The Log of “Snowdrop” a 1952 Turner 12′ four-man lifeboat.

The Log of  “Snowdrop”

North Vancouver, British Columbia

From March 13th, 1991 to _______________________


Vessel Type:  Four Person Lifeboat.

Length O.A.:   12’ 1”   Beam:  4’4”   Draft:  1’9”.

Displacement: 500Lbs,    Built:  January 14, 1952.

Designer/Builder:   John Turner, Turner’s Boatworks.

Gas Tank Capacity Fuel:  1US Gal. / 3.79 Liters / .8 Imperial Gal.

Engine Type: Wisconsin ABM built November 1950.

4.0hp @ 2800rpm,   F-N-R Marine Transmission.

Number of cylinders: One,  Size: 2 ½” x 2¾”.  Displacement: 13.5 ci.

Spec No. 60706,   Serial #1539141.

Propeller Size:  9” 6P.

Radio — Model Icom IC-M1V     Call Sign: “Snowdrop”.


Snowdrop’s History:

Snowdrop after her first refinishing, in the early 1970’s.

I know that this is Snowdrop because the rivets holding the inwale match.

I purchased her on March 13th, 1991 from Tom Baine.  She comes with two engines, a Briggs & Stratton FJ2 #416 and a Honda GX 140, A propeller and a shaft, no rudder or oars.  There is a notch cut out of her transom for an outboard motor. The shaft log is plugged.

There were “Snowdrops” flowering next to the hull, hence “Snowdrop”.

Picture of Tom Baine: fourth owner.

Tom Baine

Picture of second owner who refinished her in the early 1970’s:

Dave Martin

His name is Dave Martin.

I met him at the 2009 Wooden Boat Festival.

1991        Purchased Snowdrop from Tom Baine.

First year in the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival.

1992        Second year in the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival.

Pat comes with me when I take “Snowdrop” back to Fisherman’s Cove Marina.        We can hear the Vancouver Symphony in the middle of English Bay and we see      nude sunbathers at Lighthouse Park.

Powered by the Honda GX140.

I keep Snowdrop in the water at Fisherman’s Cove Marina.

Install Bilge pump and battery to pump out rainwater.

Take Pat’s parents on a tour of Fisherman’s Cove when they come to visit.

One day at dusk, Zale (Family friend) and I motor “Snowdrop” from Fisherman’s Cove Marina to Horseshoe Bay to take her home for repairs.  We show a white light so we do not get run over by the Bowen Island Ferry  When we turn out our light after there is no chance of collision, the ferry lights us up, looking to see what has happened to us, as if we have sunk.

1993        Third year in the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival.

1994        Fourth year in the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival.

1995        Fifth year in the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival.

1996        Sixth year in the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival.

1997        Stripped and completely refinished Snowdrop.  Missed the Vancouver Wooden

Boat  Festival as Snowdrop was not ready.

1998        Seventh year in the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival.

Powered by the Briggs & Stratton FJ2 #416.

Won “Best Classic Construction”.

1999        Eighth year in the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival.

2000        Nineth year in the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival.

2001        Tenth year in the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival.

2002        Eleventh year in the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival.

2003        Twelth year in the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival.

Won “Best Power Yacht ( under 30’)”.

July 20th, 21st, 22nd Cruise with Paul and Matthew to Halket Bay on Gambier Island.  The FJ2 engine dies and we are towed back to Horseshoe Bay by a sailboat, the “Fantasy”.

July 27th, Re-build the Briggs & Stratton FJ2 engine.

September 15th Fishing expedition with sons Paul and Matthew.  Cates Park to Seymour River.

September 19th, Fishing expedition with sons Paul and Matthew.  Cates Park to Seymour River.  Catch One Salmon.

September 21st, Take small engine course at BCIT, re-build the FJ2 engine again.

2003        September 26th, Buy brand new Briggs & Stratton 3.5 hp motor for Snowdrop.

2004        Thirteenth year in the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival.

Re-power “Snowdrop” with new Briggs & Stratton 3.5 hp engine.  The new engine does not have enough torque and stalls whenever I put her into gear.  The “new” 3 ½ horses are not a strong as the “old” 2½ ones.

2005        Fourteenth year in the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival.

July 24th, to August 6th, Replaced Keel.

Won “Best Traditional Construction” at the VWBF.

July 21st, Howe Sound Trip.  Paul, Matthew and I took Snowdrop to Halket Bay on Gambier Island and to Plumper Cove on Keats Island.  Saw the Gibson Fireworks from Keats Island.

2006        Fifteenth year in the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival.

Snowdrop is re-powered by a 2 ¾ HP. Briggs & Stratton model BM, Type 300243, Serial 34230, built May 1940, with my home-made Forward-Neutral-Reverse transmission.

August 15th, Fishing with Paul under First Narrows.




2006       October 10th, Install the 1945 Wisconsin AK, engine with an F-N transmission.

 4.1 HP@2400 rpm.  Size 2⅞ by 2¾, Serial #570709.

October 13th, Cates Park to Vancouver Harbour.  Test Cruise for Wisconsin AK engine with F-N transmission.

October 22nd, Fishing Expedition with Paul and Matthew. Cates Park to Seymour River.

December 31st, Cruise to see windstorm damage in Stanley Park.

2007        Sixteenth year in the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival.

2008        Seventeenth year in the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival.

August 19th, Test cruise of Wisconsin AK from West Van around Siwash Rock with Matthew.

September 12th, Cruise up Indian Arm to Indian River.

2008        September 27th, Cruise from Cates Part to Seymour River,

MacDonald’s barge, Deep Cove, Jug Island.

September 28th, Cruise from West Vancouver to Snug Cove on Bowen Island.

October 1st,Vancouver Harbour Cruise from Cates Park to Hollyburn Sailing Club and return to Cates Park.

October 6th, Crabbing off Cates Park.

November 24th, False Creek and Coal Harbour Cruise.

2009        Eighteenth year in the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival.

Won “Best Power Yacht (under 30’)”.

January 13, Cruise in English Bay, False Creek.  Saw Floating ice in English Bay off Jericho Sailing Centre.

January 21st, “Ice Lines” expedition up Indian Arm.  Powered through ice ½ to ¾ inches thick on route to Indian River.

January 30th, Start to re-frame Snowdrop.  Finish on August 19th.

September 12th.  Cruised up Indian Arm to Indian River.  Took over Nine Hours.

September 22nd, False Creek Cruise from Ambleside.

September 30th, Crabbing in Burrard Inlet by MacDonalds Barge.

October 7th, Cruise from Cates Park to Deep Cove, Seymour River and return.

December 24th, Wisconsin AK out, Wisconsin ABM, Built November of 1950 in.  4.0 HP@2800 rpm, F-N-R Transmission Serial #1539141.


2010        Nineteenth year in the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival.

Won:       “Best Work Boat or Work Boat Conversion”.

“People’s Choice Award”.

January 5th, Wisconsin ABM engine shakedown Cruise West Vancouver to False Creek and return.

February 23rd, Olympic Cruise.  West Vancouver to False Creek, with Wisconsin ABM engine.  Got a plastic bag wrapped around prop.  Mars Water bomber demonstration flights over English Bay.

March 22nd, Crabbing out of Cates Park.

July 21st, Crabbing out of Cates Park.

Aug 12th, Cruise up Indian Arm.


Aug 19th, Put copper sheathing on bow to break ice.

September 13th, Cruise from Cates Park around Twin Islands in Indian Arm.

September 19th, Crabbing in Indian Arm, cruise to Port Moody.  A small runabout sank at the Cates Park dock while I was on my trip.

September 24th, Crabbing, Cruise from Cates Park  to Port Moody and Deep Cove.


2011        Twentyth year in the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival.

April 22nd & 23rd, Cruise from Harrison Lake to Hollyburn Sailing Club, Down the Harrison and Fraser Rivers to Hollyburn Sailing Club.  Took two days.  I slept overnight on the dock at Haney.

July 1st, Snowdrop wins “People’s Choice” award at the inaugural Hollyburn Sailing Club Wooden Boat Festival.

2012        Twenty-first year in the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival.

Second year in the Hollyburn Sailing Club Wooden Boat Show.

2013        Twenty-second year in the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival.  Win “Best Small

Boat” (Traditional Construction).

September 7 th, Third year in the Hollyburn Sailing Club Wooden Boat Festival.

2014        Twenty-third year in the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival.

Fourth year in the Hollyburn Sailing Club Wooden Boat Show.

2015        Twenty-fourth year in the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival.

Snowdrop wins “Best Power Yacht (under 30’)”.



2016        Twenty-fifth year in the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival.

Sixth year in the Hollyburn Sailing Club Wooden Boat Show, first time on the hard, on her trailer.  The seas were too rough to launch her.

2017        Twenty-sixth year in the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival.

Seventh year in the Hollyburn Sailing Club Wooden Boat Show.  Second time on the hard, on her trailer. West Vancouver has closed the launching ramp to trailered boats.



January 2009.

The reframing of Snowdrop.

You have to start somewhere.

Everything has to come out to get to the frames

In the beginning……

Dismantling/stripping.    Everything has to come out.


 Removing the forward seat.


Oh look, a broken frame!


Broken frame.


Many of the frames were cracked all the way through.  More broken frames. 

Broken frames and twisted planks.

More broken frames and twisted planks.

More broken frames.


It seems as if every frame is broken or cracked somewhere along its length.

The floor boards had hidden much.

Removing Rivets.

Popping the rivets out.

 Using an angle grinder, I ground off the clenched part of the rivet inside the hull, and then punched the rivet out.


I got a great deal on some 6 by 6 mainly clear yellow cedar fence posts.

 I made the new frames out of yellow cedar.

Here I am ripping them down to size with the band saw.  I made them slightly larger than the original oak frames.


The inside and gunwales removed.

 I tested one cold bent frame to see if the frames would work in the boat.

Test frame.

Note that all of the riveted fastenings have the preened end and rove ground off, ready for removal.


All of the old oak frames.

Only one came out intact. All the rest were broken, some were broken in several places.

Dead frames.

 I washed the interior of the boat several times prior to painting to remove as much old dirt, grease, and oil as possible.

Cleaning the interior.

 I primed the interior with two coats of Interlux primer after the washing and sanding.


Interlux primer.

 I painted the interior Interlux grey, much like the original colour.

Again, two coats.

Two coats primer, two coats grey.

 Time to install the yellow cedar frames.  I used yellow cedar because one of the shipwrights at the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival said that yellow cedar is as tough as oak, bends as well or better and never rots! 

This is my steambox, hung on the back of my garage: 

Blue foam & duct tape steambox.

 Coleman gas stove powered.  I used a meat thermometer to check the temperature.


If there was an “yellow cedar” setting, this would be it.

 The steambox steaming away.    I steamed the frames for one hour. 

After a while, the blue foam melted a bit…. 

The blue Styrofoam that I used began to change shape after a while but it lasted until I was done.


The first few frames go in.  My son helped me.  We had 30 to 40 seconds to get

the frame in before they cooled too much to bend easily.  We used oven gloves, pulled the frame out, bent it and forced into position


New frames in.

 The stern frames go in.


Clamps hold the frame while it cools…Only takes a minute or two.

 Note the half-frame(s) at the shaft log.  I put the new frames where the old ones were.  Only a few left to go! 

The job goes quite quickly.

 The procedure was simple; we would take the frame out, bending it as we went, force it into the hull and use the clamps to hold it in place while it cooled.   

All timbered up.

Just one suspect frame, #10 from the stern. Port side.

 When the frame was cool, I pre-drilled and then, using stainless steel screws, screwed the frame to the planking.  The inside screws go into the rub strakes on the outside of the hull, all other fastenings go from the outside of the hull into the frames.

The gunwales and seat riser are in.  Note the strap to keep the hull’s shape. 

To hold the shape, I put the seats back in.


 Time to work on the outside. Scrape & sand…. Stripping off all the old paint from the exterior. 

This is the third time I have repainted the hull. I am getting good at it.

 Still stripping the exterior.  A lot of work.

A good time to check the condition of the hull.

 Almost done!!


Snowdrop’s Log

 Still have to sand the hull…..

Surprise, Surprise!   Look what I found! Rot in the keel.

Now is the time to get rid of it.

 Might as well replace it while I am at it.  Rotten keel removed, leaving the shaft log intact. 

Always a bit more work than you expect.

Prepped for the new yellow cedar keel.

I am glad that I bought extra yellow cedar posts.

 Fitting the new keel. 

I actually got a good fit…..


Now all I have to do is drill pilot holes for the keel bolts and get out the Silkaflex…  The new keel Silkaflexed and bolted on. 

The new idea is to have “Snowdrop” rest on her keel on the rollers of the trailer.

 Next, the keel rubbing strip.

I use clamps and wedges to hold the keel strip on while the silkaflex sets.

 The keel rubbing strip Silkaflexed and screwed on.   

 I take the seats out and get ready to Cetol the inside.

The frames, gunwales and seat riser get a couple of coats of Cetol.  I should have Cetoled the frames just after they had cooled before I screwed them into the hull.

Oh well, that is what I will do next time…..

Interior refinished.

 From the inside to the outside.

 Hull exterior primed with Interlux white primer and ready for the finish coats.


Two primer and two finish coats later….

She looks just like the picture from the 70’s.


I had the hardest time painting her name on upside down.

Two coats of Interlux white and name painted on.


Note bottle of hand steadier on stool by paint can.

I decided to go with just the name and not the name and Snowdrop logo on the transom.


Painting the hull below the water line and the boot top stripe.  I used a laser level and painters tape to mark it. 

Snowdrop’s colour scheme: White hull, green below the water line, a white and a black  boot-top stripe, green upper strake and black rub-strip and gunwales.

 Hull painting finished, fitting the rubbing strips. 

Finishing touches.

 Boiling the quarter knee laminations in a roasting pan on the stove.


Do not tell my wife about this.

 The new laminated quarter knees bolted in. 

New Knees.

 New breast hook being fitted, it is a lamination of oak epoxied to plywood.

Breast hook.

New engine bed test fitting.

New and improved engine beds.

 Fitting the Wisconsin AK engine with the Forward-Neutral transmission.


Lots ‘o stuff to put back in.

 Engine installed, the floor boards go in.


Floor boards.

 Hooking up the steering.  

Ready to go!

Ready to go cruising!


In June of 2010, I acquire a Wisconsin ABM.  The ABM is a marine engine with a pull start and a Forward-Neutral-Reverse transmission.

The Wisconsin ABM as it appeared in Craig’s list ad.


Wisconsin ABM after I rebuilt it:

Rebuilt, repainted and ready to go.

Swapping the two engines.  

Front view: 

Wisconsin ABM on left, Wisconsin AK on right.

Rear view:

Wisconsin AK on left, Wisconsin ABM on right.

Wisconsin ABM installed into Snowdrop. 

Wisconsin ABM installed.   

Note the spark arrestor on the carburetor.  They are only fitted to Wisconsin marine engines.

Wisconsin ABM engine with recoil starter fitted.


The silver handle behind the fuel bowl is the pull-start.


The recoil starter is the aluminum handle behind the fuel filter.  When you pull it, the cable spins a plate with two cams that engages the flywheel.  The recoil starter is only fitted to Wisconsin marine engines.


Snowdrop underway, entering False Creek, on route to the 2010 Wooden Boat Festival at Granville Island.

New Frames, Keel, Paint, Quarter Knees, Breasthook, Engine Bed, and Wisconsin ABM Marine Engine.

I am wearing my life-jacket under my hoodie.