Thank You

For your interest with the re-building of the "Tamarack" .
The Great Lakes Division Sea Cadet program provides real life experience in maritime and underwater exploration and training.

If you would like to help with restoration efforts, please send tax deductible donations to:

Noble Odyssy Foundation
9000 Gale Rd.
White Lake, Mi. 48386

Please tag your donation " Tamarack Project"
visit us at

Friday, November 30, 2012

Cadet work day 11-17-2012

Above - Building a new hatch cover

Above - nothing like a clean head

Support cleats for the cabin roof

Working on the Aft Cabin

Oak support beams for the Cabin roof

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The hull is finished

The new metal on the hull is completely water tight.  Confirmed today.  It only took 1 1/2 years for the total hull rebuild, but it was confirmed today that it is 100% water tight.

Now we can begin to move forward aggressively with the construction of the cabin interior.

Below are some pictures from December 2008 when the Tamarack was transported to Warren.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Work begins on the Cabin interior

My son Jon came home for a week between semesters and we began the cabin interior construction.  Following pictures of the original cabin we reconstructed the starboard and port births in the aft of the main cabin.
Above is the starboard bench framed in using 1/2" birch plywood and cedar support stringers.

Each bench contains the fresh water tanks. The tanks are custom built using stainless steel.
Son Jon looking proud of his accomplishments.

Each piece  first was made with cardboard.  The cardboard was then used as a template. Working with the curvature of the hull and not any square corners for a point of reference, this is the only way to be absolutely certain the wood panels would fit properly.

Zak Jatkowski helped me finish up the benches the following weekend.

The next work day is Saturday March 19th at 0900-1600

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tamarack work day update 1/29/2011

Mr. Ratinaud and crew of Cadets managed to have the engine running for 30 Minutes. (see video below)

After 30 minutes the engine slowly came to a stop.  It was discovered during our trial run the heads cracked.  Mr. Ratinaud will evaluate the engine and start to remove the heads during the next work day.

The cabin floor stringers are being put in place using white oak.  We original were using red oak and maple from some old pallets.  It was decided that we should spend the $80.00 on White Oak. White oak tolerates wet area's better and will take longer to rot.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tamarack Work Update - Jan 15 2011

It was a great day with many accomplishments and surprises. Our first surprise was Brian and Lauren Greaves. Their father commissioned the "Tamarack" in 1968. They spent the winter of 1969 building the interior in their front yard.

We started off the day with a short meeting outlining our work agenda for the day.  The Greaves are showed above to the right.

Mr. Ratinaud instructing Cadets Ratinaud and Colegrove on the engine.

Chief Petty Officer Mantay, Cadet Shield and Nathan Dembeck discuss the floor layout in the cabin


Cadets Ratinaud and Colegrove examine the fuel pump.

Cadet Shield and Zak Jatkwoski cut wood for the floor boards

Instructor Allen discusses the layout of the floor boards.

Maiden voyage 1969 -Courtesy of the Greaves

Later during the afternoon we were surprised again when George Perrin and Friend Gary Norton stopped by to share their stories of rebuilding the "Tamarack" in 1993. With Georges help we where able to get the engine started.
Before and after pictures when George Perrin restored the "Tamarack

Sunday, November 28, 2010

One small step for sailing, One giant leap for the Great Lakes. (The hole has been pluged!)

Just one year ago the Tamarack was almost sold for scrap. I can report today that Mike Litwatis has finished welding the new steel plates in the hull and installed the aft mast supports. The Tamarack has been saved from the scarp yard an is one step closer to setting sail.

(Picture: The aft mast support lowered in place with hi-lo while Mike guides it.)

Now the real works begin. After we finish priming the new steel and the remainder of the hull and cabin, the cabin floor has to be reconstructed using the original floor boards. We will examine the floor boards and add new wood as needed.

While one crew works on the interior, the small project team will continue with refinishing the bowsprit, helm pedestal and wheel.

 (Right: Midshipman Sawruk is reconstructing the navigation cradle. It will be finished with oak)

(Above: Mike and Sawruk putting the finishing touches on the mast support beam)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tamarack Project weekly update 11/19/10

The hull is alomst completed. Mike the welder has welded in 2 steel plates on either side of the keel approx. 8' long x 36" wide. As seen below.
Primer is almost complete on the hull of the boat.  Midshipman Sawruk and Cadets Zimmer and Nelson (shown in picture) are part of the team priming the boat along with Cadets Sheilds and Bradley.

Headed up by Midshipman Sawruk, the "Structure Task Force" will start priming the cabin exterior and deck. Once the priming is complete, they will begin the challenging job of constructing a new cabin top.  The top will be built with 3/4" marine plywood. it will be approx. 15' long and 7' wide and will need to be convex to allow water to run off of it.

The engine team headed up by Mr. Ratinaud and cadet Ratinaud have rebuilt the started for the 2 cylinder Volvo diesel engine. The engine has been inspected and looks clean. The team will attempt to start the engine once they install the starter motor.

The Finish Trim Team includes Mr. Bardley and Navy League Cadet Bradley.  Their many focus at this stage will be to re-build the Captains Steering Pedistal and refinish the bowsprit and area around the bowsprit.

The interior team is still being assembled.  The first task they will have is to reconstruct the floor using the floor that was removed and adding to it as needed.

The immediate goal is to have the "Tamarack" water ready by June 2011.  This includes paint on the hull and deck, A cabin top, Working Engine, Cabin floor and all the equipment for navigation and safety as we see fit.