Did Thompson Paint their mahogany transoms ??

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Did Thompson Paint their mahogany transoms ??

Postby tcvc » Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:35 pm

Ok, I'm working on my 1930 Thompson Speed about The book says they used mahogany for the transoms, my hull as well as the transom has several coats of paint on it. I have started stripping the paint off the hull and have worked my way down to the factory Sea Green paint. When I started stripping the paint off the transom, I was thinking to myself, why did this bonehead paint a mahogany transom, so imagine my surprise when I got down to the factory sea Green on the transom !! was it customary for Thompson to paint the transoms??? One would think they would stain the mahogany. Any thoughts on this ???
Thanks, look forward to your replies.
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Postby LancerBoy » Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:04 am

Look at the brochures from that time period and see what is pictured and read the text. It may give that type of informaiton.

Not many boats form that early still exist, so it's tough to say what was original. I have a circa 1932 Princess Rowboat and the transom is painted. Not sure if that was factory original or not.

Brochures are available on CD-ROM from www.wcha.org and www.dragonflycanoe.com

Most Thompson boats I have seen were stained and varnished on the transom, both in and out. Thompson Boat Company of New York, Inc. at Cortland painted white the transom on their lapstrake Club Cruisette in the early 1960s. Pretty unsightly in my opinion.

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Postby THE LAKE » Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:24 pm

If I may hazard a guess. Painting a wooden boat back in the day would not have been seen in the same light we see it today. I believe, one of the reasons Mahogany was used was because it will stand up to water without rotting better than most woods. And the places where it grew (primarily 3rd world countries) discovered a ready market for it in the US. It's only in recent years as we've grown concerned with the effects of deforestation of the rain forests in Brazil etc that it's become sort of an exotic wood. Anyway, I recall my grandfather had what was called in Maine a "Rangely Lake Boat" It was similar in nature to a ship's longboat, lapstrake in construction with removable slats for the deck. I recall my Dad commenting to my Grandfather on how nice the wood was one year when they stripped it down to bare wood to paint it green because my Grandfather was convinced the white hull was scaring off the fish (no I don't make this stuff up ) Anyway, that's my story. Y'all can have fun beatin me down now LOL

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Postby Phill Blank » Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:12 am


I am not laughing here. I can see where the old timers would think that white would scare off the fish. They where not thinking that it might look like a cloud with a shadow to a fish rather then the bottom of a white boat.

They where not thinking the way we think today because they did not have all these nature programs on TV. Hell to them TV was some new fangeled thing that wasted time.
We now know from watching these programs why the bottom of a white shark is white and the top is drak gray. It allows them to blend in with the lightness of the ski from below and darkness of the deep ocean from above.

I remember seeing an article in one of my Dad's sporting magazines back in the early 60's where a fellow painted the bottom of his boat with the blue sky, the under side of lilly pads, weeds, clouds and if I recall right he ever had the under side of some dragon flies for realism. The guys was an avaid Bass fisherman and fished mostly clear water lakes. Not sure if it really did him any good, but he thought it did.

Good Luck,

Phill Blank
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