View Full Version : Naples Sabot Restoration
12-29-2011, 06:45 PM
I'm trying to restore a Naples Sabot with a Plywood hull and what I think are mahogany rails. The mast and boom are also wood.
It has been stored indoors for most of the last 40+ years but spent some time before that sailing in a bay and stored in the sun for a year or two. There is an old varnish on the hull and aparently no varnish on the inside. I am worried about how to prepare and finnish the boat. If i sand though the varnish on the hull will the plywood be too thin? (i'd hate to get out into a bay and put my foot through the bottom).
My plan for the bottom currently is to sand the varnish off which takes me about half way through the first ply of wood (it's only 3 ply), and then varnish the whole thing. Once that battle is won i also have to figure out how to rig the thing (I learned to sail as a kid but forgot most of it)
If anyone out there can help identify what to do with the rigging or restoration, i'd be much obliged :)
12-29-2011, 08:56 PM
Doug, My wife and I are old Sabot sailers. You owe it to yourself to approach your project with the idea of restoring a valuable vintage vessel as there are not too many Sabots still around that are as old as yours. Under no circumstances should you attempt to sand the existing finish down to bare wood due to the danger of sanding through the first veneer. Begin by cleaning all surfaces with a mixture of TSP and warm water in order to remove any accumulated wax, grease and dirt. After it is clean, check the condition of the varnish. If the varnish skin is still intact and no water staining of the wood under it is evident you can hand sand the varnish with 120 grit paper and proceed with a normal varnish job which means, in this case, four to six coats. However if the finish is really gnarfed then you will need to strip it with paint remover. The stripper I prefer is known as Star 10. http://www.starten.com/
In cases of working with plywood, it is critical not to pierce the first layer of veneer with the use of inappropriate tools. The tool that will help avoid this problem is the French Cabinett Scraper. This is a flexible flat steel blade that can be bent so as to not dig into the wood on the edges. These tools are available at most fine woodworking suppliers. Information on their preperation can be easily found on line. If you are in an area where the hull can be stripped using a hose and green 3M pad you will find that if you follow the instructions from Star 10, you can end up with excellent results. Under no circumstances should the hull be glassed as it will ruin the boat for competative use due to the added weight.
12-30-2011, 12:23 AM
Any chance this is a Bryan Thomas ???
12-30-2011, 12:33 PM
Thank you for the advice! This boat was sailed by my mother when she was young and has a lot of sentimental value in it too so i'll be careful not to destroy it. The Varnish is not blistered or flaking off, but it does have horizontal cracks in it which i believe happened durring the long storage since the wood was not discolored.
I did sand down one half of the underside of the hull to get through the varnish but was very careful not to get near to piercing through the first ply. Should i continue on my current path to keep the color matched for the other side or completely abort that and go for the chemical method for the remainder?
It could be thomas, I really don't know. It has a small number plate on the bow that matches the number on the original sail (which is still in great shape). It looks like photos i've seen of a thomas sabot but the details of how it came to our family are shaky since my grandfather died who was the buyer.
12-30-2011, 11:47 PM
I would be careful not to change things :)
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