1952 George Stadel Ketch "Lark"

by Craig Murray
(New Durham, NH. USA)

Restoration and repair of "Lark" , a 41' 1952 George Stadel Ketch, built by Herbert Baum in KennyBunkport Maine.

Lark is oak framed with mahogany planking.

She has two sitka spruce masts, nine sails.

She also has a 40 hp Grey Marine engine.

Lark survived being hove-to off the coast of New England during the Hurricane "Jane", I believe in 1964.

I do have the full set of Blue prints of "Lark".

"Lark" was sailed between Maine and Maryland.

My wife and I bought/rescued Lark in 2003, from certain demise of a chain saw.

Shortly after, my wife was diagnosed with cancer.

We put the boat project on hold.

I did some work on her, but had to put the boat last on the list.

My wife lost her battle with cancer May of 2011.

She made me promise to continue with the boat project.

So far the I have removed the interior of the boat.

I have repaired some of the frames.

I saved the interior.

There are several planks to replace still.

The fore foot of the stem at the water line has some rot which is in the repair list.

The ballast is Iron, I would like to change that to lead. Yikes!

"Lark" may also require replacement of the keel timbers as they have dried out considerably.

The masts both have dried out and both have some long, wide checks in them.

Not sure how or what to do there yet.

The rigging is in fairly good shape.

All of the systems need up dating.

I want to bring the tanks down lower in the bilge.

The deck house coaming has been rebuilt and the deck house is removed for repair.

The engine is to be replaced with a rebuilt diesel.

The sails are a mixed bag, but salvageable.

More Photos of “Lark”











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Comments for 1952 George Stadel Ketch "Lark"

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The work on Lark
by: Craig Murray

Hi, I have not gotten as far along as I would have liked this year.

No real excuses , but , life gets in the way.

Meanwhile, work continues , with the prep for the keel repair under way. ( and there is much to do in the way of prepping.)

We are moving a 5500lb iron ballast out from under a 24,0000lb boat , you need a really good plan.

We also need to have thought it through carefully.

The rest of the frames have been repaired, replaced.
( the sister frames have been removed ).

The butt blocks are being removed and scarfed joints made in the planks.

The lower plank seams will be splined with cedar, while the seams above the water line are caulked.

There is much to do in the way of cosmetics and interior installs.

Slow and steady, as it goes.

Funds are now coming into play, but not a big issue.

Weather is always a problem.

But we have new information on the history of Lark. This helps make it worth while.

Cheers.
Craig




Craig, Murray is a Stadel family name
by: Chris

Craig, give me a holler.

George Stadel was my grandfather, and I seem to be the only surviving grandson who can handle a sailboat!

I would love to see "Lark." chroconn@cisco.com




Lark
by: Richard Spencer

Hi Craig, I was amazed to see your description of your Lark project on the internet.

She was built by the Baum yard in Kennebunkport for my father Samuel Spencer and my uncle Richard Aldrich in 1953.

In 1954 when I was 10 years old we were caught on board in Hurricane Carol off Harpswell Maine.

I was so sure that we would all be killed that I have felt ever since that I was living on borrowed time.

I am sorry to hear about your wife's death but inspired by her wish that you continue the project.

I co-founded a land conservation group in Rangeley Maine and have worked on land conservation in that area based on a similar request.

As a child and teenager we used to sail the Lark from New England to the Chesapeake every year or so.

She was kept at Nonquit Mass. and Point Judith R.I.in New England and at Galesville MD. in the Chesapeake.

Many of my happiest childhood memories are of sailing the Lark with my parents, my brother and sister, my friends, my college room-mate and my fiancée.

Shortly after we were married in 1968,my wife and I lived on board the Lark for a summer in Kennebunkport.

She was without doubt the most beautiful boat in every harbor that we ever went into and she always always got rave reviews.

The more people knew about boats, the more they loved her.

We always thought that the design was sort of a cross between a Nova Scotia fishing schooner and a Maine lobster boat.

I still have many old photographs and a half hull model of her.

We now live in Portland Maine and I would die to see her again.

I can be reached at my office at 207 772 1941 during the day or at home at 207 773 5874 in the evenings.

My email address is rspencer@dwmlaw.com .

I tried to call you but your number was unlisted.

I would be very interested in hearing more about your project and, if you would consider it, perhaps chartering her once she is back in the water.

You are one of my heroes for making the effort to rescue her and I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Best, Dick Spencer




The next phase!
by: Craig Murray

Well like so many projects, mine was on hold for the winter.

I needed money, so of to work a contract on modifying aircraft in Colorado.

Mean while, I intend to tackle the ballast and keel bolt replacement this summer.

I have a rebuilt Westerbeke engine to replace the old 40 hp Grey Marine engine.
( I have two of them if any one is looking for a replacement ) cheap.....

The sails are also on the repair list as well as the painting chores.

The hull has new life. I splined the planks, repaired the frames.

The new tanks are part installed.

I have rewired and re-plumbed the systems.

I have kept the rigging original with all of the repaired oak and bronze shell block pulleys.

I am replacing most of the lines, and halyards.

I have upgraded the electrical system to include a windmill gen. with improved lighting.

I am keeping the fabricated marker light setup.

All of the bronze hardware is going back on after paint and varnish.

Cheers Craig. ( And thatnks for the nice comments)




lending a hand
by: Matthew Wright

What a beautiful ship!

I have a little experience with small craft construction, an infatuation with Stadel's boats, and a somewhat flexible schedule.

I live in Brattleboro, VT which is not impossibly far from you.

If you are stuck in need of an extra pair of hands, let me know at sweetwerke@gmail dot com.

If I'm free I'll see if I can't help kick it along.

Good luck.

MW




Progress 09/2012
by: Craig Murray

Hi , The time has come for a decision.

Cover for the winter / or cover to keep working over the winter.

I am going to try to continue working over the winter.

It is much harder up in the North East.

We can have some big snow and other weather.

So my friends and I are creating a pole barn.

I want to put a metal roof on it. Depends on the budget.

Sanding has taken over a lot of time.

Also has any one seen the cost of bronze hardware? Ridiculous!

The keel still has not been touched , as other things have taken longer to do, and normal life outside of boat repair world takes front stage.

The frames are all done.

There are measurements being taken to fabricate new tanks.

I have some round /barrel shaped tanks, which were removed.

They don't use the space very well.

I want to lower the CG as well for the water , and waste tanks.

The interior had been removed a while ago.

I am looking at the bulkheads and where the hanging knees fit.

Also I need to acquire new bathroom fixtures/hardware.

This is to get my head around where to put them and the associated electrical, plumbing, and structure to support the new stuff.

Of course more money for that stuff, I'm looking for used stuff first, I have found it just takes a few extra visits to other boat yards.
They have stuff they are tiered of looking at.

So that is it .( I think its plenty )

Cheers, Craig







Beautiful boat, beautiful story
by: Jerry

Thanks for saving such a beautiful sailboat.

So sorry for your loss.






Congrats on your tenacity
by: Wayne BartowAnonymous

I just completed a restoration on my S&S Lawley Built "Weekender Sloop, "Windsong".

Can relate to your issues and want to give you all the courage to keep on the project.

The end result is so rewarding and you have many folks out here rooting for you who also understand what's at stake.

Hang in there and do not hesitate to ask for advice from those who give it freely.
WB






Progress on Lark
by: Craig Murray

Well. I went to a "repair a classic" class at the Wooden Boat School in Brooklyn , Maine.

I can not say enough about the school and the staff , it was more like boat repair "camp" for adults.

I had Eric Blake for an instructor.

He was very informative , and restored my hope for my project, " Lark ".

I have found out the checks in the masts are of no concern.

They should not be filled with any epoxy or filler that would harden.

Maybe a wax or some tar.

But Eric said to leave them alone and Maynard Bray concurred.

That is enough for me.

I have moved the masts over to custom saw horses that are at a working height.

They are stripped down of all their bits which were labeled and stored.

The cabin house top is removed and being repaired.

The plan for the Iron ballast is simple , I'm keeping it.

According to Eric Blake , I should remove it , sand blast it , and immediately seal it with epoxy .
Then paint it.

As far as the frames and the stem.

The stem has gotten a lay up of oak veneer repair.

After planning back to good wood.

The bronze bolts at the joint were removed to facilitate access.

They will be reinstalled.

The frames have been numbered and are being repaired in pairs, Port/ starboard.

I am planning the damaged area back to a 8-1 scope and laying in oak veneer.
Trimming to fit.

The planks will have their butt blocks removed and there are several dutchmean to remove.

So I see a hopeful progress.

Lark will be in the water next summer if all goes well.

Thanks Craig.






Bravo!
by: Dan - San Diego

I was touched to see your restoration project.

I have one myself and am humbled to see yours.

Keep restoring, I like what the other commentor said.

One step at a time!

I'll be checking back and working on mine too.







Restoring a George Stadel Ketch
by: Mike

“Lark” was clearly a magnificent lady in her heyday and I'm sure she will be again.

Restoration can be overwhelming with so many jobs to be done.

Just tackle one at a time, starting with the hull.

I know that is easier said than done but keep at it and one day you will get there.

Restore in the same order as you would build, starting from the backbone timbers, then the planking etc.

The first priority of any boat is that she should float.

Timbers that have dried out should, as long as there is no rot, ‘take up’ again when she ‘gets her bottom wet’.

‘Shakes’ in the masts might not be a problem, it depends on how wide they are.

The main thing for now is that you have her under cover and away from those trees.

Best wishes to you and “Lark”






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