rubbing strakes and spinnikar chute lip replacement

28/01/2010 10:23:20

I have just purchased a Satisfaction which needs quite a bit of work - the following needs doing:

replace the rubbing strakes
replace the lip at the top of the spinnaker chute where it exits at deck level

can anyone advise on the the best wood to use for this (I'm doing it myself and have ok woodworking skills)...... and method



28/01/2010 12:43:07
Richard Battey
If it the smokers that was recently advertised on ebay then for the rubbing strakes you would be best placed to try and source some spruce/sycammore as it would appear that is what has been used previously. Alternatively you could remove the rubbings altogether and replace with mahogany, although a darker wood.

Similarily with the spinnaker shute lip this will either be spruce/sycammore or Mahogany.

You could try Robbins Timber in Bristol as they have a very good selection of woods.

28/01/2010 13:00:54
To prevent the spinnaker chute lip getting chafed by the halyards, fit a bit of smooth stainless steel tube inside and across the chute just below the rear edge for the kite to run around. Anything between a half and one inch diameter would do. It stops the halyards even touching the lip.

28/01/2010 13:17:43
thanks for the replies - yup it's the one on ebay - not too bad nick -just those items to do + p&v

I've used Robbins before when I had N12's - will try them again


28/01/2010 15:10:38
I saw that one, looked like a nice boat. Glad it is going to be put to use. I would suggest Sycamore as I think that is what is on it now and it looks prettier that Mahogany. However the latter is likely to be easier to source and harder wearing. It is also less likely to stain.

Good luck and well done, good boat.

28/01/2010 16:18:22
thanks Jez + others

I joined Minima last year with my 12, but it's no fun sailing out of class - so sold the 12, and waited for a suitable MR to come up - I don't mind the work (keeps me out of mischief!!) and looking forward to the season starting soon + loads of sanding etc !!!!!


28/01/2010 17:09:04
Jeremy Kahn
Hi.. if you are in the London area looking for good proper wood... there is a wonderful timber yard half way down King Street in Hammersmith..... hard to find it is down a very narrow alleyway ... they are called Moss and Co and are happy to let you browse around.... it is worth it just to see.. has been there for 120 years.... they are not boat specialist but have a wonderful selection of hardwoods ....

28/01/2010 17:24:08
I went there once and they are amazing!

28/01/2010 17:43:19
Jeremy Kahn
one of the first times I was there I was sorting out wood and they came up and asked me to leave as they were closing for lunch...... I thought how great a place that stillvalues it's lunchtime!!!!

28/01/2010 18:08:39
Ben 2529
Hi Marek
Bring some digital pics down to the bar and we'll have a look on the club computer - Wed. or Sunday, you know the drill !


29/01/2010 11:38:48
Ben 3634
Hey marek, glad that you've seen the light! Welcome to the class.See you in September...

29/01/2010 19:30:36
You could use brown plastic sewer pipe to stop the haliards from being chafed.Would look better than Steel.
It can be molded in hot water.

01/02/2010 08:45:12
It would probably melt as the halyard/downhaul was pulled across it at speed.

01/02/2010 09:09:15
Ancient Geek
Sewer pipe is exactly what Spud Rowsell used for the first practical spinnaker chute in 1970 on David Robinsons original Ghost Rider I do not recall it gave any problems at all.

01/02/2010 09:23:55
Whats the name and number of your satisfaction ?

01/02/2010 14:53:30
MR 3084 - no idea of the name -- now to go and collect her - any takers with a towbar to bring her from Harrow to Kingston? - will pay fuel and a drink???!!!!!

....also has anyone got a launch trolley (dead that can be resurrected?) for sale



01/02/2010 15:22:28
Garry R
Rowsell Brothers built in 1977 and called Glowing Ember

01/02/2010 16:36:06

cheers for that

01/02/2010 18:10:00
Ben 2529
Re collection
Marek, give me a call - 020 8224 2275; best between 8.00pm - 10.00pm. Do I need my trolley and trailer as well as tow bar ???


03/02/2010 13:58:35
Brookes Bros at Maldon have sycamore planks in stock if you want to replace complete long sections. They are on 01621 877400. If you only want to patch up the chute mouth and the bit missing off the e-bay photo, drop me a line & I may find you some suitable off-cuts. Your dilemna then would be some garishly bright new areas adjoining something pretty ancient & grotty......

04/02/2010 09:47:23

thanks for that - I really only need a piece about 40cm long - am planning to strip the varnish completely then use a wood bleach on the rubbing strakes to even out the colour after splicing in the missing bit. please let me know if you do have a piece and how much for it and posting etc

On another note the 2 bottom planks on both sides where they meet the bow upright seem to have come away by about 3mm - any ideas on how to fix them back? - am planning to let them dry out and then fix back using resin and screws prior to fairing and painting


04/02/2010 10:18:53
Garry R
I think you have to ask yourself "Why have these planks popped out?"  Is the stem rotten and the screws have lost their grip? If that's the case the tension involved in screwing the planks tight again may not allow you to do that although I would expect that after so many years there is a "set" in the planking so this may not be a huge issue.   Remember that if the boat has been left "bow down" this is the very area where the water will have gathered and the wood in the stem may be soft.  Question 2 Has the glue simply failed - again possibly because it is constantly wet but not rotted.  Whatever you do there is little point in just driving epoxy in and screwing up the planks, as if there is a load of crappy glue in there, without it being cleaned out you are forming a joint on top of the old glue and it may not make a strong joint.  I am not sure how you get over this but you should bear in mind why it happened in the first place. If they have sprung by 3mm then there should be enough of a gap to get an old hacksaw or mini hacksaw blade in and scratch away at the old glue.  Scrape and hoover, scrape and hoover to get the rubbish out.  If there are signs of other sprung planks that would suggest glue failure.  Were Satisfactions built with epoxy - in fact when was epoxy first used by Merlin builders?  Interesting question which may help restorers in the future.  No matter what, you are right to want to get the whole thing dried out. This has been a bit of a ramble as I have thought of things and written them down!!!

04/02/2010 10:49:29
Dave Norris
Don't know if this helps but I do know that alot of builders, in other classes, were well into the use of West Epoxy in 1980, and had even gone to the stage of modifying their building methods to make the best of the system, i.e.using semi plugs almost like a mold to hold the panels as the epoxy set. This would suggest that epoxy had been used for a number of years before this.

04/02/2010 12:43:09

thanks for the responses - the guy I bought it from had it in a garage for a couple of years - so it was dry......... at the moment it is under it's cover stored with the bow up....... I took some photos when I went to pay the princely sum of £266 for it (good mast, 2 sets of sails - 1 set virtually unused Batts, good rudder, good c/board, good cover, mast and boom) - the rest looks ok except for:

sprung planks at front, the actual bow upright looks dodgy (faded & green with vegetation - water?), rubbing strake on 1 side, the hog where the mast sits looks a bit dodgy (split) and the transom knee (brace) looks a bit dodgy - do I cut my losses and look for a hull only 1 at Tamesis going cheap I think on ebay...

help........... (will post photos later this evening)

04/02/2010 13:42:43
It does not sound too bad. The knee is a fairly easy fix as is the gunwhale. The stem you may find will come back with a little sanding once you remove what is left of the varnish. It is a pretty hard wood used there and so will not rot easily.

We have a smokers satisfaction at home which is braced accross the mast step as it too was split, but it is perfectly ok now. My Dad put a shapped piece of ply straight accross and attached it to the planking either side. It has through deck pullies in it for the control lines so it looks like it has a genuine reason to be there! As for the planking, it is difficult to say without seeing it, but when I bought 1781 the garboard plank and the next had come apart from the front of the centreboard case to the transom so I could get my whole arm through. This was sorted with a bit of epoxy and some screws to hold it all in place. It is a very nice boat now. (that was an e-bay purchase as well).

I hope you will be able to save her as she will be a very nice boat once you have finished her.

04/02/2010 13:49:29

cheers for that - you've given me renewed hope!!!!


04/02/2010 15:24:09

05/02/2010 09:22:58
Let me know exact sizes you need and I'll sort out something before the Dinghy Show. I've also got a suitable chunk you can enjoy shaping for the chute mouth.
The transom knee failure is commonplace, even among healthy Merlins, especially those that have hit a rock at Salcombe! (Often accomanpied by cracks/splits between the t/flap ports where the pintle bolts cause a weakness. Ive had to let in a section on the Smokers in my shed at the moment as its been bodged so many times before).
The bow issue is more serious but if the stem capping is horrid, as you say, why not remove it and we'll find you a nice bit of hardwood to replace it with. Then you can have a clear view of the plank end joints to clean out as Gerry describes above, and correct anything else that lurks beneath before the shiny new capping piece goes back on.
We could have a race here to get two more Smokers Sats back on the water this season, although my own E-Bay bargain has briefly stalled due to cold overnight temperatures.......

05/02/2010 10:37:21
Just a thought (based on my now defunct Smokers).

The hardwood used in a number of dinghies is mahogony (and other boats). Mahogony is a hardwood, but will rot in fresh water (salt water is fine). It's a little different from what I expected - but confirmed by some friends with a steam lauch (mahogony on oak) - the oak was fine but the mahogony rotted (Thames).


05/02/2010 12:02:03
Wood bore
All woods have what is called a stake life, based on a 1" x 1" squre stake driven into soil and left in rough terms Teak is longest Oak or Elm  is next longest followed in order by loads of others tables are published on the web, proper real mahogany (Honduras/Cuban etc.)is reasonably durable but many of the ersatz African Mahoganies Khaya,etc are far from durable and not very strong either so if it's a dinghy built in the last 30 years or so unliely to be real mahogany.
05/02/2010 19:35:08
thanks all for your valuable replies

looks like I'll opt to remove the strakes entirely, the stem cap and renew - probably using oak (light) which may give me a few good years of service..........................

Goffo - thanks for the offer, but I've got an Arlesford Timber in Surbiton who have oak at a good price - probably not as pretty - but hey, it's a case of completing and getting on the water in time for the season!!!!(having taken advice from this post)

The stem cap - any ideas on how it's fixed - from the inside or outside (screwed & plugged)? - or how do I get it off/for a pattern?

Finally, Ben M - have had a deuce of a week this past week - any chance of trying to get your goodself to do the moving deed on Sunday am? - rugby at Twickenham tomorrow and it's slap bang on the route



05/02/2010 22:46:53
Ben 2529
Hi Marek
Give me a call at home on Sat. afternoon - preferably before 4.30pm !!!

PS. I have never seen a merlin with oak rubbing strake (or anything else made of oak) - we ought to have a chat about that one! And the spinny cap is probably much easier than than you think.

05/02/2010 22:56:58
Ben 2529
Sorry! Just re reading some of this ... Stem cap! It is screwed form the outside and glued. Try to remove screws, wedge it off from the bottom and sides. Very helpfull if spinny cap is also removed as one is glued to t'other. But neither in oak !!! 

06/02/2010 09:26:44

Try to avoid using oak. It looks great on your hallway floor but not on the side of your boat!

If you want it to be pretty use Sycammore if you want it durable use Mahogany. Both will give you a great result and are not too hard to use. Mahogany would match your new stem too.


06/02/2010 16:29:53
Oak was good enough for The Victory.

06/02/2010 17:44:51
majority views prevail - no oak will grace the good ship glowing ember - sycamore rules!!

06/02/2010 21:59:27
Jez 3645
How much does the victory weigh in at then? On the other hand, if you are planning on mopunting Cannon then Oak might be the way to go!!

07/02/2010 06:35:35
Chris M
Personally on a boat of that age i would use mahogany. Sycamore tends to be very white and unless you're replacing the deck ply too would look a little out of place. It also aleviates the problem of future blackening.

Just my opinion.


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