The materials I found, are in quite good condition and were generally not that difficult to remove. The sea hood that I removed is a very nice part, made of aluminum. The fore and aft vents are solid bronze. The winches are all bronze and in good shape although they obviously are dated. The boat was only about two years old when the overhead material began flaking off of the coach roof interior. To fix it, the boat was taken to what is now Derecktor Shipyards, Mamaroneck Facility, on Long Island. There, a mahogany interior was applied to the coach roof. All of that work is in remarkably good condition today with one problem. When they applied the interior, they epoxied (or polyestered) everything to the fiberglass interior but left all of the fasteners to external stuff, under the new woodwork. This makes it impossible to remove anything or rebed external parts without destroying the interior. I feel bad about it but am keeping all of their pieces as patterns to redo it like it was.
I also found that during the boat's life, it was involved in a collision. (During a race, another yacht "T-Boned" her in the cockpit area when the other captain thought he would clear her transom. The bow of the other yacht came over the cockpit coaming and was finally stopped by the port genoa winch and the steering pedestal.) The collision required replacement of the Port cockpit coaming, a section of port toerail and included a little fiberglass work under the main sheet winch. I am trying to save all the coamings as they are difficult to replace (at least the large mahogany blocks tying the coamings to the coach roof). After the collision, one of the joints was redone as a flat scarf instead of a box scarf like the Starboard, and may require a whole new coaming. The other interesting thing about the cockpit area is that the main and genoa winch pedestals were fabricated by the first owner of aluminum. Although they may have been good for racing, they will be replaced in wood.
While disassembling the plumbing, I found that the port seacock that drains the cockpit and other stuff, was rubbing on the exhaust pipe and had a significant hole in it. Since it was hidden behind the exhaust pipe, I wonder if the previous owners wondered why the bilge pump was always running?
On the amusing side, in removing the rudder, I had to dig a hole under the boat to allow the rudder shaft to drop down from the hull. The shaft is about 36" into the boat and thus the hole had to be about 36" deep. In true form for Jamestown, I hit a major rock about 12" down. The rock was too large to move (we are talking MAJOR rock here!) and thus I had to break enough of it away to get the rudder out. I knew that moving the boat was not a very viable option at this point.
One interesting thing that I noted while removing the mahogany trim pieces that go all around the coach roof, is that these trim pieces are not decorative, but functional! The boat has a seam there that gets covered by the trim. Apparently these boats were assembled quite differently from boats today. The deck was molded without the "lid" over the coach roof. The deck was apparently mounted before any bulkheads were installed, and then the hull - deck joint was completely glassed for a permanent bond. After that, apparently the bulkheads and furniture were installed through the open coach roof, followed by the coach roof "lid" and then the overhead and ports could be completed.
Now that the hull is completely disassembled, I have pretty much decided to replace all of the exterior wood. It seems a shame to replace some of the nicer pieces, but I found that in several places, there have been
repairs to the toe rails, coamings, hatches, etc. If I try to save it, the new pieces probably would not match very well. The toe rails look as though they will present a challenge in that they change height from 3" forward to 2" aft and they are rotated to follow the changing hull angles.
Another interesting point that became very apparent during the disassembly, was the way she was built light for racing. The hull is solid glass but quite thin. She has longitudinal glass stringers for support to augment the stiffness obtained from the bulkheads and cabinet frames, but is only about 5/16" thick in the bilge slack. I thought that the hull would be a lot thicker at the through hull fittings, but found that they actually molded a step in place to keep the same thin section throughout. There is some core in the boat (not very much!!) along the side decks, in the lazarette deck, the cockpit sole, around the mast penetration and a little in the deck forward of the coach roof. The core is urethane foam and thus there is zero rot anywhere. I can't find any delamination in the deck but will have someone else give her the second look to be sure I don't miss anything.
Photo of molding for flush style thru-hulls.
Hull Exterior Projects (Updated 12-29-02)
1) Remove bottom paint
In the process of removing the paint, I found a fairly large area (about 12 square feet) on the starboard bow that I thought had all the gel coat removed. Actually, it is a layer of fiberglass cloth applied over the gel coat to cover some surface damage. Apparently The boat overrode the mooring hardware and has several gouges in the bottom and bootstripe area. There were some repairs made for the surface damage by adding polyester filler, then covering the repair area with cloth and resin. None of this is apparent inside and thus I don't think the damage was beyond cosmetic. There are some small blisters on the edges of the repair and I may remove the repair materials to redo it right.
2) Remove boot stripe
These images show the stages of sanding and the tools I used
Equipment for this part of the project
When I started the job, I was using coveralls, goggles and a cartridge style respirator. I quickly graduated to tyvek coveralls with hood, and then I used an SAS Safety Corp. supplied air repirator with full face mask. It is available from Tool Paradise for just over $500. I couldn't be more grateful for the supplied air respirator. Since I will be painting in confined spaces and will require it for many other aspects of this project, I think it to be a good investment.
Really "Cool" Trestles
3) Remove white topsides paint
Photo of 8" port side nasty "ouch".
I then started to remove the white paint from the deck and coach roof. This has presented several problems. The first became obvious when I removed paint from a test area on the coach roof. After removing the paint, I dewaxed with acetone, lacquer thinner and finally TO-115 Awl-Prep Plus Wax and Grease Remover. Incidentally, I found a local source for U.S. Paint products (as well as other fiberglassing and painting supplies) that offers very reasonable prices. It is www.compositesone.com. Then I tried sanding to see what the surface was like. I found that the surface has a glaze like ceramic tile. The only way I was successful in breaking through the glaze, was with my belt sander or right angle sander. The Fein RO with even 40 grit paper, did nothing but buff the surface. Obviously, if I use a very aggressive device to break the glaze, I'd never get the surface fair again. An additional complication is that the gel coat is completely crazed. The gel coat is only about .015" thick and the crazing seems to stop at the first mat layer. However, I don't know if the epoxy primer will let the crazing resurface. Presently, I am waiting for a US Paint rep to take a look at it and offer advice.
An additional complication is in the non-skid deck surface. The original non-skid is a very deep diamond check pattern that is worn in several places and damaged in several other places. It has also been painted, further rendering it difficult to address. I have elected to sand it down to the bottom of the diamonds and then renew it with one part polyurethane paint mixed with non-skid grit. There are three main methods with their respective proponents' commentaries for repairing non-skid: repair the original (by making a small mold from the existing deck) versus painting with added grit, versus bonding special non-skid mat to the deck. Although I am sure the mat approach could look very nice, I personally think the paint and grit is a more practical approach. The restoration of the original pattern is not really an option because of the extent of required repairs and the fact that it has been painted and is quite crazed. Because of the volume of material to be removed, I will likely use a belt sander on most non-skid patterned surfaces to get close to the required depth. This surface has an advantage for such aggressive removal tools in that I can see clearly when I am getting close to the final cut depth and non-skid has a tendency to hide minor surface fairing flaws.
The last complication that is a temporary problem, is the weather. We have had an extremely cold January. (The enclosure has no heat source other than the sun.) We have also been having gale force winds nearly every week since November. The wind tends to be more annoying than a deterent since it is pretty well blocked by the enclosure. I am actually surprised that the enclosure is holding together so well for all this wind. Although it is usually quite comfortable to work in the enclosure during sunny days, the temperatures have been very close to freezing. It is difficult to dewax and clean in this weather as I can't use water spray to check the surface for contaminents. I won't be able to try a paint adhesion test until the temps are consistently above 40 to apply some sample primer.
4) Pressure wash inside and out
5) Dewax fiberglass with acetone (or MEK) and Awl Prep Plus