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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
I'm a long time lurker, first time poster, and I humbly submit this project-diary type thread in the tradition of AllThumbs and his DS 20.
So, anyway, here's the story:
When I was younger I raced one-design dinghies, sailed on the family Bristol 35.5, and crewed Wednesday night races a handful of times. A few months ago I picked up (what I believe is) a '73 Venture 21 and trailer for the low price of $600, and I plan to fix it up and sail it for a few years. I have a full compliment of carpentry tools, my own labor, a hazy memory of fiberglass repair, and almost no money. I hope to finish in time for spring, and for the project cost to come in around what I paid for the boat. The tone for the project will lean towards cruising, rather than racing, and the cheap and available, rather than the best.
The boat is in good condition for it's age. It has the original topside paint, just one extra coat of bottom paint, and no pox whatsoever. The standing rigging shows no rust or meathooks. The deck is sound, and the mast, boom, and spinnaker pole are in good condition. On the downside, the swing keel is rusting pretty bad, the brightwork is totally f**ked, and the trailer is rusting through in the worst possible place (see link for pictures below.)
I invite all comments and advice, and will update this thread with my progress as the project rolls out.
I have pictures of some of the most serious issues at picasa.
This is my first post, so I can't post a real link: picasaweb dot google dot com slash david dot warshaw

The Repair Schedule:
  • remove, repair, and replace keel
    I'm not so sure how to go about this. I'm worried that if I get the keel out, I wont be able to get it back in. I may repair the keel largely in place, supporting it only to remove the winch assembly and inspect the hardware.​
  • remove barnacles and existing bottom paint
    Random orbital sander or angle grinder fitted with soft pad.​
  • repaint bottom
    I'm not sure if it's best to trailer it, or keep it in the water. I'm fortunate to live where one can get a shallow slip pretty inexpensively and keeping it in the water seems like less of a hassle then on a trailer, but I'd be open to arguments for and against. Alternatively, could I get a cheap paint that will work either way?​
  • repaint old boot stripe
    Easy enough.​
  • remove existing topside paint
    RO sander/grinder again.​
  • repaint topside
    I'd like to approximate the existing, it's a nice pastel yellow. What's a good (read: cheap) topside paint?​
  • repair crazing on deck
    This, I have no idea how to do.​
  • repair cracked hatch cover
    Minor fiberglass repair; easy enough.​
  • repair PO's botched repair of deck under jib cleat
    This is a more interesting repair. I think I'll tape the outside and work from the inside to minimize messing the contour of the deck up.​
  • repaint deck
    This is another total question mark. What kind of paint should one use for something like this?​
  • mostly remove existing interior paint
    The sander again, although some areas will be inaccessible.​
  • remove existing interior bulkheads
    This should be pretty easy.​
  • repaint interior
    Any ideas on how I can make the interior a little more inviting than just painting everything white?​
  • repair electrical system
    I'd like to install some kind of panel and maybe a radio. New LED masthead and bow lights?​
  • install new interior bulkheads
    Half inch painted plywood. Could I get cheap cushions? Could I make cheap cushions?​
  • install head
    This will be entirely new territory for me. There is an existing space set off for this (all V21's might have it), but there are through hull fittings for, what I think is, discharge into the water. I don't know much about marine plumbing, but I'm pretty sure discharging waste into the water where I am is illegal. The boat is to small for a tank, so this one will require some research and counsel.​
  • replace running rigging and hardware/brightwork where necessary
    New sheets and halyards. I'd like to rig the spinnaker pole so that I could run it with just two people. I'm not sure exactly how it's rigged right now; more on this later. I'd like to experiment with Ipe for the brightwork. It has characteristics similar to teak, but is much cheaper.​
  • clean sails
    I haven't unfolded them yet; this may be a big deal, or it may not.​
  • outfit interior
    Get a new fire extinguisher, figure out the pump sink; all still too far off to be definite.​

(That was longer than I thought it would be; the rest of my posts will be shorter.)
Thanks,
Dave
 

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Barkeep - Sailor's Pub
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1,951 Posts
Hi Dave and Welcome!

You'll certainly get some great suggestions on your projects...! I had a Venture 21 for a while. It's a fine boat for bouncing around on.

What kind of cruising are you thinking of?

The centerboard is what I think you are referring to (you say keel above) This is a good place to start. I don't believe that it would be impossible to get it back in. In fact, I would recommend removing it completely, refinishing it, replacing the cable and attachments/fittings.

Before you put the board back in or while you're working on it, redoing the bottom is a great idea.

Again, you've come to a great place for ideas, and detailed help!

All the very best on the rebuild,
Craig
 

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Montgomery 17
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384 Posts
dave,

Looks you have yourself a pretty good project coming up, it will be fun and you will be proud of your boat when you are done.


-I would say remove the keel completely also.
-I use an orbital sander with about 80 grit sandpaper to get the bottom paint off. Just be careful not to go to deep.
-Painting the bottom can be expensive but it is good to do so.
-I dont think you need to remove the topside paint, you can usually just "rough" it up and paint over it.
-Crazing, repairing this is a time consuming task. Crazing results from the deck flexing and then cracking, so this means that the deck is weak in some areas. To fix this, usually you will have to strengthen the udnerside of the deck before you repair it or else it could happen again.
-The interior paint you should just be able to rough it up and clean it really well with some Acetone or degreaser and just paint over it.
-The electrical system sould be fairly simple if you have basic electrical skills, I taught myself on my last project boat.
-The cheapest route for cushions is definately making your own.
-On a small boat, the head is usually self contained. One of those little cheap ones with the tank attached.
-As for the sink, I wouldn't worry about it unless you were going to be crusing on the boat. But even then, a cooler is more useful in place of a sink.

I have a website, Sailing and Such, with alot of good info that would help you throughout your project. Check out the Sailboat Projects section. Be sure to go to both the Restorations and Modifications pages, both have information directly reguarding Macgregor Venture 21's.

Good luck with your project!

This forum is a great resource and you should be able to find the answers to all of your questions here, everyone likes to help.
 

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Telstar 28
Joined
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993 Posts
Hello all,
I'm a long time lurker, first time poster, and I humbly submit this project-diary type thread in the tradition of AllThumbs and his DS 20.
So, anyway, here's the story:
When I was younger I raced one-design dinghies, sailed on the family Bristol 35.5, and crewed Wednesday night races a handful of times. A few months ago I picked up (what I believe is) a '73 Venture 21 and trailer for the low price of $600, and I plan to fix it up and sail it for a few years. I have a full compliment of carpentry tools, my own labor, a hazy memory of fiberglass repair, and almost no money. I hope to finish in time for spring, and for the project cost to come in around what I paid for the boat. The tone for the project will lean towards cruising, rather than racing, and the cheap and available, rather than the best.
The boat is in good condition for it's age. It has the original topside paint, just one extra coat of bottom paint, and no pox whatsoever. The standing rigging shows no rust or meathooks. The deck is sound, and the mast, boom, and spinnaker pole are in good condition. On the downside, the swing keel is rusting pretty bad, the brightwork is totally f**ked, and the trailer is rusting through in the worst possible place (see link for pictures below.)
I invite all comments and advice, and will update this thread with my progress as the project rolls out.
I have pictures of some of the most serious issues at picasa.
This is my first post, so I can't post a real link: picasaweb dot google dot com slash david dot warshaw

The Repair Schedule:

[*]remove, repair, and replace keel
I'm not so sure how to go about this. I'm worried that if I get the keel out, I wont be able to get it back in. I may repair the keel largely in place, supporting it only to remove the winch assembly and inspect the hardware.
I'd highly recommend removing it completely and inspecting it, the winch and the pivot pin. You can't inspect the pivot pin without really removing the swing keel.
[*]remove barnacles and existing bottom paint
Random orbital sander or angle grinder fitted with soft pad.
Random orbital sander is better than angle grinder, which may be too aggressive IMHO. Sodablasting is even better, but might not be an option for you.
[*]repaint bottom
I'm not sure if it's best to trailer it, or keep it in the water. I'm fortunate to live where one can get a shallow slip pretty inexpensively and keeping it in the water seems like less of a hassle then on a trailer, but I'd be open to arguments for and against. Alternatively, could I get a cheap paint that will work either way?
I'd highly recommend barrier coating the boat, if you're going to be sanding the bottom paint off down to the gelcoat. Doing so isn't that expensive to do, and might save you some headaches in the future. You may have to splash the boat briefly to get the waterline right.

I'd also recommend using a multi-season co-polymer ablative paint, whether you're going to drysail it or keep it in the water. Keeping it in the water is a huge advantage since you can often go for short afternoon sails, which wouldn't be possible or feasible if it was on the trailer.
[*]repaint old boot stripe
Easy enough.
Getting the boot stripe right might have to wait until you splash her, unless you splashed her briefly for the bottom paint job as suggested above.
[*]remove existing topside paint
RO sander/grinder again.
RO sander rather than grinder for reasons above
[*]repaint topside
I'd like to approximate the existing, it's a nice pastel yellow. What's a good (read: cheap) topside paint?
Roll and tip. I've used Brightsides, but I'd highly recommend spending the extra bucks if you're going to bother painting and get a good two-part LPU paint, like IMRON or AWLCRAFT 2000.
[*]repair crazing on deck
This, I have no idea how to do.
If it is just crazing due to age, rather than stress cracks, open them up a bit for the larger ones, and then fill and sand...then paint over.
[*]repair cracked hatch cover
Minor fiberglass repair; easy enough.
Might want to investigate why it cracked. If it was due to the piece being too weak, adding a couple layers of glass now might be a good idea.
[*]repair PO's botched repair of deck under jib cleat
This is a more interesting repair. I think I'll tape the outside and work from the inside to minimize messing the contour of the deck up.
Might want to work from the outside in, especially since you're going to be painting the boat anyways. :)
[*]repaint deck
This is another total question mark. What kind of paint should one use for something like this?
See topsides paint answer. :)
[*]mostly remove existing interior paint
The sander again, although some areas will be inaccessible.
Yup... don't paint the bilges though...use barrier coat instead. Paint won't last very long in the bilges generally.
[*]remove existing interior bulkheads
This should be pretty easy.
Make sure you support the hull well before doing this, since many bulkheads are often structural and the boat's shape will change if not well supported.
[*]repaint interior
Any ideas on how I can make the interior a little more inviting than just painting everything white?
Wood veneer goes a long way to making it look nice. :) So do some of the other laminates you can use over the marine plywood for the bulkheads, if you don't want/like wood.
[*]repair electrical system
I'd like to install some kind of panel and maybe a radio. New LED masthead and bow lights?
Cheapest way to get USCG certified LED nav lights is probably getting the Aquasignal 25 fixtures and replacing the bulbs with the Dr. LED replacement bulbs. Get a decent DSC Class-D VHF and a small GPS to connect it to. Go with Blue Sea for the panel.
[*]install new interior bulkheads
Half inch painted plywood. Could I get cheap cushions? Could I make cheap cushions?
Go with marine plywood on the bulkheads. You can make cushions for far less than you can buy them. Get the foam at an industrial foam distributor—most will sell direct to the public in my experience. Get the cloth at a big fabric shop—doesn't have to be "marine" cloth for interior cushions. The new microfiber materials are nice, easy to maintain, easy to sew and very durable.
[*]install head
This will be entirely new territory for me. There is an existing space set off for this (all V21's might have it), but there are through hull fittings for, what I think is, discharge into the water. I don't know much about marine plumbing, but I'm pretty sure discharging waste into the water where I am is illegal. The boat is to small for a tank, so this one will require some research and counsel.
Raritan makes a small (5 gallon IIRC) holding tank that fits around the base of the head, if you want to go with a true marine head and holding tank. Otherwise, you can always go with a porta-potti. If you don't have pumpout facilities nearby, the porta-pottie is probably a better choice.
[*]replace running rigging and hardware/brightwork where necessary
New sheets and halyards. I'd like to rig the spinnaker pole so that I could run it with just two people. I'm not sure exactly how it's rigged right now; more on this later. I'd like to experiment with Ipe for the brightwork. It has characteristics similar to teak, but is much cheaper.
Contact Cajun Trading (Cajun Trading Company, commercial and pleasure marine cordage rope products, Boating and Yachting Supplies, running rigging kits) for a rigging quote. They have package prices for many older boats.
[*]clean sails
I haven't unfolded them yet; this may be a big deal, or it may not.
Not a big deal on a boat your size. :)
[*]outfit interior
Get a new fire extinguisher, figure out the pump sink; all still too far off to be definite.
Bigger is better on fire extinguishers. Foot powered sink pumps rock... and are much simpler to use than hand-pumped sink fixtures on boats without pressure water.
(That was longer than I thought it would be; the rest of my posts will be shorter.)
Thanks,
Dave
Good luck and keep us posted.
 

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Registered
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for pitching in everyone,
craigtoo,
When I say "cruising", I mean daytrips and the occasional overnight; mostly I mean not racing. As for swing-keel vs. centerboard, I've always thought of a centerboard as not providing any ballast, but I've come to that distinction entirely within my own head.

sailingdog,
You're a treasure trove of info, but you're breaking my budget.:)
I can't afford a two pot paint for the topsides and deck. It may mean the boat falling apart at a faster rate it otherwise would (you might say should), but the alternative is not repainting at all.
I'm with you on keeping it in the water. I'm looking at something like Interprotect + Interlux ACT for the bottom. The original stripe is still visible, so I won't have to splash it.

I'm going to start doing some actual work later this week. I'll try to construct some kind of frame to hold the boat above the trailer and rip out the keel. I'll have some horrible keel pictures to post then.

Dave


P.S. Nice sig SD; burn the land, boil the sea, etc...
 

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Montgomery 17
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384 Posts
Dave,

I have a project boat going on myself. The point I am at now is removing the keel. I got the boat off the trailer pretty easily by myself. Now just to drop out the keel, hopefully in the next few days.

I have a few pages here about it and some videos too. YOu might find them useful, and get some ideas on how to get the keel out.

It looks a couple pages are a little messed up, sorry about that, I will have to fix them in the morning when I get home, but you should be able to see the video about gettting the boat off the trailer.
 

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Telstar 28
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993 Posts
Glad to help Dave... keep us posted. :)
 

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midlife crisis member
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975 Posts
Good luck on your project Dave. It may me tough to keep the rebuild job down to $600.00. I just spent $300.00 on running rigging alone. I estimate my project will cost around $1500.00, and that won't include any electrical or interior work at all.

Do you have an outboard?

I look forward to watching the project unfold.

Eric
 

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Telstar 28
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993 Posts
AllThumbs—

He bought the boat for $600. He didn't set a budget of $600. :)
 

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Telstar 28
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I don't discuss my member
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My bad... missed that. :) Not gonna make the budget more likely than not. :)
That's what I was thinking. Bottom prep and paint alone would put a decent dent in $600. The rest could easily be eaten by running rigging. But the good news (as I'm trying to fix up my own boat) is that it doesn't need to be finished at the same time. One project at a time, and get it finished. I'd start with the swing keel first. Do as Craigtoo said and REPLACE the cable and harware. I sailed on a Venture 24 that dropped their keel in the potomac and had to pay a diver to get it. That'll really chew the budget down.
 

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Sea Rat
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7 Posts
This is a good thread. Recently I acquired the exact same boat, which I'm trying to restore. I'm interested in seeing the progress you make, in hopes to compare.

The interior on mine is slightly beat. The original owner put speaker box carpet inside, which I ripped out as soon as I got it. It's been molding for years, there is no hatch cover. To remove the paint, and carpet glue, I'm using an orbital sander with 40 grain paper. A wire brush angle grinder eats the boat! Ooops! 80 grain sandpaper is too fine to take out glue and multiple layers of paint.

Where you have the sink drain, I had an electrical panel!? I removed that too and in its place I will put an ice box, using the drain, possibly pluggable, to release the water when the ice melts. My drain was cut and clamped shut, so I will deal with that later.

The original owner removed the keel completely before, the boat leaks at it bolt. When I lift the boat off of the trailer, I will remove the keel as well and see if there is any damage or just an improper seal.

Please keep us posted :) I'm using your list of things to do to get some ideas.
 

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Sea Rat
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7 Posts
Nice!

My Venture progress is as follows;

1. Lifted the boat off of the trailer and removed keel.
2. Built temporary hatch cover and cabin door, to keep rain out.
3. Finished sanding and power washing and applied first coat of paint.
4. Sanded and oiled hand rails and keel winch mount.
5. Replaced keel winch and trailer winch.
6. Rewired trailer and removed O'Day from the water. (to scrap for parts)
7. Repaired broken bilge pump.
8. Sanded, rebuilt, and repaired rust damaged keel. First coat of fiberglass.
9. Sanded rudder. Needs varnish or epoxy.
10. Sketched out wiring diagram.
11. Mounted new engine with additional support to old/new engine mount. The previous owner had poorly supported the engine mount.
12. Really number 4, wrapped bow railing with rope for comfort and texture.
13. Acquired old fashion anchor from scrap metal yard. Considering its use in place of other anchors for style.
14... uh.. I think that's it so far :)
 
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