The rehabilitation of a classic Long Island gunning boat – and a family heirloom.
Here I am circa 1982 “piking” the Scooter across the ice of Great South Bay off East Islip – that’s the Captree Bridge in the background. This Scooter was built by Benjamin Hallock (of Center Moriches), probably in the 1920s or 30s. My Dad (Ted Sanford, Jr.) rescued it in 1954 or thereabouts. He designed and built the stool rack at about that time – I helped him with the “cowling” at the head of the cockpit in the late-1960s.
The basic difference between Great South Bay Scooters and Barnegat Bay Sneakboxes is the shape of the hull sections. The Scooters are U-shaped – flat-floored between the ice runners, whereas the Sneakboxes are round-floored – an arc of a circle. The Scooter was built for ice work and gets its name from being able to “scoot” so handily over the ice. I have a Scooter and a Sneakbox and enjoy them both.
As far as I know, the “cowling” and the stool rack are unique to this boat. My Dad designed and made them both. The cowling hides the gunner and keeps the wind out of the cockpit. The 6 pieces of the stool rack are all hinged together so that it folds into a single bundle that stows easily under the rear deck while gunning. We typically carry 35 Herters Model 72 Broadbill decoys.
Gallery # 1 – Pre-op
The next phase was to strip the boat of most of its hardware and then do the major grinding – of ‘glass wherever it needs it and paint everywhere. This was an “outside job” – and I am glad to have it behind me. Fortunately, we got one of those priceless late-summer days with dry air, a light breeze and reasonable temps – what I think of a great working weather.
Gallery 2 – Getting her ready to come inside