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Thread: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

  1. #1
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    Default Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    I stumbled across this 12' Greg Foster tent Sailor. However it has spent a long time outside needing attention. It really is a beautiful shaped boat. What's more it has floors and keel bolts which I haven't seen as often in smaller boats (and supposedly a slightly ballasted keel).

    I know of another that I read about recently that. was sheathed in Dynel to keep it alive. I think by the Granville Island Boatyard.
    By what one can see in these photos it's looks pretty unhappy. Lots of cracks everywhere, likely rot, maybe warpage from the trailer. I'm going to see if I can get pictures of the bottom and more of the inside

    Cool design though, I think the rear view particularly as it shows how shapely it is.




    Last edited by Toxophilite; 05-19-2022 at 11:28 PM. Reason: veracity

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    Sad...I remember the era.
    Why do people think that coating wooden boats with splooge is boat repair?

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    Anyone know Greg Fosters contact? Would be cool to know what it's made of etc.

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    The boat was likely made in the 70s; I know Greg Foster was active then. In the mid to late 70s, it was the time of the "great wooden boat scare." People that wanted to get out on the water were having wooden boats built. Subsequently the market went to plastic kayaks.

    I would assume, since the boat was outside and unprotected, that it likely has serious issues. But certainly worth a careful check and a survey by someone knowledgeable.

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    Yes it does seem like the omens are less than auspicious and that's just with an overview. Probably was tarped, or mostly so. I'm not a boatwright but boats seemto develop the same sorts of problems and I can recognize rot, cracks, splits and basic structural issues. Too bad the design it's based on (Providence river boat) is so attractive stout and capable or it wouldn't even be a consideration. It's a bit of a jaunt to check out.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-OUWcSM7rA

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    Dynel sheathing would give no benefit to that boat.
    Either would setting on a trailer.
    Either would being outside...in the sun...oh..and rain.
    Why do people put cotton canvas on open boat decks ?
    What flavor is the planking?
    Pray the frames are not oak.

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    Nice boat maybe. Forget about dynel. If you want to save this oat, do it right and keep it a wooden boat.
    The question is, do you want a boat or a project? That is not a boat and wont be for at least a year unless you have unlimited time and resources; its a project.

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    Even if it were a good idea, how would one apply dynel, or any fabric, to a lapstrake hull?

    Jeff

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    Quote Originally Posted by willin woodworks View Post
    Nice boat maybe. Forget about dynel. If you want to save this oat, do it right and keep it a wooden boat.
    The question is, do you want a boat or a project? That is not a boat and wont be for at least a year unless you have unlimited time and resources; its a project.
    Great straightforward assessment. This is another set of photos that kind of make me sad as the boat is such a beautiful design and in my opinion looks like it was stoutly made. They were designed so that the rig would become a tent. I like it. I guess not everyone has a good pace to store such a craft if they end up moving onto other things. A tarp seems good for the short term but then the short term becomes long term. BTHen the boat is a project.

    I had no intention of sheathing anything in dynel. From what I've heard there are 2 of the 6 (I think) original tent sailors still alive and the one I was reading about had been sheathed. Just relaying information in general.

    I do want a boat rather than a year long project. I have a small boat already and wanted to go a little larger.
    I likely already have something more immediately usable coming my way.
    This design is Beee-autiful though, I imagine that's the common problem , the aesthetics and imagined potential are so beguiling that they blind one to the time, toil and expense required. Like falling in love or romance, essentially delusional.

    Having one to sail and one to work on might not be so bad. I do have some space , but not indoors. Lot's of time , few resources except a bunch of milled black locust and red cedar and lot's of tools.

    Don't know about the frames but the planks are yellow cedar.

    Regarding Whizbang's oak comment, personally I have been lucky to find Blk Locust readily available for nothing and I keep seeing it everywhere here. It seems to be superior to white oak in many ways and frankly it's also more attractive.(in my opinion) Aside from specialists(like boat builders...and bowyers) people seem to be generally unaware of it. I kind of hope it stays that way.

    I'm currently awaiting more detailed photos which will give me a way better idea. I'm frankly amazed that there aren't more cracked frames visible in the couple interior shots. Still the split garboards (boards alongside the 'keel plank) and other obvious problems are daunting. one would imagine that there might be some rot in the keel in all the dark moist space under the boat and maybe some planking deformation from the trailer.

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    Maybe take off lines, and build 'new' ? - sweet-looking little craft !





    Rick
    Charter Member - - Professional Procrastinators Association of America - - putting things off since 1965 " I'll get around to it tomorrow, .... maybe "

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    Well the owner took some excellently revealing photos. Seems like a straight up fellow. Definitely not in the "just needs a lick of paint' camp.
    I can't say it gets better, other than just seeing all the cool craftmanship, but I didn't expect it too.
    The details on this boat are nice. I especially like the tiller and the barn door rudder and the hearts carved in the front of the side benches/storage.
    I'm not keen on flat bowsprit and if I had one of these I'd build a longer round one. It might've been flat for a reason however(like mounting it on the stem)

    It does look like something that you would basically build anew, using the 'lines. Many badly cracked and deformed planks. The plank ends near the stem look punky under the paint , as does the stem, or just super dried out and flaky
    There's some caving in around the bunks and I think I can see some cracked frames inside (which I always expect now), but only a couple..which means there's at least a dozen or 20+ The centerboard case looks iffy, especially the bottom where a couple bolts are pretty rusted maybe wrecked the wood around them.
    I wonder if the only still salvageable parts are the spars, tiller (the cracked rudder) the sails, hardware and 'furniture'

    Still a lovely boat. if I was a photographer I would see it beautiful as a whole, decay and all, but as a sailor I'd love to see it still functional/and or more repairable.






    Last edited by Toxophilite; 05-20-2022 at 11:16 PM.

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    and the last one;


    Last edited by Toxophilite; 05-21-2022 at 05:29 PM.

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    good gawd, if ya wanna restore her to museum /boat show condition...pffft. build a new one
    if one wants to get her going again, in short hours, well epoxy is the way to go
    not just slaterating her with goop or dynel only, but a WEST has been shown to be an effective decay-preventive dentifrice when used in a consciencously applied program of dental hygiene and regular professional care.

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor


    You're right about the lines, it is a beautiful design. I can see her creaming along "with a bone in her teeth" as they say. Pity she is so far gone.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor


    I just noticed the stemhead-through-bowsprit detail. Can't say I've ever seen that before!
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    good gawd, if ya wanna restore her to museum /boat show condition...pffft. build a new one
    if one wants to get her going again, in short hours, well epoxy is the way to go
    not just slaterating her with goop or dynel only, but a WEST has been shown to be an effective decay-preventive dentifrice when used in a consciencously applied program of dental hygiene and regular professional care.

    Or immersion in a huge epoxy bath

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    If I may offer some suggestions based on forty years of professional boat restoration:
    The boat has been in a dry environment, thus seams have opened up. It seems obvious that the way to correct this is to return the boat to a moist environment. I had an Oselv boat; these are constructed of very wide planks. Mine would show cracks of nearly a quarter inch. They would close up after exposure to water/or at least a high humidity environment. You do NOT have to dip the boat in epoxy splooge.
    There are no signs of rot in the photos that I can see. It is likely that there is some.
    I can't tell if the boat needs new frames...let alone replacement with local white oak. (!)
    In short, the boat needs attention from a skilled boatwright. The ideas advanced above will likely kill a pretty boat.
    Greg Foster was a well-known small boat builder a few decades ago; please honor his work...don't destroy it.

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    Quote Originally Posted by pcford View Post
    It seems obvious that the way to correct this is to return the boat to a moist environment.
    Not that I'm planning on heading to Vancouver on a rescue mission, but what have you found works for creating a properly moist environment for a restoration/rescue like this? I suppose the ideal would be hanging from slings in the water (for what, a week?) while the seams and cracks close up? Put it in a tent and wet the hull down 4 times a day? Maybe run a steam generator to basically keep it in a moist fog?

    I was doing a some work down on the Duwamish last week and saw a few old wood boats that clearly had been out of the water for a long time but from a distance looked sound. Got me thinking about how tricky it must be to combine freshly milled wood and old well-dried timbers. Or even a long-term project (see Jim Ledgers decade long odyssey) what happens to a green white oak steambent frame when it sits on ribbands for years drying out before planking?

    While the plywood and epoxy boats I've built over the past 12 years don't have these issues, the carvel planked boat I'd like to start building in the next 2-3 years will (or might depending on how long it takes me to finish). There is a shop enlargement and sourcing 2200-2500 pounds of lead first but these are the things I think about late at night.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    Quote Originally Posted by stromborg View Post
    Not that I'm planning on heading to Vancouver on a rescue mission, but what have you found works for creating a properly moist environment for a restoration/rescue like this? I suppose the ideal would be hanging from slings in the water (for what, a week?) while the seams and cracks close up? Put it in a tent and wet the hull down 4 times a day? Maybe run a steam generator to basically keep it in a moist fog?

    I was doing a some work down on the Duwamish last week and saw a few old wood boats that clearly had been out of the water for a long time but from a distance looked sound. Got me thinking about how tricky it must be to combine freshly milled wood and old well-dried timbers. Or even a long-term project (see Jim Ledgers decade long odyssey) what happens to a green white oak steambent frame when it sits on ribbands for years drying out before planking?

    While the plywood and epoxy boats I've built over the past 12 years don't have these issues, the carvel planked boat I'd like to start building in the next 2-3 years will (or might depending on how long it takes me to finish). There is a shop enlargement and sourcing 2200-2500 pounds of lead first but these are the things I think about late at night.
    All your suggestions would work...there is one that you did not mention: just let the boat sink. Here is what I did most often, I will note that most of my work was on runabouts.
    1. Buy a plastic garbage can.
    2. Go to a millworks shop and get enough shaving to fill the garbage can.
    3. Put the shavings in the can and fill with water.
    4. Stir to distribute the moisture.
    5. Put wet shavings under boat. It will take weeks for them to dry out.
    6. You might drape the boat with plastic to begin.
    Last edited by pcford; 05-21-2022 at 03:11 PM.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    Quote Originally Posted by pcford View Post
    If I may offer some suggestions based on forty years of professional boat restoration:
    The boat has been in a dry environment, thus seams have opened up. It seems obvious that the way to correct this is to return the boat to a moist environment. I had an Oselv boat; these are constructed of very wide planks. Mine would show cracks of nearly a quarter inch. They would close up after exposure to water/or at least a high humidity environment. You do NOT have to dip the boat in epoxy splooge.
    There are no signs of rot in the photos that I can see. It is likely that there is some.
    I can't tell if the boat needs new frames...let alone replacement with local white oak. (!)
    In short, the boat needs attention from a skilled boatwright. The ideas advanced above will likely kill a pretty boat.
    Greg Foster was a well-known small boat builder a few decades ago; please honor his work...don't destroy it.

    Jeez I thought the idea of dipping the entire boat in an Epoxy bath was so ludicrous as to be obviously a joke. I mean who has that much epoxy?? Nor was I ever suggesting sheathing it in dynel, as I said before I was just referencing what I read about another tent sailor.
    To me it looks like there are many potential rot areas. I’d always imagined the vancouver area as being rather damp. I’m used to it because I grew up here but I rarely hear people say as dry as Vancouver or when is it going to rain around here? However it is certainly not as wet as being immersed in the ocean and I imagine you know best. I am certainly not a boatwright. Perhaps I will try to contact Greg and ask his opinion as well. I think I will go look at it in person. It's a jaunt but I have friends near there I can visit too. I do appreciate the advice.
    Last edited by Toxophilite; 05-21-2022 at 10:43 PM.

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    Just realized I doubled up a photo , there's one of the centerboard trunk now a couple posts back

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    Assuming this boat hasn't any major rot anywhere (I think it must have some somewhere frankly ) and some of the splits will close upon immersion or some sort of water treatment. What about thesplits that run right through all the fasteners that join the planks, like this one on the third plank down, It goes diagonal almost the entire width of the plank and then runs along the fasteners till it's out of sight. to me with my comparatively untrained eye that looks pretty structural.
    Also the rusted fasteners in the base of the centreboard trunk. I've seen badly rusted keel bolts before and they tend to expand and crack and then rot the wood around them.(see close ups)


    Last edited by Toxophilite; 05-22-2022 at 09:53 PM.

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    This boat from here looks eminently repairable. It may take a bit of time, and some tuning up of your skills, but it is a beauty. The builder was highly skilled, the lining out is lovely, the planking is select material and best of all the design is lovely. I have seen far worse boats returned to use.
    It is a damned shame the transom was hacked out to take an outboard.
    As an open boat the repairs would be simplified. The interior has all the hallmarks of not being done by the original builder.

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    Hey thanks
    I agree. The beauty of the design,the obvious craftmanship, and the sturdy nature of the build are what keeps me interested.
    Not sure if the interior was original, It was designed as a tent sailor so contained storage might've been built in.
    Trying to sort the rig out with the owner. Only two spars are shown and they look very similar in thickness, the original providence riverboat was a gaff sloop (at least in the pictures I've seen) He was thought it was a dipping lug, but then why leathered jaws on the yard? the other tenet sailor that I am aware of that's still operational is also a Gaff sloop with the very same funny sprit. I've not seen pictures of it's interior.

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    Quote Originally Posted by Toxophilite View Post
    Hey thanks
    I agree. The beauty of the design,the obvious craftmanship, and the sturdy nature of the build are what keeps me interested.
    Not sure if the interior was original, It was designed as a tent sailor so contained storage might've been built in.
    Trying to sort the rig out with the owner. Only two spars are shown and they look very similar in thickness, the original providence riverboat was a gaff sloop (at least in the pictures I've seen) He was thought it was a dipping lug, but then why leathered jaws on the yard? the other tenet sailor that I am aware of that's still operational is also a Gaff sloop with the very same funny sprit. I've not seen pictures of it's interior.
    Go on, you know you want to

    That spar with the jaws is actually the boom for a standing lug rig. It even has a small cleat along one side, probably for belaying the outhaul, either that or it's for a reefing line.
    Check out the link in pcfords post #5 and you can see it in the video attached.

    It would be a pleasant challenge.

    Cheers,
    Mike.
    Focus on the effort not the outcome.

    "Don't take life seriously. Either way, you won't make it out alive."

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1902 View Post
    Go on, you know you want to

    That spar with the jaws is actually the boom for a standing lug rig. It even has a small cleat along one side, probably for belaying the outhaul.
    Check out the link in pcfords post #5 and you can see it in the video attached.

    It would be a pleasant challenge.

    Cheers,
    Mike.

    Thanks I went and followed the link and then to the lady's page where I found several videos of her sailing. Yes it's a jawed boom. The other spar is the yard and somewhere is the mast which I believe the owner hasn't unearthed yet. I'm going to go have a look and hopefully pick her up.

    I have to figure out roughly how much she displaces and then the trailer weight. I have a max. towing capacity of 600lbs and that's likely a bit of a stretch.
    Last edited by Toxophilite; 05-23-2022 at 10:34 AM.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    " I'm going to go have a look and hopefully pick her up."

    Good on you, she looks well worth the work.

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    Well I'm trying to get an idea from the seller as to price. As it wasn't mentioned and the boat seemed to be in pretty rough shape I was kind of assuming it might be inexpensive/free. I kept asking him what he was thinking and didn't ever get an answer. I finally asked right out if it was a free boat to try and get some idea. It's a $100 trip just to go look at it so I'd like to have some idea before making the trip.
    He's saying he wasn't intending for it to be free but hasn't given me a price range yet.

    Frankly to me this is a free boat. It needs pretty extensive work and it's on a pretty rough looking trailer, that I will likely have to bring wheels for and lube the bearings to get it home. (a couple hours driving). It's a largish commitment in time and $$ to bring it back to usable life. I know it's a classic design by a very reputable builder but to me once they get past a certain point the nostalgia and history is just icing, not part of the price.

    What do the forumites think?

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    If $100 bothers you, this is not the project for you.

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    As far as the weight goes, 1-200 lbs extra won't matter.
    If you are worried about it you could put brakes on the trailer.

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    Quote Originally Posted by pcford View Post
    If $100 bothers you, this is not the project for you.
    Last year I went to look at a Catspaw Dinghy in Madiera Park, also about $100 cost, about 3-4 hours of driving total and 2 ferry rides. The seller assured me it just needed paint and sent 3 pictures taken from a distance. We talked on the phone and he seemed nice, I trusted his assessment.

    I went all the way there to discover that it was ancient with the hull badly caved in by the trailer bunks on both sides. I was counting cracked and rotten oak frames and had gotten to 2 dozen (which mean probably twice that amount or more)when he asked what I thought. I thought it looked like a planter, but I nicely said that it was a beautiful boat but probably more of a project than I was looking for at that time(I wanted to get in the water soon, it was mid covid)
    He got really mad at me saying he gone to a lot of bother. The boat was in his front yard and he had taken 3 photos, I had driven hours and spent $100. I had to walk away from him as he wouldn't stop complaining and I didn't want to tell him where to go.

    Yes it bothered me. Why throw it away on a chance that maybe there will be some point of agreement when that can easily be sorted ahead of time and save everyone's time and effort.
    I don't need a financial test of my interest, only to discover there is no common ground of financial expectations.

    I have since worked out a rough $$ framework with the seller of this boat which is within my means and justifies a trip.
    Thanks.
    Last edited by Toxophilite; 05-23-2022 at 02:18 PM. Reason: veracity

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    Quote Originally Posted by pcford View Post
    If $100 bothers you, this is not the project for you.
    I don't believe that your statement is a reflection of the OP at all.

    Jeff

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    Yeah but it's PC Ford. He's like that.

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    Default Re: Greg Foster Tent Sailor

    Quote Originally Posted by willin woodworks View Post
    Yeah but it's PC Ford. He's like that.
    I am concerned that the boat...would go to someone with limited knowledge and resources...and the chance that this might spell the end of a beautiful...even historic...boat.

    I have seen it many times before. The original poster has evidently amended his mention of the $100 offer.
    Last edited by pcford; 05-24-2022 at 07:21 PM.

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