The final task on my list was to clean up the nearly 40 year-old hull, still in its original gelcoat. The finish was in quite good condition considering the age and use, but would benefit from a modicum of attention. I overturned the boat and propped it up for (relatively) convenient working height, taking care to protect the pristine new rubrail.
There was a yellowish stain on the bottom and around the waterline, so my first step was to apply some anti-yellowing material to remove most of the staining. This worked as expected.
Next, I buffed the hull with rubbing compound to remove additional staining and any more significant scratches or minor damage, followed by a buffing with a polishing material to finish things off. The results were good given the age and beginning condition of the hull.
The 6th coat of varnish looked good, and I deemed the job complete. I removed all the masking tape from the boat and prepared things for the next item on the list.
Preparing for a boat delivery in the main shop, I moved the Dyer to the woodshop for the next task, which was to install the new cushy rubrail: traditional in appearance, and excellent in true function.
I began the installation at the starboard transom, where I chose to wrap the rubrail around the corner and on to the transom by 6″, an arbitrary amount that kept the center of the transom clear for the rudder while still providing a fender at the transom corner. I used a hot knife to seal the freshly-cut edge of the Dacron covering of the rubrail, and secured the material to the transom with bronze screws and washers on 4″ centers, both at the top, where it attached to the horizontal portion of the wooden rubrail, and on the hull side as well. On the transom, I fastened the rubrail directly to the fiberglass and into the wooden backing, but for the remainder of the boat the lower portion of the rubrail would be screwed to the wooden part of the rail that extended around the boat.
Now I wrapped the material around the corner, keeping it tight and ensuring the cleanest possible bend. I continued securing the rubrail with the bronze screws for a couple feet going forward before coming back to the corner to deal with the bunching of the fabric where I’d made the nearly right-angle turn. I used #6 x 3/4″ round head screws at the top, and 5/8″ versions for the hull side.
At the corner, I carefully cut the material where it bunched, removing excess and eventually sealing the fresh cut with the hot knife before installing an additional screw right over the seam. On the lower side, I added a screw into the aft edge of the hull-side wooden rail.
With the most delicate part of the operation complete, I continued forward, securing the rail every 4″ top and bottom. When I reached the oarlocks, I removed the fasteners securing them to the boat (barrel bolts) so that I could slip the Dacron right beneath them before resecuring the oarlocks.
Eventually, I made it round the stem and down the other side, following the same procedure till finally turning the last corner at the port transom and ending this side of the rail 6″ in from the corner, just as at the beginning. I thought the new rail looked great, and knew it’d be even better in function than form.
Finally, I reinstalled the cover over the daggerboard trunk and moved the boat for safekeeping. This wrapped up most of the work list. Still ahead, I had to clean up the hull to the extent possible, which task I’d attend to in the near future.
Total time billed on this job today: 3.75 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 65°, rain. Forecast for the day: Rain, often heavy, high 60s. Windy.
After once more sanding and cleaning the interior woodwork in the boat, I applied the 4th coat of varnish to all areas. The 4th coat is typically when the wood starts to look like something after the initial coats start to fill the wood grain.
Meanwhile, I sanded the rudder and applied a second maintenance coat to the wood.
Total time billed on this job today: 1.5 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 46°, clear. Forecast for the day: Sunny, 66°
Continuing the process on the thwarts and rubrail, I went through the normal routine: sand, clean, and varnish, this time coat #3.
Two of the three spars looked good after their maintenance coat, but the third section required another coat because of a couple holidays that I’d missed. I also applied a second maintenance coat to the oars, tiller, and daggerboard pieces, all of which had been a bit more beat up to start with and benefited from the additional coating.
The minor repair on the rudder was complete, and after a quick sand to smooth the glued seam, I applied a coat of varnish to the rudder as well.
Total time billed on this job today: 1.75 hours
0600 Weather Observation: Clear, 35°. Forecast for the day: sunny, around 70
After a light sanding and cleanup, I applied a second coat of varnish to all areas in the boat.
The spars for the sailing rig, along with the oars, rudder, and daggerboard, were in generally good condition and appeared little-used. The brightwork on these items was in sound condition and required only maintenance coats of varnish going forward.
After removing the tiller and lightly sanding the rudder, I found a crack in the wood near the top, so I made a small repair with epoxy and clamps.
I lightly sanded the spars, oars, and other pieces, then applied a coat of varnish to them all.
Total time billed on on this job today: 4 hours
0600 Weather Observation: Clear, 34°. Forecast for the day: sunny, upper 60s
Now I sanded all the recently-stripped interior woodwork to smooth and further clean the surfaces, working through a couple grits with an electric sander and by hand as necessary. The original wood–mahogany for the thwarts and white oak for the rubrails–was in good condition overall, particularly the old mahogany, and cleaned up quite well, though retaining the inevitable–even desirable–patina of age. The white oak was stained around all the rubrail fasteners, but most of this rail (except the inboard edge) would later be covered by the new “canvas” rubrail.
After vacuuming, I solvent-washed the wood to clean it, leaving it to air dry for several minutes before continuing.
Once the solvent had evaporated, I masked around the various pieces of bronze hardware and along the edges of the wood as needed to protect the hardware and hull from the varnish work.
Finally, I applied a well-thinned sealer coat of varnish to all areas.
Total time billed on this job today: 3.5 hours
0600 Weather Observation: Clear, 25°. Forecast for the day: sunny, 50s
After some basic preparations and setup, I stripped the old varnish coatings off the woodwork, using a carbide scraper and heat gun. As always, this process was simple and went quickly.
The thwarts, made from mahogany, were in good shape, though the existing finish was worn. The bent wood rubrails on both sides of the boat–this appeared to be white oak–showed much more in the way of wear and tear because of their location and the fact that most of the finish had long since worn away, allowing the wood to discolor with time. Most of this wood would be covered later with a flexible canvas-type padded rubrail fender, but I hoped that the weathered wood would clean up fairly well with sanding and, if needed, chemical brightening. Fortunately, the portion of the rails that would remain most visible–that on the inside of the gunwale–happened to be in the best condition, with most of its finish intact.
The fiberglass housing containing the flotation foam beneath the forward thwart had come loose on one side; repair was as simple as installing two screws to re-secure the molding to the underside of the seat as needed.
Total time billed on this job today: 1.75 hours
0600 Weather Observation: Clear, around 40° (missed it). Forecast for the day: Sunny, near 80°
A past customer brought me this 8′ Dyer Dhow sailing dinghy, perhaps the most ubiquitous, “dinghy-est” dinghy ever built. The small boat was in good condition, but showing her age, and he requested that I refinish the interior woodwork and spars, as well as install a soft traditional rubrail along the gunwale. Over the coming weeks, I planned to pick away at thee small job between other things, and immediately ordered the new rubrail and other materials I’d need for the job so I could get started.
Total time billed on this job today: .5 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 32°, clear. Forecast for the day: sunny, around 70
Lackey Sailing LLC.
110 Cookson Lane
Whitefield, ME 04353