So here we are at the end of week 3. All the spray finishing has been completed to the cockpit in Manilla with the hull lower section in white and the top plank in a grey, and she's looking good.
The next stage was the fitting of the Iroko hatches and centre board casing cheeks. These are not a standard fitting of Drascombe Luggers - my company Dragon Design has manufactured these and finished them in Rustins Danish Oil. This product is a soft durable oil which does not harden like varnish and just needs a once over a few times during the summer, given that these boats are exposed to the Mediterranean sun constantly for 5 months.
For Dragon Drascombe it is important for me to have them looking traditional, functional hatches for Mediterranean chartering and very smart looking. Charter groups want to see their Lugger, which is an intrinsic part of their holiday, looking great moored on the pontoon at the Taverna, a boat for all to admire. My charter crews in their testimonials have commented how yachts will stop and take photographs of the boat sailing - note what Cheri and Richard Crosley encountered this June when a yacht videoed then under sail.
The Lugger when I bought here just 5 weeks ago did not have a Lazerette hatch cover, so I set about making one and spray finishing it in the same grey as the top hull plank. These get a lot of hard use during the season so they can be re sprayed easily over the winter maintenance period. There will be a blue canvas deck bag fitted next week for the bow anchor's chain and warp. The bag keeps the chain and warp neatly stowed and easily deployed. The cockpit bag that I fitted this week is ideal for keeping the Ionian Pilot manual and local chart - easy access and keeps them safe. I will have shorty a small bag fitted on the port side for sail bunnies and other useful lines.
From my initial photograph you will have noted the poor state that the Spars were in, many layers of varnish which had discoloured, staining from water that had got through cracks in the varnish and generally looking quite poor. The process of refurbishing the Spars is laborious and time consuming, starting with using a very powerful chemical stripper to degrade the varnish slowly and removing with a hand scraper and wire wool. After over a week of careful work I spray primed them with a thin oil based Yacht Varnish, prepping between coats and then the final clear finish sprayed on coat after coat. It’s called ‘wet on wet’, each successive thin coat adhering to the tacky coat below, and this process has 10 applications. Look at them now, really head turning.
Next week on the fourth week of work we will be stripping down the trailer hubs, cleaning the stub axle and replacing the bearings, all in preparation for its 1500 mile journey to the Greek Ionian in April 2019. In the way of her sails, she had a new foresail when I bought her, fortunately a sail made by Dick at R&J Sails Bristol, so this goes back on. The Mainsail Gaff was a short Mk1 version, so next week I will make a new Gaff out of Canadian Cedar and Dick will supply a new Mizen and a Baton Roached Mainsail in early 2019. Take a look at Jon Paton’s write up and the pics of Heulwen under sail with the brilliant stripped top sail, it adds significantly to the performance of the Lugger.
Keep up with the restoration of ‘Clara’ and her readiness to be delivered to the Greek Ionian. Would you like to sail this iconic rebuilt Lugger in 2019? For 2 persons in June based at the Gialos Apartments, including transfers and Lugger charter, from just £1195 as a great package. Call Phil now to reserve your 1 week of sailing in the sun!