Tuesday, November 13, 2018

I tawt I taw a Ventnor Moth.

One of the things I didn't mention in my earlier posts about this year's National Regatta is that Erky's widow, Alma, had decided to offer his vintage division Ventnor Moth Boat for sale.

John Z. decided to step up to the plate and is now the new owner of Tweety.
The boat is in overall good condition and came complete with two sails, spars and blades.

But like all boats approaching 70 years of age, this one has her share of things to correct.

But there's nothing here that John can't fix.
Although Tweety's original IMCA sail number is unknown, she does have a Ventnor Boat Works production number stamped into the expected place--the forward centerboard trunk log.
She'll rest in John's shed until he has time to move her into his workshop.  Once fettled, she'll be a welcome addition back in the vintage division racing fleet.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Repairing Renegade's mast. First steps.

Some readers may recall that during my summer vacation I picked up an old Harry Cates-built Cates design Moth Boat.  If not a refresh can be seen here.  Work on this boat has been slow due to either 90+ degree heat or torrential rains.  Now that fall has arrived the temps and the rain are starting to become a bit more tolerable and so I've pulled out Renegade's mast for a spot of repair.

The mast has several problems but the biggie is this split in the luff groove starting at the point where the sail feeds into the groove.  It involves about 18 inches or so of the mast.

Dry run with clamps.

Packing tape to catch resin squeeze out.  Note the good sized gap remaining even with clamp pressure.

Rag on a string to wipe excess resin out of the groove.

I used colloidal silica filler for maximum strength.

The clamps stayed on over night.  I plan to reinforce this repair, taking a tip from a fellow blogger over at the Lingering Lunacy blog, with some fiberglass sleeve. Far less messy than trying to wrap the repaired area with glass tape.  More on that once the sleeve material arrives.

A secondary issue with this mast is that years ago the varnish was removed and the bare wood left unsealed.   The wood is covered with small dots which I assume are mold colonies.  The entire length of the mast is involved.

I decided to test my theory with some household bleach.  This is a "before" shot.

This is the "after" shot.  Hopefully, the damage is limited to the  surface layer of the wood.  We'll see if a good sanding will get me down to sound wood. 

Friday, November 2, 2018

The Resurrection of Swiss Miss Part Three: Finishing touches

Picking up from the last post, with the deconstruction finished, Joe started going the other way.  Here we see the deck stringers  which tie the aft cockpit bulkhead to the reshaped transom.  Note the judicious use of carbon (perhaps over foam core?) as an attempt to add stiffness to the floor of the hull and reduce the tendency of this old solid glass lay-up to "oil can". 

Joe typically embeds lok-nuts for the transom hardware, chain plates etc. in thickened resin to make them captive.  This makes hardware removal for painting and maintenance much easier and also reduces the number of inspection ports required for access to hard to reach nuts.

Another view of the aft end of the hull.


Forward most bulkhead. 

Shear clamps.


Joe took advantage of a dry spell of weather to paint the exterior of the hull.  My old Shelley, Say When can be seen in the background.  She's now owned by a junior sailor.







A far cry from when I brought her home.

Paint dried.  Returning to the interior furniture.  A new dagger board trunk.


This photo shows some of the timber support jig that Joe used to keep the hull in alignment.


Another view of the jig, from the bow.

The curves in the cut down and lightened bulkheads define the shape of the side tanks.

A bit of carbon to reinforce the struts coming diagonally from the king post.  Note the small ply gussets used to strengthen the center beam for the fore deck.



These curves define the shape of the well deck.


Additional framing for the side/seat tanks.





Joe first made poster board patterns for the decks and side tanks before cutting ply.

The finished boat at the CMBA Nationals in early October.  More about this regatta  can be seen here  and here and here .

Thursday, November 1, 2018

The resurrection of Swiss Miss: Part Two

After Joe got the boat home he quickly decided that the cracked decks and side panels which were providing sanctuary for water logged flotation foam needed go in order to save the hull.

Port side decks were the first to go.

Joe basically gutted the hull.

When first laying up the hull in the 1960s the workers at Fletcher Marine Products painted the  words "smile" and "wipe out" inside the hull.  These little secrets have been waiting over fifty years to be discovered.  What's hiding deep within your boat?!

"Wipe Out"  No doubt a reference to the tippy nature of this narrow water line design.

Once the decks and support structure had been removed, Joe squared the floppy glass hull with timber to keep her from twisting during the installation of bulkheads.

The first two bulkheads taped into place.  The clamps seen here hold a bit of timber while resin kicks. The timber strip will define the new top shape of the transom and give aft deck stringers something to land on.

Keepin' her on the straight as well as the narrow.  As can be seen the original dagger board trunk was also removed.  Joe closed the hole where the original trunk was located and move both it and the mast position to the same locations as on a stock Mistral.

The old glass decks and side tanks ready for the dustmen.  Note the bathroom scales on the left side of the photo.  Joe kept track of how much the hull weighed as he added structure back to the boat.  More of Joe's magic to come in a day or so.
Oh, and remember the comment I made about the excessive roached, low aspect "transitional" sail on the previous post?  I just rediscovered a photo of those two sails, one of which is a "normal" low aspect sail, that I placed on top of the big roach sail.  Vive la différence!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The resurrection of Swiss Miss Part One: A rogue Moth "comes in from the cold".The

Fellow  Mothist, Chris Hart was moving to New England.  He had an old fiberglass, Fletcher-built "Swiss" Moth that he couldn't take with him.  He offered the boat to me--I seem to be the home of last resort for wayward Moth Boats.  I'm sort of the Moth Boat version of a crazy cat lady.  Of course I took her.  I couldn't see salvageable Moth going to the curb for bulk trash removal.  It took me a while to place the boat but eventually I found the right home for her in the hands of Joe Bousquet.  Joe's wife Susan glares at me whenever our paths cross...

Actually, after a bath which removed a lot of the grunge, she doesn't look too bad.

The generous amount of keel rocker is evident in this photo, as is an ominous piece of duct tape, no doubt covering a crack in the gel coat.

Another bit of duct tape on the starboard side.

The Swiss design (aka: Dunand) has a fuller bow than the Mistral.  More bits of duct tape!  One can see from my roof rack straps that this boat will not pass the CMBA's string test due to the small winglets extending from the main deck.


That lip needs to come off.  Bedsides, rats have been gnawing on the stern corner.

A closer view of a quick and dirty racer's repair.

The hull has some dents as well.

One of the two sails that came with the boat. A Ratsey and Lapthorn.

The other sail was a Seidelmann.  This sail is an interesting piece of Moth Boat history in that it was a transition sail between the low aspect and high aspect rigs.  Basically, the hoist and foot lengths are as per the circle-M rig but the sail has an enormous roach.  These sails permitted sailors with low aspect rigs to compete (not well, mind you) against the tall, high aspect Aussie rigs.  It was OK as a stop gap until one could afford new spars and a proper sail after the rule change in the late 1960s.


The blades were typical of their time.  Solid mahogany with little attention to shape.

Fletcher used this kick up rudder design with the massive stainless steel stock on several Moth designs from this boat's era.

This shows the kick up part of the program.  Useful for beach launches but one wonders if the shape provides enough area for good control as the wind pipes up.


The remaining photos in this section are ones which Chris provided before I picked the boat up from his family's summer home.

She'd been living outdoors for a while.

A bit tatty but basically sound.

More duct tape!

Chris set the boat up.

Originally, the Swiss came with a massive free-standing spruce mast.

The original boom was also wood but at some point an aluminum replacement was fitted.

A split in the glass deck.



Laser style vang.

With that amount of vee one wonders if she'll stand upright at the dock.


The bow shot is perhaps the most appealing.  Part two of this saga will take us through Joe B's deck-off transformation of this poor old dear from a rough  beach toy to a National Champion.  Stay tuned.