Thursday, September 15, 2011

Summer 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Finally, in the water.

After nearly 20 years out of the water, Vinnia was re-launched in August of 2010, just in time for her 75th birthday. (sorry for the delay in updates.) The good news is that all the major repairs seemed to hold up well, with no leaks! I kept her in the water until mid-october, and viewed the short season as a two month shakedown cruise. With the help of my crew, I was able to assess the setup of the boat and make a good plan for some off season adjustments. These tweaks should make her perform better and a whole lot easier to sail.

We also managed to race her once in a DYC club race, and won! It was very satisfying after all the time I had to invest to get her back in the water.

Vinnia was re-christened "Enterprise" in an elaborate ceremony at the Detroit Yacht Club that was attended by family and friends. Looking forward to a great 2011.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Getting Close

Work on the Six Meter is progressing nicely. I've got the underwater profile restored to the classic configuration. The new rudder is almost complete. New deck structure almost complete. Mast step repairs complete. Stem repairs complete. Steel floors reinstalled. Broken frames repaired. Here are some photos.

A lot going on in this photo. Notice the underwater profile restored to the Rule 2 Classic configuration. Rudder is temporarily hung. Aft deck is removed. New deck supports at midship - this structure separates the fore and aft cockpits and is where the mainsheet winch and the running back winches will be located.

Helpers!  Steve Grimes and Joel Kar showed up to lend a hand.  Notice Joel in the background wearing every type of protective equipment known to man, while Steve chooses to "tough it out."

New Rudder being built.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Making great progress on the boat in the last couple months. I'm shooting for a late may/early June launch.

The mast was picked up by the guys at Offshore Spars today. They evaluated the mast and rigging and pointed out some areas for concern that are now being repaired / replaced. The aluminum mast that came with the boat had never actually been on the boat. Bud (previous owner) broke the wooden mast for the last time, ordered this new aluminum mast, but never got a chance to put it on the boat. Coincidentally, he actually purchased this new mast from Offshore about 20 years ago, the same guys that are doing the work on it.

Al and Karl from Doyle sails are scheduled to come out and measure me for some new sails this week.

I did run into some problems in the stem, that were the result of corrosion from a metal fastener. A portion of the stem was rotted out in about the last 3 feet of the stem where it joins the keelson. The tricky part was that only about a 3/4" wide portion of the 2" x 4" stem was bad, right in the middle. Tearing out the whole stem, or even the last 3 foot section with the problem, would have caused considerable damage to the boat, since all the planking and frames connected to the stem in that area were very sound. I decided to remove the 3/4" x 3ft section that was bad, and put a new piece of oak in that section. Then I "sistered" the almost the entire stem with a new piece of 2" x 4" x 10 ft oak. While I realize that this will add a little weight, it should be a sound repair for a couple years, until I get time to do a proper repair.

The new keelson is in place and looks great.

I've got my crew lined up for a little fiberglass party in a couple weeks.

The deck is repair is about half done.

I've got four frames repaired, with about six more to go. I repaired these frames by removing the bad section, and laminating oak strips in place, and overtop of a scarf joint on the existing good portion of the frame. It's an easy job, but I need another pair of hands to finish it up. Doing the first four repairs solo, was way more difficult than it should have been.

More Repairs

Two Halves of Keelson.
Top and bottom of each section bolted together and bonded with 3M 5200

Keelson Assembled - Top view
Notice stainless studs sticking out to accept metal supports in boat.

Half of Keelson installed. 3M 5200 to keep the water out.

New mast step supports over repaired stem

Top view
mast step supports and stem repair

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Building a new keelson presented some real challenges that took a great deal of thought to overcome. The first challenge is that all seven keelbolts are on different angles from one another. This made is impossible to take a piece of wood, drill the holes, and slip it over the keel bolts. What we decided to do was to build the new keelson with a seam in the middle. Another reason for this decision was the difficulty in finding a piece of white oak that was 14 inches wide by 14 ft long.

The keelson was built out of four pieces of white oak measuring 1.75" x 7" x 14ft. We stacked two boards and fastened them together to create a board that was 3.5" x 7" x 14ft. Then we set the boards next to the keel bolts and traced then. Next, I took a router with a 1.25" half round bit and routed out half the hole for each keel bolt, and repeated the process on the other board.

Once we got two boards in place, they were fastened together with 1/2" stainless steel rod. When we put them in place for the final time, we will epoxy everything together also.

Now the outline of the inside of the boat and the keel need to be traced onto the boards, and the boards trimmed to size

more to come.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Keelson Out!

Removed the keelson last weekend, and it came out quite easy. It was really in bad shape. Notice the angled keelbolts. Adds a little wrinkle to replacing the keelson.

She's coming back to life!

I've had many requests by interested folks to see photos of my new six-meter project, so I thought I would put them online for all to see.  Thanks for checking it out!

Restoration is probably not the right word to use in describing what I am doing to the boat.  While she does need a couple of major repairs, generally speaking the boat is in very good condition for a 75 year old vessel.

The good news is that as I've started digging into the repairs, I haven't found any horrible surprises - nothing that I didn't expect.  I feel that I am up to the task of completing the required work and getting her in the water by the middle of May.  (I can hear you laughing - knock it off)

I'm going to restore the underwater profile to the original configuration, with the rudder being attached to the aft edge of the keel, which will return her to "classic" status.

I do need to thank some people who have lent a great deal of help and support.  First is my Dad, who is a top-notch assistant because he has a great deal of knowledge and skill (much more than me) in just about every area needed to complete this project.

I especially want to thank some of the guys from the Port Huron Fleet (Jim, Mark, and Phil.) They got me hooked on the six meter by taking me out for some racing on Ondine, then spent over 12 hours moving the boat from Richmond, MI  to Troy, MI on a Saturday afternnoon.  Their commitment to the six meter fleet is very apparent.  Also, special thanks to Vinnia's previous owner Bud Kirk.  

Also, Joel Kar (thanks for the traveler), Sean Murphy, and Rob Hasting.  Most importantly my family, Heather and Jack, who have been very supportive and tolerant of my boat habits.

Keep checking back for updates.


Bow 01/03/10


Stern view - 01/03/10

Forward Keelson

Forward Keelson
Forward Keel 01/04/10

Keel 2

Keel 2
The keelson, circled in red, connects the wooden hull to the lead keel, and this one is bad.  The repair is pretty straight-forward.  Basically, disconnect all the supports inside the boat (see "Parts!" photo below,) take the nuts off the keel bolts, do a little cutting to free the wood from the bedding compound, and we're ready.  Then support the lead keel from tipping, and lift he wooden hull from the keel.  Put the new one in place and and put it all back together!  Notice some black framing behind the boat with bottle jacks underneath, and a wooded 6x6 frame over the boat to assist in lifting.

I should be ready make this repair by mid-January/2010.


Floors and other supports


Bilge - this is the top of the keelson that needs to be replaced.

New Hardware!

New Hardware!
Santa brought me some new hardware!