Missile (Vintage) by Brian Lawson, Ravena, New York

8 September 2009

In February 2007 I was called by a marina in Saugerties, New York to come and get an old boat out of their yard. Turns out it was a Glen-L Missile that had been started and never finished.

It has never been in the water. It needed a lot of work but that's what I do. After looking the boat over and figuring out what it is I decided to convert it to an outboard. I tore out the old transom and built a new 2" thick transom. Lowered the engine stringers to the floor, etc. It is nearing completion. The dash board is the original. Never has had a hole drilled in it. I'll be mounting a 1971 Mercury 1350 short shaft on it.

15 November 2009 Update

Big weekend here...mounted the Mercury 1350 on my Missile. Looks sweet! Got the front lifting ring installed too.
Really starting to look like a boat now.

3 August 2010 Update

We've had it in the water for a week and a half now. It is fantastic! This is the first time this boat has ever been in the water. It was started years ago and never finished until now.

I removed the inboard transom as there was some bad wood in it from outside storage over the years. I had a 135 hp Mercury tall stack short shaft that was looking for a home, so I decided to convert the boat to outboard. I built a 2" thick transom, 2 layers of 1/2" plywood laminated with MAT and resin, and then a full 1" thick layer of mahogany on the outside of that, also laminated to the plywood with MAT and resin. I did NOT angle the transom as is typical with outboards because I think it would have destroyed the beautiful tumble home lines on the Missile's transom. I built an enclosed rear deck with hatch that hides 2 fuel tanks and the battery. The Missile has automotive style seating with everyone facing forward. I lowered the inboard engine stringers to the floor and through bolted them with white oak bolting blocks to every frame. I built very large transom knees that attach to the transom and are bolted to the stringers. The new transom was bedded in 3M 5200, screwed in place, and then a full filet joint of 5200 was added to the inside seam. The boat is bone dry.

When I mounted the motor it was clear the engine was canted up pretty significantly. This was Glen's main question about the conversion. To counter that I used composite wedges between the outer transom and the motor before tightening it down. It still is canted, but it works beautiful.

First time out I had a 23 pitch 3 blade prop on the motor. It would not go at all. Any throttle at all and the prop just aerated. So I switched to a 22 pitch 2 blade 14" wide stainless steel prop with cups. Viola! The boat starts to go, the prop slips for a few seconds, and then once it gets its bite that boat is onto the water like a rocket. It rides beautifully flat, no porpoising, and is fast as blazes.

Here's a few photos. This photo of the boat underway was taken with a cell phone last night coming back from our favorite restaurant in the 1000 Islands. It's not the best photo but at half throttle you get the idea of what a hoot this boat is to drive.

People have stopped and stared at this when ever we dock, want to know what it is, etc. It is going to be in the Antique Race Boat Regatta in Clayton, NY Aug 11-15th making its formal début. I will have a story board of its history and conversion.

I am thrilled with the boat, and love its clean lines. Please let Glen know how well this conversion worked.

Best to you all,

-- Brian Lawson