Sunday, January 13, 2013

Elizabeth, an initial survey.

OK, in my last post I teased you with just a look at the damaged boom from my latest acquisition.  Yesterday provided a rare warm day in January so it's time for a full reveal.  Just what's under the tarps?

A lovely Ventnor Moth ripe for restoration.

Meet Elizabeth. 

As I mentioned in the last post, some of the deck seams have opened up since I last saw this little boat a year and a half ago.

Most of the cracks and open seams appear to be in the forward portion of the deck.

However, there is this somewhat worrisome crack which extends from the starboard chain plate all the way to the bow block.  The rig feeds a lot of the load from the sail through the shroud chain plates and then throughout the hull, so a solid repair will be required.  Probably the deck will have to be removed to accomplish this.

The dagger board trunk also has a dodgy looking fiberglass repair.  The trunk will need to come out and either a new one fabricated or if possible, the original one carefully pulled apart and reassembled.

The port side of the trunk has a wooden jam cleat for the halyard.

The floor boards are a collection of original (darker wood) and replacements.

Zooming in on the center floor board.  Splits starting at a fastener hole are a common failure mode.  Note, more dodgy looking glass on top of the keel.

I poked the camera up under the bow deck for a look-see.  Cobwebs and probably part of a rat's nest first catch the eye.  Otherwise the framing and bottom ply panels look to be in good condition.  The line coming down and through the cheek block, mounted on the keelson, is for the downhaul.  Note the notch in the keelson just ahead of the cheek block.  That is the mast step.  The heel of the mast has a matching "clothes pin" shape that matches the cut out in the keelson.

Looking under the stern deck we see more cobwebs, the fasteners for the rudder bracket and one end of the traveler rod.

The dagger board is the familiar and correct Ventnor Boat Works shape.

One of the always interesting mysteries encountered when taking over a used boat is trying to figure out the purpose of odd bits of gear which convey with the boat.  I have no idea how a previous sailor of this boat used this bit of poly line with the two swivel hooks.

Ditto this bit of clothes line with a small bronze snap hook.  It's too short and too fat to be the line used to attach the foot of the sail to the boom.  The hook has a bad case of arthritis but I'll keep it anyway.

In the days before Harken and Ronstan, the best boating hardware came from the hardware store.  This "shackle" attaching the block to the traveler rod must have been sourced from the Tractor Supply Co.

But it's not all bad news in the hardware dept.  This bow chain plate is an original VBW piece.

As are the shroud chain plates,

the rudder bracket

and the traveler rod.  At some point the traveler rod got bend.  Hopefully I can cold set the rod back to more or less vertical.

However, this rudder/tiller/hiking stick are clearly home made items.  One wonders what happened to the original VBW "barndoor" rudder with its distinctive "wishbone" tiller?

Fortunately, your diarist never throws anything away.  This is an original Ventnor barn door rudder with wishbone tiller.  This was from Moth Nr 764, one of the two Ventnor Moths which I raced in the late 1950s.  Nr 764 was heavily damaged in a port/starboard incident and in those days a Ventnor Moth wasn't a collector's item, just a worn out race boat.  I stripped the hardware from the hull, sold off what I could and salted the rest away for future use.  Apparently the "future" is now.

Let's see if she fits.  The blade made it under the traveler rod, so far so good...

The top pintle fits the bracket giving the tiller the required clearance between the stern deck and the traveler,

but the lower pintle is about 1/4" too high for this bracket.  VBW must have changed their rudder bracket design at some point during production of these boats.  I have two choices; either lower the pintle or root around in my junque hardware dept. and see if I still have the rudder bracket that matches this rudder.  Maybe yes, maybe no. 
We'll see...

Originally, the main sheet was lead down from the boom to a block on the tiller, back up to the boom, down to the traveler and then to the hands of the skipper.  A common modification in the '50s was to remove the block from the rudder and mount it mid-way up the boom so that the skipper turned forward during tacks and gybes, the "modern" way rather than facing aft (and turning one's back on one's competitors) during maneuvers.  I may do that on this boat as well.

Another racer mod back in the day was to add short hiking sticks to each arm of the wishbone.  I will certainly do that.  In the next post, I'll rig the boat and hoist the sail--probably for the first time in many years.


  1. the old form of yachts. Now a days Yachts have been chsanged more then once thinking Yacht Charter Dubai

  2. Dear Maise: I find that one can enjoy both the ancient and modern developments in yachting. For an example of the modern branch of Moth Boating, look at this post:

    With kind regards,
    George A.