Derek Dawson of Central Missouri Marine Service had one boat restoration already in progress, a 27 Squadron XII and the search for the engine hatch for that build led him right into a new project of 24 Squadron XII build.
The story of Squadron XII was that when Don Aronow sold Cigarette, his non-compete limited him to not build more than 12 mono-hulls so hence he started right away on Squadron XII.
There are many restorations out there and honestly some boats are just worth doing more than others. We are all very fortunate Derek took the time to document all the work that has gone into this project so far as it remains a work in progress to some degree. But what has been done is absolutely incredible and Derek was kind enough to answer some questions and fill us in on the project.
The boat is a 24’ 1982 Squadron XII. 84” beam, approx. 40” draft, 24 degree deadrise. Hull #2 and last 24 built. #1 was completed and is in Canada, #2 was laid up but never rigged. Looks like we have located hull #5 overseas in Germany I believe, so it seems at least five hulls were made.
PBN: How did you come to own this boat? Or find it as it were.
Derek: I actually ran across the 24 browsing through pics of Squadrons. It caught my eye because it had the hatch that belonged to my 27 Squadron!! I tracked down the owner trying to get my hatch back with the boat it belonged to and we ended up making a deal on the entire boat! So I hitched up and headed to Connecticut to dig it out of the woods!! Story is the 24 bounced around to different warehouses and such over the years. Apparently it sat next to my 27 at one time and my hatch was swiped!
PBN: How long have you owned it? How long did it take?
Derek: I brought the 24 home fall of 2010, the project didn’t start till Jan ’13. Lots of weekends and late nights later it made it to the water for the first time mid August, A few changes and test runs later it ran 93 in the LOTO Shootout.. (On rev limiter since new prop didn’t arrive in time)
PBN: Did you build the motor and then the boat or other way?
Derek: I started the boat build and engine plans kept changing. First plan was twin 377 Scorpions and Bravos, then changed to one 377 and Bravo, then changed to 598 N/A with Konrad, then last min before shootout stuck in current 598 with blower. Plans for winter are build a healthy 540 to make it more civilized and fuel efficient.
PBN: What work went into the hull restoration?
Derek: Hull started as a blank, no holes were drilled and deck was just sitting on hull. After thorough cleaning the hull and deck were aligned, clamped and the joint was bonded with 3M 5200 and screwed together. Then hull and deck were tabbed with 17oz bi-ax and epoxy on the inside. All the glasswork was done in epoxy. Then we tabbed in the cockpit liner to the stringers, I added a bulkhead to the forward part of the bilge compartment and added another to the bow. The floor was extended from cockpit to first bow bulkhead. Windscreen was fabricated from scratch using Nida-core and a duplicate what the original Plexiglas windscreen would have been and the dash was also extended up to meet windscreen. A control pod was fabbed from Nida-core as well as Nida-core floor panels added in the bilge. Several coats of Duratec primer is what is currently on the hull with block and longboard sanding between coats. Bilge is also in Duratec primer that we tinted to a lighter color. The rigging in the bilge is almost completely hidden under the floor panels. Bulkhead fittings are run through the stringers for pressure senders, fuel line etc. Trim lines etc. all run under floor. PVC Conduit was glassed in under cockpit liner for all cables, hose. and electric runs. Trim pumps are mounted under back seat and battery mounted forward cockpit center to keep weight out of stern and keep the bilge clean.
The silver carbon fiber dash panels were made in house, Autometer gauges, Livorsi controls, front seats were from ebay, back seat and side panels were framed up in house and covered by Todd Bales Enterprises to match front seats. Many parts of the build were bought on a budget and are used/ reconditioned, and came from the forums or ebay!!
PBN: Details of the engine build?
Derek: Engine is kinda temporary, one of a pair of engines scheduled to get overhauled this winter, since my N/A 598 was still at machine shop one of my customers instructed me to use his!.. Sponsored by one of my good customers “Farm Air” the engine is a old-school blown 598ci. Carbs are dual 1150 Dominators built by Nickerson, Mooneyham Supercharger, Superchiller, Brodix BB2x heads, 1000sc cam, Merlin block etc. We tore the engine down to a long block and re-rigged for this particular project. Accessories and brackets were custom made and all the rigging was done in house here by CMMS. Headers are Custom CMI 2 3/8” primaries and 5” collectors and the transmission is a BAM 1350 and Extension box, drive and external steering are all part of the Konrad ACE package.
PBN: What other boats have you owned?
Derek: I have owned several, I’m kinda working up the ladder to bigger and faster as my business grows..
My first boat I bought when I was 14 was a ’69 Cobia with a 70hp Chrysler. From there I went to a 20’ Glasstron CVX Jetboat I had for many years. Recent builds and trade ups. 19’ Bayliner, 24’ Glasstron Cruiser, 21’ Wellcraft, 22’ Scarab, 23’Cobalt Condurre, 26’ Wellcraft Nova Spyder, 24’ Python 24/7, and another Python 24/7. A few cruisers in the mix. Currently have a 27’ Squadron XII (#18 of 22) in process of rebuild, and just picked up one of 2, Infinity 31’ canopied raceboats which was never rigged. Kinda working up to bigger boats as I go but I like the small classic hotrod boats the best!!
I also just brought home a 1972 24” Cigarette, #3, the third 24 Cig ever produced. We went to purchase a 35 Cig hull in Ohio and spotted the 24 in a storage lot next door. Went back a week later and brought it home too!
PBN: What are your future plans?
Derek: I have a paint scheme in mind but the hotrod black is growing on me (I have a history of Hotrod black boat builds!) I will get the bottom straightened and painted this winter. The engine plans currently (subject to change!!) are to build a 540 EFI and make it more of a family boat and affordable to drive every day. Build a factory style hatch and just drive it! The 27 Project will be getting the big 598 power with a goal of over 100 at the 2014 LOTO Shootout!!
PBN: Tell me a little about your business and what you guys offer?
Derek: Central Missouri Marine Service (CMMS) is a small marine service business. I opened it about 5 years ago to allow me to be involved with boats! I grew up around boats,started working at marinas when I was 16 and I love performance boating! After working for the “other guys” for many years I wanted to bring my customers better customer service and quality control. Our customer base is continually growing through referrals. Customers like our attention to detail and how we care for their boats. We will do any service, from an oil change and drive service on a 4 cyl Bayliner, to complete restoration and rigging of a 38 Top Gun, and everything in between!
Who knows, the customer with a Bayliner may upgrade to a Scarab or Baja for his next boat if his experience in owning the Bayliner is pleasurable. Then from there may be a Cig or Skater!! And we will always be his “go to” for service and maintenance!!