Tommy Holmes Takes Us On A Boat Shop Tour – Part 1

1 cbs garwood bow

A majestic 1939 Gar Wood 20’6” Utility under restoration.

Thanks to Mr Tommy Holmes we get to take a three day tour of some of the coolest shops in Michigan. So sit back in your comfy chair and enjoy the warmth of Pure Michigan craftsmen. Take it away Tommy!

Woody Boater cub reporter reporting in on the 2015 boat shop tour of Northern Michigan where men are men and pond hockey is not many days away.

First stop on the tour is the Cadillac Boat Shop in Cadillac, MI where a number of boats are being restored or preserved. I always find it amazing the variety of expertise that boat restorers like Russ Arrand has gained from experience, hard work and research. Russ has an extensive library of material, a great network of vendors and fellow boat restorers to assist him. Additionally, Russ is a member of a number of boat clubs and participates in many events.

I could write a book about my visit but I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

2 cbc deck crown

Check out this signature Gar Wood deck crown.

3 cbs new bottom

That’s what I call a new bottom on an old girl. Note the original wide stringers with inwale engine mounts and reinforced outwales in preparation of modern power.

4 cbs glasses 2

Champagne glasses serving support from the intermediate frames to the stringer. Oh so Gar Wood!

5 cbs guages

Original gauge cluster to be sent to a renown vendor for restoration. The cigar lighter will work again.

6 cbs staib ws

A folding V windshield was provided by Woody Boater Jim Staib of Fine Wood Boats, thank goodness.

7 cbs 41 CC barrel

Just another boat in the shop. A 1941 Chris Craft Deluxe Runabout Barrel Back awaiting some long boarding (aka air filing for those over 50 ).

8 cbs indian
Grandpa’s Indian Boat Co. 14 foot outboard is also in the shop awaiting some preservation.

9 cbs russ

Proprietor Russ checking on a detail or two.

Final note about the 1939 Gar Wood: The original owner lived in Marysville, MI and the new owner in Mullet Lake, MI, therefore the boat has never been more than 200 miles from its birthplace. Thank you, Mr. Russ Arrand for
restoring/preserving this antique boat.

15 replies
  1. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Thanks Tommy! Looking forward to parts 2 and 3. Almost hard to believe that there wasn’t even a Century in sight.

    PS: after all the e-bay stories, I actually cringed a little seeing the Indian resting on antique boat cushions.

  2. BArtlomiej
    BArtlomiej says:

    In the 4th picture of the bilge, what is the pink looking caulk/adhesive that is used on the frames between planks?

  3. Al Benton
    Al Benton says:

    Late (as usual these days) but no less enjoyable to see Russ Armand’s Cadillac Boat Shop in action with a variety of boats in various stages of preservation and restoration.

    Thanks for the tour Tommy Holmes.

  4. tommyholm
    tommyholm says:

    the Gar Wood has a typical 5200 double bottom construct. the Frames are bedded with 3M 5200 adhesive (mahogany color) then marine plywood (okoume), 5200, African mahogany planks, barrier coat (interlux 200oE) and bottom paint.

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