Day Sailer #180: Restoration Story

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Day Sailer #180: Restoration Story

Postby boone » Fri Oct 22, 2004 11:39 pm

Charlie Freeman (charles.a.freeman-at-verizon.net) sent me this story a couple years ago and a lot of photos. I've uploaded the photos I thought were most helpful for the story. Thanks Charlie and sorry I took so long! - Mike

The story: My father bought DS 180 in 1965. It gave all his boys a chance to learn to sail. We have many happy memories of this old boat sailing in places like San Francisco Bay, Lake Tahoe, and all the way up to Priest Lake, Idaho.

She has always been an ugly pink color. After I was given the boat a few years ago and brought her out to New Hampshire, we decided she needed a good restoration, but I knew nothing about how to do it. I put out feelers and got advice on the web, and learned a lot about the subject from the Interlux rep at the Alameda Boat show last spring.

I waited until this Spring to paint the boat. I'm glad I did; we had a disaster befall us this winter. A heavy Spring snow storm left 48" of wet new snow in our yard. Upon shoveling the boat I discovered the cuddy couldn't handle the load. It was cracked along the aft edge centrally through the deck up to the mast hole, and the starboard side couldn't handle the shear forces, shearing the cuddy deck from the cuddy side for nearly three feet on both sides. I was heartbroken. We debated whether she had seen her last sail.

Instead I got to learn a lot about fiberglas repair. There is now a metal reinforcment bar glassed in along the cuddy edge, and a lot of new roving and mat along the insides of the fracture lines. I ground out all the damaged material and rebuilt it in place. I found gelcoat blisters along the fractures that probably contributed to the failure.

For paint, we chose to use Interlux's Interthane Plus two-part urethane, basically the same stuff as Awlgrip but somewhat cheaper. It took three quarts; one for each color on the bottom, one for the topsides and bootstripe, plus two quarts of Interthane two-part primer. We used about six quarts of thinner for prep work and thinning the paint by formula.

To invert her, I tied a rope around her waist at the CG point, picked it up with a sheave on an engine hoist, pulled out the trailer, and "capsized" her by rolling the rope through the sheave. Two of us handled this quite easily.

Luckily I have a friend who restores cars for a hobby, so we used his professional quality spray equipment and sprayed the finish. Each coat took about four hours of prep but only four minutes to spray, and there are no drips, sags, or brush marks. That's after about two weeks of initial fiberglas work and prep. I used fiberglas paste rather than the West Epoxy stuff for the gelcoat repairs, because it was what I was used to after repairing the cuddy and it seemed to make sense. There are two coats of primer and two coats of color for each color. It's all Interthane Plus, no ablative bottom paints. According to the experts at Interthane you can leave the stuff in the water for up to three weeks without damage, and we trailer our boat. The most she goes in the water is a week at a shot as we often sail the Maine coast in her. We built our own laminar flow paint booth in his garage with some floor to ceiling plastic, furnace filters on one end, and exhaust fans on the other. Full protective gear was worn, however as I mentioned she sprayed so fast it was probably overkill; regular chemical respirators would have been OK. We wet down the inside of the booth before each spray to keep dust down, and a bug zapper (off during spraying!) was in place. She cured for two weeks inverted on the trailer before we dared turn her back over.

When we got to the deck we mixed in Interlux' non-skid material which sprayed incredibly well and put down the nicest non-skid deck surface I have ever seen; completely uniform and high-friction. (I took a fall from her deck last year by slipping in bare feet). Her centerboard leaked, rusted, and broke off last year. She has a new centerboard built by the folks in MA, but it needed to be faired, finished, and painted too, as it was pretty rough when it came. We did her rudder, which is original, while we were at it. While the boat was off the trailer we stripped and repainted the trailer, too, and replaced all the wiring.

The brightwork is all varnished mahogany. That includes coamings, seats, tiller, and rudder stock. Unfortunately her mahogany cockpit sole was painted with anti-skid paint a few years back, so her wood doesn't show through. Someday I'll get some teak-and-holly and replace it.

Sails are used racing sails by Ullman, except for the spinnaker which is original.

[thumb=29] [thumb=30] [thumb=31] [thumb=35] [thumb=33] [thumb=36] [thumb=37]
boone
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Postby Lee Peterson » Sun Oct 31, 2004 8:58 am

Mike,

Thanks for posting this. It makes me consider trying to do some cosmetic improvements to 3388.

For Charlie Freeman:
Fantastic restoration job on DS 180! She looks great. How well has the paint held up since you did the work?

Lee
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Postby Peter McMinn » Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:51 pm

Mike: I remember these pics--very impressive job! I'm also curious about how that finish is holding up.

I need to refurbish my own hull and want to flip the boat in my garage. I've got a couple of hefty blocks (also built for lifting engines) mounted on the ceiling beams and would like to rig up something similar to your arrangement. I do need more info about how you flipped the boat "by rolling the rope through the sheave." Can you explain what the sheave looks like, and how I might fabricate same?
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oops

Postby Peter McMinn » Tue Nov 02, 2004 5:08 pm

Sorry. just realized I should be asking Charlie Freeman this!
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Postby boone » Tue Nov 02, 2004 5:54 pm

I'd like to take credit, but my refinishing job is ahead of me, not behind. :) You should probably email him with your questions since I haven't seen him on the boards in a while...the address is at the top of the article.
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DS180 Restoration

Postby DS180 » Sun Nov 07, 2004 10:37 am

Sorry for not replying last Spring; we changed our email address when DSL came into our neighborhood so if someone sent me questions directly I never saw them. :cry:

The paint has held up beautifully except for the few places I have bumped into the stone quay at the put-in on Lake Sunapee. Luckily I had selected black as the top-side color, as the scratches were easily repaired with automobile touch-up paint and being black are hard to see.

In hindsight I wish I had used West Epoxy when rebuilding the cuddy. The polyester resin is rather more brittle, and on the corner of the cuddy has a stress crack where water has again seeped in to attack the original iron rebar used to reinforce the cuddy lip. This leaves an unsightly rust stain that I periodically wipe off with oxalic acid. I chose polyester because I was familiar with it from doing bodywork on an old car as a kid, but since this restoration I've used a lot of West epoxy and it is wonderful stuff.

To answer the question about the rope, it was nothing fancy; I just tied a "belt" around the hull at the CG point with a piece of old 11mm climbing rope, with a double-fisherman's knot on the far side from where I was pivoting. It wasn't tied to the boat in any way, just around it, fairly loose, so the boat would hang from it like it does when you do a crane boat launch. The loop ran through a good-sized block which was hung on the hook of the engine hoist and allowed the two of us to spin the hull along her roll axis quite readily.

I'll email you an image of what it looked like.

Good luck on your restoration project. Like anything else in life mine was more work than I anticipated but well worth it. :D

HTH,

Charlie
Charlie Freeman
s/v Kamaloha (Tayana 37) and DS180
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Here is how to flip the boat easily with two people

Postby DS180 » Mon Nov 08, 2004 8:33 am

Without stressing or scratching anything. Engine hoists are easily borrowed or rented.
[thumb=49]
Charlie Freeman
s/v Kamaloha (Tayana 37) and DS180
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