Restoring 16' wooden sailboat - will need help & advice

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by OrcaSea, Oct 11, 2014.

  1. OrcaSea
    Joined: Oct 2014
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    OrcaSea Senior Member

    Greetings, all!

    I'm new to the forum, and I am well into the restoration of a fiberglass clad wooden sailboat. At different times during this journey I will need help & advice, as this is my first sailboat as well as my first restoration effort and I deeply appreciate any help folks can give me.

    I have a technical background, having built airliners for 15-years, as well as other various technical jobs. I know my way around a woodshop, and have done some fiberglassing already, so I am gaining confidence in that.

    I am going to attach some 'Before' pictures (thankfully, the interior, at least, looks a LOT different!). Honestly, it's been abused and maybe should have gone the way of a chainsaw and the dump, but I wanted to save it, and I think it will be worth it.

    I guess the very first bit of assistance I need is identifying the boat. I thought - because of the lines - that I had a modified Blue Jay, but at 16'6" it's too big for a Blue jay and the interior structure does not match. Then I thought it might be a Glen-L sailboat, but that isn't correct, either, as the ribs & structure are all different. It is 16'6" LOA and I estimate it to be 40-50 years old. I suppose it could be a one-off design of some sort?

    Does anyone know what boat this might be?

    Thanks!

    Curtis
     

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  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Welcome to the forum.

    The images you've provided make it difficult to see her shape very well, but I have a suspision she might be an old Olympic class, Sharpie 12 sq. meter.

    [​IMG]

    The centerboard doesn't look right and without a better look at her profile, it's tough to tell.

    [​IMG]

    The sharpie is about the most common for one off home builds, so this is also a real possibility. Can you post the actual length on deck, it's max beam and a good approximation of her draft? Do you have sail dimensions?

    Some of the older ones where Bermudian cats, though lots have been converted to sloops.
     
  3. philSweet
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    philSweet Senior Member

    Maybe an X-boat. Basically a miniature Lightning. Seems to have a different deck though.

    Dad's X-boat.
     

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  4. OrcaSea
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    OrcaSea Senior Member

    Thanks for the reply.

    I realized as I was looking through my pictures that they did not give a very good representation, so when it stops raining I will pull the boat out of the garage and get some better views.

    It is (this is a correction) 15'7" from transom to tip of the bow, and 5'5" at the widest part of the beam, 4' at the transom (at the deck) and approximately 23" from the deck to deepest part of the keel. Proportionally, the transom looks beamier than the Sharpie pics, but that could be the angle.

    The mast (solid wood) extends 19'10" above the deck and it is a fractional rig with no backstay. The boom is 9'5" The mast is 53 1/2" back from the tip of the bow.

    I am convinced the sails are not originals, as the foot of the main is only 7'5" (though the boom is 9'5"). 16'luff-18'10"leech (approx) and 7'5" foot. The jib is 18'8" luff, 14' leech and 5'9" foot. But, again, I'm not certain that these are the original (or even accurate replacement) sails.

    I realize this is not a 'restoration' forum (Wooden Boat forum seems to be shut down?), but design, but I may need some help with design issues, as - over the years - people have done some ad hoc repairs and changes to rigging that don't seem appropriate and I will need some advice and I don't know any experienced local sailors.

    Thanks, again! Yes, I'm starting to think it might be a Dad's Popular mechanics plans X-Boat, myself, though the lines of the hull are very much the same proportions as a Lightning/Blue Jay
     
  5. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I thought of that, but the bottom seems to have very modest V in it by the photos, so . . . I can think of several boats it might be, but without a good profile, dimensions, etc . . . Whatever she is, this one has some serious issues and a host of cosmetic stuff to deal with.

    WoodenBoat (magazine) forum seems to be up and running fine. Be careful what you wish for over there. She'd probably perform fairly well with a "Windmill" rig. Changing rigs is a pretty common thing with small craft, particularly if they have an odd one. A used Windmill rig will be easy to find. It too is fractional and without a back stay and the two boats are very similar in size.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. OrcaSea
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    OrcaSea Senior Member

    Thanks for your input, PAR, I appreciate it!

    The Wooden Boat forum exists, but when I try & register I get a message saying it is not accepting new registrations, or something to that effect. it's odd...

    Yes, she had (and may still have) some serious issues. In the past several months I have replaced nearly all the ribs in the cockpit area, removed some awful repairs done with bondo and gawd-knows-what and scraped/sanded away all the loose and chipped paint in preparation for primer before moving on to the deck repairs and flipping it on the dolly to work on the hull.

    The biggest issue so far was a leaking chain plate that created rot in the chain plate, adjacent rib and chine log and ply, all of which had to be replaced and/or repaired. After chiseling/scraping the dead wood away I did a fair amount of fiberglass build-up as well as steaming and bending a section of chine log into place (see below).

    Luckily, in the aft & forward compartments the wood is dry and solid, at least as far as I can poke with a knife tip. The interior is nearly complete except for the cockpit combing, which was done in fiber glassed and painted pressboard (!) but I am going to replace with natural wood and varnish when I get to finish details. The original builder did not round out the edge where the deck meets the hull side wall and the fiberglass - not liking the sharp edge - has cracked nearly the entire circumference of the deck. So I have my work cut out for me, there, as well (no pun intended ;).

    Other than about seven layers of various paint on the hull, it's pretty solid except for some dock rash dents, and delamination and breaks in the fiberglass around the center board exit. I am pretty sure I am looking at some at least moderate surgery there, as well.

    The mast & boom are in good shape, though the finish said goodbye a long time ago. There is a lot of old, bronze fittings and sheaves, which I will clean up and reuse, but the halyard systems for both the main and jib need to be rebuilt (in the case of the jib, there is no sheave at all, the last owner simply had the halyard ran through a link hanging from the forestay tang, so I need to address the masthead fitting and some sort of houndstrap when the time comes.

    In the end I hope to have, at least, a fairly presentable, fun little boat I can learn sailing in. It's not going to win contests at wooden boat gatherings but I will be proud of it when I am done :)
     

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  7. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member


    Probably a silly question, but I assume you mean Epoxy with the glass as opposed to Polyester
     
  8. OrcaSea
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    OrcaSea Senior Member

    Not necessarily. I am aware of the advantages of epoxy, and I have used it in assembly & joinery on the boat, but FG is much more cost-effective and has a good track record, as well, for only an incremental decrease in performance.

    This is a 1950's era, 'Boat Builder's Handbook' plans (http://svensons.com/boat/?p=SailBoats/Cresent), garage-built sailboat; it will be used for non-competitive, pleasure sailing on lakes and fair weather on Puget Sound. It was a moment of frustration away from the chainsaw & landfill when I found it. If it was some classic, sought-after design, or was to be used in challenging conditions or racing my approach would be different.

    But, for now, cost is the major factor; if I could have afforded a ready-to-sail $1,500-$2,500 daysailer I would have likely gone that route, but I cannot. That's why the Craigslist bargain ($225 w/trailer & 2-horse Honda). It was equipped with stainless and bronze hardware store sheaves and fittings that have lasted (and still work) after 50-60 years, and I will likely buy & use some more before it gets wet in the summer/spring, instead of $60 Harkin fittings I can't afford, either.

    All I can do is the best I can with what I'd got :)
     
  9. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I'm not sure where you heard polyester over wood "has a good track record" but this would be directly contrary to reality. Ditto the "incremental decrease in performance" line, as simply not being remotely related to the physical attributes of the two. You'd be strongly advised externally to use epoxy and on all highly loaded areas (chain plates, hardware fittings, etc.). You don't have to pay an arm and a leg, just stop using the major "players" like West and System Three. Looking to products from epoxyproducts.com and bateau.com at over half the price of the major brands, with similar performance. The same is true of Harkin, try Ronstan, which is considerably cheaper or just by sheaves and make your own with some stainless straps bend around a jig. Sailors are two things really, beside lairs and cut throat ********, which are really cheap and resourceful. A real sailor has only walked into West Marine, because of the cute girl behind the counter.
     
  10. OrcaSea
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    OrcaSea Senior Member

    Hey PAR, thanks for the response. I will definitely check out some of your suggestions.

    In this instance, at least, the FG is clinging pretty tenaciously to the wood and has for a great many years. In places where I have had to remove original fiberglass in order to remove/install fasters in repairs I have had to chisel the fiberglass off the wood, so the builder did something right. In fact, the only areas that I have found where the FG has has not adhered is where there was mechanical damage. So, I guess I am just lucky in that respect.

    I have definitely used epoxy in high-stress areas - the chain plate replacements, structural parts, etc. And I am nothing if not a resourceful internet shopper from hell. I wound up getting my resins from The Fiberglass Site, and for being the lowest cost I could find, their products have worked very well, especially for being almost half as much as some 'boutique' suppliers.

    I guess people get different things from projects, but what I am enjoying most is the journey and encountering problems and the mental challenge of coming up with ways to deal with them - sometimes creatively, but always having to work within my budget. In the end I feel pretty assured of two things - it will work and I will have learned a lot. it might not always be by-the-book, and some people might walk it at a dock and snicker or turn their nose up, but then again, it's a $225 boat :)
     
  11. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    You get a cute girl in your fibreglass shop ????? :D
     
  12. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Ray, if you looked like me, you'd probably have cute girls hanging around too . . . ;) It's not my fault, blame the Democrats for ending WWII when they did, as it apparently set off a pretty big wave, of which I'm one of the wavelets.
     
  13. OrcaSea
    Joined: Oct 2014
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    OrcaSea Senior Member

    PAR, I do have a question, as I am considering simply stripping the glass of the deck and re-glassing it, instead of trying to fair all the repairs that have to be done. On, say, your Murphy design, how much epoxy does it take to glass the deck? I have yet to resin any large areas yet, so I don't have an idea.

    Thanks!

    Curtis
     
  14. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    heres a link for calculation.
    http://www.westsystem.com/ss/estimating-epoxy-amounts/

    Unless you are looking at a clear finish, just use an orbital sander to get down to a level surface ( whether there is glass or wood ), and apply the glass over it.

    A waterproof deck is a good idea, as vertical water can be as damaging as under the waterline moisture
     

  15. OrcaSea
    Joined: Oct 2014
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    OrcaSea Senior Member

    Thanks to everyone for your advice & responses. I realize I am asking restoration questions in a design forum, and I hope people don't mind, it's about the only resource I can find at the moment.

    Curtis
     
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