Restoring the Albacore – Part 2

No more on the centreboard yet, but recently I –

– removed all the hardware attached to the thwarts and centreboard trunk
– removed the old, rotten hiking straps
– installed inspection ports on the side flotation tank seats
– purchased an ash board to fashion a thwart support

It was a bit unnerving to cut holes in the tanks for the inspection ports and I also learned a lesson – never cut fibreglass while wearing shorts and a t-shirt, especially in hot & humid weather!

Once the holes were cut, it was a simple job to install the ports and I was happy to find that the tanks were full of block Styrofoam that seems to be in good shape – no bags of foam peanuts or pool noodles needed for extra flotation.

Inspection Port - Side Flotation Tank

The thwarts are in bad shape and, consequently, the centreboard trunk is quite unstable. A bad repair job by a previous owner was a failure. After looking into various options, I’ve decided to go with what seems like an easy approach that still offers strength and support – simply bevel the edges on a nice hard ash board of ash, apply some stain & clear marine varnish and screw this onto the existing thwarts and seats. We’ll see … (I’d like to think it will happen this week but the slate is already overflowing with other stuff.)

Hardware removed - thwart support will go here

There’s also a previous fibreglass job on the floor – pretty roughly done – that’s a bit of a mystery. Whether reinforcement or done due to seat tank leaks, I don’t know, but I plan to grind off the rough spots as they’re a bit hard on the toes.

Various knick and dents will get filled and a three-stage paint job will happen, in time – the hull, the deck and the interior.

The rudder needs sanding and refinishing too.

My biggest challenge, however, will be to replace and/or bump up some of the rigging bits which, at this point, is a complete mystery to me! But I’ve been in contact with some Albacore sailors at the Nepean Sailing Club who were amazingly friendly and helpful and, when I reach that stage, I will likely send a distress call their way to help me figure it out.

I hope to report on more progress soon but, as usual, other projects are intruding and the next one – pool install and deck! – are top priority. Fingers crossed that I’ll find some spare time in the next week or two.

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