This is Lil’ Rhody, a 29’6″ launch built in Rhode Island in the late ’60’s.  She is strip-planked and covered by fiberglass inside and out.  Her beam is only 6′, draft about 30″.  She has a 2-cylinder Westerbeke inboard engine and she’s great to putt-putt on the CT River.

It started with the rotting roof, Bill had done a few small repairs but over the snowy winter of 2010-11, other roof areas worsened.  Bill had spied a magazine photo of a beautiful fantail launch with similar lines as Lil’ Rhody and thought, why can’t I do that with this boat?

He pitched the idea to the owner and the next thing you know, a project is born!

First, clean up the interior…

Then, paint

Repair the floors

Bulwark repair

Bill designed the new roof so it has better curve

Strips are epoxied one at a time

Strips finished and trimmed, now laying Dynel matting

System 3 epoxy

Wiring for exterior lights, mahogany trim

Planking the exterior roof

Creating a galley and adding bulwarks

On the opposite side, creating a head

Rhody looking aft, work in progress

Framing pilothouse windows

                                       Building steering station

                  Priming the new pilothouse

Windows and frames, varnished

Adding a fantail to a canoe stern

Making a fantail stern from a canoe stern, Higgy doing some of the work

Supports for the fantail

Planking over supports

Fiberglassing over planks, over fairing.  Higgy doing manual labor

Hull faired, mahogany bulkwarks added

Adding rubrails

Teak deck aft, cutting and fitting

Add deck removed, 5200 placed

Teak deck finished on bow

Lil Rhody gets a bow thruster

Pilot house doors with glass, installed, a few coats of varnish to go

Pilot house steering station, completed

Engine cover, cabin soles, benches completed

Private head, completed

Galley with water tank and cooler, completed

Pilot house with doors open, looking forward

Looking aft from pilot house.  Around this time , Lil’ Rhody’s name was changed to Ruby

Engine overhaul

Ruby revealed, with the named changed from Lil Rhody.  Note the very cool stack on top

Ruby, bow on

Ruby’s new stack and whistle

Ruby, starboard aft, in the slings ready for launch

Ruby touches the water

Stern view

New fantail stern

Sitting pretty in her new slip

First ride goes to Bill (at wheel) and Higgy, (Jon, and Lee)

Ruby underway to Mahogany Memories

Ruby heading up to Mahogany Memories

Second place, Children’s Choice Award, a nice book about these craft

Second Place, Contemporary Classics

Best of all, Best of Show, Restored.  They had 2 Best of Show awards, one for Preserved to acknowledge those that don’t change their vessels but strive to keep things pristine

Bill with trophy, I couldn’t get him to stand still!

Bob (Higgy) with trophy

Bill and Bob with the Best of trophy

Jon, owner of Ruby, who gave Bill the green light for all his ideas

To the winner goes the spoils, a la Lulu and Jill!


One response to “Ruby

  1. Oh! Bill she’s absolutely beautiful!!!

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