Oystercatcher 2717

28/02/2010 17:16:10
John A
I have just become the new keeper of this boat which I hope to race in classic events, she is now going to be based in Suffolk. Although she is ready to sail I would like to do some work on her first, initially stripping the decks, is nitromors the best to remove one pot varnish? what best removes black stain marks in the wood? the decks are a light yellow colour ply is there a way of putting some depth in them before recoating, I was thinking of 4 coats of 2 pot and a final 2 coats of ephialines (never could spell) because a friend who builds the classic Spirit Yachts swears by the stuff. Also as I don't have a year book (will rejoin the association when boat is ready) when was the boat built any history (understand she came 7th in 1975 Nats).

28/02/2010 17:57:06
Richard Battey
Hi John,

Welcome to the class. I own 908 so hopefully see you on the vintage circuit at some point.

As for stripping decks, on 908 I used a gas blow torch and scarsten scraper with tunsten blades, varnish comes off very quickly, you just need to be careful that you don't scortch the wood, alternatively you can use a hot air gun, same result. I wouldn't use Nitromors as it messy and a real pain to use and you have to make sure the surface is REAL clean afterwards. If you visit the CVRDA (Classic & Vintage Dinghy Association) website there are plenty of tips avilable and lots of people ready to give excellent advice, as does this site. As for the black stains you need to use som Oxalic Acid (think that is what it's called) type the word in the search engine at the top of the front page of the forum as there has been discussion on this before. If you decide to stain the wood use ONLY a water based stain as any spirit based stain will react with the 2 pack epoxy and you will have to write off that plan all together.

The 2 pot sounds a good idea as the resin will seep into any cracks and provide extra strength but with all epoxy it will need several top coats of varnish and Epifanes is very, very good indeed and easy to use.

2717 was built in 1973, is a Ghost Rider design and built by Aln Boatyard.

Hope this helps.Good luck


28/02/2010 20:04:27
John A
richard thanks for comments, i think the boat was home finished, does that mean Aln built the hull and the owner decked it? might explain why the deck ply is not a nice strippy sapelle, or was that the norm in the 70's

28/02/2010 20:29:47
Read up about G4 on the cvrda forum - it may be of use here.

28/02/2010 21:06:35
Richard Battey

I don't actually know if i'm honest. That said Bob Hoare use to deck some of his boats in a very light non stripy ply, a good example of this is 'Tales of the Unexpected' almost a light honey colour and not the most attractive colour/ply by far. I'm not too familiar with the Aln boats but that could be the case Aln hull owner fit out/finish. If it does look fairly naff then would stain the ply but as previously mentioned water based stain only. I have to say that on 908 I ended up painting both decks and hull and inetrior 2 pack only because whilst i love varnish it is a real pain to maintain were as with a good paint finish it is tough, robust and low maintenance plus the decks were original and in need of some work which meant alot of epoxy filler/bonding which would have looked pretty rough if clear varnished. 908 is still in need of final top coats to deks and hull but will be a tough old bird when complete, so painting is an option? I have used a 2 pk pint from a company called Serene Paints in Sussex, their Weathersafe 65 range. Food for thought but not everyones cup of tea especially with old boats!! PS - dont mention painting old/vintage boats on the CVRDA website, very sensitive-lol:-))

http://www.merlinrocket.co.uk/gallery/default.asp?folder=gallery/building_and_repairs/richard_battey http://www.serenepaints.co.uk/
28/02/2010 21:08:57
Richard Battey
duff link. Was trying to be clever and add two links!!


28/02/2010 22:20:32
Having known the boat nearly all my sailing life, would be suprised if Bob had decked her himself but no doubt JC can ask him when he next sees him at the club. Would imagine Bob fitted her out and had her top coated. However, a spate of home built boats were built at WYC around that time. Bob had a bad experience with a Spud boat that was very overweight but cannot remember if this was just before or after 2717. So Whitstable's longest serving Merlin has departed for new waters and adventures. Crewed for Bob in her many times over the years and was the first Merlin I ever helmed. Hope she is taken care of and you enjoy her.
Bye for now

01/03/2010 08:21:46
John A
I know Bob was fairly emontional when I took the boat away yesterday, I think he had hopped some juniors at the club would have taken her on, I don't think price would have been an issue. She seems very sound but I do want to refurb tne decks and hull, the colour of the decks is a honey colour doin't think there is much i can do however a really deep varnish may help.

01/03/2010 08:41:08
Chris M
The Aln boats i've seen seem to be pretty light wooded. Age will have something to do with this, and it may come back with a bit of fairly savage sanding BUT while you do have a fair amount of veneer to play with if this has been done before you may go through.

01/03/2010 08:58:25

I know Jacko refurbishes, has refurbished Merlins to concourse condition. I'd give him a call and pick his brain. The decks were a mid brown but have I believed bleached in the sun to a light biscuit colour. If the colour is an issue, i'd take back to wood and then lightly stain with a very diluted mix and do several hits. However, consult Jacko first.

01/03/2010 09:18:50
Garry R
As regards colour there is every hue under the sun seen on the decks in Merlin fleets so unless it is a deep personal hate of the light colour why risk it.  Staining old wood may be tricky if there is varnish well soaked in which won't take the stain so you end up with something patchy.  The colour is all part of the history in my opinion.  See the CVRDA site as regards staining - it's in the hints and Tips section in varnishing guide I believe

01/03/2010 14:05:40
John A
garry, i have to agree i think new varnish particulary the last two coats a trad varnish may give the decks more depth, i think perhaps repainting the hull a darker colour may help, keep forgetting of course the idea is to sail it!!

02/04/2010 11:02:57
John A old merlin, current ent
when i paint the hull I'd like to paint the bottom planks white like th newer boats, any ideas on how many planks are usually painted to give the contrast + is it whole planks you paint or midsections would i need to cross planks if you get my badly explained drift

02/04/2010 18:35:55
When I bought my new winder I was offered either 3 or 4 plans split on colours 4 is more normal 3 is closer to the waterline = I opted for 4.

Now you are going to ask where i am counting from and the answer is I cant remember but will check tomorrow if no one has answer.

02/04/2010 19:53:39
I think on newer boats the planks run more parallel to the waterline than they did on earlier designs - less rocker now?  Following the first three plank lands (counting from the centreline)on an older boat might lead to the waterline being visible at the front only, or front and back. Probably more authentic to do it the 'old' way.

I saw photos somewhere of a boat on it's trolley and the boat/trolley was levelled with the ground the trolley was sitting on, so it was sitting correctly as it would in the water. The trick was then to get a stick of your preferred length and go around the boat marking the hull where the stick touched, keeping the end of the stick on the ground and making sure it was vertical I imagine. So with the boat turned upside down you could join the dots, fair the curve and thats the waterline. Simples.

I'm sure there are other ways of doing it as well, CVDRA would surely know.

03/04/2010 22:56:01
Had a chat to Bob today at WYC about the decks and as per another post earlier in the thread, the decks have always been light due to the veneer used. Have fun.

04/04/2010 19:51:13
hopefully my ghostie 2427 will be painted nxt week with a waterline,ill see if chris martin can post some pics on how we do it with lining tape,(can fix and paint boats,not putas)!!!

04/04/2010 21:06:31
John A


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