Sorg 15 Runabout Willow

22 Oct 2014: Skipper bought a Race Committee boat, a 1957 15' Sorg Runabout. Her name is Willow, and she will head down from Michigan in a few days on her Tee Nee trailer. Anybody heard of Sorg Boats from Detroit, MI?

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24 Oct 2014: Eagerly awaiting a boat and trailer....

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Keith passes the flag on the Sorg to Kent.

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Cool bailer.

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25 Oct 2014:
Skipper likes it!

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Willow meets Cyane and St Jacques.

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Tucked in to the shack.

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03 Nov 2014: Hung the Evinrude Lark 35hp. It needs several parts and running condition is unknown. Current plan is to put on a new motor and slowly restore the old one. Check out the post 1958 Evinrude Lark 35hp for progress.

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11 Nov 2014: TeeNee trailer has some great design features. We will probably add a crossbar at the end for transom rollers, tie downs and a better location for tail lights.

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14 Dec 2014: The bilge in the Sorg has some thin slats, we are not sure if that is supposed to be the floor or not. Also it is hard to get in the boat without stepping on the curve of the hull or catching a foot on the stringer, so we are going to put in a level cockpit sole in the midsection of the boat. That will be our boarding area. Here we are laying out some planks to get a few ideas.

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The rear seat has a folding back, but the middle seat back is missing. Taking some measurements to build another seat out of 3/4 inch marine grade plywood.

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15 Dec 2014: Ripping stringers, slats and battens from cypress for a cockpit sole.

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Marking a notch for slat to fit around the seat support.

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Cut notch for seat support using handsaw.

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Transferred notch markings to opposite end of slats.

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Cut notch for seat support using handsaw.

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Countersunk brass screws through slats into battens.

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Center section finished. It rides on a rail so it can be slid back out of the way once passengers are seated.

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Individually fit slats for the sides.

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22 Dec 2014: Willow is getting a new Suzuki 4 stroke 25 hp installed at Lou's Marine in Gulf Breeze, Florida. Gary is the Owner and has taken this fun challenge on himself, having recently worked on a 1954 Lyman Runabout. Willow will be getting remote steering, remote start, new lights, a bilge pump and external fuel filter. I got to drop in and pick the spots for the steering wheel and throttle.

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Kind of like dropping in during the middle of a surgery.

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23 Dec 2014: Swung by Lou's again to decide on tachometer installation location. Gary was excited for us to get a good look at the boat so he rolled her out to better light at the edge of the shop. She is getting special treatment, spending all day and night inside.

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29 Dec 2014: 1959 Sorg 15 Runabout "Willow" bow light wired.

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Suzuki 4 stroke ATS 25 hp with tilt and trim.

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Suzuki electric start and remote control, remote steering.

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05 Jan 2015: Picked up Willow today, Gary went over the Suzuki checklist and systems with me. Gary is the Owner of Lou's Marine in Gulf Breeze, Florida, worked there with his Dad since the 80s. They are the oldest Suzuki dealer in Florida and 4th oldest in the U.S. He expects a ride when it warms up!

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Gary's tip for the flush attachment, add a wire to keep the muffs from slipping off the back.

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We found good spots for the battery, bilge pump and external fuel filter. The gas tank will eventually find its best spot, if it were just a bit shorter it would fit i=under te seat nicely.

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Gary did a great job installing the throttle and steering, it took a little whittling on the steering shaft so that the steering wheel trim cap fit. He also installed a fuse box under dash and wired up the bilge pump and lights.

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Stopped at Walmart for fire extinguisher, winch strap, transom tie downs, hitch lock, floaty key ring things, registration letter/number kit, motor flush attachment....entertained several wooden boat enthusiasts in the parking lot....

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'Twas several nights after Christmas, and all through the town, the Skipper was asking, "When are we taking the lights down?"

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Willow back at the Casa.

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06 Jan 2015: Bought a piece of 3/4 inch fir marine plywood at Gatlin Lumber, used the Ford Edge to bring it home. We will use this to cut a new seat back for the middle seat.

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08 Feb 2015: Willow went for sea trials, she ran great. 12 mph at 2700 rpm, 25 mph at 5000 rpm. She had a few small leaks, but they slowed after a few minutes and less than a cup came into the boat. She rides great with her lapstrake construction and carried 3 adults with no problems.

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12 Feb 2015:
Visited the old Sorg factory in Detroit at 4301 Grand River Ave. Willow was built here circa 1958-9.

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Also found the house that Harry C. Sorg lived in around 1953.

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15 Feb 2015: Took Willow out for her second cruise, she ran great and carried 4 people. 2 passengers sat in the back seat and we could have a normal conversation even with the motor running at half speed. Anticipated fuel burn is 1 gph.

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04 Mar 2015: Willow after a run into the river inlet. And she got her name on the stern.

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Added bow chocks.

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21 Mar 2015: Started work on making a back for the middle seat, which was missing. It is a little taller and wider than the aft seat back, but I traced the aft seat back to get a starting point.

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The middle seat is a bit taller and wider than the aft seat, so I added an inch all around.

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I cut out a piece of scrap okume plywood to get an idea of the curve and height of the seat.

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Used the okume scrap to trace the ends and the rest was traced with the cardboard. The small folding tables worked great as mobile work tables.

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Cut out the middle seat.

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Test fit of the new middle seat. Look good, but design challenges lurk.

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Oops, I didn't consider the concave curve of the hull, so I'll trim the sides a bit. That explains why the seat back supports on either side of the hull curve out a bit at the top.

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25 Mar 2015: Used the template to see how much of the side needed to be trimmed, then trimmed the seat back.

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Also began work on the stem leak. The bow stem curves down and lays on top of the keel. The leak is coming in around the 3rd to 4th rib up from the end of the stem.

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We think the leak is by that gap on the keel/ bow stem joint by the red paint. Water comes in to the boat at a slow trickle, then we think it drains out once we put it back on the trailer, runs down the keel and pools where that discolored area is. There is also a small rust stain on the trailer there.

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Willow propped up so I can get to the keel.

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The keel comes up and meets the bow stem, and there is a scarf joint there. We suspect that is where the leak is.

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Scraping out the failed sealant between the plank and the keel.

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The old sealant kind of flaked out.

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Used West System to seal the bare plywood.

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Sealed the bare wood with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy.

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26 Mar 2015: Faired the plank with Pettit EZ-Fair then added 3M 5200 Adhesive Sealant to the keel/stem joint. First time using the 5200 and I couldn't get it to smooth out. It will be fun to sand :?

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Old paint needed to be cleaned off the bow eye. We used a razor blade.

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27 Mar 2015: Finishing the 1959 Sorg Runabout 15 with Sikkens Cetol Marine.

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Used Pettit Easypoxy to touch up the stem repair.

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Not a perfect match but the fish won't mind. (05 Apr 2015 Note: Found out the color should be Rustoleum Topside Oyster White)>

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29 Mar 2015: Drilling pilot holes for narrow hinge screws.

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Seat back finished, folds nice and flat. and matches pretty well.

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01 Apr 2015: Willow got measured for a new galvanized trailer at Eddie English Company, Inc. We are going to sell the Tee Nee trailer IOT save it from certain destruction by the local marine elements.

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Summer: We tried to update the TeeNee trailer but it needed lights, guides, more bunks, tie downs etc plus it was maxed out with weight. So Eddie English in Milton made a new trailer, galvanized with stringer and transom support in the right spots. They custom built the drop frame and Willow rides on 13 inch radials now.



Willow also got a nice carriage house to rest in and a covered boat lift....



https://youtu.be/D1yrSABPd9Y











...to be continued...

2 comments:

  1. Great little runabout. I'd never heard of this manufacturer until now.

    Is there a link to the video of her underway? And what do you do about seats - do you use life preservers as cushions?

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  2. Drake-Sorg, later Sorg Roughwater Boats in Detroit, made duck boats back in the 1930s then recreational plywood lapstrake boats in the 1950s. I guess they didn't survive the fiberglass craze. https://youtu.be/D1yrSABPd9Y

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