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Freedom isn't free
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been a Catalina Owner (Capri 14.2, Capri 22, and Capri 25) for now must be 15 years. I've been VERY happy with the quality of those boats, and they've all sailed quite well.

Our little lake sail club races every 2 weeks during the summer, and a couple charity races, and our "A" fleet is referred to as the "One Design" fleet, but is actually a mix of S2 7.9s, J/24s, B25, J/22, my old Capri 25, and a Hunter 25.5 (yeah I know where did that come from).

Anyway, at our peak we had (5) S2 7.9s, we are now down to (3). In an effort to help "build" a true One Design fleet, I decided to sell my Capri 25 which was rated just slightly slower than the 7.9, and to buy a 7.9.

I have looked at several 7.9s.. and honestly they are all getting pretty water-logged. The decks are literally falling apart where owners haven't rebedded hardware over the years. It seems fair to say that one little mistake turns these boats into sponges... and quickly so (shame too). I saw one that wasn't addressed in the last year, and turned it from a potential race crushing machine into a nearly worthless complete redeck project boat.

So I found a later model 7.9, a 1986, with a Yanmar diesel inboard (yeah I know if my intent is to race the inboard isn't the best model as no matter how you slice it, its slower). However I am about done with outboard motors... so far most of the owners of the diesels in our area have had good luck with them, I hope to join them. I've been through 4 outboards in 2 years (all used 2 strokes)... I could have purchased an inboard and installed it for what I wasted on those things.

So this particular S2 is a high 400s hull number, and has only a couple glaring issues... where the spinlocks are on the cabintop (an obvious aftermarket install) the core is delaminated/hollow. The places these boats typically have problems (chainplates, mast step, and stanchion bases) aren't bad (they seem pretty solid actually). I didn't hire a marine surveyor because we are talking about an under $7k boat (actually under $5k). The boat is pretty generic, with the 2 instruments (bulkhead compass and speed/depth) both not working (so they are useless holes in the bulkhead). I did all my "hull testing" with a 3/4 inch box wrench tapping around the hull listening for dead spots.

All the sails are tired... 2 rough practice mains, and 1 crisp 100 jib, and a barely used spinnaker (typical of these older race boats, people race them about 1 season, then not again for years)... but the 155 racing number 1 is practically unusable.

The price I am getting the boat for allows me to build this boat the way I want though, and I can take my time outfitting it from scratch the way I'd like. The bottom is ablative (hard ablative VC Offshore I think).. but there are enough pits, and rough spots that I'll likely have to do another bottom job (ugh). I hated doing that 2 years ago on my Capri 25, but it pays to do it yourself so you can make sure it's perfectly fair.

It has workable standing rigging, but the running rigging is really tired. When all is said and done I'll probably spend as much on this boat as one completely equipped now, however they won't be where I want to be, so I feel this is a better approach for me.

I hope to come back to this forum and ask other S2 owners their experience at large when I come across problems... Of course I'll also join the S2 7.9 association.

I don't have many pictures, as it wasn't a top priority (yet).. but I have a few as proof a 7.9 was involved.

 

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Freedom isn't free
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3,147 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We had an 8.0 in our club, and you are correct, those things are beasts compared to the 7.9.
 

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Freedom isn't free
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Faster/Smack thanks...
I'm going to need lots of luck getting this one back in shape.
First things first.. must find a trailer, gonna borrow one from the club to get it home.
 

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Freedom isn't free
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
HAHA.. changed plans...
I purchased hull number 68, that is the outboard model. I officially own and is sitting in my driveway (for now).

Here is a shot of her as I towed her home to PA from MI.


I bailed on the last S2 I put an offer in on... He just had some things he needed to work out before the boat was 100% ready to go, and I was looking for something a bit more turn-key.

Can't wait to get my new ride in the water though. I want to see what all I need to address to make the boat competitive for next season (we have like 3 more weeks of sailing left before the lake starts to turn solid).
 

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Freedom isn't free
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have (2) number 3s... (110 I think) one is pretty decent shape.
I have (1) laminate number 1 (155), that's pretty tired (that'll need replaced)
(2) possibly (3) mainsails, one is a Doyle Boston dacron racing main with less than 1 season on it (looks brand new).
(3) different spinnakers, (2) have about 3 seasons on them, light usage.

I figure my first 2 purchases for sails will be a 155 loadpath, and maybe a main loadpath the following season.

Bottom is quite smooth... noticed about 6 blisters (might be some more) JUST starting to show... so that's on my winter project list to repair (which honestly is no big deal to me). Bottom needs a couple coats of VC17m of course, but that's not honestly a big deal.

Looks like the rudder was just rebuilt/faired. The daggerboard was kept indoors.

I am not real fond of the outboard, but if it runs I'll use it... 7.5 hp yachtwin but has an alternator (which I sorely miss from my Capri 22 with the 6hp johnson)... that also means I'll finally have a reverse again..

I'll know more once I sort through the boat. Honestly I banged on the hull, found no soft spots... looked at a couple of sails, and said, OK we're good boat's sold! I've seen so many of these boats in such terrible shape it was just nice to see one that wasn't falling apart.

I found the port cockpit seat forward of the traveler is wet/waterlogged. I figure that's a pretty minor fix in the grand scheme of things.

Prior owner told me that the boat was dragged across a metal pole at a gas station, and the gelcoat was messed up (since repaired)... so I expected the gelcoat on port side to be non-matching (and it is). There wasn't corresponding fiberglass work there, so it MUST have been surface only.

Boat appears to have had the bow eye section repaired, owner told me they caught a transom in a heated race at the nationals. Damage was localized to the bow eye, and the repair looks professionally done, and stronger than original.

Mast step was already repaired... this is a big deal on these... The mast step gets gelcoat crazing and starts to let water into the substrates, and it waterlogs, and eventually rots the core out... this is a real PITA to fix, and get the mast step level. The job was done quite well, it's all nicely solid, and boat was raced like that in 2005. The color gelcoat around the repair is slightly lighter white, but isn't a glaring difference that one would notice unless looking hard for it.

So this boat has some REAL battle scars, but that's OK with me. It's the right configuration properly smooth and sounds like fast. The rest to me is eye-candy (something I'm pretty good at fixing).
 

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Freedom isn't free
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3,147 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
update, I counted 17 sails for the boat (at least)...
5 spinnakers All race ready, 2 light, 2 medium, 1 heavy.
4 number 1s 1 laminate race ready.
3 number 3s 1 dacron race ready
4 mains, 1 good, 1 excellent race ready but dacron.

Boats motor fired right up (hasn't run in 8 years).
Boomkicker
Tiller is excellent
Tiller extension is excellent...
Battery is 8 years old... and likely crap.
all the parts are found and I lightened up the boat and only loaded on the stuff I need.
owner had a tackle box of spare parts (clevis pins, cotters, bolts, ring dings, etc.. 3 -5 spares of each).
Also found a nice set of dock lines, fenders, anchor, etc.
2 boat hooks
spinnaker pole
whisker pole

I am just amazed... Sorry believe it or not I just kind of bought the boat knowing all this came with it... but I didn't take inventory of it all (I didn't have time, the boat hull was sound and honestly that's all I cared about). I am shocked at what I got now... I kind of feel like I stole the boat now. granted all the sails/equipment is 8 years old (and has not been touched since).
 

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Freedom isn't free
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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I had to post to my own thread... I threw the boat in the water ugly (needs a bunch of running rigging, and such), but the boat is fully functional... so I figured what the heck let me put it in, see what is broken and missing... well not much!

Boat sails well... Points like mad... Go figure.

Oh I know pictures or it didn't happen.


Told you she was ugly... rust stains on the sail, and looks like 10 miles of bad road... but believe it or not the sails are pretty crisp, no popped threads and generally have decent shape (yep they aren't perfect, but for messing around these are alright).

 

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Freedom isn't free
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Happy to sell a spare spinnaker... I have 1 in good shape I'll part with (shore sails), can't tell you how old.. however no splits or tears, no repairs I saw... seems like a light sail, .6 oz?


More pictures here
www.shnool.com - /images/S2-7.9/2014-11-8Spinnakers/Shore0.6/

shnool @ yahoo if you'd like to discuss.

Meanwhile, I've started work... I've sanded down the hatchboards, and started to clearcoat them. I've removed the winch handle holders, to bleach them (they were black with mold on the inside).... I've also removed all the tracks for the hatch, as well as the hatch keeper boards (they are plastic and split)... I think I have a source for the replacement keepers, and tracks.

I think I have a way to lift the daggerboard out in my own pole barn, and bottom work will start soon (needs bottom paint)... I'll be drilling out a few blisters, and fixing them soon... then I'll start painting the daggerboard first.
 

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Freedom isn't free
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
No grass growing under me this winter... first lets get everything working as was designed (and sealed back up again)... perhaps next year I'll have enough $$ to buy a sail or 2.
 

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Freedom isn't free
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
In my opinion that's really not thread drift... it's relevant to my repair list as well.
Just picked up some epoxy resin 2 part to help repair some things around the boat. I'll post pictures of how it turns out.
 

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Freedom isn't free
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The latest issues I am working on, are drilling out and filling in the holes for the daggerboard trunk... and hatch slides. I am also working on a way to pull the daggerboard out.
Not sure if you can see it well in this picture, but I've run (2) 4x4 pressure treated posts across 3 trusses in my pole barn ceiling, and placed the tackle between, running the free end down to the genoa track and for now to the keel winch... I'm actually going to use the primaries, but I need a longer line for that. No worries I've already tested the mechanism and contacted the pole barn manufacturer and they said the trusses were designed for various optional gantry type lift cranes... so its well within spec.
 

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Freedom isn't free
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Flash forward.. Daggerboard is painted... here it is just before painting...

Here it is after painting.
 

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Freedom isn't free
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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Ok, managed to get an old Oday 26 swim ladder off EBay for a song, $65 shipped (not bad since new was $300)...
All I did was position the ladder well out of the way of the rudder, and made sure it'll sit where it needs to... so I only put 2 holes in the transom to do this (pilots if you will)... but this is a longer range project, but here you can see how it should look in use..
 

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Freedom isn't free
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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Here's the best help anyone can find.. My buddy, he's a Dual Champion, and just the best dog... Gonna get him a life jacket for this summer, and take him with... He'll probably be nervous as heck (he's 10), but I just love him... Just a cool dog (we have his daughter and his son as 3 yos now)..

 

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Freedom isn't free
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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Traveler has to come off... time for a big project...


Traveler off


Drill out (dremel tool reinforced cutoff wheel)... I drilled out the spot under the traveler, because if I found it OK, I'd have just injected wood restorer, and put it all back together....


Well guess what?
Nothing but wet.


Ok, so cut the hole, and bite the bullet...
UGH...


Ok, cleaned up and cleared out, and I pealed back the top layers (gelcoat, and fiberglass) to a section that is still good... so I can layup into good core. I KNEW this core was bad (thump thump thump, thud).. So this was a MUST fix. Now we dry it all out (let it stand for quite a while before we start the process to fix using laminating resin, end grain balsa, and new layup).
 

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Freedom isn't free
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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
If you look at the last picture you'll see some core still in place, and a big void... I'll be placing new core in (it's apparently 1/2" end grain balsa).. I'll be wetting out 2 sides, and getting the pre-scored sheets... and flexing out the sheets and wetting the edges of each square... I'll attempt to get pictures of all that.

My plan is to sand out the bottom of the gelcoat/fiberglass top layer, to thin it out some... so I can lay a couple layers of glass on top of the new core. I have to order some color matched gelcoat as well, but we have quite a while before we get there.
 

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Freedom isn't free
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Discussion Starter · #25 · (Edited)
If I were smart I'd have done 1 thread in cyberspace on this... unfortunately I am not smart.
New toys (its what keeps me going on the mundane projects)... Hope you can see it through Mr. Fuzzycam. Simrad IS20 Combi/Wind


Oooh shiny things...


I removed the SUUNTO compass (the plastic was all crazed, and becoming unreadable, shame it was a nice compass).

I also removed the Standard Horizon Depth/Speed/Temp... the 2 units were different shapes... these are the gaping holes I'm left to deal with.


Here I am making a budget template to space/fit 2 square pegs in a larger square hole and a smaller round one. Yep, I failed geometry... and spacial skills too.. but I think I accomplished my goal. The 2 screws on the edge were pre-existing holes... trying hard not to make any more holes than necessary.


Here is a further back view, obviously the hatchway is not vertical, so this is about as close to vertical spacing for the electronics I could come up with...


By the way that barely covers the holes! Yeah they were that big... and those electronics aren't small! My long term goal is to add an electronic compass via simnet, and get an IS 20 compass and tack display (perhaps next year), and place them on the port side to match this.
 

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Freedom isn't free
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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I've cut out plywood copies of the cardboard template now... my goal is to get the shape/size perfect, then use the plywood as a template for starboard.

PS: The only math course I failed was Calculus 1 in college... which I then proceeded on to pass 1 and 2, then Differential Equations, then Multivariable Calculus. What I didn't do well in was shop class :p
 

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Freedom isn't free
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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
By the wan continuing on the above port cockpit seat repair... I got my core end grain balsa 1/2"... This stuff is neat. Now I understand how they built a light boat. Ok so the first round of the stuff lasted 30 years, maybe I can get 15 out of this? who knows.

Here is one piece cut and ready to go in, with the base prepped with acetone (and then I waited for it to evap)... then I buttered the base with laminating resin... I am not saying any of this is right, but so far it "looks" right.


This balsa core stuff is neat, has a fiberglass back to it, and is in little squares... I read that you are supposed to lay resin on each edge of the block, so flex it butter each edge, then flex it back... so I did....


here you see the both buttered piece of core in place and wetted in... Note, the seats are not flat, there is a slight concave to them for comfort.


Again I am not sure if any of this is right, but I'm moving forward anyway... I have some chopped strand mat, I'm going to lay down over this in 1 or 2 layers... but first I am going to use some resin/epoxy/filler to fill in any gaps in any of this... then lay in the matt to tie it all together... I'll build up layers until I get the right thickness, then put down gelcoat as a last step. Cross your fingers I get all this right.
 

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Freedom isn't free
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3,147 Posts
Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I filled in the gaps... a friend convinced me to lay this up complete, and I agree (now)... no other way it would seem. So I used an epoxy/filler I had... and filled/shaped it out like it was before... I have chopped strand mat ready to start the layup... Anyway, here is what I have now... I'm going to sand it all out to smooth it then start building the layup...
 
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