I have learned a great deal from sailboat restoration blogs. Everything from about what to do and of course what not to do while restoring a sailboat. I hope my blog will be helpful and act as a guide as well. Fair Winds!
In my last post I mentioned the balsa and mesh that I picked up at a fiberglass repair shop. As you can see it is just little balsa blocks with a mesh holding it together.
As you can see in this picture I have cut the balsa to fit the front deck. Remember the boat is upside down in this picture. It looks like the cabin floor but it is actually the underside of the front deck. Ideally I would have had a big sheet and cut it to fit. However, because the price was right I used a bunch of small remnants from the fiberglass shop. I hope to get this all glassed in real soon. More pictures to come.
In order to repair the underside of the deck it was easier to flip the boat than try and work on our backs have epoxy drip in our face. Turned a lot of heads taking her down the road.
Blocked it up high enough to crawl in.
The view from the inside... The plan is to put balsa wood with mesh attached over the hole and then epoxy it in. To fill an open area like the old hatch you have to use clear tape to completely cover the hole on the outside. You can only use clear tape any other tape will affect the curing of the epoxy. You spread the epoxy down on the tape, then lay the mesh and balsa, then epoxy over that. (Easy right??) I am told this will make a rock solid deck. We were going to use marine plywood, but when we talked to an expert he said to use balsa. It is lighter and will flex to the contour of the deck. ( I will put pictures of the supplies up with my next post) Once we get the old hatch hole repaired we will cut the hole for the new hatch. Why not just put in a new hatch that would fill the hole??? The deck was soft for one and needed support, secondly the guy who cut the old hole made a mess. I couldn't find a hatch under $500 that would fill the hole. He had a piece of tinted glass and a rubber gasket covering the hole that kept the rain out but if you stepped on it you would end up below deck.
After two full days of priming, sanding, and a little bondo the trailer looks beautiful!
Looks like it did in '74!! Mission accomplished!
Final touches to the trailer, put on a new winch and jack.
I have also been doing a little polishing... I can't take all the credit as you can see in the picture I had a little helper. I went in the house to get a new polishing rag and found him just polishing away. That's my boy!!
All the aluminum pieces were dingy gray, but they polished up great! I tried two different brands of polish. Mothers worked the best. It comes in a little red tub.
Before & After
The latest project has been tearing out the cabin floor and replacing the wood. It wasn't horrible but we thought we should replace it before we repaint the boat. Wouldn't want to scratch up the new paint job getting the boards into the cabin. Also decided to take out the under side of the deck. (you can kinda see that in the first picture) It was a little soft. To quote my dad... "Might as well do it right" We are also installing a Bomar hatch to the forward deck to add a little ventilation.
Well I have not posted anything in a while... but the progress is continuing. The trailer has been sandblasted and primed.
First step was lifting her off the trailer. The harbor is about a mile and half away. We could have just backed it in and tied it to the dock for the weekend... But this was much more fun.
Before: Dad suited up and Sandblasting
After: bare metal
Dad priming the trailer
There she is sit 'n' pretty! Didn't get a chance to put on the final coat. There was a lot of pitting that needed and need attention. Our goal is to get the fenders shining like they did in '74 but the frame paint may not be perfect.
While this might not be a dream boat to most, it is a dream come true for me. A dream that for me started young growing up on Carlyle Lake. Dad always had a boat and we were on the water most weekends Memorial Day - Labor Day. For years I have been saying someday I am going to get a sailboat. Well someday came on June 5th. This is our latest father son project. I have great memories of camping on dad's boat as kids. I can't wait for this father son project to turn into a father, son and grandson sailing adventure.
With help from my brother Travis we pulled her out of the weeds and mud in one piece. Miraculously the trailer was tow-able and by the grace of God, it made the 65 mile trip home.
Prior to the long haul we bucketed many years of water out of the cabin.
After a lot of Bleach (sorry environment), a case of magic erasers, a power washer and the hard work of Mom, Dad, Alex and Adam she looks AWESOME! I am lucky to have such a great family to help with my projects.
We still have to repaint the hull. It is in need of glass work on the deck, but wow what an improvement at least from a distance anyway. To quote my baby brother Derrick, "Good from far, but far from good". (Derrick doesn't use this line to describe boats... but it is fitting for this situation.) The next thing to tackle is sanding and painting the trailer. I can't think of a better way for dad and I to spend Father's Day.