DSII Restoration Project -- The Millennial Falcon

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DSII Restoration Project -- The Millennial Falcon

Postby ElCapitan » Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:48 pm

I've been toiling away trying to get my new (to me) 1981 DSII sail-ready, and I figured it's time to share my progress and ask some questions! I will try to keep my progress together on this thread in case anyone wants to see how things turn out.

Got this boat 2 weeks ago in Long Island for $450. I knew right away that it was in rough shape, but not much worse than others I'd been looking at in the area, and 1/3 the price! Boat and trailer have no title, so I'll have to figure that out once the DMV reopens. Every boat around here seems to have no title or paperwork. Not sure what they are expecting people to do regarding registration when the DMV is completely shut down, but I guess I'll cross that bridge eventually. I had the PO fill out all of the relevant DMV paperwork so hopefully with a chipper attitude and a few hundred dollars they will let me register.

Known issues when I bought it:
-Deep crack in the gel coat at the front of the centerboard cavity.
-Deck/hull separation at bow with a poorly done repair
-Minor deck/hull separation by the transom
-Nasty old bottom paint that needs to be completely removed
-Trailer bearings are totally shot
-Autobailer is gone
-Sails are old, mainsail is a bit too small but serviceable

Issues I've discovered since getting it home:
-One jib track is loose, and one car has no thumbscrew
-Tabernacle needs to be reaffixed
-One of the sidestays is frayed
-Big gel coat blister by the transom
-The autobailer appears to have actually SNAPPED off
-Tiller handle is at the wrong height and rubbing on the transom

My goal with this boat is to have it look good with an emphasis on servicability. I have zero interest in two part products, I want off-the-shelf cans so that I can spot repair whenever necessary. I will be keeping it on the trailer, but there is a possibility that I may occasionally take it to a lake once in a while and leave it in the water a few days. Boat will primarily be used in Long Island Sound and the lower Hudson River. I have no intention of racing.

So far I have:
-Replaced the bearings and hubs
-Repaired gel coat crack by CB
-Repaired gel coat bubble
-Repaired tiller height, currently refinishing tiller and rudder
-Repaired the deck/hull separations
-Completely sanded off the bottom paint and started sanding/filling the topsides
-Replaced side stay

Right now my biggest question is what do to with the bottom. Keep in mind that I am going CHEAP. I have no interest even in Interlux level products. I am using Rustoleum topsides in battleship grey for the topsides. I bought Rustoleum bottom paint for below the waterline, but now that I've actually sanded down to gel coat, I'm having some second thoughts. Hoping I can get some reassurance! Rain for the next two days it looks like, so I've got some time for input.

Here are my considerations: I know the boat does not NEED antifouling paint, since it won't stay in the water. However, I want something that is super tough that looks acceptable even when beat up. To me, the only logical choice then is bottom paint. I could use either topsides or perhaps even flat black regular rustoleum (with added hardener), but I have a feeling that it will look terrible after a few weeks. I feel like I will end up having to totally refinish the bottom each year to keep it looking acceptable if I go this route, especially because I plan on running up on gravelly Long Island beaches quite regularly, whereas with bottom paint I can just do touch ups with a brush/roller yearly without having to careen. One final thought against bottom paint is the lack of eco-friendliness. I know that this boat will hardly make in impact, but it still makes me feel terrible polluting the waters that I love. So the decision is between doing primer/flat rustoleum or just doing rustoleum bottom paint. Please share your thoughts!

Another question is regarding the autobailer. It looks like is a bronze piece snapped off inside the hull. If I buy a new autobailer, will I need to drill the bronze casting out, or is that supposed to stay there? The interior diameter of the bronze casting is 7/8", the exterior diameter is 1 1/4". Secondly, D&R is out of autobailers and they don't know when more will be in. Visually, the sunfish autobailer looks identical and is $20 cheaper. Has anyone tried using one of these?

orig.jpg
Orignal, barely touched
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orig bow.jpg
Original bow "repair"
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orig stern.jpg
Ugly stern
orig stern.jpg (140.38 KiB) Viewed 461 times
ElCapitan
 
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Re: DSII Restoration Project -- The Millennial Falcon

Postby ElCapitan » Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:51 pm

Bottom progress
orig bottom.jpg
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sanded bottom.jpg
sanded bottom.jpg (182.7 KiB) Viewed 459 times
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Re: DSII Restoration Project -- The Millennial Falcon

Postby ElCapitan » Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:53 pm

stern repair.jpg
Stern Progress...sloppy epoxy!
stern repair.jpg (128.91 KiB) Viewed 459 times
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Re: DSII Restoration Project -- The Millennial Falcon

Postby ElCapitan » Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:57 pm

Bow repair is super solid, so I'm happy about how it came out. Need one more finish washer! It's thoroughly sealed with 3M 5200 and through bolted deck/hull on the edge with SS bolts and lock nuts. Inside, the bronze backing plate for the forestay chainplate is through bolted through the bow. I quickly fabricated a SS backing plate for the exterior from some scrap I had. Not perfect, but strong. All of those horrible holes were part of a PO's "repair." They are all filled now.
bow repair top.jpg
Bow repair deckside
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bow repair.jpg
bow repair.jpg (122.81 KiB) Viewed 459 times
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Re: DSII Restoration Project -- The Millennial Falcon

Postby GreenLake » Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:35 pm

I'm really puzzled by those drill holes that PO put into that boat. What were they trying to achieve??

Looks like you got at the root of the issue, which is anchoring the stemhead fitting. The deck is not supposed to carry any loads, of course, so the screws you put in are mainly there to make it line up with the hull again (I take it that it was gaping from the stemhead fitting having pulled loose?).

Can't help you with finding the cheapest way - my attempts at optimizing are trying to delay future maintenance as much as possible. Some cheap stuff may be amazingly durable and some more expensive stuff may fail prematurely - my conclusion by now is that it's impossible to tell beforehand how long something will last, unless you've already done it once.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: DSII Restoration Project -- The Millennial Falcon

Postby ElCapitan » Fri Jun 05, 2020 5:14 pm

So what the PO did was totally unnecessary and poorly conceived, but I get what they were going for. (Also, in the event that the person I bought this from ever pops into the forum, let me clarify that it was the PREVIOUS previous owner who did this work. The most recent owner was going to restore this but didn't get around to it as he already owns two DS1s. So when I say PO, I'm always referring to the one before last!).

Basically they had tried to create a new stemhead entirely. Why? I don't know, since the original was still there. They took a long SS tang (like 12"), slotted it through the deck, and then through bolted it a bunch of times into the bow. I would say that structurally it was probably sound, but was a hideous and totally unnecessary way of doing it. They also *attempted* to seal the deck gap with ungodly amounts of Bondo inside the bow that thankfully scraped off completely in 5 minutes because of how sloppily it was applied.

As far as my bolts through the deck, the main concern was that I was having trouble getting clamps to really squeeze the deck and hull together effectively, so this made the 5200 seal perfectly. Secondly, I always like to have mechanical fasteners to support adhesives whenever possible, just to improve lifespan due to the inevitable flexing that will degrade the adhesive over time. I take no issue with the appearance of the bolt heads (well, once I get the last finish washer!), and figure that is essentially a "permanent" repair now. A little overkill, but one less thing I need to think about!
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Re: DSII Restoration Project -- The Millennial Falcon

Postby GreenLake » Fri Jun 05, 2020 7:00 pm

The bolts are definite overkill, the way I see it, or, I should have said, there are other means of ensuring that the deck stays down, but that's an academic point. It's your boat and you're happy with it, that's what counts.

Looks like you have a long laundry list of projects, so it should keep you busy :)
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: DSII Restoration Project -- The Millennial Falcon

Postby ElCapitan » Tue Jul 07, 2020 8:04 pm

Wow, it's been a very busy month, but the Millennial Falcon is on the water and sitting pretty. Photo album link below if you'd like to take a look!

https://imgur.com/a/nEDXzDo

I'm really thrilled at how the Rust-Oleum topsides and bottom paint came out. The topside buffed nicely and has a really tough finish. At $15 a can I don't see how anything else is even considered on these boats.

The bad news in all of this was that after taking it on our first sail, the trailer axel cracked. There was rust hidden under paint and we got stranded far from home. The silver lining is it forced me to look into local yacht clubs and I found an unbelievable deal on a dockage near my house. I worked it out with the dockmaster so that I was able to build a drydock setup. As of this afternoon the boat is sitting just out of the water in one of the most protected harbors in New York. It's at the perfect height where I can fully drain the deck and bilge, but one good push gets it in the water.

Got a new set of intensity sails last week as well. Super happy with the quality for the price. The previous sails were beyond awful. Now just looking to upgrade my motor to something that doesn't spray black exhaust all over my shiny white transom.

The decal with the name came in and I hope to christen it later this week.

Took a lot of work, and still want to do a lot more in terms of custom rigging for my sailing style, but this boat is a dream. Absolutely loving how easy it is to handle and how I can swim aboard the low transom without a ladder. Can't wait for more good wind!!
Last edited by ElCapitan on Tue Jul 07, 2020 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DSII Restoration Project -- The Millennial Falcon

Postby ElCapitan » Tue Jul 07, 2020 8:13 pm

One important point since my photo album captions got messed up. I rolled (no tip) the entire boat with whizz flock rollers. The orange peel was noticeable but really minimal compared to most rolled jobs I've seen.

That said, after 3 weeks I wetsanded (800 - 2000) and then buffed (compound then polish) the whole hull using a cheap DA polisher which saved me many, many hours of work. It's hard to fully appreciate in the pics since it's a phone camera and a grey hull, but it really has a beautiful shine and no orange peel. Feel free to ask if you have any questions about the process!
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Re: DSII Restoration Project -- The Millennial Falcon

Postby GreenLake » Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:34 pm

The way to avoid orange peel when rolling is normally using roll & tip. That process works really well, but you need a really high quality tipping brush (more than one, so you can trade off as soon as one gets loaded).

You would roll as before, but have a second person immediately follow with the tipping brush held at nearly 90 degrees, barely touching the paint. The purpose is to knock down the little stipples that form when rolling, but not to move around any paint. A very high quality synthetic brush is what I used, it was sold as a tipping brush, in fact. If your brush is clean and the touch light enough it will not add brush marks. Every so often you swap brushes (cleaning and drying the tip - nice if you have a helper).

Once the paint has leveled, it's too late, so the tipping has to basically follow the motion of the roller (or do each small (!) section right away).

I didn't know about it until I tried it for the first time and got it to work right away. If something goes wrong (like you start dragging paint), just roll over the spot again and do it over.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: DSII Restoration Project -- The Millennial Falcon

Postby GreenLake » Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:36 pm

ElCapitan wrote:Wow, it's been a very busy month, but the Millennial Falcon is on the water and sitting pretty. Photo album link below if you'd like to take a look!

https://imgur.com/a/nEDXzDo



Looking good!
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: DSII Restoration Project -- The Millennial Falcon

Postby ElCapitan » Tue Jul 07, 2020 11:33 pm

Thanks GL!

I've done plenty of roll n' tip jobs, but I knew that with this paint I wanted to roll only. For whatever reason, everything I read about this paint said that it really doesn't like to be thinned. It takes forever to fully cure when thinner is used (mineral spirits), like double the amount of time, and full cure is already 2-3 weeks.

Since it was already really hot out and I was painting in the sun, tipping without thinner was impossible. Since I knew I was going to be buffing no matter what, I realized that for the $10 of wet sanding discs there was no reason to spend time and effort even trying to make tipping happen. The wet sanding itself took under 2 hours start to finish, and with the DA buffer it was minimal effort.
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Re: DSII Restoration Project -- The Millennial Falcon

Postby GreenLake » Wed Jul 08, 2020 7:19 am

Glad it worked out for you. Some paints just take forever to cure. And usually longer than the cheery descriptions on the can.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: DSII Restoration Project -- The Millennial Falcon

Postby ElCapitan » Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:22 am

For sure. Even at 3 weeks I could have probably gotten a better gloss with another 2 weeks waiting, but at some point sailing becomes much more important than paint! :)
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