Can a 40 year old wooden Snipe be competitive?

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by smtoole, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. smtoole
    Joined: Jul 2010
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    Location: Herndon, VA

    smtoole Snipe #9371

    Hi - new to the forum, first post. Just obtained a 1971 15.5' Snipe, hull #9371. It's all wooden including the mast and boom, and I'm restoring it in my garage. Eventually I'd like to get into using it competitively. My question is whether or not it can really be competitive against today's fiberglass models. Should I even try to get the boat in shape to compete or should I restore it to a more classic look with original winches, etc.? I don't mind the classical look if it's simply not going to be competitive, but if it has a chance competitively, I'd get more fun out of it by giving it what it needs in terms of hardware and rigging.

    Love to get input from the forum, as well as anyone who has experience restoring an old snipe. I also have questions about that but I'll save that for a different post.

    Thanks, looking forward to the interaction.
     
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  2. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
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    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    ============
    The answer is that yes it can be competitive. Here is something you may have seen: http://www.snipe.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=24&Itemid=1

    Don't hesitate to contact the Snipe guys thru the website.....
     
  3. smtoole
    Joined: Jul 2010
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    Location: Herndon, VA

    smtoole Snipe #9371

    Thanks - inspiring article!

    Thanks for passing this along. I actually hadn't seen that article yet, so much appreciated!
     
  4. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Yes it can be very competitive. However, with that number it is early sixties.
     
  5. Briggsm
    Joined: Jul 2009
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    Location: Crestview Fl

    Briggsm Junior Member

    If it is an early cedar planked snipe probably not, if it is plywood maybe. I had a friend who had a Cedar snipe and an early 80's Mcglaughlin boat, both were equipped to modern standards and he told me the foam boat was a good bit faster. The South American plywood boats were built with sapele, gaboon and mahogany plywood and the US boats were mostly of doug fir. I owned a doug fir Y-Flyer which was Heavier than its gaboon counter parts but seemed equally as fast. The doug fir was harder to maintain a good finish on because it was constantly checking under the glass.

    If I were you I'd fix it up with the bare minimum go fast such as pusher/puller and head stay tension. If it seems like the boat has moments of speed on the course go all out, if not go find some pretty bronze hardware.

    Peace Briggs
     
  6. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    The first thing to do is weigh the boat. Depending on how close it is to min weight will tell you how much work it would be to get it to anywhere near a competitive boat. You may have to rebuild a good part of the boat to get where you need to be regarding weight and stiffness.

    Do you know what the construction method was? That would also be a major indicator. Regardless, the shape may not be a "fast" shape, and therefore nothing would make it competitive in a competitive fleet.

    Finally, your wood rig would have to be replaced with a modern rig if you have any ideas about racing the boat. That is a big expense.

    Back when Snipes were big around here in the late 70s and early 80s the Phoenix Snipe (foam/glass) came out and if you didn't have one of them you were not going to be competitive with the fast guys.
     
  7. smtoole
    Joined: Jul 2010
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    Location: Herndon, VA

    smtoole Snipe #9371

    Great feedback, thanks!

    Lots of really good comments, thank you all so much. I thought I'd post some pictures to shed some light on the topic. Let me know if you see anything that jumps out at any of you. She's a work in progress so try to look past the cosmetics.[​IMG]

    Here are a few more photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/HerndonDad/Snipe9371?feat=directlink

    I welcome any insights about some of the deck damage as well as the hull cracks in terms of the best way to repair these. I'm new to boat restoration.
     
  8. smtoole
    Joined: Jul 2010
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    Location: Herndon, VA

    smtoole Snipe #9371

    Here's a deck shot

    After I removed all the deck paint.
     

    Attached Files:


  9. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    The first thing to do is to change the deck to the large cockpit opening and new frame design. You can get all that from SCIRA
     
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