5942 sail again
08/10/2018 at 4:35 pm #16633
I just returned from the Small Craft Festival down in St. Michaels, Maryland (USA). This is an annual mess-a-bout that just celebrated their 35th anniversary. This time a GP participated. 5942, Spark had been laid up on her trailer since 1981 and this week was the first time she has been in the water. Aside from some small amount of leaking from around the centreboard case, all went very well.
Spark balances well, goes like a dream, and took to the water like a grateful duck. In the “race”, she passed several boats that many would have considered faster. The only monohull I could not come close to was a brand new Core Sound 17 Cat Schooner. The Chesapeake was having a very flat day with almost no wind. Sunday was a much better day and I had my GP up on plane several times.
08/10/2018 at 4:59 pm #16634
I am mildly intrigued by the green strap across the stern deck, bearing down on the tiller. Is that intended as a tiller brake, to allow you to leave the tiller unattended for short periods? How well does it work when it is that far aft?
I had a length of shockcord (bungee cord) doing that job on A Capella, which proved an excellent system, but I had it very much further forward, almost at the end of the tiller, and the ends were secured underneath the side decks. I tended to leave it rigged across the boat almost all the time, removing it only for racing, and then in one quick movement I could either disengage it by positioning it beneath the tiller or engage it by lifting it onto the tiller; it was far enough forward to be able to pull it between those two positions by passing it forward of the end of the tiller.
If you have occasion to moor alongside a dock, or another boat, you will find those bronze horn cleats useful for securing your mooring lines; although it they weren’t there the sheet horse could be used instead. But the proper cleats are more convenient – although if you are planing hard on a very broad reach you may want to sit there …
08/10/2018 at 6:09 pm #16636
that is a shock cord, Oliver. I tend to use it when rowing. I move it forwards on the tiller in front of the extension’s bracket and lock the extension down atop it. I can still move the tiller back and forth some with my foot when I am sitting on the case while rowing. The day I took that picture the breezes were fickle. so it worked well just to hold the tiller as it sat in that picture.
This winter I will be sanding down Spark and refinishing her. Sadly, the decks are ruined. Lack of any varnish over the years allowed the top layer to delaminate in spots and the plywood complains when I put any weight down. I am considering pulling it all up and strip planking it for longevity and looks. There is no racing fleet in the area anymore, so 5942 gets to retire to cruising about and gunkholing, a much more refined activity than rounding the buoys in anger.
08/10/2018 at 8:13 pm #16639
When you come to renew the deck I would be inclined to replace the existing failing plywood with new marine ply. That will be simpler than strip planking, it will be the material that the boat was designed to use; and my guess is that it will be lighter for a given strength, particularly strength across the grain.
Longevity should be all that you are likely to require; the existing ply has lasted 55 years, despite evidence of neglect, and the best of modern marine ply is surely at least as good as was available when the boat was built. Naturally I don’t know the US market, but the leading UK supplier (Robbins) offers a choice of grades and types of marine ply, with guarantees of up to 25 years. http://www.robbins.co.uk/marine/sheet_materials.asp
As regards appearance, their stripey sapele (Tiger-Elite) is very popular on modern boats, and looks superb, although it may be an anachronism on Spark; but I am not totally sure just how long ago this product appeared on the market. But I know of one boat substantially older than Spark which has been redecked in this material.
For historical accuracy you would be absolutely playing safe with either their Super-Elite or Super-Elite Plus, the choice depending purely on what colour of surface you want.
You may well find a US supplier who can offer a similar range, or alternatively you may find that Robbins can ship it out. In particular, you may find that shipping is available fairly economically if there is no urgency, and the shipper can simply put the material in the top of a part-full container when they have one available.
The minimum deck thickness permitted under Class Rules is 4 mm, but I understand that 5 mm is generally recommended for cruising boats.
Hope this helps,
- This reply was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by Oliver Shaw. Reason: Typo
09/10/2018 at 12:15 am #16645
I actually have a local mill that can get robbins. The importer/distributer is semi-local and he can get the ply direct. If I were to go with plywood again, I would probably go with Sapele. Expensive, but beautiful when varnished.
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