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Re-building the Dewdrop

This is the story of the "Dewdrop" (previously "Kathleen-Charlotte"). She's a Wooden Silhouette MK II, designed by Robert Tucker and built by Hurley Yachts of Plymouth in 1960. She was literally saved from the bonfire November 2006 and was given to me as a project. PLEASE READ FROM THE BOTTOM UP and feel free to leave comments!(More info on Silhouette's can be found at ***PLEASE READ FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE BLOG UPWARDS!***

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Under Sail!

Dewdrop under full sail at the SOIA International Paints Regatta on Rutland Water.

Launch Day

Finally, after what seems like an age, I launched Dewdrop. She sailed wonderfully despite a few teething problems and, I think, looked very fine indeed.

Monday, May 26, 2008


I tried the mast up and attempted to make sense of the rigging. I've got a little bit of work to do here to make it all work again.

Out for the last time.

It's time to say goodbye to the long last. All of the deck fittings etc are all in place and all that remains is to finish the anti-fouling and rig her properly.

Nearly there.

Thanks for the help Harold. (See told you you'd be famous one day!).

Looking good!

I've had her name made up in vinyl lettering. It took a bit of concentration lining it all up, but I think it looks really well.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The varnish is coming along nicely

5 coats of varnish later! I've got to give the inner cockpit another couple of coats, then I can re-coat all the gloss and deck paint. The new hatches are nearly finished (A massive thanks to Harold for that!) and once they're done I can complete the runners and apply some varnish to them.

The last remaining "big job" is the bottom. It really is a most unpleasant job scraping off all that old antifouling paint, but I'm half way there with it now and soon I can glass round the keels and apply the new paint.

Hope you're enjoying the journey as much as I am!

Sunday, March 16, 2008


I tried to get the waterline as straight as I could and I used Cream to compliment the upper paintwork.

The Bright work!

I've got 2 coats of varnish on the outer cabin superstructure now. The first coat was heavily thinned to allow it to penetrate into the wood. Again I've used International for this. The varnish is Schooner and thinners (Flow agent) No. 333. I want at least another 3 coats on so I think I'll be buying in some more!

Deck paint

I chose cream for the deck paint and I think it works well with the blue. I used Blakes for this job and I'll put the second coat on when I've finished the varnishing.

Top Coat

I've got the first coat of Baltic Blue on now. What a difference! This international paint is lovely to use and gives a great finish.


Two coats of International undercoat went on next. A bit of colour on there has already made a difference. I sanded in between coats with 120 grit wet and dry paper and gave attention where required.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

First Primer Coat

I've got the first coat of primer on. This will highlight any areas I may have missed when filling/sanding. These areas will be put right and then primed again.

This process may be repeated several times until a perfectly smooth surface finish is achieved. Only then will the undercoat ang gloss be applied.

Plywood repairs

Plywood is simple to repair and an insert repair, properly fitted, filled and faired can look good as new and, as you can see is invisable when painted.

Filling all the holes

It's important to take time to properly fill all the screw-holes and blemishes before sanding them flat. This will provide a good base for paint to go on. It's really worth (no matter how mundane!) to put the effort in here as the resultant finish will be built on this preparation.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Companionway Cut-out

This was a tense moment. All that work of bonding the Coachroof together and then I had to cut a hole in it!!

It worked out perfectly to size and I like to think this was down to judgement rather than luck! Although the plans and long accurate straight edges certainly helped......

As you can see, the new hatch runners were offered up to obtain a precise measurement for the cross member, as the tenon joints vary slightly no matter how careful you measure them on the bench. Let's not forget that boats need that little bit of "freelancing" from time to time!

New Hatch Runners

I made up the new Hatch Runners today to the correct size and glued them. A "sash clamp" proved invaluable for this task.

I used 18mm Meranti for this job which I bought rough sawn and ran through a thicknesser to achieve the desired finish.

Cockpit Coamings

The cockpit coamings look so much better with the half-round mahogany capping pieces glued in place. This hides/protects the end-grain of the ply and gives the appearance of one thick, solid piece of wood.

Finally some sunshine!

I managed to get the doors open today in the glorious summer february sunshine (Global warming at it's best). Just hope this run of warm weather continues for painting and varnishing.


The tiller appeared, superficially, to be in bad shape, but just like the mast it'll sand up a treat. That 50 year old spruce is resillient stuff.

Coach-roof bonding

I've bonded the last layer onto the coachroof. It's now 12mm as per the original plans. I toyed with the idea of going to 18mm for rigidity, but when I stood on top of the cabin this afternoon I realised that 12mm is plenty strong enough! It still needs to be planed flush and I'll remove the screws before filling in any holes.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

A Helping Hand!

Poor Dave (another Silhouette owner) popped by to say hello and ended up with a pot of glue in his hand!

Many thanks for the assistance Dave (one of the few to have seen Dewdrop close up!).

Cabin Doubler Pieces

The first layer of coachroof was glued on today. As you can see from the pictures, I fabricated some doubler pieces all the way round to add rigidity and provide a bigger area for fixing the roof to.

On the front section I've extended the doubler down in between the two windows. This is to give extra strength as the majority of the surface area here is taken up with the window apertures.

I used some left-over 6mm from the roof for this job.

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