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Lots of good advice from Oliver, can I follow up on his solution 2 for your mast step problem. I would suggest fairly strongly that carrying out the mast step conversion is by far the best was forward, I have completed this on 3 different Series 1 boats with good results in all cases. It is not difficult as the drawing and instructions from the Association are easy to follow and if the bottom of your mast is showing signs of corrosion there is the added benefit that you will be cutting 100mm off the mast before fitting the new mast heel.
One other point is where to source the hardwood for the new mast support – if you are willing to look again at your side benches the class rules allow you to take out the inner side benches, to move the outer one inboard. This gives you more room inside the boat but less seating when sitting inboard, but makes sitting out more comfortable, in my opinion! The side bench knees also need to be reshaped but this can be done with them in place. You then have two very nice pieces of hard wood which can be used to form the vertical mast support, two pieces are bonded with epoxy resin, shaped to fit the curvature of the hog extending forward into the front buoyancy tank and then coated before fixing in place. Another piece of one side bench is shaped to form the horizontal platform for the new mast step, this piece runs back over frame 2 into the center board case. You will then have a very strong boat which can take any loads you may wish to apply to the rigging.
I have some pictures of the mast step conversion I did on 13003 in 2012 along with retro fitting through deck genoa sheeting – but that is another story! Also some pictures of 12091 showing the inner side bench modification. If these are of interest send me an email to [email protected] and I will send direct.
Having previously owned and maintained five wooden GP’s with not too many problems, I have replaced decks, installed a front buoyancy tank, three modified Series 1 mast steps, removed and moved side benches and even reduced 5he weight of one boat by changing the solid transom for a plywood one. However the problems with my FRP boat and it’s rotten plywood , see above and my other posting, have defeated my diy maintenance skills as the skills and environment needed for cutting out and getting into the areas where plywood has been used to strengthen the boat are new to me. However at least the experts at SP Boats have – at a cost – been able to rescue my boat, although I did come close to simply stripping off all the valuable fittings and scrapping the old hull.
I would encourage all owners of Speed FRP boats to check their boats regularly for any signs of problems with the wooden parts, keep the boat well aired, a breathable cover is also recommended to allow ventilation when the boat is not in use, I had always thought the “ plastic” covers were ok for a plastic boat.
Thanks, a good idea but the water that caused the problem did not enter through fixing holes, it came from water in the underfloor buoyancy tank, and general water in the boat from Sailing spray and capsizes. The wood went rotten because it was not marine ply, was not sealed or encapsulated during construction of the boat.
Hi, to those who have followed the problems with my Speed GP. I have just picked it up from S P Boats where Steve Parker and Glynn have carried out the major surgery to remove and replace the rotten plywood used in the original construction replacing it with good quality coated plywood. The work is not easy, but I am very pleased with the quality of the work I can’t see the joins where they needed to cut out the hull structure. Thanks guys you have restored the boat for some more racing.
I know it is a simple check, but have you looked under the floor boards in the area aft of the centre board case where should be a plate with the hull / sailnumber or the sail number may be engraved on the hull
Since writing about the problems with the genoa track supports, I spoke to Steve Parker who suggested I look at some other areas of wood for rot. The worst rot now discovered is the wood supporting the mast step, echos of the problems we had with the Series One boats when the keel / hog failed under the mast step, at least these were repairable without major surgery.
Now trusting my boat to Steve Parker for repairs to allow at least a few more years racing.
Thanks to Oliver for his thoughts, when I retro fitted my last series 1 boat with through deck sheeting I was very careful to satisfy the rule that states that the fairleads and associated cleats must not overhang the outboard or inboard side decks. I was so what surprised when I later saw that the modern Production boats from Speed, Boon and Winder all have the jamb cleats in board of the side decks. When I asked how this complied with the rules I was told that’s how they are built, seems one rule for deck mounted cleaning and another unwritten one for under deck systems.
After sailing last weekend I noticed that the bottom rudder pintle was loose. When I investigated I found that the piece of plywood which had been placed inside the transom to strengthen the rudder fixing area was rotten and I was able to pull away large handfulls of wood. The bolts securing the pintle were loose because they had lost their support! In the short term I have managed to add a spreader plate inside the transom and have tightened the bolts. Later I will remove the hatch frame to get a bit more space for hand access and will replace the rotten wood with a new piece which will be first epoxy sealed.
I would suggest other owners of Speed Epoxy boats to check this area and the condition of the plywood strengthening backing to the rudder fixings as this cab a hid stress area.
The rule is as it says that the foresail fairleads MUST be fitted on the side deck, if as with modern boats and conversions applied to older boats the fairleads or the first turning block is under the side deck it still complies with the rule to be fitted on the side deck. The jamb cleats may overhang the inside of the side deck and if fitting under deck sheeting the cleats are sometimes fitted to the thwarts. Fitting the fairleads on the thwarts may be ok for Wayfarers and other boats that do not have overlapping foresails as these can be sheeted inside the shrouds but the overlapping genoa used on the GP14 needs to be sheeted outside of the shrouds. If you are using a midi genoa or one of the original jibs thes can be sheeted inside the shrouds and you would need to fit a second inboard track for your fairleads if you want the option to use either type of foresail, or you could just fit a track as close to the inboard edge of the deck as is possible.
One other point to note is that it is essential that the foresail tracks are bolted through the decks with a piece of wood under the deck to spread the loads.
i will try to give you some answers based on my own experiences of many years maintaining various Series 1 GPs. I am presuming that with hull number 13462 yours is a Series 2 hull with built in underfloor and side tank buoyancy. Duffin boats normally have a white or very pale stip inside the outer gunwale of mahogany, this pale wood is usually obeche, if you can’t get obeche any other straight grained softwood can be used. Make sure you seal all old bare areas and all new wood with epoxy as you rebuild to make sure your new work is durable.
Fitting through deck sheeting can be done, much easier if you have the decks off and are replacing the ply. You will need to fix a track with a block set vertically under the slot that you will cut in the deck. The slot normally runs along the line of the old track but is much shorter than most tracks. You then will need one or two turning blocks and a mounting for the jamb cleat at a suitable position. The best way to plan is to go to your local GP club and look at the arrangements on some newer boats, there are several arrangements. I have done the job on a Series 1 boat and have some pictures showing how I went about the project, I can send these if you email me [email protected]
I normally just wrap the ends around the tiller, make sure that the ropes are not longer than EYC need to be as this reduces the amount of loos rope to keep out of the way of your feet.
So that anyone who reads this understands the problem, after taking out the rotten plywood which was obviously not marine ply I have managed to insert a new piece of 10mm marine ply which was first sealed with West epoxy, bonded this to the two fibre glass parts of the bench making sure that the afte end was on the support. A second reinforcing piece of ply has been bonded to the underside of the side bench. The gel coat damage and cracks were ground out and filled with gel coat filler rubbed down an polished as best I could the blend in with the undamaged areas, you now have to look hard to see the damage.
The question is what state are the benches in? I don’t want to pull them apart but will be very wary of any cracks or signs of movement.
Suggestion to owners of Speed boats of similar age check the condition of your side benches and if you see any delamination of the side deck mouldings get something done soon as possible.04/07/2017 at 10:09 pm in reply to: Need new rudder blade – anyone got a spare they can sell ? #12115
I have a spare straight rudder blade that is made from solid wood and is standard thickness the top was cut to fit an alloy rudder stock, it may need to be changed to suit you stock. You are welcome to buy it for £20 plus postage unless you want to collect from Leigh on sea Essex. It was originally advertised on the web pages with a Milanes blade which I sold to another member a few weeks ago, that would have been more than you wanted as it was a Super racing blade with the alloy stock.
contact me off line at [email protected] if interested
Hi if you look at the attached photo you can see where the tracks used to be fitted on the deck before I modified the boat to below deck sheeting. The tracks are parallel to the boat centre line. Only if you use a small midi genny or a jib do you need extra tracks set inboard or at an angle..
Middle of the track should be about 50mm aft of the clew with the sail pulled in with moderate tension, so that the position of the fairlead can be adjusted fore and aft to suit the wind conditions. Aft in strong winds to flatten the sail and forward in light winds to give more fullness. Laterally the track is normall set in the middle of the side deck, bolt the track through the deck and reinforce under the deck with a pad of hard wood or marine ply at least 12mm thick. Make sure you seal the wood or plywood with epoxy or varnish before fitting and use large washers under the nuts. I just sold a set of Holt tracks and fairleads on eBay so hope the ones you have are good.