Snipe USA

Classic Snipe 3239: Keep Moving

Classic Snipe 3239: Keep Moving

Classic Snipe Database Record

Snipe #3239 “Keep Moving”

Current Owner: Jim Black

Current Owner’s Fleet: Fishing Bay YC, Deltaville, VA

Year Built: 1939

Builder: Douglas Aircraft Snipe Builders

Hull Material: Wood Plank sheathed in fiberglass/epoxy during restoration

MDS: 3239 MDS

Boat Location: Deltaville, VA

Year Last Restored: 2010

Boat History: Per info provided by John Rose:
Owned by Lloyd Roosevelt in Galveston Tx during the late 1940s.
Measured in Corpus Christi in 1948

Purchased as a daysailer (not raced) by James Mead while a grad student in Austin Tx. He sailed the boat on various Texas lakes, then in Lake Michigan while a doctoral student in Chicago. The boat was also towed around the southwest (I have a picture of it on the trailer at the Grand Canyon) and then on to Washington State. Eventually it ended up in the Washington DC area where Dr Mead was a marine biologist (whales) at the Smithsonian.

Given to Clyde Roper (another Smithsonian biologist – giant squid) in the early 1980s to be fixed up as a Boy Scout project. The project was unsuccessful, and the boat sat under a tarp in his back yard until it was given to me in 2006.

Restoration was completed in 2010. This included a complete refastening of all frames and planks. Due to iron-sickness issues caused by the steel screws in the cedar planking, all planking screw holes were drilled out to 3/8″ to get to good wood, then filled with fiberglass rod and epoxy in place of new screws. These ‘epoxy rivets’ seem to be holding up well. The planking is all very wide quarter-sawn Western Red Cedar – two bottom planks on each side of the keel, and a single plank for the topsides! About 95% of the planking is original; only a few areas needed to be patched due to rot. The keel, stem, and transom appeared to be luan or something similar. The transom was too far gone and was replaced with okuome plywood, but the keel and stem are original. The original tongue and groove cedar deck (with luan edging) was too far gone to keep, and was updated to roughly the structure described in SCIRA plywood Snipe plans and the ‘Building a Plywood Snipe’ book. It is decked with okuome plywood, fiberglassed and varnished. The wooden mast, rudder, and aluminum centerboard are from an early 1950s Spivey Snipe built in Chattanooga. They were given to me by Kathy Bronaugh (Atlanta Yacht Club) at the 2009 Wooden Snipe Rally, and were from her father’s old boat (I don’t recall the hull number). The mast is a work of art – built up from six pieces of spruce and ash, hollow with internal halyards. It weighs around 20lbs.

The boat has attended the 2009 Wooden Snipe Rally/Masters Regatta at Atlanta Yacht club (while still incomplete), the 2010 Halloween Regatta at Atlanta Yacht Club, the Snipe Rally at the Finger Lakes Boating Museum (2010 or 2011), and the 2015 Wooden Snipe Rally and District 1 Championships at Winchester Boat Club in Massachusetts.

The boat is typically daysailed out of Fishing Bay Yacht Club in Deltaville, Va, and participates in occasional Portsmouth handicap races at the club.


Last updated December 8, 2015

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