.

  15. Texx
    Texx says:

    Comments about Uncle Morty remind me of the famous automotive paint shops of Earl Scheib back in the day. Legendary today.

  16. Nate
    Nate says:

    As a professional restorer, I like to check woodyboater every morning, except on mornings when the lead story is color of engine wedges.

    If you are that concerned about points at a show, you’re owning a wood boat for all the wrong reasons.

Comments are closed.