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Postby mark48 on Sun Oct 04, 2020 5:38 pm


I am seeking advice from all PS builders (and CLC staff) on how to repair substantial damage to Puffin's bowsprit and starboard forward rub rail, sustained this summer. Photos are posted below. In brief, I cast off from my mooring with my outboard humming, intending to motor away from other boats in the mooring area before hoisting sail. Shortly after releasing the mooring, my outboard stalled and could not be restarted. In the on-shore breeze, Puffin drifted down among surrounding sailboats and fouled its bowsprit in another boat's steel wire rigging. Wave action caused that rigging to saw into my rub rail and severely abrade my bowsprit in the time it took to free my boat and eventually return to my mooring. Fortunately, no damage was done to the other boat (all FG) or its rigging, but I'm left with a mini-tragedy and substantial repair.

I know I could simply build another bowsprit, or rout and sand the abraded wood on the existing bowsprit before sealing the wood again with epoxy and then varnish as in my original build. The rub rail is another challenge and I welcome advice on either or both repairs. PS#1 has a metal strip screwed to the outboard edge of its rubrails and I'll be looking to do something similar once Puffin is repaired.

On another repair issue, I intend to sand and repaint the starboard aft quarter, the paint job of which sustained some damage from a dinghy. (It was a tough sailing season all around.)

Thank you all, and stay well.

All the best,

ps - I replaced my outboard.
Puffin bowsprit damage
49D03E9E-B845-40C2-A1F5-5BCA21E8D00B_1_105_c.jpeg (226.75 KiB) Viewed 890 times
Puffin rub rail damage
6B65E5AC-1870-4FD8-9955-293DB94EF047_1_105_c.jpeg (157.16 KiB) Viewed 884 times
Damaged Interlux Brightsides paint job
57A27421-6C57-4D0A-9D80-D8950ACCCC8E_1_105_c.jpeg (216.9 KiB) Viewed 895 times
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:55 pm

Re: Repair

Postby TassiePete on Mon Oct 05, 2020 1:51 am

Ouch. For the rub-rail, I'd cut the damage out and insert a new piece of timber (Dutchman). Epoxy will be stronger than the wood anyway ... try to match the timber and grain.
For the bowsprit you might be be able to the same, although It will be very difficult to hide many small repair(s).
One way might be cutting out a single large slab from the side ( ~ 1" thick and as long as needed ), inserting a new piece of wood, and re-doing the chamfer etc. In this way there will be only a long glue-line along the top and bottom along the grain (maybe just along the edge of the chamfer, if that is enough to cut out ). One of the vertical glue-lines could be hidden by placing it where the sprit goes through the bow. Adding wood flour to the epoxy will obviously help to hide things. Good luck ...
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Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 4:31 am
Location: Port Huon, Tasmania ( Down Under )

Re: Repair

Postby riverron on Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:24 pm

Sorry Mark about the damage. I agree with Pete on the rub rails. Cutout the bad and epoxy a new piece in place. Adding the metal strips should hide a lot.

On the Bowsprit, the damage looks bad, but are the cuts that deep? Could you just plane them down, sand and refinish? It’s hard to tell how deep. I wouldn’t want to take off too much wood as to decrease the strength.

You could cut out the entire bottom and epoxy another piece and reshape! You would have a seam all the way, but that made look better than a piece cut out. Meaning you would see a horizontal, but no vertical joints. Or hide the seam under the breasthook.
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Location: Richmond Virginia

Re: Repair

Postby Wayne G on Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:49 pm

Hi Mark,

Bad luck!
As someone who has done some damage to my PocketShip, I would advise to 1st sand out the damaged bowsprit as much as possible. Once’s the deep scoring is buffed out and it is re-varnished it may look ok.

Same advice for the rub-rail, even though you will not be able to hide that, I would 1st sand it so it is as smooth and buffed out as much as possible. After that re-evaluate. Maybe then a thickened epoxy patch would do the trick.
Wayne Gray
Orlando Florida
Wayne G
Posts: 79
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:19 am

Re: Repair

Postby Mflyer65 on Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:54 pm

Hi Mark,
I would Dutchman patch the rubrail and just fair out the bowsprit if it isn’t much worse than what I see. My two cents worth is that wooden boats will all have scars eventually and a little character doesn’t hurt the boat as much as the owner.
The bright sides paint is another story for me. I don’t have much luck doing touch ups with Brightsides paint without the burden of leathering never quite looking right. If and when I have that much work to do on the hull I will most likely sand down the whole side and paint it all at once. Not really that much more work and it will not suffer the blending problems I’ve had. Sand down and fair out the dings and paint away.
Posts: 67
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Location: Durham, NC

Re: Repair

Postby mark48 on Sat Oct 10, 2020 7:21 am


Thank you all for your advice and thoughts on repairs to Puffin. I've dusted off my manual and started reviewing the relevant sections and I have the winter to think through options. If I am not too embarrassed by the eventual result, I'll post "after" photos.

I agree with Mike that "touching up" Brightsides paint is very difficult to do well - maybe impossible. That's not the first time I've heard advice to just endure and repaint the entire vessel when it's too much.

Stay well, all,
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:55 pm

Re: Repair

Postby mark48 on Mon Mar 29, 2021 9:50 pm


Repairing a damaged area on a spar on my Pocketship has required a Dutchman. I have cut out the damaged area and glued a new piece of wood in the gap with thickened epoxy. Now I need to apply several coats of unthickened epoxy to the new wood before sanding and varnishing the repaired area (and the rest of the spar at the same time).

My question involves managing the evolving "epoxy-varnish interface." I am hoping to avoid sanding off the varnish from the entire rest of the spar - and I don't know how I would be certain to remove only varnish while preserved the underlying multiple epoxy coats on the otherwise-finished spar if I did so. Similarly, applying several coats of unthickened epoxy to the new wood of the Dutchman will inevitably involve some epoxy bleeding over onto varnished surfaces.

How careful must I be to keep epoxy and varnish separate and does it make a difference at the Dutchman border? I know I want all new wood to be effectively sealed with epoxy, and I know I must then sand the epoxy and protect it with multiple coats of varnish. And I will apply at least the last 1-2 coats of varnish to the entire spar, not just the Dutchman repair.

I have also posted this question on the general CLC Forum to attempt to reach the widest possible audience. Thanks for your thoughts and advice and stay well.
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:55 pm

Re: Repair

Postby jwv630 on Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:25 am

Hi Mark and Guys

Ooooo; that's nasty! No advice, really; you've gotten great advice from the Guys here. I just cringed when I saw the damage; sorry.
But chin up! - Probably like most of us, certainly me, you're already very good at fixing building mistakes so this shouldn't
be to difficult and, perhaps, a interesting challenge. Good luck.

Jimmy V
Victory II
Chesapeake Bay; north
Posts: 130
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 4:12 pm

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