Bringing An Old Lady Back To Life (Part 2)

Hello again, for anyone who was interested in the first installment, here we go with the second.

I finished off on the weekend before turning the boat, so it seems like a good place to get going. Now picture if you will my workshop, which is in fact a single garage. A small single garage without enough room to fit my car in. Add into this a scorpion and space to work suddenly becomes very limited. I had a problem to solve, which was; How do I turn this boat over with the equipment I have, in the space that I have? The answer was not exactly the textbook way. I jury rigged a bed frame, one of those with a desk underneath, I put the uprights either side of the boat and used the bars at the top to hold them apart. The feet of the bed I wedged against the sides of the garage and lashed the tops to a strong point. This made a surprisingly sturdy frame, but I wouldn’t recommend trying this at home so to speak. I put ratchet straps under the hull in two places and lifted the boat on these equally. This allowed me to turn the boat myself, and under control. I rested the boat upside down on a trestle aft and an axle stand to the mast step.


Once she was over I was able to see (for the first time) the state of the hull properly, waiting till this stage was a risk but thankfully it didn’t bite me too much. I noticed that most of the screw filler was rotten or missing and there was an area on the bow that needed to be re-skimmed with epoxy. I started by painstakingly removing all of the screw head filler, delicately of course as I didn’t know the state of the screw underneath or the wood surrounding. Once this was all removed and the holes cleaned up, I got onto mixing the epoxy I would need to fill everything I had just removed. This job isn’t a difficult one but the trick is to use a microfiber filler in the epoxy, enough to make it stiff, but not enough to make it hard; a bit like a meringue! Then you have to get the filled epoxy into the holes without trapping air. You are probably asking why I’m telling you this, well just to give an idea if the this job can take. Once all of the holes were filled, I quickly re-skimmed the bow and gave it all a day or so to properly go off.

Now to the sanding part , although I wont linger on this, (we don’t all have to be bored by it). Once she was sanded smooth, I gave her a good clean up and started to apply the undercoat. I can honestly say that every part of this boat has been painted by brush, a technique I feel is waning under the finish of a spray gun. All I will say is you can see the results for yourself.


I’m sorry about the sideways pic. I Don’t really want to go on too much about the next part, once she was painted and the paint had hardened off, I turned her using the same technique as described above, then put her on her shiny new trolley. Once upright again I got onto the delightful task of sanding her down. A hoover attachment would have been useful here but I had to rely on the rubbish filter on the sander, which you may have guessed from me calling it rubbish, that it didn’t work. By now the garage too small for my car is full of fine particles of scorpion, and it is everywhere! Clearly I had a bit of an issue with applying varnish in this environment, so I painted the floor and towed her back to the place I found her.


And this is where she still is, waiting now for the varnish to harden off properly, and yes, I used a brush for this job too. The next phase of this is planning the rigging. As I stated in my last post, she was stripped bare. The only evidence of her ever being used is marks on the centreboard and holes for the jib sheet and fairlead. And apart from the toe straps, that is it. I would like some guidance on this if anyone has pictures or plans from the early boats. For now though, I will leave you with a few pictures of this one freshly revived, and brought back from the brink of destruction, all in a garage too small for my car.



Phil Slade
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