LUCKY CHARM: PART 1
This boat was built for racing at a company called "Quarterdeck" in Johannesburg. The hull design is a Meteor and is all meranti with plywood sides. The previous owner, Fred Daleman bought it from Gordon Lanham-Love, a well known racing driver on the Vaal in the 50's/60's. The late "Frosty" Langman told me Gordon married into the 'Dewars whisky' family fortune and this money funded his racing career!
He was in the process of flattening her hull for greater speed when he decided to sell her instead, owning several other boats. ‘Charm’ was later used for skiing and got her name from Mr. Daleman as she was his ‘lucky charm' because no one could beat her!
She arrived on Friday evening and was tucked into the garage before a raging storm broke; uprooting trees and causing superficial damage on the island.
By lunch on the first day, Saturday, she was gutted. The speedo, skiing mirror and red Attwood steering wheel are original equipment as is the Merc control.
I decided to remove the substantial protective padding around the inside of the cabin, despite the old vinyl and sponge being in excellent condition. There was an oak surround underneath that would be a special feature of the cockpit once I had removed the residual glue, which proved extremely difficult to do.
After burning off the white paint layer there remained a thin red covering. This had to be sanded off. This may have been her original original racing colours. The wood was not a marine ply that I've seen before with raised islands of hard, then soft. The transom looked to be solid maranti, however. The boat was strong, but extremely light, having been built to race.
I knew I wanted a stripped deck, but decided to use a different technique than the one I had used on Amore, substituting Sika for the white stripes. I decided the Sika would bind the wood while allowing for expansion and contraction during the day. The ‘look’ I wanted to achieve was similar to this photograph of a legendary racing boat design.
The mahogany for the covering boards was bought, book-ended and installed. I split a mahogany plank in two and used it to protect the end grain on the sides of the deck as sacrificial edges. The wood I chose for the deck was Surian cedar. It is a very light wood with a dark, interesting grain and is relatively easy to work. It has bug resistant properties as well, I believe. Always a bonus.
Once completed and sanded down to remove residual Sika, the deck looked pristine and ready for varnishing.
To be continued...