Contender, a 10 Rater from the 1920s
ROBERT HOBBS restores this classic model yacht
The hull, Photo 1, was in a reasonable condition except that the interface between the lead and the hull had deteriorated and the varnish on the deck had the usual crocodile skin effect indicating old French polish, Photo 2. The spars were in an oilskin bag which also contained the sails. I left Carol with some reprints of my earlier restoration work and set off home with the boat and her email address in Australia with the promise to keep her up to date with any information on the history of the yacht that I could find and its ongoing restoration.
This is not quite the end of the saga as Photo 9 shows the construction of two 21 inch hulls, planked using strips from reclaimed oak laminate flooring, to suit the King Rig sails. This project is still ongoing and by the Spring of 2010 I hope to have all three yachts sailing in their natural environment at the Walpole Lakes, Gosport, Hampshire.
As an addendum to this restoration, if readers are wondering how to line the deck then this is done with a simple tool as shown here. Photo 10 is of the individual parts and Photo 11 is of the assembled tool.
As you can see, the carriage has two sets of wheels with the small ones running on the deck and the large ones (black) on the hull side, thus the lines follow the deck edge contour. The pen is held in a collet clamp with the top section screwing into a plastic unit and gripping just like a compression pipe fitting. The hole spacing on the bar should be pitched as accurately as possible because the eye is very sensitive to irregular line spacing. It is best to test the tool on a spare piece of shaped wood before using on the model and it is also most important that the hull be very securely clamped.
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