Another Enterprise Restoration of boat number 1734

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Jimmylovescake
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Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:34 pm
Location: North Devon

Another Enterprise Restoration of boat number 1734

Post by Jimmylovescake » Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:51 am

I'm new to this forum and to dinghy sailing and have undertaken the restoration of an Enterprise Dinghy to make me feel more useful than the stay at home dad that I have become since being made redundant last year.

A bit of a spur of the moment decision after seeing this boat in someone's front garden up for sale a couple of weeks ago, and thinking that it would not only make a good project, but also a good family activity once finished (as most of my interests involve going off alone into the middle of nowhere), and it probably puts a healthy tick in the mid-life crisis box as my expanding waistline and ebbing fitness make the likes of surfing harder work with longer recovery times.
As far as skill level is concerned. I've worked with surfboards shaping, laminating and repairing, and I'm a dab hand with a sander, and comfortable with a router and planes. I am relishing the opportunity for a steep learning curve, and already have a box to hide receipts in from the wife ;-)

This link is for an online Google album where all the photos I take will go, not just for 'before and after' but more to remind me where everything goes. For the time being I hope that it can help me explain what I'm trying to convey with my lack of dinghy knowledge
https://plus.google.com/photos/11102597 ... Kvf3tjr1QE

After finding a few paint blisters and soft spots I decided to strip all paint and varnish to see the extent of what I need to do. I have set a goal as Easter 2014 for completion but I am working to a limited budget, so I need to do the best job I can on a shoestring (ha ha!)

I am based in North Devon and will be using this boat on the Taw & Torridge which has a fairly quick tidal flow. I was wondering whether it would be worth replacing the current (loose) 9mm Transom with an 18mm transom (routed to fit inside existing framework) to give me the option of fitting a small 2-3hp outboard like a seagull, just as a precaution. Thoughts on this would be appreciated.

I have already found that the foredeck beam was rotten and the King-plank is in two pieces, I have decided to replace these for new wood (Sepele).
Because this means I'm going to have to remove the ply from the fore-deck I have accepted that the deck ply will need replacing with new, as it's unlikely to come off nicely (and is already patched in a few places). I don't mind this so much as I'm sure it will help with making the end result a bit nicer and easier to achieve. This appears, at the edges, to be 6mm marine ply, PLEASE someone correct me if that's likley to be wrong.

On the hull there are some existing repairs that are far from flush with the external surface of the hull. I intend to replace these and extend them to cover the soft / holed area that appear to have been caused by a lack of sealant around the self bailer's.
Inside there are some fairly untidy looking backing patches which I intend to remove so I can tidy the areas around them. I was considering laying thin ply the full length of the middle two sections from stern to bow, not just to reinforce the bottom from the potential heavy feet of my son, but also for aesthetics. The pictures show some nasty looking discolouring to the wood either side of the centreboard although it feels quite solid (so far), with the exception of the hole. Would this be overkill? would I be better off with using a thin veneer? Also is anyone able to tell me how the hull ply fits to the centre piece of wood (think it's called a hog)? I believe the hull has been made from 6mm Marine Ply, again, someone Please correct me if I've likely got this wrong as I can only measure edges until taking it off the boat, and I don't want to do this until I have the ply to Repair and replace bits with (catch 22)

Any help or advice is appreciated and thanks in advance, I'm sure I'll be pestering for some more as I get beyond stripping paint and varnish.

kfz
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Re: Another Enterprise Restoration of boat number 1734

Post by kfz » Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:00 am

Welcome ??? JLC

kfz
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Re: Another Enterprise Restoration of boat number 1734

Post by kfz » Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:29 am

Not an enterprise expert by a long way but try and help.....


I certainly wouldn't try and reinforce the floor, it should be plenty strong enough as long as you're son isn't jumping up and down in her while she's one the trailer. The mast is deck stepped so you put up the mast without getting in the boat.

In fact I'd be a bit wary of strengthening the boat at all really, the ent was made a light as possible with the materials, she's really a lake sailor and light sheltered estuary sailor though she will have the speed for the tide. You got to ask have you got the right boat for the job?

I'm sure she will be fine esp if you come from a skurfing background youll love it, but I'd be careful with kids in what sort of chop I,d go out with. I find the ent hard work going to wind in a chop, with their blunt entry, baggy racing sails and light weight. They are great fun in the right conditions and able to give much more modern boats a good run. There a racer really not a cruiser.

But if its a Project what the hell, though you may want to just fix her up sell her and get something more SEAworthy.

The floor is I think sandwiched between the hog and keel. To replace it you need to remove the keel really. To patch it you can get away with just carefully cutting out the remains.

Carrying an outboard on a boat of this weight is open to debate, it's handy no doubt but a lot more weight than a set of oars. I sail in a quick tide too and I have been looking for a good reason to carry the motor but not found one yet. No way would I rely on it to get me out of trouble.

Kev

Graham T
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Re: Another Enterprise Restoration of boat number 1734

Post by Graham T » Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:44 am

It's been a while since I did any Enterprise fettling but I would be surprised at a 6mm thick deck - I would have thought 4 more likely. Robbins timber in Bristol does a good mail order with prompt delivery of marine ply so I would be tempted to start ripping bits off and measuring properly before ordering.

Graham
Graham T
Osprey 1340, Osprey 1245, Osprey 55, Miracle 1358, Laser heap, ancient Mirror kit half assembled, Project Miracle in need of decks........
Kielder Water Sailing Club

paulmidd
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Re: Another Enterprise Restoration of boat number 1734

Post by paulmidd » Tue Oct 01, 2013 1:45 pm

Jimmy,
Good for you! You have an elderly Ent there, from late 1958/early 1959 at a guess. Good news as it will have been built from some quality wood (so please put that raspy tool thing back in the surfboard box, please :wink: ). However, you obviously have some dodgy areas on the boat and a fair task ahead.

From your photos I think you should replace a substantial section of the bottom ply boards, that will get rid of all the gouges, holes and crappy self bailers. If the ply is that damaged then the overall integrity of the wood may be compromised and that's a chance I wouldn't take personally. Hull ply on these old Ents is about 8mm and perfectly thick enough at that - no need to reinforce if the wood is good. As has been said, get it from Robbins in Bristol you are ideally placed to run up the road and save on the (substantial) P&P costs. They also sell timber to replace that rotten foredeck member, kingpost and mast step. Don't bother putting back the self bailers, they weren't original and are just sources of leaks and rot - buy two good buckets instead!

I'll check on my Ent tonight what the original deck ply thickness should be - 4mm is probably correct. Leave the transom in place if the wood is sound, no point in making work. Plenty of wooden Ents use outboards over the back end, no problem at all - one on fleabay at the moment with a Seagull. There are also some Youtube vids of this. You can simply reinforce the area where the outboard clamps go with marine ply pads - it's a ~30 lb weight hanging over the side. My boat came with them on, although now removed.

Your boat has rather strange centreboard case 'struts' - never seen these sort before. I have read that early Ents were made from the recycled fuselages of Mosquito fighter/bombers but this seems to take the story a bit far :D. Are they original? I haven't a set of plans to see if this design is ok but I suspect not. I would get rid of them (look ugly and major trip hazards) and replace with 'normal' ones, you will have to take them out anyway if the centreboard case is to come out.

See previous threads on Ent restorations for good advice from this forum. I'll make you the same offer I made Gavin100 recently, in that I've a whole bunch of info collected together on Ent repairs, loads of photos, design, suppliers, tuning guides, class rules, techniques, etc, etc. You are welcome to a copy of it if you want. USB stick via the post works best, if you PM me via this forum with your name and address I'll put one in the post.

Best of luck
Paul

Jimmylovescake
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:34 pm
Location: North Devon

Re: Another Enterprise Restoration of boat number 1734

Post by Jimmylovescake » Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:50 pm

Wow, quick responses and some really helpful advice already folks. Thanks!
kfz...You're probably right about not being the perfect boat for the job, but it was just down the hill for me and the convenience of the locality, and impulse were not to be contended with. To say the least I expect the restoration and sailing to offer me a massive learning curve, and I have the good fortune of knowing some very good dinghy coaches who are up for getting out too which should help me transfer knowledge from yacht to dinghy.

Paulmidd...I thought it might have been old after a quick look on the Enterprise dinghy site highlighted over 20,000 of these boats made, i had no idea of how old, and to be honest I know nothing of the history other than it's a Holt design.

The bottom plywood seems mostly sound with the exception of the area aft of the self bailers and the hole that I made by digging away rotten wood. I do intend to finish stripping all the varnish from the inside and the two backing plates from the rather sketchy looking repairs.
I had thought about removing the self bailers, so you've made my mind up there. As for the mast step, I have it and it seems solid so I will reuse that I think.

I have been unsure as to how the plywood is sandwiched between the hog and the keel, and I was hoping that I would be able to get away without having to separate the two (as I now understand they're two pieces not one, wasn't sure before).

The centreboard case seems solid and the centreboard is a snug fit so I didn't want to mend what wasn't broke, even if the struts look ugly. I need to be careful that I don't get too carried away or I will never finish it with the money I'll have available. I couldn't say if the struts were original, and I wouldn't know what they should look like with the exception of seeing photos from other peoples forums posts and Google searches. I found no other holes or filled holes to suggest that they may have been fixed else where at any time so could that suggest they are indeed original, if albeit a bit ugly and a trip hazard?

You're offer Paul of the information is very generous and kind, I will PM you. I need every little bit of help I can get in learning the boat and how to restore it.

Jimmylovescake
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:34 pm
Location: North Devon

Re: Another Enterprise Restoration of boat number 1734

Post by Jimmylovescake » Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:58 pm

If I was to end up patching the ply on the floor / hull of the boat. Is there a way of doing so without having to have the nasty looking backing plate on the inside?

roger
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Re: Another Enterprise Restoration of boat number 1734

Post by roger » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:52 pm

Hi JLC,

Welcome to the knackered old boat club. My concern with the rot around the self bailers is it may be a sign that there is a leak around the centreboard case. Most old boats develop a leak there sooner than later. I know its a pain but it may pay to drop the centreboard case out and re seat it rather than rebuild the whole boat only to find it leaks like hell there.
It is a bugger to stop the leaks properly with the case in place and often leads to rot from the inside out.
It may be a case of stitch in time.

Good luck with the restoration and you will get lots of advice here some of it will be conflicting and you will have to chose which to follow, but rest assured most of us have been there before you and will be cheering you on.

ROger
Hornet 191 Shoestring,
Hornet 595 Demon awaiting restoration
Hornet 610 Final Fling
Hornet 353

Jimmylovescake
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:34 pm
Location: North Devon

Re: Another Enterprise Restoration of boat number 1734

Post by Jimmylovescake » Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:25 pm

When looking at the self bailers underneath, there was no sealant to stop water getting into the ply. Am I wrong to assume that this would more than likely have been where the water got in?

Michael Brigg
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Re: Another Enterprise Restoration of boat number 1734

Post by Michael Brigg » Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:35 pm

Jimmylovescake wrote: 1.)... but also a good family activity once finished

2.) ...already have a box to hide receipts in from the wife ;-)

I am working to a limited budget, so I need to do the best job I can on a shoestring (ha ha!)

3.) I am based in North Devon and will be using this boat on the Taw & Torridge which has a fairly quick tidal flow. I was wondering whether it would be worth replacing the current (loose) 9mm Transom with an 18mm transom (routed to fit inside existing framework) to give me the option of fitting a small 2-3hp outboard like a seagull, just as a precaution. Thoughts on this would be appreciated.

4.) I intend to replace these and extend them to cover the soft / holed area that appear to have been caused by a lack of sealant around the self bailer's.
.
Hi Jimmy,

I've only sailed Ents once at a team racing event in Birmingham on a tiny reservoir when it was gusting force 6-7! They were surprisingly quick but also quite capable of handling the conditions with appropriate helm technique.

It is your ability to know when you are competent and equipped for the conditions that will determine whether you have a seaworthy boat. As a Surfer I am sure you will already be up to speed on this skill. I remember seeing an interview on a Surfing vid. The quote was "you need to know your limits and then push yourself real far beyond them :D :D :D " (I should note this was one of those vids you see in shops with mountainous waves and surfing cut in with extreme ski-ing... different age and lifestyle!)

For what it is worth here are some thoughts.

1.)
...but also a good family activity once finished
The real measure of success is not the smartness of the boat but the frequency with which you or your family are on the water with it when you would otherwise have been watching someone else on the water.

2.)
...already have a box to hide receipts in from the wife ;-)
Whatever you do, Don't hide receipts, they will be found. The boat will then be banished to the bottom of the garden to become a sand pit :cry: If you want your family to sail, it is essential that SWMBO is on board and an executive member. In any other position you will find the boat is a magnet for all the other things that can be made from nothing. (Stretching the saying a bit, but that is 1.) a hat and 2.) a salad, (both metaphors in this case for a bonfire,) 3.) an argument and (my invention) 4.) a complaint.

...so when it comes to the money I would recommend you pay for everything "cash in hand." That way you either got it for free or at a knock down price :) :roll:

I have developed a technique that I call "dieting." If your mate buys you a sandwich for lunch, or if you "miss a meal" or whatever, than you "diet" (ie you "lose" £5 lbs :wink: ) There is nothing dishonest about this! 60% of married people of both sexes have a secret stash, and 80% of men usually use it to buy presents for their wives!

The other thing is labour. For you this is free if you do it yourself but if you price your time you will find it is the single most valuable/expensive item in any boat restoration. By a factor of about 3-5 times!! (Boatyards charge about £40 per hour for everything from sanding to skilled carpentry. The woodwork takes up far less time (if well equipped) than sanding, stripping or painting.

3.) Don't bother with an outboard unless you intend to use it for angling or picnic/river trips without sails. A small dinghy like this copes easily with tide by sailing close to the shore. I sail a Firefly, (slower than an Ent) in Chichester where spring tides can run at up to 4knots. Never needed more than a paddle, or occasionally a rope to hitch a tow. As has been said oars are far cheaper, slightly lighter and less likely to fail, (or sink if you capsize) and a paddle is even better as it doesn't need rowlocks. Oh, an anchor can help as well if you are prepared to be patient, and is also good if you want to go for a walk on a beach.

4.) And finally I wouldn't get rid of the Self bailers. An elderly boat will often leak, even after extensive repairs. Well fitted bailers wont, but it might be worth getting a better variety that works at low speed (eg "Super-suck") It is a real pain to have to keep spongeing out the water.

Good luck and enjoy your boat. If successful your grandchildren will still be sailing her in 30 years.
Michael Brigg

Jimmylovescake
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Re: Another Enterprise Restoration of boat number 1734

Post by Jimmylovescake » Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:59 pm

When looking at the self bailers underneath, there was no sealant to stop water getting into the ply. Am I wrong to assume that this would more than likely have been where the water got in?

JimC
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Re: Another Enterprise Restoration of boat number 1734

Post by JimC » Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:23 am

Jimmylovescake wrote:When looking at the self bailers underneath, there was no sealant to stop water getting into the ply. Am I wrong to assume that this would more than likely have been where the water got in?
Usually paint is enough, coupled with whatever was used to bed them in. Bailers installed without any kind of gap filling would be v unusual.

I suppose a key thing to bear in mind about wood dinghies is that wet and rot almost always come from water pooling in the boat while stored, not from water seeping in while sailing. Water in the boat and frost is a particularly nasty combination.

Oh, and keep the self bailers, indispensable to my mind.

kfz
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Re: Another Enterprise Restoration of boat number 1734

Post by kfz » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:16 am

Jimmylovescake wrote:If I was to end up patching the ply on the floor / hull of the boat. Is there a way of doing so without having to have the nasty looking backing plate on the inside?

Yes you can put in a scarf joint, Check you tube, but now your separating the men from the boys!

Kev

Jimmylovescake
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Location: North Devon

Re: Another Enterprise Restoration of boat number 1734

Post by Jimmylovescake » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:56 am

I can see how a scarf joint is stronger, but I see a few different versions. Some appear to be fairly square in that it appears that layers of ply are cut back on the repair surface and the patch and then glued. Others seem cut in at an angle, which is kind of similar to how I'd sand through laminatations on surfboard repairs.
Which one is more suitable and if I did this should the patch go on from the outside surface or the inside? (Butt joints look like a waste of time and effort as far as strength goes unless using a backing patch, which I want to avoid. A Scarf joint was what I had in mind, I just didn't know what it was called).

Jimmylovescake
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:34 pm
Location: North Devon

Re: Another Enterprise Restoration of boat number 1734

Post by Jimmylovescake » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:56 am

I can see how a scarf joint is stronger, but I see a few different versions. Some appear to be fairly square in that it appears that layers of ply are cut back on the repair surface and the patch and then glued. Others seem cut in at an angle, which is kind of similar to how I'd sand through laminatations on surfboard repairs.
Which one is more suitable and if I did this should the patch go on from the outside surface or the inside? (Butt joints look like a waste of time and effort as far as strength goes unless using a backing patch, which I want to avoid. A Scarf joint was what I had in mind, I just didn't know what it was called).

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