Glad to find this site! This spring I will be refinishing the transom on my dad’s ’59 MFG Erie that my grandfather bought new in late ’58 when my dad was 14. This boat is part of the family and has taken countless family members and friends out on the water cruising and skiing over the years. For the most part it is in excellent shape and all original. The pic attached is my sis and I in about '78. My dad has always been the primary caretaker of it and has kept up with all the maintenance and varnishing and he’s done an excellent job. When he saw the varnishing job I did on our ’50 Century, he asked me if I’d do the transom on the MFG.
There are 4 things I’d like to fix and surprise him with while I have it for the transom refinishing:
One is the deck. Unfortunately one time about 15-20 years ago my uncle and my grandfather tried their hand at varnishing the boat. I’m not sure how it happened and I know their heart was in the right place, but they sanded through the mahogany veneer on the deck and the edges where it was sanded through curled up a little and it’s been that way ever since. Dad has always kept that spot (more like a line a couple feet long) filled with varnish and protected, but it’s pretty unsightly and it’s always bugged him. I’d like to replace the deck with new plywood while I have it.
Two is the rubrail. It’s very faded and worn through where the dock line has rubbed for the last 54 years.
Three is the piece of hardware on the aft port corner. My aunt knocked it off the boat about 20 years ago when she took off from the dock not realizing that boats steer from the back, not the front. She caught the piece on the corner of the dock and ripped it right off. With all the weeds and silt at the dock, it was never found.
Four is the hull. I’m not sure if anything can be done about it, but from what my dad says, it used to be a solid white color. Now the fibers are very visible and despite Dad’s (and Mom’s) best efforts at keeping it clean, it has, for the most part, spent every day of every summer of its whole life sitting in the water and it’s quite discolored under the waterline.
So my questions to you guys:
1. How to replace the deck. Is it fairly straightforward?
2. From what I read on one post here, I gather there was no stain used at the factory on the Philippine Mahogany, just varnish? Can anyone confirm that?
3. Anyone know of a correct replacement for the rubrail? If not, any suggestions on how to get the original color back on the original?
4. Anyone know how I can find a replacement for the above mentioned piece of hardware?
5. Any way to get the hull to look like it did in ’59? Or at least as white as possible?
Well, Welcome aboard. I know I may have a good interest in this subject. I have a 59 without the deck and it came with one when new. I've been thinking about putting it back to what it was way back then.Somewhere in it's past it lost it's helm and deck in favor of a plain fishing boat. This is still just what I use it for.I'd sure like to see any pics you have.
I'd be happy to send you more pics and help you get that back to looking original. Right now the one I posted is about the only pic I have of it but my dad has tons I'm sure. I'll ask him to send me some. Once I get the boat to my house in 3-4 weeks, I'll be happy to take more for you of anything you'd like to see in detail. Nothing has ever been taken apart on ours, so what you see is from the factory!
I'm thinking I'll probably be able to figure out the deck once I start looking at it. If I decide to do it I'll take many pics of the process to share with you.
I have a 1959 MFG but don't know the model . It looks like the pictures except it does not have the cover over the rear well / and it has a wrap around windshield . It was in pretty bad shape (including the mahogany wood veneer fore deck) but after a lot of hand sanding , it now wears 10 coats of varnish sanded between - the last coat wet sanded w 400 . still will get 2 more 1 w 400 wet and 1 w 600 wet before a final buff / modernized steering and a 1997 Johnson 40HP w power trim will make it dependable for my wife to enjoy / I have the
original 1960 40HP Johnson and the 1959 Tee Nee trailer that the boat came with /// if I were more computer savy , I would upload lots of pics --- 3-4 weeks til maiden voyage ,,,,,, new rubrail was purchased fro WEFCO Rubber - Pete/Lisa they have been great /// exactly like original , except they only make it in white(kinda vanila) and black ----I was more interested in the correct profile //// the boat won't be "stock" , but it WILL be cool .... if I can be of any help , LMK - I've done a ton of work on this boat in the last 5 months ...... good luch !!
I just found an old advertisement from 1959 and I believe that my boat is a 15' Celoron /// if any body has any info , knowledge or comments , it will all be appreciated , thanks ///also , my front seats are not boxed and the rear seat backs folds forward .
Well, today I got MOST of the outer transom off but the drain plug is an issue. Anyone know how this was installed at the factory? Seems to me it must have been crimped on both ends after it was installed. Looks like I'm going to have to grind the outer lip away to get the last piece of the transom board off unless you guys know something I don't.
I tell you one thing, these things are built like tanks! It was alot of work to get this far.
The brass drain tubes come with the flare formed on one end, then once inserted (and hopefully sealed) into the drain hole a flaring tool is used to form the flare on the other end. (Some folks have success doing it other ways, or with a home made flaring tool.) To remove it, you can take a hammer and a screwdriver (or old wood chisel, something similar) and drive the flange toward the center of the hole, working your way around the tube. Then you can drive the tube out of the hole toward the end that still has the flange on it. Sometimes grabbing the edge of the tube with a needle nose pliers and twisting will draw down the diameter of the tube, making it easier to remove. Since you'll be replacing it, deforming the tube is not a worry.
Since it's been two months and nobody has responded, I'll throw a couple ideas out there for you;
How about using epoxy resin (more waterproof than the "ester" resins from what I hear), or maybe 3M's 5200? I believe either would give you a strong, watertight bond if both surfaces were clean and level when applied. Not sure how many bolts you'll have going through the transom (extra care to make sure they're sealed properly!), but I think you'd want to make sure it's clamped securely while the thing sets up?