Meanwhile Back In The Shop In New Jersey. Blue Arabian UPDATE!

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Its on!

It’s that time of year, where the lakes are empty and the work shops are full. Back at Katzs Marina on Lake Hopatcong, the V Drive Blue Century Arabian has got the first layer of her bottom. Bottom, frames and all. Here are some live ish photos from a little earlier this week for the peanut gallery.

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Under the plywood


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Lots of little details go into a clean bottom job

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Nice and clean

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As you can see, many details of the wood work are now starting to emerge nicely.

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They are doing this in a very interesting way to preserve the sides and original thickness of the bottom. The ply wood is a tad thinner than a Chris Craft allowing for the bottom to be stronger, but the same thickness.

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Take a bow Team Katz!

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Stay tuned for more updates later next week!

11 replies
  1. Gary
    Gary says:

    Actually that first layer is eautiful and tells an interesting story. How thick is it and how thick are the next two layers each?
    That bottom has only the torsional twist going from back to front with no compounding of that twist. Will the next layers be positioned such that succeeding layers joints are covered or will their joints be on top of the first layers?
    The only reason I can see to retain the battens is to atempt tp make it look original from the inside – fool a judge?

  2. Matt
    Matt says:

    Its a very clever way to to fool the judges by plastering it all over the web? HA. I think the point here is show folks a way to make the boat safer, while retaining the original look. Lots of extra work. These boats didnt come with two layer bottoms. Its a call that I would and many would have made.

  3. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    I think keeping the battons to retain the original look is a great idea. It should be a pretty strong bottom when done.

  4. steve bunda
    steve bunda says:

    Installing a 2 layer bottom is a big improvement over the single layer board and batten. We have done it this way for over 20 years on Century boats, makes them as strong as Chris Crafts.

  5. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    I know of a Century Coronado that was done this way over 30 years ago. It always had one of the driest bilges of any wooden boats around.

  6. tommyholm
    tommyholm says:

    I will try to answer Gary’s questions, this is my version not Katz’s.
    Century bottoms of this era are probably 1/2 inch African Mahogany with oak battens. The oak battens provide a cover for the plank seams and also provide structural strength. (much like plywood does for original CC boats).
    A “5200 bottom” or “double bottom” that is often used today results in added thickness distorting the landings at the keel and chines. Something has got to give, so one way is to use mahogany less than 1/2 inch to compensate for the adhesive and plywood. By using very thin plywood and thinner mahogany, one can put a new 1/2″ double bottom on a restored Century thereby maintaining its original shape and specifications.
    Battens provide not only an original look, they provide structural integrity/strength. Some restorers leave them off.
    Again, this is my story and I’m sticking like 5200, to it.

  7. charley quimby
    charley quimby says:

    Eliminating the battens may save a little weight, but so much more is gained by their use regarding strength when redoing a bottom in double layering. Plus, they provide more adhesive area if a “Dannenberg” bottom is utilized. CQ

  8. Philip Andrew
    Philip Andrew says:

    Looking forward to seeing this old girl completed at Mt Dora in just 3 months. And looking forward to meeting in person many of my WB ‘cyber’ friends. Like they say at the nudist club, come along if you’ve got nothing on!

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:

      Phillip please say Hi! If I don’t find you we will be bringing our “Late Classic” Formula, “Gottago”.

      Last years appearance of “Cigarette”, the first formula, at the Dora event motivated us to bring ours. Really looking forward to this years festivities.

  9. Frank Miklos
    Frank Miklos says:

    Not a fan of this bottom … I would never use plywood on a century bottom… Plywood does not bend in two directions on a concave or flat frame bottom. The only bottoms where plywood works well is convex frame bottom or (a plywood bottom design) There is a way but this was not done that way… With 5200 there is not real reason to use a double bottom but if you are you should do a true double with angled inner planking …Also the bottom frames need to be set deeper for the added thickness so the running surface does not change.. All of our century s still have single plank batten seam bottoms… with 5200.. No swelling necessary and no leakage. This bottom is a minimum 2 point deduction at the Century Boat Club shows. It is considered modified construction…. We have been re-doing bottoms with 5200 and before using 5200 we used Boat Life life caulk … We have done single plank bottoms some nearly 30 years old still leak free. I see absolutely no reason to add the the layer easily if you are sure of your fit …

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