Volunteers Needed for Sea Scout “Solings” Restoration

Kim Aldrich, the Sea Scout leader, gave a talk to the Port Townsend Yacht Club in April of 2009, telling us about the Solings and how they needed to be brought from Port Ludlow to Port Hadlock. These 2 boats had been donated but were in desperate need of some re-rigging, painting, new deck hardware and TLC. I volunteered to motor them around and in May, got them to their mooring off of Hadlock Marina. The 2 boats were moored side by side on one mooring ball.

Sadly, not too long after that, a storm came along and the boats banged against each other after the fenders fell off. This ripped the hull-deck joint apart and smashed 6’ of deck plus left deep gouges and scratches on the topsides. The rigs also banged a bit causing more damage. They were hauled at the Hudson Point Marina and were looking pretty sad. I thought “What the Hell, I can fix this” and prepared to do the work myself with the kids looking on. As it turned out, I was happily mistaken. I lead a team of enthusiastic Sea Scouts doing all of the structural repairs in two long days of grinding and fiberglassing with the kids doing most of the work. It was awesome! Three kids in particular stood out and were inspirational to me. Though structurally fixed, it left the boats far from being cosmetically ready to get rigged and soon it became clear that working weekends at Point Hudson Marina was not going to work in the long term. I offered to let the boats be moved to the back of my shop where we could do more work on them. This allowed me to do work on them when I had the chance and it would get the boats closer to my tools saving time and increasing the volume of work I could do to them.

Unfortunately, the 3 young men that helped so much with the structural repairs were soon too old to be scouts leaving the final repairs to younger and less experienced Scouts. We also found it hard to regularly get long hours on the boats so mostly the kids were doing a few hours 1-2 days a month and progressed slowed to a crawl but we did get the thousands of blisters on the bottom ground out, filled and faired plus grinding the keel to bare metal and priming that.

Finally this Fall after 3 years in my back yard, I decided that if at least one were to be completed by next year, it would have to be painted now while we had the nice weather and that I would have to put in a LOT of hours independent of the kids. I ended up grinding off the old topside enamel (4 different colors of various ages!), deck non-skid paint then sanding the topsides and spraying high build epoxy primer, getting her ready for high gloss Linear PolyUrethane (LPU) 2 part Urethane enamel. I was fortunate to get this as a donation from a friend I have in the paint industry since the 4 gallons of color plus activator and reducer was worth around $1000!

As of last week, I sprayed the gloss then applied non-skid to the deck and it came out great! I got the kids and one Dad out the next weekend and the topside primer was sanded so now the topsides are ready for first the white (for the boot top and cove stripes), then a beautiful “Ford blue” after masking over the white for the stripes. I expect the first boat, “Celeste”, to be painted this week and ready to start attaching deck hardware by the end of the month. We may need some help there but what I really hope to achieve is to get a core group of volunteers that can help us with the second boat, “Diablo”, the orange/red boat in the photos. She still has the 6’ sheer repair to be ground flush, puttied and faired but she will require a lot less work than Celeste. She has only a bit more work than I completed on Celeste since this Fall so I hope to get her painted next Summer and sailing by the Fall but we will need some help.

What I am hoping to do is get a group of folks that wouldn’t object to getting called when we start work next Spring or maybe late Winter to sandblast and prime the keel, sand and prime the deck and topsides then help rig the boats.
And hey, if somebody wanted to help by buying deck gear and such, that would be awesome!

Any help would be appreciated and it is after all for the kids. A little help here can make a big difference to kids’ lives down the road and will ultimately help our sport if we can “turn on” the kids to boating. So if you have a little time and want to help kids and our sport, let me know. We can always use a hand. These are great kids and could use a little help.

Dan Newland, President
Pegasus Aeromarine Inc.
420 Skywater Dr.
Port Hadlock, Wa. 98339
(360) 437 9360