I mentioned in a recent post that I’d finally started to fix up the old Albacore sailboat that I acquired last summer so here’s a rundown on progress made so far, which has been agonizingly slow – not due to any degree of difficulty (so far), it’s just been hard to find time and, without either a workshop or a garage (though plans are afoot on the latter!), rainy days get in the way too. The latest impediment is a yard full of roofers and the resulting mess.
Anyway, here’s a photo of the starting point, after a full-on attack with a scrub brush and hose …
My first task was to clean off all the caulking that was gunked over the centreboard bolt, remove the bolt and pull the board. I’d not had high expectations for what I’d find and it wasn’t pretty!
The paint was peeling badly and there were a few punky spots but the worst was a long split running from the top down more than half the length of the board and a smaller one running up from the bottom of the blade. Both were along the original board joints.
If this was a newer boat and I was a more experienced sailor I probably wouldn’t hesitate to buy a new board but the cost is considerable and I’m not sure it’s worth it for this boat – yet, at least – so I stripped the paint off, gave it a good sanding and we then put epoxy in the cracks and clamped it up. A few hours later I had a solid, sturdy board.
I plan to put fibreglass tape along the leading edge of the centreboard, then fibreglass the entire board. It would be beautiful finished clear, as it’s mahogany, but likely beyond my skill level to do well (at least, without a LOT of difficulty) when clad in fibreglass, so a coat of marine paint will be the final finish.
And that’s just the CB – in the next restoration post, I’ll tell you all about installing inspection ports and outline some of the other work that lies ahead.