Episode 7 – Prototype Cobra Gets A Nose Job!

That’s one nice Schnocker

Well, looks like she did have a red bilge! After removing what was left of her bottom planks, the famous red bilge paint has been found. So she did have a red bilge. For those of you in the peanut gallery that said it has to be red. Here is one point for you.

See it?

This may help.

Right thar!

For those of you wondering how a bow stem would be reproduced. Well, if you have Cobras all over the place like the Katzs Marina gang does. Its not all that complicated. And DONE!

Oh ya!

Other side

Not a whole lot else has been uncovered that is unusual from the other production Cobras, so they are plowing forward with her ned bottom and fancy Cobra schnoz! That, it. Not a whole lot more, this is the stage where stuff looks like not much is happening. But hard work is happening for sure.


40 replies
  1. Cameron
    Cameron says:

    Thanks for the update. Fascinating to watch the progress of a talented bunch of boatbuilders.

  2. Mike D
    Mike D says:

    If they had to take a chainsaw to the nose of Thayer IV how fast was the mystery Cobra going to do all that damage? Are you digging into that part of this boats history Matt? Could result in dozens of additional posts.

  3. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    I am replacing some weathered porch flooring in the heat today…then I came in taking a break and saw that pile of sticks on the floor …. makes my job look easy…thanks for the inspiration and perspective! Carry on Katz’s
    John in Va

  4. Mike Green
    Mike Green says:

    Wow, there moving right along. I just have to say I can’t really agree with scabbing in a piece at the end of a stringer, seems like a cheap fix for a Cobra. Also don’t agree with the big knot in the forward frame and it doesn’t even look like there using quality grade mahogany or mahogany at all. That wouldn’t fly in my shop, if your going to restore a boat especially a prototype Cobra do it like it left the factory. Use quality materials and pay attention to all of the details even the ones that are hidden by paint.

  5. Matt
    Matt says:

    Oh boy! This is one of those comments that opens up a huge can of worms. But. Here goes. And i am a tad out of my comfort zone on facts, because I do not do this for a living. BUT, I know this. When it comes to detail, the Katz’s Team, goes way way out of their way to make sure its just as it was done. I have seen it, and felt it, and know it. I have never known them to compromise on anything. Especially a boat like this or Thayer IV or any Cobra. I have seen them reproduce factory materials, flooring, interior etc that makes no economic sense. Like a 1961 Continental interior. Glass Houses Mike… As to the materials. They are the largest and busiest of all the shops in the country, and use the best of the best materials. Its a photo.. However it appears in a iPhone photo is not the point. Also, they are using the factory blue prints to replicate the three pieces. Which is how it was done. Like you said, its a very special boat, and even its flaws should be preserved. Not that even was a flaw. No one other than Chris Craft them selves has done more Cobras, and show winners than Katz’s. I normally would let the peanut gallery chime in here and enjoy the back and forth. But this seemed to take a jab at someones integrity and quality.

    • George Burgess
      George Burgess says:

      May I remind you about the finish on the engine hatches and fin? Katz has not followed the way it was originally done.

    • Mike Green
      Mike Green says:

      I just call it like I see it. There are a handful of the top restorers out there that feel the same way but they just dont speak up. I have done a few Cobras over the years are my first one was 10 years before Kat’z was ever around. I really don’t think they want to compare awards as it just would be fair to them. As far as the continental interior I was wrong on the color on part of it and fest up to that. These pictures are very clear especially when you zoom in, they are not using quality lumber or the right species that the factory used. I have a problem with that when my family built that boat and not to mention its a Codra and the prototype. I take it personal for a few reasons. Seth knows I’m right but you’ll never see him say anything, but I guess he really doesn’t need too.

  6. Ned Protexter
    Ned Protexter says:

    I think I’d stay away from doing a “ned bottom” there has to be a better way.

  7. Bilge Rat
    Bilge Rat says:

    Well at least he uses his name and does not hide behind some on-line moniker. Oops, that’s me!

  8. Tuobanur
    Tuobanur says:

    Really wanted to say something Mr. Green,,,,,,,,,,,but I won’t. LOL
    It does seem though that you think a lot of yourself.

    • Mike Green
      Mike Green says:

      I do and I can back it up. With 200+ awards and some at the highest level possible. Part of the Chris Craft family and 25 years in the business. I guess I’m tired of keeping my mouth shut.

  9. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P )
    Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P ) says:

    Im staying out of this. In my mind I am still crossing Loch Ness.

  10. don vogt
    don vogt says:

    Matt, I think there may be an over reaction here. I think mike is only expressing his professional opinion. People can make their own judgment if his points are valid. Scabbing a stringer, for example, seems a bit odd to me, too, based on my limited understanding of boat construction and the role of the stringer. maybe there is a good explanation for that? no need to question motives imho.

  11. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    There is a lot to be said for saving as much of the original boat as possible: That appears to be what the shop is doing and I applaud it. At what point does a restoration become a reproduction? – (Sorry Matt, don’t mean to open up that discussion again, but… ) – There is a great deal of structure in these boats and at the spots where the new pieces have been installed there is no loss of integrity or risk of failure. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product.

  12. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    If I wanted controversy first thing in the morning I would read the newspaper before Woodyboater….as is, on days like this,
    I get a double dose….oh well…never boring.

    John in Va

  13. Denis D
    Denis D says:

    If you look at the depth of the Gripe where it meets the keel, it appears about half of it will need to be cut away to get the proper shape with the Stem. So it looks like that should eliminate the biggest part of the knot.

    Denis D

    • Thomas Keyes
      Thomas Keyes says:

      Mike Green never said the knot was on the Gripe. He did say that the first frame behind the clamp appears to have a knot. A big round circle in my opinion I agree that it looks like a knot . It may just be the picture quality but in another picture you can see the “knot” as well.
      I too agree with Mr. Green that scabbing a piece in the stringer seems strange on such a restoration, however it may be a temporary fix with future plans of replacement.

      Matt while they are doing DNA testing the will find some of mine near the transom on the starboard side. When the boat was first brought to the Canadian restorer while our chapter was having a spring tour I went out back in the field and took a leak next to the Cobra. Back then I was much younger with a stronger stream and some of it may have gotten on the boat. Now it just ends up on my shoe!

  14. Ken Gore
    Ken Gore says:

    Ken G.
    I hate to be the kill joy here but did the new “owner” of the Cobra prototype get the title? Often the fellow who sells the hull never had the title in his name. This could be a big problem when whomever has their name on the title finds out what that wrecked hull is worth.

  15. Duster
    Duster says:

    I’m loving this story! I was fortunate enough to see one of the Katz Cobras at Obexers marina during the Tahoe Concours last year and boy oh boy they do a beautiful job.

  16. Matt
    Matt says:

    I am not sure where the Knot is? There is No knot. Not a knot, nada Knada. Its the photo and some sort of stain of goop. We have investigators on the scene and they are doing a DNA test on the goop. Hopefully a black light will not be needed. It is the prototype after all.

  17. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    My boat only makes 6 knots….so I have none to spare to replace the one that aint……

    Going Boating tomorrow.

    John in Va.

  18. Dan T
    Dan T says:

    Don’t have a problem with the knot. Plenty of strength there. Would be really great to see her getting a traditional plank bottom with the canvas between instead of the goop.

  19. Robert Rice
    Robert Rice says:

    I want to invite anyone who doubts the quality of the work and the materials used at Katz’s Marina to rest easy, comfortable in the knowledge that there are no higher standards than those that Katz’s demands of themselves in all facets of their work. Having been in the antique and classic boat hobby since the early 1970’s, I have seen the fine work of many restoration shops over the years, but I say without reservation that Katz’s turns out the finest restorations that I have seen. ACBS Charter member, Wayne Mocksfield, one of the “Grandfathers of antique boating”, and a noted restorer himself, has said the same thing.

  20. Bob Kays
    Bob Kays says:

    I got an up close look a this Cobra a few times. There are no knots! Seth and his talented crew are using only the best Philippine mahogany. Every part of this boat is being done properly, including the fin, as are all the Cobras that Katz’s have done. I have seen first hand what Seth does to make sure any boat is the right way. Nothing compares to seeing it in person! It is exciting to have the prototype Cobra on Lake Hopatcong and I look forward to riding in and photographing what will be a beautiful boat.

  21. Mark Worley
    Mark Worley says:

    Mike Green is restoring a boat i suppose i could have taken to katz, making my participation here conflicted.
    I wonder Matt, does bartering work for promotional services conflict you?

  22. Pete
    Pete says:

    Mark, we all have choices. You do what you want, let others do what they want. You decide if you want to participate here. Respect Matt and the rest of us. No one is hurting you.

  23. Matt
    Matt says:

    Seth is a friend, many of the folks up there are friends first. I pay for what is done, because supporting great people, is good for us all. I wish Woody Boater had that sort of clout. I suppose its a compliment to think that you think it does.

    Your support of Mike is also good. No one is questioning Mikes work or your support of him. He does world class work as do others. I know on the internet crap like this can be taken to all sorts of emotional levels. I know how it hurts more than many. Because I put myself out there. And get this kinda of email and text all the time. In fact as I am writing this, I got a nasty text. I get it from all sides. Skin like marine grade leather is a much needed thing.

  24. Mark Worley
    Mark Worley says:

    “I pay for what is done”. In what currency? Promotion?

    It’s not a conflict as long as it it disclosed.

  25. Matt
    Matt says:

    There is a disclosure in our ABOUT section. Katzs marina is a Sponsor like all the others.

  26. jim g
    jim g says:

    The problem with knots in the wood. Its not just a weak spot structurally. Although the frame shown the whole area were the knot is. Is backed up and braced by the frame tie.

    They are typically were a piece of wood will start rotting due to fine cracks that can develop in the knot.

  27. Cameron
    Cameron says:

    Just to top and tail this comments section, I would challenge any restorer to have you lot inspect their work in such minute detail. It’s a privellege to learn and see exactly how this restoration is done. Katz have every right to deny us this opportunity. Let’s knot give them a reason to. Having said that I learnt a lot from the comments as well. To paraphrase Dim ” keep up the good work, Matt”!

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