View Full Version : Rebuilding a Bahamian Racing Sloop

08-05-2015, 09:25 PM
Hey all,

I am getting ready to completely rebuild my Bahamian Racing Sloop sailboat. It is currently planked out of fir but we are going to be using cedar for the new planks to reduce swelling in the water. We are making new frames and changing her shape as well. I am going to be laminating the planks together and sealing the inside and outside with epoxy. I can't decide between MAS or West for the epoxy. Any input? Has anyone used both?


wizbang 13
08-05-2015, 10:03 PM
You are asking a lotta stuff all at once.
You have volunteered incorrect knowledge (ceder swells less than fir).
Yer ready to make huge changes to the shape and construction of a trad vessel.Huge,..... both at the same time."laminating planks" wth is that?
but your only actual question is.... WEST or MAS?

anyway, for a serious answer. we need more info . ...background, history, future plans .....

08-05-2015, 10:33 PM
Bahamian Sloops are built only to race in regattas in The Bahamas a few times during the year. When not racing they live on trailers. Because they dry out then go in the water then dry out again all year the planks tend to swell and shrink a lot and cause cracks and leaks. Most sailors put up with this and just constantly caulk the seams to help stop the leaking but eventually their boats begin to rot and need to be replanked. The boat I inherited has a bad frame shape, shallow deadwood and not enough lead in the keel to be competitive so I am rebuilding her from the ground up. That includes making new frames to change the shape. Instead of a quick replanking job I am going to glue the planks together and completely epoxy the inside frame and outside with several coats of epoxy. I am going to need a lot. Are the two epoxies comparable in strength? Is the price difference worth it?
My future plans are to not have to replank this boat for decades and to rebuild her strong, fast, and leak free.

wizbang 13
08-06-2015, 05:31 AM
Race boats in Anguilla are similar. Evolved from sailing fishing boats, but only raced now. They have evolved to plywood frames and simple glued white pine planks. A "cross" between carvel and strip planks. The guys there have learned to use epoxy extensively. If a boat is on a winning streak it remains unchanged. But as soon as it starts losing, it is sawzall modified. I have seen them stretch and shrink a boat. Split them down the middle and re assemble them with more or less beam/deadrise.

So , their use of epoxy lets them get away with cheap planking and unconventional frames. There is no "caulking" of any kind. They cook up in the sun on the beach most of the time .

Between mas and west , quality is excellent with both. Once a system is learned and embraced though , it can be problematic to go back n forth. Mixing ratios change ( and get mixed up),drying times become confusing.

Also, take a look at the current state of boatbuilding in Carriacou if you can . These are larger decked vessels,but they are quickly coming over to epoxy.(not as far as Anguilla at this time.
factoid, the chap who started Out Island Regatta also started Carriacou regatta. 50th year just now,2015.

willin woodworks
08-06-2015, 08:45 AM
Funny, I thought the same thing Erster....

08-06-2015, 07:02 PM
Thanks for that! I'll let you know how the process comes along.

08-06-2015, 11:35 PM
As you are in the Bahamas I'd take a look at RAKA epoxies. I've been very happy with them and they are priced quite a bit lower than west or Mas. They are located in Florida.
I've used them for coating, laminating and sheathing. They make quite a variety of epoxies.

wizbang 13
08-10-2015, 12:22 PM
https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8077/8316081392_56ed014605_z_d.jpghttps://farm9.staticflickr.com/8357/8315027963_0725359f46_z_d.jpgAnguilla boat, ply frames, white pine planking...cooking in the sun.