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1910 Ray Laker, I need an engine for it

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joe_lacour
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Username: joe_lacour

Post Number: 1
Registered: 09-2012
Posted on Sunday, August 18, 2013 - 04:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Recently, I bought a 1910 Ray Laker that was sort of restored. The hull was original and only repaired where needed, the deck was re-built quite nicely. It has its original brass throttle / (choke?) quadrant in the center of the wheel and original rudder. The boat is a displacement hull and rather narrow at 4' 6" and 20' long. The owner before me who did the restoration found it in original condition in the early 2000's, but did not make any attempt to use the original engine, which he said was not in the boat but available. He remembers it to possibly be a two cylinder but that is about it. Yes, he tossed it and installed a Buchanan 25 HP straight four.

This boat, according to the previous owner, had a brass / bronze controllable pitch propeller arrangement, which he attempted to use with the Buchanan which did not work out and is probably why he decided to sell it. The controllable pitch prop had two concentric brass shafts and a split hub arrangement with some rack teeth to control each of the two blades. The problems were, the prop was turning the wrong direction with the Buchanan, so the blades had to be flipped and the aerodynamic center was forward of the pivot line, the prop was generally worn out, the control mechanism he rigged up was crude, and the rear strut bearing was tight. So I am now in the process of installing a solid shaft, new strut, and standard prop for the Buchanan. I hope this is just a temporary fix as I would like to get an engine that is more likely what was in it when it was new in 1910.

But a mystery has surfaced in that there are a few things that just don't make sense. According to the previous owner, the engine hatches over the motor, which is forward of the driver and passenger area, were two drop in place assemblies. He reports that it was this way when he found it, although I don't have any images to back this up. Also, data on Ray Boat Works, in Maine I think, is scarce. There are two others I have heard about, one a 30' and one a 35', but contact with the owner of the 30' has not been very informative.

So the mystery is, what kind of motor could this Ray Laker have had? If it was a small 3 to 5 hp two cycle, how was it started with the lift off engine covers? If it had a hinged engine cover or covers, one would have to open them, lean over and flip the flywheel or whatever to start the engine, all the while hoping the vari-pitch prop was really in "neutral".

Now it could be that the vari-pitch prop was not original but there is nothing on it that would date it much later, but even then one still had the starting issue through the open or lifted off hatches.

This boat was found in Victoria Canada but all indications are that it was made in Maine by Ray Boat Works. The Antique and Classic Boat Show in 1999 at Lake Winnipesaukee had an poster with the 30' Ray Laker featured.

Could this had some kind of electric start in 1910?

It would be quite nice to install a proper engine in this Laker.

Any ideas? Thanks for looking! Joe




Ray Laker
Ray Laker 1
Ray Laker 2
Ray Laker 3
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bruce
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Username: bruce

Post Number: 390
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Sunday, August 18, 2013 - 09:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Great boat Joe!! I personally would stick with the Buchanan if you intend to use it much. One thing for certain is install a skid plate on the rear of the trailer to protect the rudder from damage over the road. Also would recommend a carpeted plank under the keel in place of the keel rollers. The engine weight is better distributed -less stress on the keel over the road.Again, Great Boat!!
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billschaller
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Username: billschaller

Post Number: 573
Registered: 12-2003


Posted on Sunday, August 18, 2013 - 09:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Find out the motors in the other two boats, at least then you know who they did business with. Post pictures of the engine hatches. Engines back then did have remote mechanical starters.

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joe_lacour
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Username: joe_lacour

Post Number: 2
Registered: 09-2012
Posted on Monday, August 19, 2013 - 08:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes Bruce, the trailer needs work. The Buchanan is quite a lot of power for the boat, but that is what I want to determine later when I get it back in the water.

Bill, attached are more images. So it could be possible that it had a rear mounted hand starter as you show in your image. Does it look like it would fit and not interfere with the wheel or passenger? Once I get it back in the water with the Buchanan, I'll have a better idea of what HP would be correct. Care to take a guess? I'm thinking about a 3 to 6. As far as the other two, the one owner I talked to with the 30' Laker has a modern engine in the 85 HP range and agrees it is too much. It probably had an 8 to 12 HP I would guess. I have a machine shop so restoring or keeping an old engine going would not be too hard.

Also, the hatches are supposed to be very close to the original, but I am not sure. They could have been hinged, but either way the original engine was not in the open.

Hatches 1

Hatches 2

Hatches 3

Hatches 4
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billschaller
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Username: billschaller

Post Number: 574
Registered: 12-2003


Posted on Monday, August 19, 2013 - 11:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I am leaving soon, so don't have much time. I would look in Google books for "auto boat", because I think that is the layout you have. also, they could have extended the starter crank so it came though the back of the engine compartment. see bottom photo.

It is a beautiful boat.


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bcm
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Username: bcm

Post Number: 50
Registered: 11-2009
Posted on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - 11:02 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Joe,

I have several 2 cylinder two cycle engines available for purchase. All are totally rebuilt. The larger engines are rated 6 -8 HP at 800 RPM, the smaller 4-6 HP at 800 RPM (see images).

I regularly use a single cylinder version that develops 3 HP at 800 RPM. I added electric starter that works without problem and without requiring priming. This starter system attaches to the back side so engine can also be hand started (see images). For comparison my launch is 19 and about 2500 lbs displacement. Max speed using 3 HP is 5.5 knots.
The engine also is updated with electronic / buzz coil ignition that eliminates the ignition problems associated with "brush" ignition (see image). These updates could be easily added to the twins.

The major issue with using an old two stroke engine is lack of transmission, although rebuilding your variable pitch prop is a possibility. I use a Kitchen Rudder to provide neutral for starting, reverse and exceptional maneuverability. This might be a bit excessive to consider. Without the Kitchen Rudder when engine operates boat moves.

The slow engine speed requires a large prop, 14" for the smaller engines, 16 for the larger. This needs to be considered to ensure adequate clearance.

I publish a tiny web site at www.goslowboat.com that provides very basic two cycle engine information. Should you decide to go further, I can then provide much more extensive two cycle engine technical information, on request.

Since you have a machine shop and mechanical design/ build skills, this is a huge plus.

Barry





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miro
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Username: miro

Post Number: 710
Registered: 11-2001


Posted on Thursday, August 22, 2013 - 03:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Buchanan is a Midget engine. I have one in an 18 ft mahogany launch.
It is rated at 23 HP at 3600 RPM.

BUT - you will likely be using it at a much lower engine speed - I typically operate mine at 1700 - 1800 RPM.

Since Torque x Speed = HP, then at 1800 RPM the engine is putting out about 10 - 11 HP - which is about what you'd like for your boat, I think.

You could get rid of the variable pitch prop, and get a solid replacement. I can get you the info on prop pitch and diameter for the Midget, plus as noted, the Midget has the FNR gearbox built in.

The Buchanan has parts available, it has electric starting, it provision for a generator ( although I see that yours does not have one) .

And since the Buchanan has 4 cylinders, it will be a much smoother engine than a 2 cylinder, 2 stroke.

The old 2 strokes also are designed to leak oil and grease out of the main bearings which means that your bilge will get a dose of crud every time you use it. Over time, this will have to be cleaned out and frankly ( because I own a DisPro too with an old 2 stroke) that is not a job I look forward to.

So if you intend to use the boat regularly, then stay with the Midget engine - on the other hand, if you intend to have a "show only" boat, then make the switch ( but don't toss the Midget)

miro
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bcm
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Username: bcm

Post Number: 51
Registered: 11-2009
Posted on Thursday, August 22, 2013 - 05:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Miro,

I absolutely agree with your analysis.

There is only one reason to install an old two stroke ... to restore the boat to the way it was.

Joe ... if you intend to use the boat, there are many issues and and a lot of knowledge associated with installing and using an old two stroke.

If you intend to use the boat, keep the Midget, push the start button and go.

On the other hand, if you are determined to restore the boat to the way it was, install an old two cycle engine and be prepared to understand and deal with many issues. Lots of help at this site.

Joe .. waiting for your thoughts?

Barry
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joe_lacour
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Username: joe_lacour

Post Number: 3
Registered: 09-2012
Posted on Friday, August 23, 2013 - 01:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Barry, those are some nice looking engines. I am still gathering information on what could have possibly been in this boat. I will keep you in mind.

Could it have had something with a FNR? The report from the original owner, according to the second owner, was that it had the VS prop. But I'm not completely sure. And could boats of this era have had a FNR mechanism? How common was it?

Could this vintage boat had a 4 cycle engine? From what I gather, it was a typical boat of the era, but might have been higher quality that usual. Comments?

Miro, we have communicated on the Buchanan Midget before, and while I agree it would be more practical, I am interested in restoring it to something more original. Not completely sure yet, but leaning that way.

Barry, yes, the Midget would be more practical.

I just feel that since this is a rare boat, only two others made by Ray Boat Works are known, it should be preserved in original condition. Plus, I like old engines.

Also, I was told that the 1909 issue of Rudder featured a Ray Laker. Does anyone know where I could get a copy of the article?
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joe_lacour
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Username: joe_lacour

Post Number: 4
Registered: 09-2012
Posted on Saturday, August 31, 2013 - 05:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Another question, as far as historical value I would assume an original engine would be better, but what about monetary value? How much of a difference would that make?
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miro
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Username: miro

Post Number: 718
Registered: 11-2001


Posted on Monday, September 02, 2013 - 09:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Joe - monetary value is (more or less) in the eyes of the beholder.
If a buyer was looking for totally original stuff ( eg the Faultless at Mystic) then the value might be higher but in my experience, you'll never get back the $$$ that you put into an old wooden boat. You have to do it for the love of it.
And if you take that "tack" then you'll far more likely to enjoy what you are doing.

miro
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robert
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Username: robert

Post Number: 592
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Monday, September 02, 2013 - 11:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Was this boat found in Victoria, BC? Bill is that a Gray Model T with the hand starter?
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joe_lacour
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Username: joe_lacour

Post Number: 5
Registered: 09-2012
Posted on Tuesday, September 03, 2013 - 10:44 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, this boat was from Victoria BC. Do you know anything about this boat? What do you know about it?

Miro, I was just curious as to whether this boat, of which there are only two others know by this maker, should be restored to its original configuration. Or something closer to original. But in doing so, would it affect the value and in which way? That might help me make a decision. But there are many other factors to consider.
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miro
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Username: miro

Post Number: 719
Registered: 11-2001


Posted on Wednesday, September 04, 2013 - 02:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well, Joe - here are my thoughts.
1) You can NEVER make it like the original - there will always be parts that are close, but they just ain't original - that's a fact. You can come close and in some cases parts will be better than original.

2) If you do try to bring it back to what it was like when it left the factory, you will certainly attract some people. Whether these folks, and there aren't many of them - that's for sure -
are interested in BUYING the boat is a whole other question. If it IS close to original- no question the PRICE will be higher but the value ( to you) will be lower because you will have spent a considerable amount of time and possibly $$$ to get it back to near original condition.

As with any financial transaction there has to be a willing BUYER and a willing SELLER who agree on a price. Value as I said before is in the eyes of the beholder.

No question - the price will be higher if it is close to original condition. But the boat may be hard to start, to operate and might be less safe out on the water in its original condition.

So, Joe - your pick .

PS - my vote is . . . . . go for what pleases YOU

miro
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joe_lacour
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Username: joe_lacour

Post Number: 6
Registered: 09-2012
Posted on Wednesday, September 04, 2013 - 03:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, I know it will never be original. I was just curious as to what the general feeling about a boat that was originally designed for possibly 4hp that now had 25hp.

But enough of this for now. Could this have had a 4 cycle engine or was that just not that common in 1910?

My plan is to keep the Buchanan and see what happens as far as my research goes.

Does anyone know where I can get a copy of the 1909 issue of Rudder? As I mentioned, it featured a Ray Laker. I'm not sure what issue it was. Would it be better to post on an antique boat forum? What one would be best? Thanks, Joe
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miro
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Username: miro

Post Number: 720
Registered: 11-2001


Posted on Wednesday, September 04, 2013 - 09:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

In 1910 I think there were more 2 cycle engines, simply because they were cheaper to manufacture.
Richard D. could probably "guess" at the ratio of 2 cycle to 4 cycle engines.

miro
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richarddurgee
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Username: richarddurgee

Post Number: 3090
Registered: 11-2001
Posted on Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 09:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

*
We did discuss the 2 cycle to 4 cycle engine production ratio on this web site several yrs ago, Can't find it here and can't find it in my stuff at the moment !

This Very Cool 1910 Brennan would probably slip right in ?

How about that intake manifold ??


B1910



*
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billschaller
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Username: billschaller

Post Number: 577
Registered: 12-2003


Posted on Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 09:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

robert,

that is a foreman from toronto.
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billschaller
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Username: billschaller

Post Number: 578
Registered: 12-2003


Posted on Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 09:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

if it was my boat, I would stuff this in it.

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russell
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Username: russell

Post Number: 69
Registered: 08-2003


Posted on Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 09:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'll certainly raise a glass to that!
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robert
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Username: robert

Post Number: 593
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 10:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Joe, as of now I know only what you have told us about it, but I know there was a Fay & Bowen, or what the then owner believed to be a Fay & Bowen in storage out here for years. I'll drop you a line, maybe I can find a bit more info about both boats.

Miro, thanks that Foreman's head and inspection covers look like they were copied directly from the Gray "T" to my eye.
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joe_lacour
Member
Username: joe_lacour

Post Number: 7
Registered: 09-2012
Posted on Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 10:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for all that information. What is the HP of the Red Wing? What would it weight? Does it have a FNR?

The Brennan at 8HP looks heavy. In a few months, maybe more, I'll have a better idea on what prop and RPM moves the boat at what speed. That will give me a better idea as to what was most likely in it. Again, it is 20 feet long, 4' 6" wide and a displacement hull.
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joe_lacour
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Username: joe_lacour

Post Number: 8
Registered: 09-2012
Posted on Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 10:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Robert, please contact me about this boat. It is reported to be a Ray Laker and certainly looks like the Ray Laker in the poster. But who knows. Do you need my contact info?
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robert
Senior Member
Username: robert

Post Number: 594
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 11:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Email sent Joe.
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billschaller
Senior Member
Username: billschaller

Post Number: 579
Registered: 12-2003


Posted on Friday, September 06, 2013 - 12:13 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

the Red Wing weighs 425 and has FNR.

It's not for sale, but is what I would put in the boat if it can handle the weight.

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billschaller
Senior Member
Username: billschaller

Post Number: 580
Registered: 12-2003


Posted on Friday, September 06, 2013 - 12:20 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here is the corresponding boat from Red Wing.

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