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Restoring a Mini Transat 6.50

I have been staring this boat since my first college sailing regatta over 20 years ago. Since then the boat has been a bit neglected until my friend and I were able to buy the boat last year. What started out as a fresh coat of paint turned into a complete tear down and full restoration.

Before starting the project we had it splashed to make sure it would float.

We removed every single piece of hardware. Cleats, winches, screws nuts bolts, you name it, it was removed!

We even removed the keel!

The crew at the Berkeley Marine Center was extremely helpful throughout the entire process. In this picture you can see we had the boat flipped over to make it easier to fair the bottom.

After what seemed like months of long boarding, we finally got the bottom looking some what respectable. Time for some primer!

We had the boat yard painter Julio spray a few coats of Proline Epoxy Primer. Forward progress!

After some more fairing we were able to get the first coat of paint on the hull. We are using Proline‘s 2 part polyurethane paint. They use it for re-coating hot tubs, so we figure that if it can handle high heat and chemicals it should hold up for a long weekend of being submerged in the bay.

The boat is now flipped back upright and is sitting on her temporary yard cradle. Next up, a bunch of upgrades and modifications.

We are upgrading how the rotating 10’ carbon sprit attaches to the bow. here we are vacuum bagging on a G-10 backing plate and several layers of carbon. As well you can see the freshly installed socket for the stubby sprit that rotates the 10’ sprit.

Here the upgrade is right after pulling the bag off of it. A little bit of filler and some sanding before the topcoat.

Here you can see the new sprit rotator hardware installed after we had the boat painted and the original bow pulpit modified.

This is the beginning of the upgrade to composite chainplates. We decided to install new chainplates 16” outboard of the originals. This is to give the mast better lateral stability to hold up to the higher loads of the modern sails and rigging we are upgrading to. As well we are getting rid of the the rod standing rigging and going with Dyneema standing rigging.

This is the chainplate after it was bonded and vacuumed bagged with 10 layers of carbon.

The deck gets sprayed with some top coat.

The original laminated wood tiller gets sanding in prep for a couple layers of carbon.

The tiller fresh out of the vacuum bag, ready for trimming, sanding and some clear coat.

Meanwhile we sanded off all of the original paint on the rudders and re-shaped their profile to make them more modern looking and better performing.

In an effort to make the spreader tips Dyneema rigging friendly we attached some Ronstan low friction rings.

The upper and lower spreaders fresh out of the paint booth ready to be installed on the freshly painted mast.

Spreaders and new standing rigging installed. The standing rigging is made from New England Ropes STS-HSR Dyneema. It is a pre-stretched heat treated Dyneema. I used the Colligo Marine Cheeky Tangs for all mast attachments and at the lower end we are using large Ronstan low friction rings with lashings.

Mocking up the new deck hardware layout. A bunch of challenges to work with. we are leading everything back to the cockpit, halyards, reef lines, keel canting lines, dagger board up and down controls, jib leads, sprit controls, guys, solent stay and all of the spinnaker gear. Oh yeah and we only have two winches to run everything.

After mocking up the deck hardware we discovered a need to make a few risers for the hardware. On this boat we can’t just make ordinary risers, we had to make sexy carbon ones. Here are the risers and the electronics panel right after getting vacuum bagged.

One of the finished risers installed.

Almost all of the deck hardware is installed. As well we had Julio spray on the non-skid coated “72” on the deck per mini class rules.

Prepping to non-skid the rest of the deck.

Non-skid complete! We used Kiwi-grip for this. As well we re-installed the original windshields and the rest of the deck hardware.

To be continued...

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