The Pat II can accommodate 16 passengers and 2 crew and is ideal for a pleasant hour-long cruise or perfect for chartering an hour-and-a-half family and friends excursion. As the boat is powered by a battery-powered ELCO electric motor, longer trips are unavailable at this time.
The Pat II, a 39’ launch built in 1924, served as a tour boat in the Thousand Islands from 1924 to 1955. In 1956 she was moved to Skaneateles Lake and served as a tour boat and US Postal Service delivery boat on the historic Star Route 13 until 1991. She has been out of service since, having languished in a marina bone yard. She came to the Finger Lakes Boating Museum in 2014 from the Skaneateles Historical Society. The Pat II, named after builder George M. “Pat” Comstock, will be rehabilitated mostly by skilled volunteers. Her home port will be Hammondsport and she will make appearances on other Finger Lakes and beyond to broaden her audience as a cruise boat and teaching tool for the museum. A custom-built trailer will help in this effort. Her rehabilitation project has enhanced public awareness and appreciation for the maritime heritage of the Finger Lakes region. The Pat II’s amazing 67 years of service has been rewarded with a complete rehabilitation and return to the water where she belongs.
The work to be done is extensive: Epoxying the hull, constructing the deck house (passenger compartment), replacing the diesel engine, installing the drive train, steering and all electrical work.
THE HULL: Work on the hull itself is nearing completion. The new planking is at the insistence of the US Coast Guard. The original planks were butt-jointed and fastened with butt blocks. The plank ends under the blocks have considerable rot. The required replacement is with scarffed joints that span at least three ribs, which explains the large amount of plank replacement. Rotted frames and sistered frames have been replaced and brought back to the original construction. Other hull work has included straightening the hogged keel, reinforcing the original keel, stem repair, new frames throughout, stringers, deck support framing, shelf and clamp, deck supports, and plywood sub decking. For water-tight integrity and maintenance purposes, the hull will be epoxied below the water line. Then the thru-fittings will be put in and the shaft log drilled through the keel. The bottom will be painted, boat rolled upright, and sides painted.
THE DECKS: The sub decks will be finished with 3/8" mahogany boards. The side decks will be widened for two purposes: 1) safer topside travel for crew, and 2) bring the passenger load closer to the centerline for greater stability.
THE DRIVERS STATION: The driver’s station (helm) will be restored and located in its original location in the forward end of the deck house and elevated sufficiently for good visibility.
PASSENGER ACCESS: Port and starboard companion ways will be located at the forward end of the deck house (immediately aft of the helm) and on the center line at the stern, giving access to and from the after deck. This is the original companion way location.
THE AFTER DECK: This deck needs rebuilding to match the foredeck and to accommodate a passenger companionway.
THE DECK HOUSE: The deck house shows evidence of several modifications. The house will be rebuilt to return to its original configuration. Seating will be along each side of the house. Seat bottoms and seat backs will be upholstered. Seat bottoms will be hinged, providing storage space for equipment and life jackets.
ENGINE & MECHANICALS: The diesel engine will be replaced as parts for the existing engine, which has no historical significance, are hard to find and cost prohibitive. The 20’ long iron propeller shaft will need to be replaced with a shaft of stainless steel. Hull struts that support the shaft will need to be replaced as well as the shaft log and stuffing box. The same can be said for the steering station. For ease of operating and safety considerations, the steering mechanism will change from ropes to a hydraulic system. The decision has been made to use an ELCO EP-40 electric motor- eco-friendly and cost effective!
WINDOWS: The windshield will remain the same. The windows in the deckhouse will be replaced with safety glass.
FLOTATION: Unlike the original boat, sufficient flotation will be installed in available void spaces on recommendation of the US Coast Guard.
FUEL TANK: No fuel tank will be needed with the electric motor- just space for batteries.
The work will be performed primarily by skilled volunteers. The Museum will use qualified Boatwright Geoffrey Heath to provide direction and instruction to volunteers when needed. Work will be performed in the Museum’s boat shop. Volunteers will perform all the woodwork and the finish work (painting, staining, and varnishing) required of the rehabilitation. The electrical work will also be completed by skilled volunteers and the mechanical work will be supervised by Cayuga Wooden Boat Works, a professional boat building shop located on Cayuga Lake.
The Pat II in 1933 in the Thousand Islands
(Boldt Castle in the background)
Pat II Renderings
The reconstruction of Pat II was a seven-year process that began in 2014. The project was led by boatwright Geoff Health and worked on by a group of volunteers known as the "Yard-Dogs." When the boat was originally brought to the museum by project leader Ed Wightman, the hull was warped from a broken keel and disconnected ribs. The cabin was, unfortunately, completely unsalvageable.
Geoff redesigned the boat to fit more modern needs; however, the historical integrity of the boat was of utmost importance to the crew. By referencing historical photographs of the Pat II, Geoff determined that the boat was originally designed with elements of the Arts and Craft movement. Thus, an emphasis was put on the inherent beauty of the natural elements, using only high-quality wood such as redwood and mahogany.
There were setbacks and victories, as most projects have. However, through the hard work of the "Yard-Dogs" and FLBM staff, Pat II was able to once again return to the water in the summer of 2021. The Finger Lakes Boating Museum would like to thank Geoff Heath, the late Jim Altemus, Bob Hanson, Gayle King, Chuck Vail, Dave Bornhodlt, Peter Hutchings, Thom Love, Dave Wescott, Tom Dinse, Diana Ketchum, Ross Rolls, Rob Whitcomb, and Ed Wightman for their tireless hours of work as well as our generous donors.
For more information on the history and reconstruction of the Pat II, a book is currently being produced by a member of the FLBM staff. The release date is not currently known. However, the date will be announced via social media in the upcoming months and will be available to purchase at the museum once printed.
Click on the links below for more Pat II info.
News coverage of the official launch on June 18, 2021:
PAT II FLIPPED OVER!
On April 11, 2019 the Pat II work crew flipped the boat right-side up to continue to work on the deck. They used a large sling and gantry system. The video of the flip-over can be viewed here.
The hull has been fiberglassed and painted. The interior decking, seating, deck house and window glass were built after. The ELCO EP-40 electric motor, batteries, and propeller shaft were also installed.