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Thread: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

  1. #1
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    Default Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    Hello Everyone,

    I'm Nicolas. This is my first post to the forum, though I've been scanning through the threads for about a month now. If all works out how I hope this will be one post of many. I've been on the hunt for a starter sailboat the past few months now and have recently come across a 1932 Comet OD on Craigslist, located a few hours from me (the market on the Mississippi gulf coast is almost nonexistent). Frankly, the idea of a wooden boat had not crossed my mind until stumbling upon this and since then it has occupied most of my thoughts. Hard to explain but it fits my personality better. When I pursue an interest I like to do so in a way that teaches me just as much about myself as it does the thing I'm pursuing. I don't feel that a fiberglass boat could give me that sort of satisfaction. A wooden boat seems more honest to me, if that makes sense...

    However I know little about sailboats and even less about woodworking. The only person I knew that was a sailor and could be of help has moved to Alaska, so here I am. I plan to make the trip in a week and I would be ever so grateful if you knowledgeable folk would give me an idea of things to look out for, questions to ask, anything suspect in the photos, etc...

    the post is gone from Craigslist (I contacted him and it is still available) so here's what I know:
    $1200
    1932 Comet OD
    Boat is made of "teak and other hardwood"
    Restored in 2016:
    1.5g West Marine Resin applied to hull and interior
    5 coats minwax polyeurothane
    both sails replaced in 97
    2 custom flotation bags included
    No rotten wood found

    http://s1378.photobucket.com/user/Ni...mings/library/

    comes with trailer and trolling motor

    Thank You.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    The photo is small (for me anyway) but shows the mainsail unattached to the mast at the luff. Find out what the story is about that. That's just wrong.
    "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."

    -Mark Twain

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    I'm having trouble understanding how to attach photos in any form. I'll work on it and have some bigger ones up soon. That is strange about the mainsail.... I'm kicking myself for not noticing, but then again I wouldn't know for sure that it is "just wrong." About 9 years ago I spent the summer working as a deckhand on a historic sailboat in the area. That is where my interest in the sport began. I landlocked myself soon after and have been until recently. Now I've moved back and am excited to try my hand at it. Point is I'm not completely clueless but I have a tendency to become romantic and miss important details such as that.

    According to the seller he was dropping the sails when they remembered they needed to take a picture for the ad. Raised them quickly and posed for an action shot a few feet offshore.
    Last edited by Paintbynumbers; 07-14-2017 at 07:46 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    Here's how to post photos from anything, before you read it however, if you're working on a PC, host the picture on the web somewhere>right click>copy>open forum reply box>paste.

    Here is Thorne's much more in detail method

    Photobucket no longer works as a hosting site.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    welcome to WBF! But that is a very old boat.. can't see the photos thanks to photobuket spam.

    You know little of sailing and even less about woodworking....

    Honestly? it doesn't make sense to get a racing class boat that old.

    On the other side of the argument that will invariably begin,.. it's a boat with quite a pedigree if it's not in bad shape.

    It's very fast! they can get up on
    plane. but for a starter not sure about getting wet and wild it may not be a good starter boat.

    http://www.cometclass.com/about.htm




    you can learn to sail for free or nearly free. You can also buy a glass boat. and spend more time on the water, unless you want to spend many hours working a woodend boat. and yes even smaller ones need maintenance.
    some historical reading here. http://www.classicboat.co.uk/article...s/comet-class/
    Good luck!
    Last edited by DeniseO30; 07-14-2017 at 08:53 PM.
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    Photos:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/bkU9A6gox35tgnWM2

    I've been sailing before but on a much larger boat under a captain, so I feel that my experience will only translate into theory. While I'm not into racing I'd like a boat that i can have some fun with. I originally wanted a hobie cat but decided I wanted the option to carry some gear for camping on nearby islands.

    I also like the idea of having to maintain the boat. I've read a bit on this forum about upkeep and maintenance and have at least an idea of what that entails.

    as far as what to look for when buying a wooden boat I don't have even the slightest clue. Any advice would be helpful.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    I did get to see the pictures but they're not very good, near as I can tell it has some sun damaged epoxy on the deck
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    I realize it's not very much to work with.

    Is the sun damage only a cosmetic issue? He told me that the epoxy showed "runs."
    That would require stripping down to the wood and reapplying right?
    could it be done in patches?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    A lovely little boat but it is going to be a learning experience. My own take is that if you only have to pay $1200 for that education it may be OK (Or not! How much do you want to pay to learn about wooden boat construction?)
    Cosmetic details (runs in the epoxy?) are meaningless. How are the fasteners? We know already they are 75 years old, little metal pins in the water, likely they need replaced. All the wood has shrunk over that time (there is no escaping that) and the resulting looseness of fits may be problematic, especially when pressed under sail. I would suspect that at the very least this craft will need to be refitted and refastened, and then is when you will learn the true condition.
    You might wait a bit, boats like this often never find a buyer and if you express interest it may be offered to you for next to nothing.
    You are going to want a "wooden boat person" to advise you. Preferably a small boat builder. Seek one out and ask them to help you look at this craft, it will be money well spent towards your "education"

    The amount of epoxy used previously makes me think it will be a lot of work just removing it to get to the actual task at hand. Was the Comet deck originally canvas covered?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    Thanks for your reply!

    Not that the current owner is aware of. The sale actually includes a diary that's been kept on the boat since its original owner. Seems like an interesting read. He said there wasn't much recorded about the maintenance though. Will refitting require new planks or simply just adjusting the current ones? In what way do you mean problematic? Leaks?

    I'm not concerned much with cosmetics (not yet, at least) I was just curious if the sun damage was compromising the integrity of the epoxy in any way or if it is just an eye sore.

    would one sand away the epoxy? Would a heat gun be of any use in such a situation?

    Any "wooden boat people" in the Gulfport area of Mississippi?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    Take a look at this thread, although the scale is different it pretty much covers everything you need to know.

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...alled-me-Today

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    Nicholas there are plenty of boats for sale in your price range in your area but if your heart is set on this comet just be aware even if it were free it's going to cost you a lot of money to get her restored here's a Craigslist link. https://gulfport.craigslist.org/sear...lboat&sort=rel also consider using sailboatlistings.com
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    Nicolas want's a wooden boat, good on him. It is a steep learning curve, but for most of us posting here a rewarding one.

    I wouldn't worry to much about "the money", it is a small craft and can be put right if he perseveres. The biggest problem from here is getting all the damned epoxy off of it. And for me that might be a deal breaker.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    Heat gun, nasty miserable job, why some will re-plank. He could build a comet, part out the old one, stitch & glue could birth a new one in a short week! (Hull only)
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    Oh I know, it is a funky job but it can be done. But maybe it is polyester resin and will come off in great sheets by just tugging on it! Or maybe it is all OK and he can just put a canvas deck back on over it. After it is refastened, maybe it is riveted... but before the new combings and rails.
    I know it can be fun as I have done a lot of it!
    Hell I know of someone that is restoring a duck boat that was headed for the dumpster, and I know it will be finished lovely, and everyone will be happy that it was saved.

    We need more pictures Nicolas, lots of them, close-ups!
    Then this thread will get some legs.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    Oh yeah that boat lol, I'm thinking new stems, they were rather beefy WO
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    Thank you for your thoughts! Going to look at the boat in a week. Will most likely purchase, as long as there isn't a giant hole in the boat he neglected to mention or something of that nature... will post more pics then and the journey shall commence. Is there anything I should look out for? Things that might be deal breakers or potential bargaining chips?

    did the original comet have a canvas deck? What are the benefits?

    You say nasty miserable job, I say exercise in discipline. Stay positive, lovely people.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    price is the deal breaker.. there are wooden comets in service for less money. but take lots of pics!!
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    I admire the Comet class a great deal. The were a junior trainer for the Star class once upon a time. I get Facebook updates from a company who builds them now.

    One of the old 'Yachting' magazines I had as a teenager had a nice color spread on a Comet Mids they had at the Cocoanut Grove SC, and I still remember how I used to study those photos. I was sailing Windmills at the time, with a whole lifetime of sailing ahead of me. Wow.

    Anyway, if this boat tugs at your heart then go for it. The Comet is a heavy enough boat that it is not going to keep flipping on you, but it is responsive enough that you should learn pretty quickly what you should and should not do. And as far as maintenance goes, Google, YouTube, this forum, etc. are your friends. And the maintenance will not be too costly if you do it yourself. It will be an adventure, and one that offers a great deal of satisfaction.

    Please keep us informed.

    Mickey Lake
    'A disciple of the Norse god of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker'

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    Welcome to the Forum. Where are you located, we are in Pensacola and might know some wood boat folks to refer you to, esp in Biloxi or Pascagoula.

    Good looking boat. Ask them if it leaks and if it is ready to sail. I break a boat down into 4 areas, the hull, the spars, the sail and the blades. Check for strange looking areas on the hull like rot or obvious bad repairs. Look along the bottom and see if it appears straight of has a fair curve, no nasty humps. Look at the spars and fitting for corrosion. Check the sail to make sure it is not dry and brittle, no tears. And look at the rudder and centerboard for general condition. All lines should be in good shape or bargain them down. The trailer looks to be in good shape and the bunks look nice.

    You should ask them to set the boat up for you or have it set up so you can see that it is complete.

    Ask them if trailer is road ready, tires, bearings and lights. Find out what size the trailer ball coupler is.

    Don't forget registration if it has one or Bill of Sale. And ask them if they have any other gear to go with the boat, like life jackets, anchors etc... as you never know what people want to get out of their garage. That's how I scored these old sawhorses and the railroad lantern hanging on the wall, old daggerboard hardware, crunch rudder... They may have some extra hardware.



    Here is my picker checklist for Sunfish sailboats, but you'll get the idea.

    Picker Checklist

    Trailer lock keys
    Line, tools and license plate
    Trailer repair kit
    Spare
    Phone charger
    Scale

    Overnight bag
    Cooler
    $$ Money $$


    Pickin trailer checklist
    TRAILER KEYS
    Hitch, Latch, Lock, stow trailer jack, Safety chains, plug lights, Pull up
    Check bearing buddies
    Check tires
    Check tiedown straps
    License plate ON


    Small Boat Checklist
    Bill of sale and money


    Hull
    -HIN
    -weight
    -repairs
    -trim deck edge
    -bow handle
    -step
    -fairlead
    -cleat
    -trunk
    -drain plug
    -swivel cam cleat
    -bailer
    -bridle
    -gudgeon


    Mast
    -step
    -length
    -straight
    -corrosion
    -caps


    Spars
    -length
    -straight
    -corrosion
    -gooseneck
    -blocks
    -caps


    Sail
    -material
    -grommets
    -S hook
    -clips
    -pinholes
    -logo


    Lines
    -halyard
    -sheet
    -bow line
    -bridle
    -daggerboard retainer


    Daggerboard
    -Sunfish OEM?
    -cracks


    Rudder
    -Sunfish OEM?
    -cracks
    -cheek
    -springs
    -tiller
    -hiking stick


    Dolly
    Cover
    Spar bag
    Foil bag
    Noodles
    Extra bits
    Sunfish Owner's Manual


    Bill of sale/Registration
    -Boat
    -Trailer


    License plate OFF


    $$Money$$

    FMI: Comet OD
    Last edited by signalcharlie; 07-16-2017 at 09:57 PM.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    Oh, I didn't think to look to see where you were: Mississippi? Double welcome, then! Good to have to you here, and I hope it works out for you, for sure.

    Mickey Lake
    'A disciple of the Norse god of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker'

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    1. Now that the Skipper is awake I asked her what to look for. She immediately said to look at the centerboard and the bolt or pin that holds it in, see what condition it is in. And the sails, they are 20 years old, so hopefully they were stored in a nice area. And the third on her list was the trailer tires and bearings. The centerboard and trailer work are messy, heavy jobs that tend to be overlooked or avoided. Replacing 2 sails can become expensive fast

    IF the centerboard has been checked over recently AND the sails are crisp and new looking AND the trailer is ready to roll, then $1200 is a good price to get a freshwater boat down to our saltwater coast. A new set of racing sails would run well over $600. Centerboard work on our small daysailer was $800. And trailer bearings/tires can quickly add up over $200. If seller is unsure about those items offer $800 cash.

    2. There are a lot of wooden boat folks in Biloxi, there was even a wooden boat show at the Biloxi Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum a few weeks ago. We met a few folks while we were restoring Barbashela for Beauvoir. And you have two beautiful schooners tied up to the dock downtown.

    3. You are starting with a popular boat that still has an active Class Association, they will be of help as well. And the boat is wood, easy to repair and fun to sail. You also will become a curator of that history, caring for it for future generations.

    Cheers
    Kent and Audrey

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    Sails should never be a deal breaker in a one-design class. If you don't see sails that you like, ask the class association and see if anyone has any they will donate or sell inexpensively. Odds are they will.

    Mickey Lake
    'A disciple of the Norse god of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker'

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    Signalcharlie my interest in sailing actually started as landing a summer job as a teenager on one of those Biloxi schooners (the Mike Sekul, I believe) as a deckhand. i remember being scared out of my mind having to scuffle out on a chain hanging above the water to raise the jib mid-voyage! I also came close to losing my leg at one point. but I've been on all kinds of boats and there's nothing like hearing the sails flap while watching the sunset and the wind on your face. It's been quite some time since then but that job made a big impression on me and I'm excited to finally pick this back up.

    i feel much more confident now heading it to this purchase. Will (hopefully) send lots of pics soon!

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    Hello everyone!

    Purchased the boat yesterday. Here are some more pictures.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/bkU9A6gox35tgnWM2

    i have to post from my phone so a link is the only way I'm able to deliver them, I believe.

    turns out the boat was completely torn apart and rebuilt some time in the 90's by a former owner and then touched up by the now previous owner last year, who replaced a lot of fasteners, added some cleats, epoxy, varnish, etc...

    came with vintage Shakespeare trolling motor, extra centerboard, diary, extra carpet for trailer bunks, tarp, and frame to keep the tarp off the boat.

    Things I currently know need to be fixed:
    the wench won't hold in place when tightened, the stopper has worn down. Will need replacing
    bolt at the bow end of the trunk leaks slowly. Previous owner put plumbers putty to try and stop it but no luck. He guesstimated an inch of water per 5 hours of sailing. Posted a close up.

    I've realized I was concerned so much with understanding how to maintain the boat that I've researched very little about rigging and sailing. I'm not sure what the use of the traveler is? How does the mast attach to its step??? I know less than I thought I did...

    in the picture with the traveler in the top left what is that rigging running from under deck? The white rope looped around two (blocks?) and attached to a small spool near the mast step. Is that the vang?


    I am in over my head. How exciting

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    The centerboard if original could be bronze plate.
    Consider repairing the old winch rather than replacing it. Much of that old gear was of far better quality than any replacement you can buy today.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    You guys are my heroes right now.

    I believe the centerboard currently installed is the original. The extra one is an aluminum racing version.

    i wasn't sure if you could replace the parts on the winch but I figured you couldn't. I'd much prefer to fix than replace bc it seems pretty solid otherwise.

    Im not sure what to do about the trunk bolt though. Any suggestions?

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    It's your boat.. don't need anyone's permission LOL just study the rigging set up, do some how to sail reading and you tube and get out there! Main sail only at first. "when doubt, let out" translation don't tie the mailsail line to a cleat. (heretofore called mainsheet)
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    What number is your boat?
    There is quite a bit of information out there. It appears to be a still active class. http://www.cometclass.com/index.html
    Some of the links are dead, but some are still good. I enjoyed poking around.
    Exibit "A" http://www.cometclass.com/PDF/Skanea...%20Records.pdf

    http://www.classicboat.co.uk/article...s/comet-class/

    Take some pics of your fittings and post them, someone will be familiar with them I'm sure. (I have some experience rebuilding and making parts for winches. Your problem may be as simple as a fatigued or broken spring)

    "TECHNICAL CHANGES
    Continued change in the construction and layout of Comets has been a major part of class history. The technical evolution of the boat has been influenced by several factors. One predominant factor has been the emergence of new materials for use in boat construction and equipment. Another important factor, however, was those Comet sailors whose talents as skippers were reflected in their innovative skills in boat construction and improvement of existing equipment. Two other aspects of the Comet also contributed to the technical changes witnessed by the class. The Comet was designed as a boat that could be built at home with modest boat building skills. In its early days this fact largely contributed to the class's growth and wide geographic prominence. Differences among the home built boats resulted from the rather liberal tolerances initially permitted by the class. Several hull specifications defining the degree of arc of the bottom, waterline length and other measurements were left somewhat open. Acting as a check to these factors some class members promoted a strong policy for remaining a true one-design class. The long-term viability of boats was the doctrine held by many to be the mainstay of the class strength. In the course of the Comet history these factors, however, were to come in conflict on many occasions and result in some rather stormy times. Of primary concern to early builders were the durability, long life and buoyancy of the boats. Lacking the glues and wood sealers that would come later, these early boats tended to be of heavy and sturdy construction and had to be caulked to stay dry.
    Sailboats in the early days of one design racing were typically wet sailed and had canvas decks, factors that with time (soaking up paint and water) contributed to the gradual increase in overall boat weight. Records from the 1947 Comet International Championships revealed an average boat weight of 369 pounds and a maximum weight of 458 pounds! The average weight of the ten top placing boats was 333 pounds and the lightest boat weighed 276 pounds. Quite a range! Rigging on the first boats included heavy, boxy masts held by three stay rigs and "T" booms. Jam cleats were rare and bailers had yet to be invented. Vanging was accomplished by hanging on the boom, which of course, made for wild situations in a blow.
    Not until 1962 was a resolution passed allowing the aft section of the foredeck, previously extending well behind the mast, to be moved forward and thereby enable a vang to be attached directly to the base of the mast. Many members of the class were concerned about even this change in the Comet's layout. They feared that the cost and extent of alterations required by this change would be counter to the Comet's nature and detrimental to the class".

    You are going to have fun with this...
    Last edited by Canoeyawl; 07-25-2017 at 11:50 PM.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    Congratulations Captain!

    For that cb bolt you could try felt or rubber washers. We went old school on our Penobscot, before we tightened down the nut we wrapped paint soaked cotton wicking (string) around the bolt a few times. Snugged the nut down not too tight and she hasn't leaked a drop.


  32. #32
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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    Your starboard trailer wheel looks like it's on a strange angle!

    Beaut boat.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    Thank you everyone!

    will give the paint soaked wicking a try.

    Need a machete to cut through all the registration red tape but hopefully I'll have it on the water soon!

    The trailer was on uneven ground. Hopefully that is the cause of the angle..

    if the racing number and sail number are the same thing then the number is 336, which by that pdfs information would indicate the boat was built in 1936 instead of 1932. There is also some references to 1936 in the diary. Interesting.

    the diary also contained an original pricing guide for the boat from the early 30's, pictures of its complete overhaul in the 90's (guessing at the timeline based on clothing worn and cars in the pics), and some other interesting tidbits of information.
    Last edited by Paintbynumbers; 07-28-2017 at 11:49 AM.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    Rookie woodwork question:

    i have to attach a HIN number to the transom (and somewhere out of sight in the cockpit) and was wondering the best way to go about drilling and attaching to the boat and completing the task so that the plank's structural integrity and the protection of the epoxy/varnish layers isn't compromised?

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Cushing, Maine
    Posts
    3,076

    Default Re: Craigslist: Restored 1932 Comet

    Classic way to do HIN is with number and letter stamps. Don't know if you can find a set. I think it needs to be permanent so a removable plate won't do. See your state regs. This one will probably be considered as owner built (which it may have been) and the state will give you a number.

    You have a nice boat, one that has been upgraded with 90s vintage hardware, mast, rigging and fittings. The reference to the Comet class association is above. You should check in there to see what there might be in the way of a roster.

    I don't know where you live but any one that has experience with modern racing boats should be able to give you a quick hand in rigging it. A modern sailing book will also help. It will be easy.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Vernon Langille, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity and a quiver of unamed 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

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