Little Anne: a short FJ story

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Awoody, Apr 25, 2024.

  1. Awoody
    Joined: Apr 2024
    Posts: 1
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Utah

    Awoody New Member

    Well friends, this is my first ever post. I intend to keep track of my build, ask questions, and just have an all around good time. IMG_6112.jpeg
    Two days ago I purchased my first ever (finished) sailboat. She is a little 14 foot flying junior class boat as far as I can tell, but I can’t say I really know. I saw an ad in Facebook and somehow convinced the lady selling it to wait a day to sell it to me. With the trailer this little girl was $100, a great price for a broke college student. Anyway, after asking some random neighbors to park it in their driveway because I didn’t want her sitting in the street and my apartment complex won’t let trailers in the parking lot, I got to work.

    Frankly I wasn’t really sure where to start, so I put the mast up, fastened the rigging, and hoisted the sails to see how everything looked. Things came together nicely! I think I was seeing more through my imagination then reality however. Time ran out so I took the sails down and put her away for the night.
    The following day I dug in a little more. (Sorry I don’t know names of things but I’ll do my best to share and hopefully you all can help me out in that department). I found that her transom was looking a little rotten, any exposed wood was a long shot from pretty, and the floor seemed in a pretty bad way. To add to the list her mast and boom were revarnished but not all the way, and someone decided to sand the channel for the sail in the mast to make it “smoother” but now it is too large and won’t keep the sail in. The rudder and tiller need finishing, and she needed a good wash. All in all however, her hull looked solid and she made me smile, so I think I got the good end of the stick.
    IMG_6127.jpeg IMG_6126.jpeg

    While I really just wanted to dump her in the water and have some fun I held myself back. That brings me to today. I decided to jump in feet first and start tearing out whatever was rotten. I started by preserving the gorgeous seats (mahogany I think) and taking off all the hardware. Then I kicked out the seat members and started pulling up the floor. It was in worst shape than I thought. The sub flooring was some kind of honeycomb structure that was fiberglassed over (I guess that is fairly common??) It was all rotted out and there was some particle board in there too. I just started ripping and tearing it all out and it didn’t take too long before I got to a point I was too scared to scrape off more with sharp tools for fear of busting through the hull.
    IMG_6120.jpeg IMG_6123.jpeg
    After that I did a good bit of research and decided I don’t really know what I am doing but I have the heart to jump in! So, I would love some help and direction in where to go next. My goal is to have her up and sailing by the end of the summer and sooner if possible. And she has to be cheap unfortunately. I am a broke college student so that doesn’t help much. She doesn’t need to be perfect, but I hope she will be something I am proud of.

    Here is my short running list of things to do:
    1. Grind down all the honeycomb leftovers until it is bare fiberglass
    2. Fair in the grinding to the rest of the inside of the boat
    3. Glue in subflooring (plywood, honeycomb, what??)
    4. Glass the flooring in
    5. Sand inside and topside and prepare to paint (I don’t know how to gel coat and I dont have the money for it unless you think this is a bad idea)
    6. Simple hull repairs
    7. Refinish mast, boom, daggerboard, tiller, and rudder
    8. Redo rigging and hardware
    9. Lots more
    10. SAIL!!!

    What do you think?? Where should I start and how?

    Thanks for all your help!
  2. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 3,659
    Likes: 1,603, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 37
    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Welcome to the Forum Awoody.

    What a wonderful story - and your enthusiasm is infectious!
    I am sure that you w1ill get a good response on her to your questions.

    I think you got a good deal definitely, for the princely outlay of $100.
    The mainsail looks a bit tired (that might be an understatement), but so long as it is not too stretched / baggy, and it is not so brittle such that you can poke a finger through it, then you should be able to still have some sailing fun with it hopefully.
    Other posters better qualified than I will offer contributions soon about the fibreglass work required, but you do seem to have a pretty good grasp already as to what is required.
    And it won't take much work with some sandpaper and varnish to make those seats look wonderful, similarly the mast and boom..

    Re the rigging wires / stays - have a good look at them, especially the ends - what sort of fittings do they have on them?
    If you are not too sure, then maybe you could post a photo or two of them as well?
    Are the wires stainless steel? And what are they attached to on the hull - are these fittings (also S/S?) bolted to the hull, or glassed in?
    Will Gilmore and BlueBell like this.
  3. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
    Posts: 3,389
    Likes: 537, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 1279
    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    The FJ is a sweet little boat that can provide much fun. That one appears to be all there except for the floor. You made a really good deal for $100. Just the trailer is worth more than twice that amount. The sails look pretty shabby but they will still let you sail even if not as efficient as they were in the past.

    As for the floor repair, the area in question does need the reinforcement that the honeycomb made possible. The honeycomb itself was not particularly strong. It was used as a spacer between the outer and inner bottom parts. It was the flooring glass that actually provided the stiffness that the bottom needed....... Sort of like a structural I beam.

    You may be able to find some honeycomb for replacement. Or you might find some balsa, foam, or other material that will space the floor and hull skins apart like the original. The repairs might not be cheap. (You may have to alter your diet to use more Rahmen noodles while you save up for the needed materials.)

    Here is wishing you good luck with the project. Lots of we old timers will be rooting for you.
    C. Dog, Will Gilmore and bajansailor like this.

  4. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
    Posts: 3,389
    Likes: 537, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 1279
    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    Awoody, Have you made any progress with the repair of the FJ?
    C. Dog likes this.
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