by Dale Brevik member of the Big Sky chapter

Candyman is my 26′ triple cockpit barrel back that I built in the style of the 1940 Chris Craft. It took me three years to build and was launched on July 4th of 2012. I purchased the plans for the Glen-L Monte Carlo years ago and had been collecting hardware and parts while waiting for retirement to bring me to the point of starting the build. White Oak for the frames was purchased and sawdust started hitting the floor on July 8th, 2009.

We live on the shores of Flathead Lake, largest natural body of fresh water west of the Mississippi river. This is a dream boat for summer cruising. I built a model of the boat and it inspired me to start collecting parts for the real thing. Before I started building the boat I had purchased everything from a new Chevy 350 crate engine to the banjo steering wheel and bear claw engine vents. Amazing what you can find on eBay!

A building form was constructed, leveled and fastened to my shop floor with expansion bolts. The frames and motor stringers were encapsulated with epoxy resin and fastened together using aluminum motor clips. I found a source for marine mahogany plywood and ordered it for the double layers of laminations to cold mold the hull. . I spent most of a summer fastening lamination strips of 6mm BS1088 mahogany plywood.

UV protection was applied using System 3 two-part gloss polyurethane. Final sanding was started with a random orbital sander at 220 grit followed by 320, 400, 600, and 1500 and then buffed with 3M Perfection rubbing compound followed by 3M Machine Polish. A year after starting I was able flip the hull and get it turned right side up

During the next winter I was busy preparing the engine. As an unfired crate engine, it needed to be marinized, wired and plumbed. The engine mounts were constructed from oak and angle iron. The engine had never been fired, but had been well kept during its nearly 30 year wait to be tested. It started up as quickly as any car sitting in your garage. The test showed no oil, fuel or water leaks. It was then dropped into the boat for a test fit prior to beginning the deck framing.

The cover-boards were a real challenge to fabricate in the style of the 1940 boat since they start out narrow and then become wider at midships before getting narrow again at the stern. And to make it even harder there are 2 boards on each side all of which must follow the sweeping lines of the shear.

The grooves between the mahogany boards were filled with a mix of epoxy resin, micro-balloon glass filler and white pigment. It is poured into the grooves using disposable piping bags that a local bakery supplied. The filled grooves were then sanded flush. The lines were taped off so as not to take the stain. Cover-boards were stained using Lockwood water-based Ebony color while the rest of it is a red mahogany stain. Lockwood products are very easy to mix and use.

In 2012 the boat was trailered down Main Street in Polson Montana for the 4th of July parade. It then went directly to a launch site and was put in the water of Flathead Lake for the first time. Since then it has been part of the Big Sky chapter of the ACBS boat shows on both Flathead and Whitefish lakes in Montana. In 2020 Candyman will be part of the Inland Empire ACBS show on Priest Lake in Idaho, known as the “Dry Rot” gathering and also at the International ACBS show on Lake Coeur d’Alene.

4 Comments

  1. Wow, for me, an unimaginable labor love and detail. Looks spectacular, and I wish you well with it. And I even know your parade and launch area, having toured there with a photography workshop several years ago. Gorgeous part of the world, and from what I recall, the added depth of Flathead should certainly be welcome.

  2. Hi Dale, Great story and a head spinning description of all of the elements needed to make that first launch. Even more remarkable given that this was your first attempt at constructing a full size wooden boat.Candyman is a beautiful statement of your skill, tenacity and desire for perfection. We are very proud to have you and your boat counted in the membership of Big Sky ACBS. Looking forward to seeing you and Candyman out on the lake.

    Bob Moore

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