I found a Sterling Falcon nearby!

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

I found a Sterling Falcon nearby!

Postby William » Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:59 am

She is in rough shape. Seems to have been partially stripped for restoration then left exposed to the weather for about a decade at least. I could get it for a hundred bucks but I'm not sure if I want to take on another Falcon project. This one has a lot of gel-coat cracks are they difficult to fix?
William
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Re: I found a Sterling Falcon nearby!

Postby William » Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:44 pm

Here is a photo
Attachments
Sterling Falcon.JPG
She's pretty rough
William
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Re: I found a Sterling Falcon nearby!

Postby William » Sun Feb 05, 2017 11:52 am

I have decided to take the Falcon and try to restore it for my nephew. The mast and hardware seem to be there as are the ruder and centerboard. Owner is looking for the sails. Combings are totally missing as are the storage covers/seats. I am not worried about the storage covers but has anyone had to replace their combings? The combings on my Falcon are the original which I assume are mahogany. That sounds expensive has anyone used another more easily obtained wood for combing replacement? anyone out there... Dave?
William
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Re: I found a Sterling Falcon nearby!

Postby DaveD » Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:04 am

Hey William!

She's a BEAUT!!

My falcon had a lot of cracks, pits, and bubbles that I had to grind out and sand...

That being said, I filled the spots that I ground out with West System and their 404 filler (like thick peanut butter), then I "painted the gelcoat with a couple of coats of West System "straight", rolled on. That really stiffened things up.

The coaming boards originally ARE mahogany as you suspected, as are the seats.

My coaming boards were still in tact, and some sanding and varnish were all that were needed. I assume that you could use some kind of 3/8 - 1/2 inch stock, dense wood or some other composite material to substitute for mahogany, if you couldn't find it at a reasonable price. I don't know if you have a boat "boneyard" near you, but you could check there for scrap mahogany (or if you are lucky, you could even get some teak). FYI, "lauan" plywood (underlayment), is usually faced (veneered) with "philippine mahogany". Sanded and varnished, it's hard to tell the difference (other than the cross section).

Keep in mind if the wood you are going to be used under extreme marine conditions, there is no substitute for the real thing...

For my benches were dry rotted out around the hinges, and seams, so I used "cabinet grade" 3/4 inch ply-wood. Is it marine grade? NO. BUT the glue holding the layers together is waterproof, AND it's HALF the price of marine plywood. I cut them to fit, then I "painted" it with 2 coats of West System to seal it, lightly sanded it and painted it with regular topside paint. Be aware that if you are going to step onto the seats, support them from below, and add some "grippy" stuff to the paint to avoid slipping.

Sorry for the delay...

Let me know if I can help, you can also PM me if needed.

--Dave
A bad day sailing is better than a good day at work...
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Re: I found a Sterling Falcon nearby!

Postby William » Sun Feb 26, 2017 4:30 pm

I brought home the Sterling Falcon Saturday and have been taking inventory of what's there and what's not. Centerboard, rudder, mast, boom, standing rigging, all present but the previous owner is still looking for the sails and no wood combings. It also is missing the rub rail. Not sure how I am going to replace that. The Sterling Falcon has some different features than my early Beetle. The wood floor deck has been superseded by a fiberglass panel and there is a slight modification to the seats. In my original Falcon there is a seat on each side of the stern with storage hatches over. The Sterling has this as well but also has a piece that crosses the stern and connects the seats. Since the tops are missing I can't figure out what its supposed to look like when the seats are complete. I will post pictures soon.
William
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Re: I found a Sterling Falcon nearby!

Postby DaveD » Sun Feb 26, 2017 4:33 pm

Did you get the lawn chair with it?
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Re: I found a Sterling Falcon nearby!

Postby William » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:39 pm

Did not take the chair though I could have had a Chrysler Mutineer for another 100 bucks. here are some pictures of the peculiar stern section and it shows the SBC logo which is what makes me think it is a Sterling.
Attachments
DSC00001.JPG
William
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Re: I found a Sterling Falcon nearby!

Postby William » Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:27 pm

Weather in New England keeps me unable to work on the hull of new boat which for now I'm calling the White Falcon. However I am doing whatever inside work I can which means mostly building the covers for the seats which I am going to convert to flotation tanks rather than storage compartments and making replacement coamings using my Falcon as a pattern. I think I solved the missing rubrail by running a 3/4 inch PVC pipe through my table saw to open a channel on one side. I then used a propane torch to soften it into place. The bow piece seems to be proof of concept so I'm relieved I won't need a $300 rubrail kit for a daysailor. I have been keeping Ebay busy buying blocks and sails as it is.
Attachments
Wfalcon lower hull.jpg
I've got her leaned up and strapped to a tree. The lower hull will need serious attention when the weather warms
Wfalconbow.jpg
Here is the experimental PVC rubrail not perfect yet
coamings and seats.jpg
Coamings of Malinta and seats oak plywood with trim
William
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Re: I found a Sterling Falcon nearby!

Postby William » Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:37 pm

In spite of having the flu during April Vacation, work on the White Falcon is progressing. I have already worked on repairing the extensive crazing below the water line and applied bottom paint. I hope to have the topside painted by next weekend if the weather holds.
Attachments
DSC00039.JPG
there must be a special place in heaven for those who can fair the bottom of a sailboat. I could only get it better not "good"
William
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Re: I found a Sterling Falcon nearby!

Postby William » Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:41 pm

Here is more progress
Attachments
DSC00047.JPG
I am pleased with the rub rail made from 3/4 PVC pipe
DSC00045.JPG
Bottom done and back on the trailer for work on the topside
DSC00043.JPG
taped and ready for bottom paint
William
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Re: I found a Sterling Falcon nearby!

Postby William » Tue May 23, 2017 8:09 pm

The White Falcon is almost ready for the water just a few finishing touches now. Jib Sheets, a few additions to the trailer, a topping lift, and reassemble the rudder and tiller which had to be refinished.
Attachments
WF main rigged.jpg
Mainsail was a challenge had to buy a close size and remove a 15 inch section, apply sail tape and my helpful wife ran it through her sewing machine
WF starboard.jpg
Combings and seats came out ok if I do say so myself.
WF port.jpg
Topside painted and ready for hardware
William
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Re: I found a Sterling Falcon nearby!

Postby William » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:07 am

Put the final touches on in June hope to get pics in the water next. Here I used a layer of salvaged pallet wood to improve the fiberglass decking
Attachments
DSC00061.JPG
DSC00059.JPG
William
Sailing Theodora every day (I wish)
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Re: I found a Sterling Falcon nearby!

Postby SailorJohn » Sat Dec 22, 2018 1:08 am

Hello William,

Read through your restoration and that looks like a really nice job. It's sad to see any boat deteriorate and restoring one brings it back to life.

We have a Sterling Falcon 16 that we've had since new and these boats have beautiful lines. Put back together they are a little yacht. Once when we were in Wickford RI tied up to the dock outside a restaurant there, a couple who were inside cam out and admired her and asked if they could go for a sail. They were visiting from New York. Unfortunately, we had just come in from the outside where the wind and waves had picked up and wanted a bit of a rest so it didn't happen.

One review I just read stated the Falcon 16 is good for sheltered water ... well, that may be true, but we've been out in unsheltered water with her. Sailed from Pt Judith to Block Island, the length of Lake Tahoe in one afternoon, and out the Golden Gate then down the coast, so it can be done. Granted, the last trip mentioned was wet.

Anyway, we have the original seats and cockpit coamings. Too bad I didn't read your posts earlier otherwise I could have made some patterns to use.
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Re: I found a Sterling Falcon nearby!

Postby William » Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:57 am

Nice to hear from a fellow Falcon enthusiast. the Falcon in this restoration was done for my nephew. I actually have another Falcon for me that I used as a reference.
William
Sailing Theodora every day (I wish)
William
 
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Re: I found a Sterling Falcon nearby!

Postby SailorJohn » Tue Jan 29, 2019 12:13 am

In an earlier post you mentioned the boat still had its rudder. Question: is it an aluminum rudder with the bottom section that swings up?

The reason I'm asking is because I lost our rudder in a capsize.

Currently I have another rudder and it swings up but it just isn't the same.

I also have information on the mast and boom sections, an original brochure. I'm really busy right now but at some point I can scan it for this web site.

Do you have any idea what sail number the boat is?
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Re: I found a Sterling Falcon nearby!

Postby William » Sat Feb 02, 2019 2:15 pm

Unfortunately, the boat did not come with the original sails or id plate. It did not have a kick-up rudder although all the literature from back in the day says it should. My other falcon was the same. It had two rudders, one that was a kick up that I'm sure was not original and another identical to the one that I restored in 2017.
William
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