Progress

A week or two of concerted work has made for some good progress. And a little local exploring as well with two neat boats, at opposite ends of the boat spectrum.  As follows:

Hull primer sanded and sheer strake taped off. 

And a coat of epoxy on the sheer strake. 

Isn’t that beautiful! 

Another shot of the epoxy and partially sanded rudder. 

Edges on the hatch plexiglass beveled and new ports cut out. 

Forehatch frame constructed and Buoy Beer drunk. The hatch will have the plexiglass applied to the top, overhanging the edges slightly, using 3M VHB tape and metal fasteners. Was going to go more traditional, but a traditional hatch with the inset light offers too many ways for water to intrude. 

The ever-important sitting spot for looking at the boat. Every shop needs a good sitting spot and comfy chairs (these ones are particularly comfy and cool though). 

And finally some tangents. First, a pretty sad looking Carol that I tracked down in a yard in North Portland. The hull looks like a mess, fiberglass with significant deformation. Very nice Merriman hardware though. The yard just got title to her and will sell in the next month, but they are unwilling to sell any of the sails, parts, etc. What a bummer. I’m almost tempted to buy her, salvage all the parts, and then cut up the hull.

And a very cool boat that came through Portland- very french, very aluminum. Tara expeditions.

That’s all for now!

 

The Carol

The Carol is a fairly unique boat, very similar to the Frances, but a bit smaller with flatter deadrise, and typically build flush decked. As far as I know, they were also all custom built and are all cold molded. Franceses, the bigger sister, were primarily built by Morris Yachts in Maine, the builders of very expensive and fancy boats, like this one:

Image result for morris yachts

Image from Morris yachts website. 

and this one:

Image result for morris yachts

While their modern boats are very nice, and all in the 6-7 figure range, they originally built a line of small cruising boats all designed by Chuck Paine. The Frances, the smallest of these commercially built designs, was also built by Victoria Yachts in England with an extended trunk cabin, although there are not many of these and they haven’t held up as well as the excellent Morris boats. This is a tangent, but I was lucky enough to grow up on this great boat:

Lissome, the Frances that I grew up on, reaching along, I think in Australia in the mid 80s with my mom on the foredeck. 

And at anchor somewhere in BC or SE Alaska, with netting on the life lines to keep little me from falling overboard. 

So, those were professionally built boats with hand laid fiberglass hulls. They were built exceptionally well, but were really built for cruising in the relatively protected waters of Maine or the Pacific NW. A few people, like my parents, went a bit nuts and they have since been cruised all over the world. They did have some issues, like flexing bulkheads and the trunk cabin coming loose from the deck. Overall though, they are incredibly tough and well designed little boats from a unique and thoughtful designer, Chuck Paine. Most of the Frances’ had small trunk cabins, however a good number were built flush decked. I don’t know that I could tell a flush decked Frances from a Carol if I just saw it at the marina. A handful of Frances’ were custom built either out of flexible fiberglass panels or cold molded in cedar, like our Carol.

Chuck Paine is still around and has a great blog where you can see his paintings, and read his musings on selling million dollar boats to wall street schmucks.

https://www.chuckpaine.com/blog/

The Carol was never commercially built, so I assume they were all cold molded, although some weird molding took place with fiberglass in the 80s. If you went out to build one of these boats today it would be prohibitively expensive, between labor, materials, and yard space. Most people wouldn’t bother with it, but apparently the 70s and 80s were a bit different. She’s a bit like glorified camping, with hunched headroom and a small cockpit. Two quarterberths and a cramped v-berth round out the accommodations.

The Carol arrangment from Chuck Paine’s website: https://www.chuckpaine.com/boats/24-double-ended-voyager-carol/

And her sailplan, with the genoa and yankee jib drawn in. We had a yankee made to these dimensions. He also drew in the sculling oar, which is on the want to-do list. Also with credit to Chuck Paine’s website: https://www.chuckpaine.com/boats/24-double-ended-voyager-carol/

To do:

I was much better at keeping to-do lists on the last few projects, but am getting there with this one.

There are the must to-dos, and the want to-dos. The musts are as follow:

  • re-finish, paint, varnish all surfaces.
  • build new fore-hatch
  • cut and install plexiglass ports and skylight
  • re-install all hardware, etc.
  • get new standing rigging (it’s done, just need to pick up)
  • re-do all running rigging
  • get outboard up and running again
  • install thru-hulls
  • install depth sounder transducer

the wants to-dos:

  • build beautiful cedar back rests, like on Jeanette (the sistership in the NW)
  • wire up snazzy LED system
  • Figure out stand up rowing or yuloh sculling system as backup or primary non-sail propulsion
  • get a new mainsail, the jib from Banks looks great.
  • figure out a way to move the chain aft to center weight in the boat.
  • plumb in water tank
  • find perfect bucket for sink since it no longer has a drain (replaced with depth sounder).
  • get depth sounder working

And the final to-do: go sailing!

A few pictures:

currently the hull has a first coat of primer as does the deck. The interior is half painted, and all of the epoxy / fiberglass work is pretty much done. 

Some inspiration from the Carol sistership Jeannette- I particularly like the back rests and plan to make myself a set. I also plan to copy the forehatch, and may need to make myself a new mainsail cover. I already made a new tiller, since the old one was warped about 6″ over it’s 4′ length. 

A little bit more inspiration, I’m ready to be here! I don’t know who owns Jeannette, but she sold just a year or two ago in southern BC. 

And the final inspiration- what I’m reading right now. What a complete nut, but a truly articulate fellow who’s musings are a joy to work through. If you haven’t been following, it is worth both checking out the Golden Globe Race, which started 3 days ago. It is a re-creation of the famous 1968 Golden Globe race, a non-stop around the world singlehanded sailing race. The current race seeks to harken back to those days of remarkable single handed sailing: http://goldengloberace.com/

And, if you don’t know about it, go check out the R2AK. Timber OR is also a small frontier town filled with bears…

Starting work…

While I had the chance to do a thorough inspection before purchasing Spirit of Aurora, issues and projects will always crop up on an almost 40 year old wooden boat. Luckily, to date, knock on wood, none have been too surprising.

The inside of the beautiful cold molded WRC hull, before painting, varnish, etc. Deck delamination and water damage is visible at the top of the picture. 

Our Carol is cold molded out of 3 layers of Western red cedar with Mahogany sheer-strake that has always been finished bright. The stems are both clear VG douglas fir, the deck is douglas fir plywood sheathed in fiberglass, and the deck beams are also Douglas fir. The keel also appears to be laminated Douglas fir, and the interior is marine ply painted white with mahogany trim.

The issues that we knew about were:

  • soft spots in the cockpit
  • original 1982 stainless rigging with corrosion and broken strands
  • delamination in areas of the deck
  • very rough spots on the hull, either the result of poorly done repairs or painting / delamination
  • water damage throughout the interior
  • all wood in need to re-finishing
  • portlights badly scratched and leaking
  • thru-hulls in need of replacing
  • wiring badly corroded
  • Outboard motor in questionable condition
  • sailplan in need of updates, in particular a yankee (100% high cut jib).
  • Bulkheads detached from the hull in places
  • Leaking water tank
  • All running rigging in need of updates

And I’m sure that there were more. She was definitely sail-able when we got her. She only had a huge genoa and a spinnaker, along with a fairly rough but serviceable main. Structurally though, she appeared entirely sound with no rot to the hull, just to areas of the deck and extensive areas of the cockpit.

So I got to work, with lots of help from family and friends.

First, sand and grind off many years of non-skid deck paint, including some aweful rubber stuff, to get back to fiberglass and epoxy. In places with delaminaton or rot, I just kept going until I got to something solid and then got it dry and saturated with epoxy before building back up with layers of epoxy filler and glass. 

The deck once fully sanded clean. 

The cockpit needed some more major surgery. This is about half way through chasing the rot. It’s now all been replaced with Meranti hydrotek plywood, glassed, and faired smooth. Once painted, you wouldn’t know it wasn’t original unless you opened a hatch. 

And sanding, sanding, sanding and more sanding. Enough that my sanding vaccum went belly up mid project and had to be temporarily replaced while it got fixed.  I think that I’ve filled about a dozen vaccum bags with sanding dust. The entire hull has been sanded smooth, epoxied wherever there is exposed wood, and then faired with epoxy fairing compound. The interior got entirely sanded to prep for new white cabin coat paint (thanks mom), the deck and cockpit are entirely sanded down to fiberglass and re-faired, and the woodwork is in the midst of being sanded. Unfortunately it’s not very inspiring work, so I don’t have many pictures. More in the next update.

 

 

Origin Story

Well, there used to be a blog. Then we had some tech issues, sold the boat, and voila, a new blog.

Below is a picture of the boat that was featured in the last blog:

Aquavit was a beautiful nordic Folkboat that we found in Astoria, OR in the fall of 2015. 2.5 years later, she had lots of bits and pieces replaced, we had honeymooned on her, and another opportunity came up and she moved on to another home.

Enter the Carol, a 24’4″ Chuck Paine designed cruising boat. I found her completely by chance on a late-night Craigslist or 48 North wooden boat searching spree, breaking up the mundane boredom of real life. I had no immediate plans for another boat, but these boats are exceptionally rare, the price was (barely) within a realm I could think about, and she’s almost a sister ship to Lissome, a Chuck Paine Frances (rumor has it that he names a lot of his plans after ex-girlfriends) that my parents sailed all over the place in the 80s, including to New Zealand and Australia. I grew up on that boat, which is a 1.5′ longer big sister to the Carol, and have always had a love for adorable, double-ended small cruising boats.

You can learn a whole lot more about the Carol on Chuck Paine’s website: https://www.chuckpaine.com/boats/24-double-ended-voyager-carol/

Our boat was built on Lasqueti Island in British Columbia and completed in 1982. There is another Carol floating around with similar details, also built in BC, that we expect may be a sister from the same builder.

The builder owned her until about 2013, when she was bought by a very nice couple on Lopez Island in the San Juans. She was kept in Fisherman Bay and daysailed some during the summer, and dry stored during the winter. She was named Spirit of Aurora, and looked like this when I first went up to see her:

My parents were nice enough to go up with an envelope of cash, did an out of water inspection, sealed the deal, and then spent a week sailing around the San Juans. This was followed by some excitement with a corroded thru-hull, best recounted over a beer.

As the first snows fell in 2018, my dad and I loaded up a large trailer with a welded cradle and headed up to rescue the boat from the yard. In the meantime, our forest business had a renter move out, opening up a barn where I could work on her, quite the upgrade from Aquavit’s jurry-rigged hoop house.

Spririt of Aurora being lifted in the snowy yard on Lopez. The lead in her keel, 47% of her total displacement, was making me very nervous with how far back the travel lift straps were. 

Loaded up and almost ready to go, very, very cold. 

And backing into the barn after the ferry ride and 4 hour drive from Anacortez south to Timber. What a relief to make it safe and sound. The only casualty of the drive was a fore-hatch that came off somewhere along the way (yikes).

Next up, the to-do list.