It may not be sailing season for Dorade yet, but the team is still hard at work getting the 52-foot yawl in tip-top condition for what is sure to be a competitive year. Jens Lange, who specializes in the restoration and maintenance of classic wooden yachts, weighs in on the updates Dorade is currently undergoing:
The main mast has four full coats of good new varnish on it; spot repairs and build-up was done before the varnish was applied. We are in the midst of preparing it again for maybe the final coat. The mizzenmast went in for its final coat of varnish this weekend.
The winches are still off so that the bases could be fastened. The radar dome fitting had to be recoiled and its attachment to the mast had to be significantly beefed up so that there was no risk of the radar dome coming loose.
The main boom underwent its final coat of varnish this weekend. The aft-end fitting is off, and I am getting a new pin for the boom’s left sheave, as the current one was undersized to start with and has worn out from the high dynamic loads. The sheave will be replaced with a Harken 691 sheave, and the new pin will be perfectly fitted to the new sheave to prevent wobble in the future. The dead-end for the outhaul was replaced with a bronze machine screw, and the space between the wing and the boom got a small bushing so that the dead-end does not wear on the threads. The mizzenmast’s boom had no real issues, just some worn spots. It also underwent its final varnish last weekend.
The historic compass box is also getting a make over, as we’ve replicated the missing hinged lid, and the parts are currently in the process of getting varnished, and will be finished with a satin varnish. The compass itself is still at Viking Instruments and I expect it back by the end of the month.
The little flag cubby from Matt’s desk now has a second row of cubbies, which will also be varnished within the next few months, by whatever crewmember has the smallest hands.
The B&G instruments in the cockpit were in need of new panels, as the old ones were not fitting well and/or cracked, broken and warped. The new panels have been completed, fitted, drilled, stained and varnished.
We are 80 percent done with detailing the bilge, and the lazarette has a fresh coat of paint on it. Most of the fo’c’sle has been cleaned and detailed. We will eventually have to touch up the paint in there a bit, as there are minor adhesion issues with the paint to the teak deck underside (we’ve got it under control though).
We also took the pull-out settees to the shop for the winter. I just put some plywood into the boat so that tools and other items won’t end up in the bilge. The settees need some cosmetic TLC, but more important is that we are revising how the lee cloths are being attached to them (this was a constant nuisance past season). We will fix these attachments on all six lee cloths on the boat, and then get them in for cleaning and minor repairs.
On deck, we have started to strip some of the varnish that needed to be redone. The cockpit area, the king-plank and the coamings are already stained and have sealer on them. Any deck furniture we strip will need about seven coats of epifanes varnish and follow up with some awlwood, which will take a while.
There are some more parts floating through my shop right now: the tiller, navigation light boxes, show-mode sole, butterfly hatches, fo’c’sle hatch. Once we get the spars finished up, we will have more time to focus on these items.
All foulies and fender covers were cleaned and are back in the container.