Restoring Vela – Episode 5 – Cabin House Windows, Cockpit and Carbon Fiber

In episode 5, the deck is on with double layers of marine plywood so it’s on to cutting windows in the house sides, a “happy accident” for to the project that was instantly gratifying for the build team. Designer Ezra Smith weighs in on the windows and the cockpit which were built out with an extension to add room for another body and more gentlemanly “legs in” sailing.  Matt Smith, Naval Architect, discusses a major structural component: the carbon fiber main beam, which is integral to the new layout and specifically to the loads that will be put on the mast and rigging.

Borrowing from the Herreshoff NY30s, the shape of the house was drawn but without windows or portlights. A happy accident of patterning the house sides, led the team to realize that NY30 type rectangular windows would really compliment the whole boat’s look.

Naval Architect, Matt Smith, was brought onto the team to design the very important main beam. Putting it inside the cabin house allowed for less bulkheads amidships, opening up the cabin down below and making it seem bigger, when in fact, it had gotten smaller to accommodate a larger cockpit.

Using TotalBoat 2:1 Epoxy and Thixo Flex to bond many of the new surfaces, the boat is coming together quickly and is looking sharp. Check out the progress in Episode 5 where the boat building team takes this classic fiberglass sailboat and turns it into a speedy showpiece. Watch all 4 episodes leading up to Episode 5 on our YouTube channel.


11 responses to “Restoring Vela – Episode 5 – Cabin House Windows, Cockpit and Carbon Fiber

  1. This is an amazing project. As time goes by we will see the importance of repurposing these fibreglass hulls. People are changing their use of boats. Day sailing and racing are gaining in popularity for busy people. They may have time for a day sail on Saturday, but not for weekends away. Lots of sleeping space is not the number one factor as it once was.
    This will also keep a lot of materials out of land fills.
    I enjoy the presentation format, it’s entertaining and it makes me think.

    1. Very perceptive, Fraser. One factor at our Yacht Club is people do want to spend Saturday night on the boat to avoid driving back into town, but you are right: a nice fast daysailer, rigged for single-handing.

      This is a beautiful project. Love the Carbon beam incorporated into the old design.

  2. I am enjoying the project very much!! I like the idea of remodeling an older sailboat. The style of these boat as compared to the new more modern models. The classic lines of most older boats, works for me. For example, most people love the style/looks of the older MG sport cars, but were turned off by their poor reliability. Mazda capitalized on this and made their Miata model, the rest is history! You guys are using a similar idea, I like it!

    1. I agree. You’re getting there with more explanation of procedure and technique. Question: you said four windows on each side of different sizes. Are the lengths progressively longer as you move aft?

      1. Yes, the windows get larger as we move aft. We wanted 4 and with the main beam already located, That was the best option.

  3. Best Vela video yet, allowing the craftsmen to speak then showing the process and results, helps a great deal

  4. Sexy boat, cannot wait to see the next episodic adventure. Love the marriage of wood, carbon and a 50+ year old craft. Wicked Pisah

  5. Saw the boat while attending the tent sale. Truly amazing
    restoration/rebuild project. great example of saving the classics

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