ters of a 1974 Dodge Constellation camper van parked on the hard next to Dancing Bear.
I started in June 2004, and it took me a week to set up my workspace in an old horse stall. While the weather remained good, we decided to focus our attention on the deck, aiming to have it primed before fall. I'd work all day, and Mark would join me in the evenings, on weekends, and whenever he had a free moment. The original Cal 40 was distinguished by its teak cockpit coamings, handrails, dorade boxes, and other deck trim. We decided early in the process—not for aesthetics but for practicality—to lose the wood. Its absence meant three things: no need to varnish, no potential for rot, and fewer holes in the deck. It also gave us some nice trophies to hang in the barn.
Loosening 40-year-old slotted bronze bolts required both patience and WD-40. We saved everything we could, just in case we decided to put it back on. This included the one-piece teak toerails, which we carefully extracted, and some beautiful bronze work, which we intended to reuse. Since we were jettisoning the teak, we needed a coaming substitute to keep water out of the cockpit. These we carved from 3-inch blocks of Air ex foam, then glassed them in place and faired them.
We planned on reusing the Force 10 stove, but the previ ous owner's solution for propane storage—a bottle lashed on deck or floating freely in the stern—demanded a rethink. A couple of 12-inch-diameter sections of unused fiberglass sewage pipe were cut to fit and glassed in place. New lids were fabricated out of Coosa, a high-density closed-cell foam that's stronger and tougher than Airex.
Next on the list was the hull/deck joint, which was exposed after stripping off the teak toerail. Originally, the deck had been set down onto the hull flange with a single layer of fiberglass mat wet out with polyester resin. The original mat was still visible and rough. Over the years, the flexing of the hull and deck in various places had caused this bond to separate. In a few spots, there were gaps you could stick a knife through.
We didn't plan on repaint-
ing the hull sides, but since the boat's interior was being gutted and the paint stripped anyway, we decided to rebuild the structural joint from the inside, re-tabbing the bulkheads and floor pan at the same time. This was done with six overlapping layers of 45/45-bias 8-ounce glass and standard sections of 8-ounce cloth 6 to 12 inches wide.
Finishing the exterior joint was thus a matter of cosmetics. Because we didn't want to mess with the hull sides, we weren't left with much of an overlap with which to work. The deck had been cut at a slightly inverse angle, so to prevent cracking, we stuffed the Kevlar core of an old piece of rope saturated with epoxy into the gap. We then bonded in place strips of Airex foam, which were sanded to achieve the desired curve at the sheer. Over the foam went one layer of 2-inch-wide Kevlar unidirectional reinforcement tape and one layer of 2-inch-wide strips of 6-ounce cloth.
Next, we modified the cutouts for the old glass port-lights and fiberglass hatches so they'd accept the new aluminum-framed Lexan and acrylic replacements. After a lot more sanding, we were ready to prime.
On the deck, we used Awl-grip's 545 and Highbuild products, then an Awlgrip topcoat. Inside, we went with Pettit's Easypoxy, priming first. Pettit also has a new bottom paint called Vivid, which we used. Colors can be mixed and matched, lending the option of high-visibility colors for rudders and keels. On top of that, wet sanding to 800 grit took less than half a day.
We decided Dancing Bear was of the polar species. So Matterhorn White and Whis
per Gray, both with a hint of blue, were obvious color choices. Inside, we stuck with semigloss white, reasoning that a bright interior with a bit of teak trim would be less claustrophobic than darker options. After the top coat, it was time for us to put Danc ing Bear back together.
At this stage, we were lucky to have the assistance for a couple of weeks of veteran solo sailor David White, who founded the BOC Challenge and competed in the first two races. After the new hatches and portlights were installed,
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Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.