Every year around this time all the shipyards in New England open their overhead doors to enjoy the first reasonably warm days of spring. Dorade is making good progress and is on her way to an early launch day (the target date this year is April 15). A lot of coordination is now required to ensure that all the different projects above and below deck are getting finished on time.
As some readers may recall, we converted most of DORADE’s deck furniture to Awlwood last year, but after the 2015 season we saw a few downsides to this material and are correcting it this spring. The brightwork is more elaborate than we initially thought, and working on a classic 85-year-old yacht means we are dealing with multiple generations and the type of mahogany that was used on the boat through various refits and restorations. It is quite a challenge to match the tone of the brightwork and then find appropriate ways to conserve it. However, we are making good progress. With the temperatures staying above freezing over night, we are allowed a faster pace. Yes, there is still a lot of tape and prep work going on, but we are only a few coats away from finish.
Back at the shop, there are a lot of parts going through repairs, replacements, modifications and maintenance.
The 2016 season will include a lot of classic yacht regattas, so Dorade will spend the majority of her season in true classic mode. Earlier this week the floorboards were finished. They look great but may be slippery when wet!
Right after Dorade came back to Newport, one of our first activities was to take off all the hardware from the head, as a lot of pieces had started to lose their shine and the tarnishing had started to wear through the fading chrome. Every piece was carefully disassembled and went through a multistep process of stripping, cleaning, blasting, prepping, coating and finally heavy chromatin. All of the parts made it back to the shop this week, and when we unpacked it there was lots of shine. Yes, it will be a great puzzle putting it all together again, but it will look fantastic.
— Jens Lange, March 23, 2016