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Old 18-08-2023, 08:44   #31
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Re: Wooden Sailboat Leak Repair

I would like to believe that 5 digit repair number may be way off base for a boat this size. I would say start by stripping all of the old paint, then assess the condition of the wood and hull. If the wood is in good condition with no replacement required then proceed. If you're doing the work yourself you can keep the cost very reasonable. Have fun with the project, do a good job, get assistance when in doubt, and you'll have something to be proud of.
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Old 18-08-2023, 08:56   #32
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Re: Wooden Sailboat Leak Repair

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Originally Posted by SteveSails View Post
STOP!! Things to do before you even think of picking up a tool. DO NOT fill it with water while on the trailer! Makes it much too heavy to be properly supported on the short trailer bunks, something will break. Don't even think of epoxy, or caulking or any filler yet.

Contact the Lightning Class Association, they have a page devoted to wood classics: lightningclass.org look under clasic boats, restored boats.
They can help with parts, supplies and plans for your lightning. You don't say where in the world you are but if in the eastern USA there might be a restored one near you, seek their advice.

If you can work on the boat in that shed in the picture you're lucky, looks like lot's of room. Get the boat off the trailer and on too some proper supports or a cradle. Support it high enough to lower the center board and take some weight off the hull. The center board on the lightnings was a mild steel plate and most likely rusted to where it needs to be replaced, the lightning class can help with that.

What you can do now is get rid of that powerboat running light.

Hope this helps and good luck.

PS I once owned a wooden 'sail and bail' lightning, lots of fun.
Thank goodness there is at least one piece of sensible advice in the replies to your question. I have been involved in the restoration of many ‘similar’ built sailing dinghies mostly built in the 1930s (12m Sharpie). No one can give you sensible advice on this one without a proper survey and a long discussion on what you hope to achieve from full restoration to patching up to sail for another couple of seasons.

For comparison 20 years ago a fully restored and race winning condition Sharpie would sell for £5 - 6,500. A wreck to a sailable but knackered example would cost £1 - 1,500. The cost of full restoration to the highest standards would have been £10-15,000 irrespective of the condition of the boat at the start of the project. Economic madness but we did ours in 1990 and it’s still going strong. It’s current value on the open market is now @ £1,000 (less demand). I’ve sailed and raced it for over 30 years - it’s value to me Priceless as are all the trophies we won in her - sadly not enough but still priceless.
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Old 18-08-2023, 09:16   #33
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Re: Wooden Sailboat Leak Repair

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Originally Posted by Pete the Cat View Post
I agree. Epoxy is a last resort and probably will render the boat worthless. Consult the owners group. And do not solicit advice from open forums on wooden boat preservation.
Epoxy is a brilliant material for preserving old wooden boats. BUT, only if you are doing a full epoxy restoration. That means you need to strip all of the paint and fully encapsulate all the timber in epoxy resin (not epoxy paint). If you do that the timber is stabilised and doesn’t expand and contract as it soaks and dries out. If you filled the gaps in the seams and evident spilts in the planks with epoxy without encapsulating the frames and planks with epoxy the next time it goes in the water, it will crush the planks etc as the wood expands. Conversely, when the boat dries out all the timber will shrink and open up (usually causing extensive damage) as the wood shrinks.
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Old 18-08-2023, 09:18   #34
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Re: Wooden Sailboat Leak Repair

Before you do any big repair projects, plug the leaks ans use the boat for a season or two.


Too many wooden boats end up abandoned half way through the renovation, because there has been no sailing for a year or two, and family gets tired of all work and no play.


It's a good old boat. Not about to fall apart. A little soft wood won't sink her.


Go sailing! The memory of those good times will be a strong incentive to finish the major refit project, if you choose to take it on later.


You can get a lot of years of pleasure with just basic spring preparation, and a dry place out of the water for the winter.
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Old 18-08-2023, 11:06   #35
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Re: Wooden Sailboat Leak Repair

Itís a lot of work. Contact the lightning association. Epoxy will make it super heavy. Itís a huge project that will take years. But done properly you will have a classic. There is no short term fix.
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Old 18-08-2023, 12:18   #36
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Re: Wooden Sailboat Leak Repair

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Itís a lot of work. Contact the lightning association. Epoxy will make it super heavy. Itís a huge project that will take years. But done properly you will have a classic. There is no short term fix.
Using epoxy coating resin instead of paint has made our boats lighter not heavier. We have completely sealed all timber and then filled the gaps with joinery and or epoxy filler. With the wood moisture stabilised they have lasted for years - 1st ones were done in the 80s and with minimal maintenance still as good as first restoration- but your right, itís a ton of work!
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Old 18-08-2023, 14:25   #37
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Re: Wooden Sailboat Leak Repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSails View Post
STOP!! Things to do before you even think of picking up a tool. DO NOT fill it with water while on the trailer! Makes it much too heavy to be properly supported on the short trailer bunks, something will break. Don't even think of epoxy, or caulking or any filler yet.

Contact the Lightning Class Association, they have a page devoted to wood classics: lightningclass.org look under clasic boats, restored boats.
They can help with parts, supplies and plans for your lightning. You don't say where in the world you are but if in the eastern USA there might be a restored one near you, seek their advice.

If you can work on the boat in that shed in the picture you're lucky, looks like lot's of room. Get the boat off the trailer and on too some proper supports or a cradle. Support it high enough to lower the center board and take some weight off the hull. The center board on the lightnings was a mild steel plate and most likely rusted to where it needs to be replaced, the lightning class can help with that.

What you can do now is get rid of that powerboat running light.

Hope this helps and good luck.

PS I once owned a wooden 'sail and bail' lightning, lots of fun.
So far this is the most sensible comment here.

Back in 1979 I got a Thistle Class Sailboat almost free (I paid for the trailer, and BTW no boat is ever free! ) It was built in the 1940's at the beginning of the cold molded wood era and was in pretty good shape. But it had the same problem your lightning has. It leaked around the centerboard trunk.

First. Determine what is is you want to do. Do you want to just repair it so it can be sailed for nice day sailing, or do you want to race it. That will determine the extent of the job. If you just want it for day sailing then the job will be a lot simpler and far less expensive. If you can do all the work yourself, even less expensive.

Talk to people at the lightning association who may have done the same thing. There will be people there who don't race and just enjoy their boat. They can give you good advice. You might also want to post on the Wooden Boat Forum https://forum.woodenboat.com/ It is part of the Professional Boatbuilder, and Woodenboat Magazine publications and there are professionals on there that would be happy to share their experience with you. I did a quick search on Lightning sailboats (don't just search on lightning, you'll get a lot of stuff about the electrical lightning) and there are a few threads.

This will give you a place to start.

As for mine, I stripped it down to bare wood. (some idiot had glassed it, a recipe for rot) I took the center board trunk out. (remove the centerboard first.) I did whatever wood repair I could using mostly mahogany and red cedar. and put it back together using epoxy resin as a glue, and epoxy putty to fill gaps and seams. I used System Three, but most any marine epoxy brand will do. Some swear by WEST System, others just buy the cheapest brand. However once you pick a brand stick with it. Not all epoxies are compatible with each other. Found that out the hard way on another wood boat project.

I did all of the work my self with basic power tools, although I did buy an industrial grade rotary sander/grinder to do the stripping. You may not need that. On later projects I used regular consumer tools and they worked just fine.

After it was all back together I painted the whole boat with at least three coats of a good Marine Polyurethane paint. That stuff is not cheap but well worth it because it lasts for years with only occasional touch ups required. When put in the water it still leaked a bit (I believe all boats leak a bit) but nothing worth worrying about.

The whole project cost way less than a grand. Of course this was over 40 years ago.

So it can be done. A good book on this is Restore Your Wooden Boat. It's available on amazon (No I don't have any financial interest in amazon).. You may be able to find it at your local library or at a used book store.
Keep us posted on how it's going.
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Old 18-08-2023, 14:46   #38
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Re: Wooden Sailboat Leak Repair

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Originally Posted by GBR134 View Post
Using epoxy coating resin instead of paint has made our boats lighter not heavier. We have completely sealed all timber and then filled the gaps with joinery and or epoxy filler. With the wood moisture stabilised they have lasted for years - 1st ones were done in the 80s and with minimal maintenance still as good as first restoration- but your right, itís a ton of work!
I think some people were suggesting expoxy/fibre glass coating which is what I meant. Expoxy paint is a good idea but they will have to strip it back to bare wood. I suspect the Ďprojectí demands might defeat them but maybe they will get into it!
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Old 18-08-2023, 14:51   #39
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Re: Wooden Sailboat Leak Repair

Nothing heard from the OP lately. Hope we didn't scare him off.
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Old 18-08-2023, 15:30   #40
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Re: Wooden Sailboat Leak Repair

SteveSails said: "Nothing heard from the OP lately..."

EXACTEMENT!

The point of my post was precisely to make the OP sit up and take notice. It certainly made a number of you do that :-)!

The OP was CLEARLY not a sailor, and CLEARLY had NO IDEA what he would get involved in or even where to start on such a project.

Far better that he should have had a rude awakening now, but saved his funds, so that if he really DOES want to become a sailor after he has licked his wounds, he can spend the money on a boat that really CAN give a novice pleasure.

There are people that have taken a Wayfarer from Wales up through the Hebrides, around the top of Scotland, down the east coast of the Sceptered Isle to the Norfolk Broads. That doesn't mean that the Wayfarer is a good cruising boat. What it DOES mean is that there are people who amuse themselves in bizarre and somewhat dangerous ways.

Let's put this thread to bed knowing that we have saved the OP from biting off more than IMO he would be likely to be able to chew!

Bonne chance, tout le monde :-)!
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Old 18-08-2023, 19:25   #41
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Re: Wooden Sailboat Leak Repair

I was once 'clearly not a sailor' and bit off more than I could chew. Did that stop me? No never! It made me what I am today... OK I get your point. Still one has to start somewhere and if being sensible is your guide then you'll never own a boat.
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