Later this week, Dorade will be launched! Last week, the team brought the spars back to Hinckley in Portsmouth and Razz and Nick started dressing her over the weekend.
Dorade arrived back home last year from a long and tough 2015 season and after a thorough review was conducted in December, the team decided that all the spreaders would receive a full makeover over the winter. The sails and halyards had chafed in large areas on the leading and trailing edges of the spreaders, so we took off all the varnish in those affected areas and sanded out the discoloring before putting on two layers of 6oz glass for protection (faired, sanded and sealed again with epoxy).
The top face of all the spreaders received one fresh coat of AWLgrip paint. This type of paint was introduced at the beginning of last season and has held up very well against the constant UV rays.
The spreader tips showed some wear after five seasons, and the stainless steel tubes had started to show some corrosion and some water staining, most likely from minor adhesion failure between the wood and the tubes. We had developed a plan to cap the spreader tips and replace the tubes with G10. After stepping the rig, all the spreader tips will again be protected with leather caps.
Full gallery below: