Tag Archives: albacore restoration

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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Restoring the Albacore – The Start

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 …

Before Restoration

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!

Not a pretty sight!

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.

Stripped, sanded & glued

What’s next?
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.

Back soon!