sailboat rebuild

one of my favorite photos of Steven & Dad working together
You may have heard me mention a "sailboat rebuild" project before, as I've written about it here earlier. My father and husband have their own art going on! They are almost done, too. Steven is working on making the sails now out of Tyvek, yes, tyvek!! (photos soon) Since they acquired a real workshop space in early May, my Dad and Steven have spent a good part of every day there working on this boat with holes in it that Steven picked up for free. Of course it can no longer be considered a 'free' boat with all the time & money spent. I've seen the receipts! hee hee. I do believe Steven thinks it has been totally worth it in many ways and I can only imagine what fun he will have sailing it. He and my dad have changed the design completely. They used bamboo from my parent's yard for the 2 masts! This was Steven's idea, which my dad thought was a little crazy : )  You can see the boat's progression on my flickr account. If you like a slideshow version, here it is. The set of photos start out with a few I had previously uploaded and then go into a lovely sampling of photos that Steven labeled for me. It looks quite different now, beautiful blue & white and has been named Starfish. Steven used to paint trucks professionally (logos, etc) & used this equipment for the job of painting Starfish. Here's what he wrote for me about this project:

"The sailboat I got for free is called a Windmill. It is a class racing dingy, meaning it’s construction, sails, and rigging must meet class requirements to race in official “Windmill” class racing. I have no particular interest in Windmill racing and plan to use the boat as an easily trailerable, easy single-handing, skinny-water (shallow) beach-cruiser that can get under all the bridges around here, so some changes needed to be made.


As you can see from the picture above the boat as designed is not appropriate for shallow water and this whole area around Cortez, Bradenton, and Tampa Bay is just that – quite shallow. The daggerboard is 5-1/2 feet long and with the daggerboard down the boat draws 4’ 8” of water! Neither the daggerboard nor the rudder kick-up so if you hit bottom you’ve got a problem and probably damage as well. The mast is over 21’ high and the bridges around here are about 22’ – too close for comfort if a wave raises you up as you pass under. Also, with the high mast and large sail area the boat is very tender (heels over while sailing) and can totally flip over very easily unless two people are hiking out to balance it.

Dale and I totally rebuilt the old boat and significantly changed its character. The bottom of the boat and many other parts were dry-rotted and or just worn out and needed to be replaced. We removed the bottom and replaced it with new marine plywood and a layer of epoxy and glass cloth. We removed the old daggerboard trunk and built a new centerboard trunk instead to house a swing centerboard that will enable the boat to access shallow water areas. A new kick-up rudder was designed and built too. We set up all new mast steps and partners for a un-stayed Cat-Ketch rig with Leg O’ Mutton sprit sails, like the old Sharpies used. In the Cat-Ketch rig the two masts are much shorter than the Windmill rig. This means that it will fit under the local bridges easily and also will be easier for a single person to sail (without flipping over, hopefully). A small front deck was added as well as a rear deck with a water-tight compartment for dry storage."

Steven Deming, Cortez, FL - July 2010

new rig configuration
Go check out the photos - it  is really something! I am very proud of them and what they have done. There will be another post when everything is completed and we get some photos of Steven sailing it!