On July 15th, 2006, a friend and I took my 1958 Flying Dutchman out for a sail in the Saginaw River. This was only the third time the boat had sailed in 30 years and the first hard sailing since my six-year-long restoration. We set both sails and made several runs in front of the Saginaw Bay Yacht Club before we hit something, maybe an old piling or maybe the freighter rudder that went missing the previous fall.
The Damage The centerboard took the first impact, splitting at the pivot bolt hole. Next the rudder hit, forcing it upward, snapping the tiller and tearing off most of the transom. The board jammed against the back of the centerboard trunk and gouged a triangle out of the trailing edge of the centerboard. Continue reading →
The Tartan Ten, Flags, sustained port side core damage in a race course collision. The original repair, a simple patch applied over the damaged skin, was improper and ineffective. Within a short time there was distortion and movement in the hull side at the repair area. Water penetrated the skin and saturated the core, which soon began to rot. A significant crack reappeared and even more water went into the balsa core. Eventually, the boat was nearly unusable. Continue reading →
“Maybe the prettiest yacht ever built.” That is what some folks say about Bolero. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, still, very few boaters would be able to take a quick glance at this yacht and not continue to stare and measure every detail with their eyes. Any sailor would imagine themselves on board sailing for Bermuda or their destination of choice. Her proportions are just right and the construction details are elegant and refined. Continue reading →
I have a now-discontinued Harken furler unit for my F-27GS trailerable trimaran. This furler is made of an extruded PVC foil with a braided stainless internal liner, with a rod that passes through as the actual forestay. I really like this flexible foil because of its ease of use when raising the mast as well as the fact that it can be somewhat coiled and stowed in the boat for travel. Continue reading →
A local sailor stopped by our shop with an old plastic hatch that was slightly warped and badly cracked. He hadn’t been able to find a similar hatch to replace it. He wondered if we had an epoxy that could be used to repair the hatch. I said G/flex would likely work but to know for sure we needed to do a bit of adhesion testing. Continue reading →
If you travel to the campus of the International Yacht Restoration School, you might think you are walking into the past. The staff offices are inside a restored 1831 mill building. Students restore wooden boats from the 19th and 20th centuries while learning plank-on-frame construction inside a cavernous building from 1903. And hanging off the IYRS docks are majestic classics from a bygone era. Continue reading →
A few years ago a customer approached me at one of the trade shows to say he loves our G/5 Five-Minute Adhesive for filling dents in wood trim prior to reapplying varnish. I thought what a great idea. It cures clear, can be wet sanded in an hour (longer if you are dry sanding) and can be varnished over without a problem. It looks much better than filling with wood putty because it is clear. It can be difficult matching the surrounding wood color when filling with wood putty.
I used his tip the last time I prepared my wood strip canoe for a fresh coat of varnish. It had Continue reading →
This repair method is tailored to fixing individual gel coat blisters prior to bottom painting. The advantage of this method is it can repair blisters on hulls recently pulled from the water or hulls that have been out for some time. Continue reading →
Adagio, our 35′ trimaran, was already off to a bad start in the 100th anniversary of the first running of the Chicago to Mackinaw race with an over-early call by the race committee. Everything went downhill from there.
Less than an hour into the race the luff wire in our number one genoa parted, putting our crucial 360 sq ft light air weapon out of business. Attempts to use it to leeward on our spinnaker pole resulted in more loads than the pole was designed to handle. It collapsed with a bang! Continue reading →
A little history lesson. Last year a cousin of the Gougeon Brothers, David Huskins and his family, visited the Thunderbird Lodge on Lake Tahoe. He sent us a couple photos of Thunderbird, the legendary commuter yacht designed by John L. Hacker in 1939. It was commissioned by George Whittell and built by Huskins Boat Works in Bay City, Michigan. Continue reading →