From Chesapeake 20

Restoration of Mischief

Posted in: Our Fleet, Classic 20s
By Ted Weihe
Dec 13, 2008 - 2:31:15 PM

                             Rebuilding of Mischief by Bill West

I bought Mischief from Joe Hartge on November 12, 1995, the day after I sold my log canoe, Patricia.  I rebuilt Mischief which took three years.  I have lots of pictures of the process.

I got a set of plans from Totch Hartge which he said were the ones his father used and that was confirmed by Rob MacAdam.  The plans showed about 12" of rocker in the keel.  I put the plans on my CAD system and made a 3D model which I made full size plans from.  I took the boat apart down to the keel, planking and ribs.  I then set up keel blocks and jacked the boat down against them over a period of about two weeks.  I achieved the entire amount of rocker.  Captain Dick used polyester resin for all of the work he did in the seventies which all come apart and had to be removed.  I replaced about half of the ribs, all new deck beams, new centerboard and truck and a new rudder.  I had to sister the keel because it had been hogged and broke on the trailer that did not fit.  Mischief had been refastened two times before so I could get expoxy under them.  I fully encapsulated every piece of wood in the boat with West System.  I redecked her, faired and then glassed the hull and deck.  I had to make all new trim because the old stuff was bad.  I have under deck sail controls on both sides of the boat where the skipper sails.

The end result is a boat that looks like the plans I got from Totch.  The water lines ends about 15' in front of the transom and the shear comes up nicely in the bow and stern.  After I was done and people saw Mischief, I was told by everyone else that those plans were not the right ones and there was never any C20s with that much rocker.  It has more rocker than the glass boats.  I don't know the real story about this and I guess that I never will.

                                                     History of Mischief

The Chesapeake 20 “Mischief” #88 was built in 1941 by Captain Dick Hartge and purchased by Earl Harder.  She began racing in 1944.  Her original name was Yankee.  She was owned by Walter Lawson, a dentist and well-known racer, in the late 1940s who renamed her Mischief,  She was then owned by two NIH scientists, Dr. Virginia Huffer and Ellen Nell who kept her in the water at Hartge Yacht Yard from 1957 - 1988.  In 1990, Mischief was purchased by Joe Hartge and then by Bill and Susan West on November 12, 1995 – the current owners.  and then by Ed Jacobson in 1956-67.


Early records show Mischief racing in 1945 with Earl Harder and Walter Lawson who finished fourth in the 1945 Summer Series.  He later raced Mischief in the Gold Regattas finishing 3rd in 1973, 8th in 1974 and 3rd in 1975; and  Dick Cox finished 4th in 1979.  Virginia Huff raced Mischiefrd in the 1979 WRSC Summer Series; and Joe Hartge and Nicky Schlegel raced her in the later 80s where they frequently finished in the top three positions.  Bill West returned Mischief to occasional racing in the fall of 1998, and raced in the 2008 All-Star and Nationals in Annapolis, and 2008 Tred Avon Heritage Regatta in Oxford, Maryland.

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