Express Dinghy restoration

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Phil
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Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:40 pm
Location: Thetford Norfolk UK

Express Dinghy restoration

Post by Phil » Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:03 pm

Hi all,

New member here and I am restoring an express dinghy back to its former glory! Would it be ok to keep a log here of my trials and tribulations along the road of this dinghy’s restoration?
At the moment what I am looking for is nay manuals / plans / drawings , I would expect to any costs incurred getting copies to my self . To explain I am new to dinghy sailing and new to dinghy restoration but I have been sea kayaking for a lot of years.

Please find below the start of my restoration efforts which I have posted on another site , Burnham Overy Staithe Sailing Club.

Sat Sep 27, 2008 5:36 pm
27/09/08

And so it begins, I though I would keep a log of my trials and tribulations in my restoration of my express dinghy and share it with you all.

The dinghy is an express, red hull, white deck and cockpit and looking quiet good for its year, usual dings and scratches abound but importantly water tight and sails well.

As a restoration project I think have picked a winner more bye luck than wisdom!

Today began the “strip down” as our colonial cousins would say , I removed the transom, low and behold found it came off quiet easy, upon inspection I found that the GRP moulding outer casing was in very good condition but the infill of ply was rotted away, bottom quarter.
Here we go, I though, problem number one! Remove the ply in as larger bits as possible so as I will have a decent pattern for the making of the new ply insert. Now I think age worked in my favour here as the ply came away from the GRP transom with very little trouble at all! Quick wiz around with the Dremal and all is ready for the new ply insert!

So I turned my attention to the main hull, could my luck hold out, well it has, I removed all the fittings and the centre board , inspection saw that the fixing points are all strong and ok ! Well this is going very well indeed I thought, so trying my luck even further I thought I would carry out the acid test, fill the bouncy tanks with water to see if there’s any leaks at all, reasoning if water can get in it can get out!

The buoyancy tank on an express is basically a double hull and not segmented at all, but stuff with polystyrene blocks. There’s a drain plug in the cockpit which drains water through the double hull and a second drain plug low-down on the hull transom.

First off I filled the tanks with water, leaving on the two side inspection hatches, filling from the bow inspection hatch. Wonders! No leaks at all to the outside or to the cockpit area. My luck is definitely holding. So I drained the water down and proceed to clean all the debris out that had surfaced.

Inspection of the cockpit floor area has shown that the floor Gelcoat is flaking also upon turning the hull over I found two gouges which will need filling, so with these two problems I now have to make a decision, I admit I have no GRP skills what so ever, do I get a professional to do these jobs or do I attempt them my self? Well reading all the information on Gelcoat repairs and GRP repairs they make it sound so easy! Yeah right! Been caught before like that. Also in making my decision I have to take into account I want to change the hull colour.

So this is the point I have arrived at, I have a really worth while restoration project, which will end with me having a rare dinghy at the end. A dinghy which has already given me loads of fun taught me loads and is more than capable of teaching me loads more.

So as and when I make further progress I will report back here.

I have found on the hull a number, 1-7-1-6A; could this be a moulding number or an identification number? Any help would be much appreciated.

Phil

Rupert
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Re: Express Dinghy restoration

Post by Rupert » Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:54 pm

Welcome to the knackered old boat society, Phil!

In answer to the easy bit first...gelcoat repairs are very easy - it is getting them looking good and not sanding through the area around the repair that is hard...If you are thinking of painting the hull anyway, then it isn't such a problem. In fact, dare I say it, plastic padding does a great job of filling dings without all the little air bubbles that get into gelcoat, and is far easier to sand back.

Over the last couple of years, there have been other threads about the expess dinghy - I think on here, but also on the Yachts and Yachting forum. My memory is poor, but I think there were links to other discussions about them, with the son of the designer very interested in what is going on. Well worth a trawl to see what comes up.

The imprtant thing now, I'd say, is to get the inside of the hull dried out as best you can, as the polystyrene traps water, and adds weight and it isn't a good place for water to be! If there is a hatch anywhere, make sure it is open - sit the boat in the sun if we get any more, and try and get warm air blowing through her.

Best of luck, and I look forward to hearing how it all goes!
Rupert

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neil
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Re: Express Dinghy restoration

Post by neil » Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:40 pm

here's a previous Express Thread

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=531&hilit=express
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Zenith's rebuild - www.pegasus18.com/zenith

chris
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Re: Express Dinghy restoration

Post by chris » Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:48 pm

One of our club members has been restoring an Embassy and has a good website about the progress here
http://homepages.rya-online.net/driftwood/

STEVEB
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Re: Express Dinghy restoration

Post by STEVEB » Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:39 am

Hi,
if you want to change the colour of the hull then you can epoxy paint it to finish off
Steve
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Rupert
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Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 8:40 pm
Location: Cotswold Water Park

Re: Express Dinghy restoration

Post by Rupert » Tue Sep 30, 2008 9:12 am

The last glass boat I did I used International front door paint and a varnish miniroller - it all depends upon your budget! You can also take the ready for paint hull to a car spraying place, I'm told, and get good results.
Rupert

Phil
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Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:40 pm
Location: Thetford Norfolk UK

Re: Express Dinghy restoration

Post by Phil » Tue Sep 30, 2008 6:51 pm

Thank you all looks ive hit gold with you lot going to take some pics this weekend so as i can get good advice from this forum, ive a really good feeling about all of this, thank you so much all next post will be the weekend looking forward to your reply's
phil

Phil
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Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:40 pm
Location: Thetford Norfolk UK

Re: Express Dinghy restoration

Post by Phil » Sun Oct 05, 2008 4:37 pm

Not really been the weekend for restoration works!! But most of the lower cockpit gelcoat has been chipped out now and the under surface is really good no cracks or the like, so should be a quick clean up and then re-coat.

This weekend attention turned to the mast, as I have said before we have been sailing the dinghy all summer and I had noticed the rigging was getting passed it use by date, also the main sheet up haul was emmmm howed can we say getting harder to up haul!, so I thought a quick check is needed, new rigging has been brought and installed, now this sounds easy well it was but and here’s the but I found out why the up haul was stiff to say the least, the mast when it came had no mast head button / cover and I had noticed that after sailing when the rigging was wet they seamed to be easy to use, warning signs and I should have not ignored them, in taking out the old rigging I pulled in draw strings for the new and here's where I found the problem, a mouse had built its home in me mast ! Right in the middle, soon sorted that out, flushed it all out with a water hose.

I checked all the sheaves and blocks for free operation, washed them down and applied ptfe lubricant to the bearings. All that’s need now is a new mast head button / cover, friend of mine is a turner and he’s going to knock one up for me. Also I’ve made a mast bag from a cheap tarp, brought from the local builder’s merchants, and duck tape. No more animal homing!

Even more exciting news is that I have found the company that built my little dingy and what’s more they are still trading! Details as follows for all you Express dinghy sailors:-

Anglo Marine Services Essex Limited
Wade Road, Gorse Lane Industrial Estate, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex CO15 4LT
Tel: +44 (0) 1255 420717 Fax: +44 (0) 1255 426310

They have a web page http://www.aavx76.dial.pipex.com/index.shtml and the company history makes very interesting reading, needless to say an e-mail has gone off today and I hope a real useful contact can be made.

So progress has been made, just the problems with the hull dings to sort then the colour change.

Next report this coming weekend, with I hope good news form Anglo Marine.

Phil

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stu
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Re: Express Dinghy restoration

Post by stu » Sun Oct 05, 2008 6:06 pm

Phil, PM your email address to me and I'll put you in touch with Ian, Son of Express designer. I know he currently owns 2 or 3, 1 of which he sailed every Wednesday evening this year - doing rather well !

Stu
The only canoe sailor in MY village too !

8) OK K1958
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http://www.stuandliz.co.uk

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Phil
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Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:40 pm
Location: Thetford Norfolk UK

Re: Express Dinghy restoration

Post by Phil » Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:36 am

Oh well that din't last long, up's and down's of restoration!
Just found out Anglo Marine Services Essex Limited shut down about five years ago, so the search go's on for information.
Watch this space !
Phil

Rupert
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Re: Express Dinghy restoration

Post by Rupert » Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:41 pm

Most expresses were home made after hiring the mould. It was designed as a way round the luxury goods tax that came in in the 70's. A professionally built one is probebly going to have lasted better.
Anglo Marine Services Essex Ltd
35 Second Avenue, Frinton On Sea, Essex CO13 9ER
p: 01255420717
Found these details on google, but being the internet they could be out of date...
Rupert

Phil
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Location: Thetford Norfolk UK

Re: Express Dinghy restoration

Post by Phil » Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:47 pm

Thank you Rupert but its the same number i tried this morning, so no joy.
Yes mine is a pro built dinghy and thats why Iam restorting her now, she's in that state where to do it now will save time and money in the long run, still loads of fun just trying to find details about the express dinghys, thanks again for your help
Phil

Phil
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Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:40 pm
Location: Thetford Norfolk UK

Re: Express Dinghy restoration

Post by Phil » Thu Oct 09, 2008 9:05 pm

express4.jpg
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express3.jpg
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express2.jpg
(18.83 KiB) Downloaded 279 times


Pic's of my express before restoration

Phil

Phil
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Location: Thetford Norfolk UK

Re: Express Dinghy restoration

Post by Phil » Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:30 pm

Update, turned my attention to the sails today, as we had that big yellowish thing in the sky! And I noticed that the main sail has a number on it, like I could never have missed it before! Big and red! Washed and cleaned them found them to be in great condition.

Anyways the number is 570, now I have looked up in the dinghy data base and found no dinghy with that number in it’s or is part of its name / identification. Can anyone inform me other wise please?

So I think it’s reasonable to assume that the number is the build number or registration number seeing as in one forum I read that only about 800 where ever made.

I have brought a small pack of West System and will be experimenting with the stuff over the weekend, reading the instructions seams pretty fool proof!

Have a good weekend all

Phil

Phil
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Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:40 pm
Location: Thetford Norfolk UK

Re: Express Dinghy restoration

Post by Phil » Sat Oct 11, 2008 9:42 pm

hey every one found another express for sale any one interested ??? i can let you have the details, its open to offers

Phil

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