Falcon #273 fix-up

Restoring your Falcon? Come in for tips, and share your knowledge.

Falcon #273 fix-up

Postby Brett » Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:40 pm

Hi!

I hesitate to call what I'm doing with 273 a restoration, but I figured the fixes in progress fit best in this thread.

There will be more pictures shortly; the ones of 273 in the Roll Call section were taken with my iphone with bad light before I'd even taken a hose to the boat, so the next photos will be much better, and I plan on posting them soon.

In the meantime, here's what my quality time with the boat has told me:

The hardware is a mix of original and crappy additions; I've removed as much crap as possible and replaced with stainless.

The hull has many coats of dark blue paint, with white as one of the layers in there. I can't tell what the original hull colour was; there's too much paint. The paint itself is in ok shape, so I'm hesitant to do anything about it.

The mast has a slight bend to starboard (any suggestions, or should I not worry about this? I haven't had the mast up yet)

The mast step has cracked at some point and a previous owner has wisely reinforced it with an invention in 2x4s and prevented the mast from completely punching through the deck. This wood has begun to rot, and will be replaced.

A nice wooden bench, similar to the ones many of you have discussed, has been added over the swing keel box and runs the width of the boat. This bench also supports a 2x4 which in turn supports the roof of the dog house cabin, which shows cracks at the sides, probably from being sat or stood on.

The deck and cockpit have no paint on them, and a really thorough cleaning followed by mild rubbing compound and repeated waxing have revealed a really nice original deck.

There is a small crack at the very back of the boat in the fin keel; I will be treating this with some fibreglass work.

Something was screwed to the floor of the cockpit in the past just in front of the drain hole. It cracked the floor, was removed, and a large, stiff plexiglass plate was screwed to it after liquid rubber or some other stuff was slathered on it. This was all previous to the boat meeting me. The rear cockpit floor is in need of re-repair, and I am planning a replacement for the whole ugly plexiglass invention.

The bilge was accessed by a previous owner cutting a hole in the rear deck and screwing an aluminum plate down to cover it. I have shop vac'd some water and a bit of sand out of the inner hull of the boat now, and I plan on figuring-out how the water got in there. It smelled great, by the way... Everything is dry now.

The trailer is total crap, but I will be fixing it until I can save the $ to buy a replacement. It ain't pretty, but I will make it safe with new hubs, wheels, tires, etc.

So, the following is my plan for replacing all of the 2x4 mast and roof support inventions, as well as the bench and floor plate and bilge access plate. I can't replace the small chunks of the boat that were removed and my fibreglass knowledge is not sufficient to attempt to fix back to original. Even if it was, I think it would become a case of once you re-build the few damaged sections (mast step, cabin roof ends), you're faced with the realization that you should probably strip and repair and re-do the entire boat. I have seen some amazing examples of total re-builds on this forum, and part of me would love to see this boat in like-new state. But the reality is that I don't have the knowledge and skill for that kind of undertaking and 90% of the boat is in pretty nice shape. My un-educated opinion is that #273 is not in the total rebuild/refinish stage of it's life yet.

The plan:

Rumour has it that the Falcon might be the first sailboat designed for fibreglass. This strikes me as pretty innovative, so I'm going to try to replace all of the wooden support add-ons with synthetic wood in white, which I think would fit the innovative theme. It will look like plastic/fibreglass and not wood, so my hope is that it will blend-in with the boat more than treated wood will (the existing add-ons are mostly bare or painted wood). I would be making the sail locker door, the cockpit floor plate, and the rear-deck bilge access hatch out of white synthetic 1/4 in thick sheet, and the new bench, mast support and cabin roof support out of white synthetic dimensional lumber. I plan on using the same screw holes that have already been made by previous owners to minimize any further alteration to the original parts of the boat. All hardware is going to be stainless.

Basically, this plan satisfies my goals, being:

1. Keep as much of the boat as original as possible, since it is in good shape.

2. Get it in safe sailing condition and ensure that no further damage will be done while sailing it and enjoying it.

3. Make the methods taken to make it sound blend-in as nicely as possible until such time as a total rebuild is warranted and within my skill set or budget.

Well, there it is, my inexperienced/uneducated ideas on enjoying while preserving this boat. My newness to this is obvious, so if you have suggestions etc please let me know. I like to consider everything.

On a side note, my wife likes the boat, and is thrilled that it is keeping me busy and distracted from my day-job, which tends to keep me too busy and too-stressed; this sailboat is having a nice calming effect on our house, and we haven't even sailed it yet! The menus for future outing lunches are already in the works, and friends and family are glad that there is lots of space for people and coolers on this great little sailboat. Now I've just got to get it fixed-up and learn to sail it before July!

Brett
Brett
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 4:14 pm

Re: Falcon #273 fix-up

Postby Brett » Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:11 pm

It's been a while since I've posted! Lots has happened since I got the boat, and it has now been on the water twice.

Fixes since last post:

-Strip, sand, stain the rudder and tiller, and coat all wood in 8+ coats of Spar varnish
-complete cleaning of every nook and cranny of the boat
-new drain plug, some new hardware
-new sheets
-replace trailer lights, install hitch on truck
-repack trailer bearings
-clean and lubricate mast, boom, shrouds and stays
-fill some minor scrapes on deck and apply gel coat repair
-replace wooden support under mast with new wood (boat still has a weak mast step on deck; future repair)

My wife and I have joined a sailing club at Belwood Lake in Ontario, and we've been taking the boat there and learning from some other sailers. Other than a big catamaran blowing over on our car, everything has been great, and I took Jen out for a sail yesterday, which was the first time she had ever been on a sailboat. She's great crew!

Here's some pics:
IMG_3164.JPG
IMG_3166.JPG
IMG_3168.JPG
Brett
 
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Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 4:14 pm

Re: Falcon #273 fix-up

Postby Brett » Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:25 pm

Number 273 finished (repairs for this year) and getting on the water!

IMG_3184.JPG
IMG_3193.JPG
IMG_3190.JPG
Brett
 
Posts: 23
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Re: Falcon #273 fix-up

Postby Brett » Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:32 pm

One last picture, with the sails and rigging.

IMG_3201.JPG


I have kept the original transom triangle "traveler" setup and so far I like it. The Falcon has attracted a lot of interest at the sailing club, and it has the nicest lines of most of the boats there.

Speaking of other boats there, there is a semi-abandoned Paceship Peregrine there that looks to be fairly complete and in decent shape. It is the one third from the right in the lineup of boats behind mine in the last picture of the last post. It was another McVay designed boat, and was built after the Falcon, which it seems to be based-on. Different deck, but the hull and rig seem to be the same. If anyone is interested in it I'll find out more about this one.
Brett
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 4:14 pm

Re: Falcon #273 fix-up

Postby DaveD » Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:52 am

She's beautiful.

(The boat, too.) :)

I would like to post your pictures in a boat profile on the main site.

OK to do?
A bad day sailing is better than a good day at work...
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Re: Falcon #273 fix-up

Postby Brett » Sun Jun 27, 2010 9:38 pm

Hi!

Thanks for the compliments, and i'd be thrilled to see the pics on the main site.

Brett
Brett
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 4:14 pm

Re: Falcon #273 fix-up

Postby DaveD » Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:25 am

I can't get over that blue and the finish. You did a great job!

Here is your boat profile on the main page.

http://www.falconsailboats.org/boat-profiles/1273-mcvay


If you have any more info you would like me to display, let me know.

I didn't know the date of manufacture, I can only assume it's after 1971. Yours technically is the newest Falcon on the site. :)

Could you do me a favor? Can I get measurements of your tiller? Length, width, etc? I have to build or buy a new one.
A bad day sailing is better than a good day at work...
DaveD
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Re: Falcon #273 fix-up

Postby Brett » Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:20 am

Thanks Dave! It's nice to see the pictures on the site! Also, Thanks again for building and maintaining the site; it has been a huge resource for getting this boat on the water and solving the questions I've had about the sailboat.

I'll get those tiller dimensions on Friday for you. I've taken the swivel for the tiller extension off for the time being; the extension has always been missing since I've had the sailboat, and at some point I will make or buy a replacement. My sailing skills are still in the beginner stages, so for the time being I've been keeping the boat two-handed and pretty flat, so I haven't needed the extension yet.

I got some good pictures of the Paceship Peregrine that is at the sailing club, and I'm wondering if I should post them. It's a really close relative to the Falcon, a descendant, I think. If you think I should post them, which topic would you prefer I post them under?

Thanks,

Brett
Brett
 
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Re: Falcon #273 fix-up

Postby DaveD » Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:40 pm

Oh alright...

Peregrine is a type of Falcon...LOL, but it's not a Falcon.

You can post it under the History section (http://www.falconsailboats.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=11) as Peregrine photos.

If you find out who's it is, the Paceship website (http://www.paceship.org) has registration and forums for them.

The creator of their website was pretty helpful in getting information on the Falcons. They are pretty strict on getting hull numbers, year, make, etc. And many of the Falcons were made before that stuff was required (after 1972), so many of our boats don't have the identification like yours has. Example: I can only estimate my boat age from historical records. The Falcon was made with both American Boat Building and Beetle badges between 1959 and 1961, so my boat is approximately that age. I don't have a hull number, and my oldest sail has the numbers 1110. There is a similar Falcon with the sail number 818. Either his or my sail doesn't make sense.

Any who, stick them under History. :)
A bad day sailing is better than a good day at work...
DaveD
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Re: Falcon #273 fix-up

Postby Brett » Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:53 pm

Hello!

Here's some information about the rudder and tiller on Falcon #273:

I've put the dimensions of the rudder elsewhere on the board, so the following just deals with the tiller. I do not have the original tiller extension, unfortunately.

This will be a two-parter; there's 6 photos.

IMG_3203.JPG

IMG_3204.JPG

IMG_3205.JPG
Brett
 
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Re: Falcon #273 fix-up

Postby Brett » Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:02 pm

Falcon 273 tiller part 2:

The total length is just over 4 ft.

IMG_3206.JPG


IMG_3207.JPG


IMG_3209.JPG


There are a few more pics, but these 6 might suffice; let me know if there is a dimension that you want.

I've had the sailboat out a few times now, all in wind under 15 km per hour. I haven't had to hike out or anything, so the 4 ft long tiller has been long enough for me to sit up near the crew and still manage the rudder with ease without a tiller extension. I'm a novice sailor, so I may not get around to finding or making an extension until the winter in preparation for next season.
Brett
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 4:14 pm

Re: Falcon #273 fix-up

Postby DaveD » Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:54 pm

That's enough info to order one online!

Thanks Brett!
A bad day sailing is better than a good day at work...
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