A rare beast, a circa 1960s 12 square metre sharpie with some of the original rig is for sale. I am not involved, but in the interests of helping preserve a little bit of Australian sailing and boat design history I would like to help find it a good home. The 12sq metre (heavyweight) Sharpie came to Australia for the 1956 Olympics. NZ first, Oz second. However the boat totally changed the approach to the design of Australian skiffs. Thought you might be interested to read my understanding of the design issues and influence. How the Sharpie name went from the USA to Europe and then to Australia – and how it changed our boats.
Melanie in the UK wrote to me. She has just bought an old Mirror dinghy and started sailing for the first time. Problem is that the boat leaks and she doesn’t want to stop using the boat until the end of the season. I have a philosophy of keeping older boats on the water and not pulling them off for months on end until you have the time to do the job. So the article here is useful to see what can be done with an old leaky plywood sailing dinghy to keep it going. It is perfect sailing weather at the moment in the UK and it is better she is out there learning but with the worst of the leaks gone. With a disciplined approach she should be able to get all of this done in a week or so. The general leaks fixed permanently and the rotted area reinforced so that the boat won’t break.
[Translate] There was the suggestion that very coarse sandpaper was the best to use on a timber surface to ensure good bonding when gluing or fiberglassing the surface. This is not recommended – the following explains why. There was the suggestion that very coarse sandpaper was the best to use on a timber surface to […]
[Translate] This is a problem most of use come up against at least once. However it is unlikely to happen a second time. Richard wrote to me asking why his epoxy was still soft 3 days later. He suggested it might be because of one of: 1. The immediate guess is that it’s been too […]
[Translate] There are two tricks to sikaflexing between strips. Use the Sika Primer – it improves the bond strength to the timber for a permanent job. You can get away without it often, but it changes the situation from a fairly strong bond to a hugely strong bond (you’ll know this if you have ever […]
[Translate] Paint vs Varnish Paint is more durable and will protect the epoxy and timber the best. Varnish hides a rough surface better. If you have done a rough job the timber grain will hide it. Make sure the varnish contains ultra-violet filters. It is a photo from the Goat Island Skiff Calendar put together […]
[Translate] If ply sheets are precoated it saves lots of time. It is easier to coat areas on the flat Gravity works with you to keep the coated surface level so there can be no runs. It is easier to get an even distribution of epoxy on the surface There is much less chance of […]
[Translate] One of the great leaps forward available to us when using epoxy is being able to eliminate fastenings (screws,nails, bolts etc) from the structure. Many builders now only use fasteners to temporarily hold things together while the glue sets up.The temporary fasteners are removed and can be re-used many times. Eliminating fastenings also speeds […]
[Translate] This was as a response to the idea that one should chuck a handful of salt into interior areas of a boat to prevent rot. Not a good idea. The problem is that salt sucks moisture. So it will remain almost perpetually moist. Then on a warm day the moisture will evaporate. At night […]
[Translate] Yep, Just spent a good three hours whipping up another 14 pages for my website. Mostly additions to my epoxy, boatbuilding and boat design FAQ Topics covered are: Efficient Restoration an older racing boat/sailing dinghy Are 1 to 1 (1:1) Epoxys any good for boatbuilding A lightbox to keep epoxy warm so it spreads […]