Beetles Before Restoration by Keith R Wahl, Made From RI Gallery

March 09, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Beetles Before Restoration (select link to see a larger photo)

BeetlesBeforeRestoration_20210228_850_8265Beetles Before RestorationBeetle Cats in shades of worn buff stacked and awaiting restoration at the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport, Rhode Island.

Beetle Cats in shades of worn buff stacked and awaiting restoration at the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport, Rhode Island.

There is nothing, and I mean nothing, that will make me wax nostalgic than the view of a Beetle Cat. Next to that would be the restoration of a Beetle Cat. I have the model of a Beetle Cat over my shoulder as I write.

The summer of my fourteenth year, I shelled out some of my quahogging money and bought a Beetle Cat. I spent my summer sanding, painting, and repairing. There were no broken frames, but there was a need for a deck canvas. Replacing canvas meant learning to replace moldings and steam bending some wood.

I was fortunate in that I grew up in the maritime world as the son of a captain and marine surveyor. This brought me to the dean of Beetle Cats, a legendary figure, Mr. Leo Telesmanick.

Mr. Telesmanick offered a wealth of education and advice "off the books". How to build a steam box to bend wood. How to stretch canvas. How to make bungs to cover hull fittings. These were lessons that I never forgot.

By the end of summer, I had an oak framed, clear cedar-planked dream with fir trim and spars. I had painted the boat out with white hull sides, a green bottom, "Block Island" buff deck, and a grey cockpit. The brightwork gleamed with fresh varnish with no bubbles to mar the finish. My last touch was a bit of marlinspike work with a "turks head" knot on the tiller.

The Beetle Cats pictured are at the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport. This is a gem of a Rhode Island institution. And we are certain that these Beetle Cats will be "Shipshape and Bristol Fashion" in short order.

Learn more about Beetle Cats: Beetle Cat Boat Shop

Learn more about the International Yacht Restoration School: IYRS SCHOOL OF TECHNOLOGY & TRADES

© Keith R Wahl, Made From RI/Made From RI Gallery, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Keith R Wahl and Made From RI/Made From RI Gallery with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Photo from our Made From RI Gallery portfolio display "Winter Scenes" (all photos are available as prints, canvas wraps, framed works, cards, or many other formats).