Barrel of Fun!


Apr 25, 2017

Jim Peerless sent us this excellent video of the building of his Barrelback 19 classic runabout. The boat is a Ken Hankinson adaptation of a Chris Craft design built between 1939 and 1942. Jim is the secretary of the Bluenose Squadron CPS, here he explains the thinking (or rationalising) behind the project. – GC

Okay, so I decided to build another boat! I have only built two other boats in my lifetime; a small hydroplane when I was a teenager and a cedar strip canoe about 10 years back. However, woodworking has always been a hobby of mine. Let’s see, it would have to be something I could build in my workshop/garage and that I could put on a trailer. I decided upon an updated version of a classic runabout; the Barrelback 19 from Glen-L marine in California. Are there many of these boats in Nova Scotia? No. How long would it take to build? Didn’t know, didn’t care. How much would it cost? Had an idea but didn’t want to think about it. How would I tell my wife that her favorite car would be parked outside year-round again? Carefully! It has taken about three years to this point. It has taken more dollars than my “idea”. My wife is still here! It has also been an enjoyable and satisfying project.

Technical stuff: the Barrelback is a cold moulded design. I used Douglas Fir for framing, layers of Okoume and Meranti marine plywood, with mahogany trims, silicone bronze screws and encapsulated everything West System Epoxy. Initially I was considering installing a V-6 engine, but in 2015 MerCruiser brought out a V-8 engine that was 2 inches less in height than the previous models. It would fit! Mind you, I could have bought a new Honda Civic for the same price. That “Scorpion” engine is the heart of this boat.

I tried to buy materials, as much as possible, from within Nova Scotia, or at least, from within the Maritimes. I met a local fellow from Halls Harbour (Greg Sanford) who could order parts and accessories from Stright-MacKay and Mermaid Marine and have used his services extensively.

Proposed launch date May or June.

Check out this video of the building process. We’ll have more videos from Jim as the project reaches completion:
Photo courtesy J. Peerless


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