1957 Wagemaker Wolverine Restoration

Questions about boat repairs with our resins and fiberglass: hull patches, transoms and stringers, foam, rot etc.
Biker B.O.B.
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1957 Wagemaker Wolverine Restoration

Post by Biker B.O.B. » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:45 pm

About six weeks ago, with full support and encouragement from my wife, I purchased a 1957 Wagemaker Wolverine plylap runabout complete with 1957 35hp Johnson and what is probably the original trailer. My father graciously offered to drive to Michigan, pick it up and deliver it to me in Florida; a big thank you to my dad! Initial progress has been slow between celebrating my 15th wedding anniversary and my desire to finish my T47 Schooner before starting on the Wolverine.

Yesterday, while my wife was at work, I built a motor stand and relocated the outboard from the transom to the stand, so I guess I should get started on this thread. This is my first restoration/rebuild, but I have built a V12, a C12, one strip-planked canoe and a skin-on-frame kayak. I'm sure that I will have questions along the way but feel prepared for the challenge.

On the day of delivery I was a bit rushed and moved it into my workshop without taking any pictures. What you see below are from the advertisement and it arrived pretty much as described. I once thought that I could build an 18' boat in my shop, but this 15 footer with motor and trailer leave me little room.


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Re: 1957 Wagemaker Wolverine Restoration

Post by Biker B.O.B. » Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:59 pm

What is the best way to remove the bungs when I cannot be certain if the screws hold the frame to the deck or if they hold the frame together? I would like to remove the frame from the deck in one piece.

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Re: 1957 Wagemaker Wolverine Restoration

Post by pee wee » Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:29 am

I don't know of a way to remove them without destroying them, I'd use a drill bit smaller than the plug size and remove enough material to dig out the rest of it without damaging the surrounding wood.
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Re: 1957 Wagemaker Wolverine Restoration

Post by Biker B.O.B. » Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:03 pm

Thanks, Hank. I will try that.
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Re: 1957 Wagemaker Wolverine Restoration

Post by Cracker Larry » Fri Jun 05, 2015 6:12 pm

Wow Shaun, that will be a heck of a project, but very rewarding in the end. Very cool. Not many folks have the fortitude to tackle something like that.

There are probably screws under those plugs. I'd use a drill bit the same size or just slightly larger than the plug, go easy, and see what you've got. If you hit metal, use a Dremel to clean up around it and maybe can remove the screw clean. You can always use larger plugs to re-assemble.
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Re: 1957 Wagemaker Wolverine Restoration

Post by Biker B.O.B. » Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:18 pm

Thanks, Larry. I have long considered building a runabout, but when I saw this and got my wife's encouragement I had to go for an old wooden boat. Looking back at my C12 "Jimzee" I think I can handle this.
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Re: 1957 Wagemaker Wolverine Restoration

Post by fallguy1000 » Sat Jun 06, 2015 1:13 am

I have an old plywood Carver and the windshield was screwed from underneath. I had an old Johnson 25 from 1953 (someone stole back in the late 90s), and it was trustworthy, but liked to flood.. no choke and wot and it'd clear and go. If you have to replace any wood, make sure to find the right mahogany. I have some African and Honduran and 65 other kinds and at least my trim strips on the back are not very nice.. And save the old stuff....you can make your own bungs. It looks like they put Pettit copper on the bottom (I am just guessing by the pic)...I have that on mine, but it isn't really right for either boat.

If you want to pick up some room, if you are still on the trailer and I am seeing right, push the boat up another foot if you can by moving the mast.
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Re: 1957 Wagemaker Wolverine Restoration

Post by Biker B.O.B. » Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:57 pm

fallguy1000 wrote:It looks like they put Pettit copper on the bottom (I am just guessing by the pic)...I have that on mine, but it isn't really right for either boat.
Thanks for the information. Is the Pettit copper something I need to be concerned about when it's time to sand it down for the repaint? I am leaning toward buying a new trailer; the tongue weight is too high, there is a bent frame rail and finding a spare tire to carry with me would be difficult at best.

The mounting screws for the windshield frame were actually buried behind the plexiglass under some kind of wood putty. After locating all twelve screws we were able to remove the frame. My wife helped me this after noon and we were also able to remove the plywood deck which is delaminating.

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A little rot at the bow to take care of, but the beams look good.
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Re: 1957 Wagemaker Wolverine Restoration

Post by wegcagle » Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:20 am

Good to see you back Shaun! And what a cool build. I will certainly be following this closely as I also love the looks of the old runabouts 8)

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Re: 1957 Wagemaker Wolverine Restoration

Post by jacquesmm » Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:06 am

The deck beams look good.
Good start, this can be a nice rebuild.
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