Restoring Vela: Gone Sailing – The Final Episode

We can’t help but reflect back on this time last winter when the Graves Constellation, Vela was undergoing a full restoration in the TotalBoat Workshop.  It was an impressive undertaking with a highly skilled team, and being able to witness it and document the project was both educational and inspirational for us, and we hope for … Read More


Restoring Vela: Episode 10 – Paint and Varnish

With the joinery mostly done and installed, Vela is ready for multiple coats of varnish on her beautiful brightwork, and lots of paint. Using Envy 2-Part varnish, Brendan and the team are able to apply 8 coats of varnish over just 2 days which gets Vela back to the paint booth at Itchiban Yacht Painters … Read More


Restoring Vela: Episode 9 – Hatches and House Sides

No one likes cutting holes in boats, but when you’re opening up a new deck to install a hatch, it’s the right thing to do and it’s imperative that you get it right! Brendan takes his time making sure the new foredeck hatch is level and tight. Meanwhile the main hatch to the cabin is … Read More


Video: Restoring Vela – Episode 8 – Joinery

The Vela restoration team is in full swing fitting small details pieces like the cockpit coamings, the bow stem fitting and the vital carbon fiber main beam. The bulkheads are reinforced and new chainplates are installed. These are important jobs that not only tighten up the aesthetics, but are vital to the engineering of a reconfigured … Read More


Video: Restoring Vela – Episode 7 – Priming

With Vela’s decks and cabin house on and fiberglassed, it’s time to apply primer and get a look at the new surfaces to gauge how much filling and fairing needs to be done. TotalProtect Barrier Coat is used on a number of Vela’s surfaces both above and below the waterline and the team makes quick work … Read More


Video: Restoring Vela – Episode 6 – Fiberglassing

With Vela’s deck attached and the beautiful cabin house sides created, it’s all about finishing the house roof and fiberglassing the decks. Using Thixo Flex, Dan and his team bond the house sides to the new house top, leaving plenty of corners that need fitting and finishing. Dan draws on the expertise of the composite … Read More


Video: Restoring Vela – Episode 3

With Vela’s cabin house and deck fully removed, leaving only the deck flange and cockpit, Dan Shea is ready to construct, fit and glue in the deck beams that will support the new deck and house. Carlins, the longitudinal structural beams, are also fitted to bulkheads and to the side deck beams and Dan gives us … Read More


Video: Restoring Vela – Episode 2

With Vela’s deck and cabin house removed, the 1965 Graves Constellation is ready to take some steps forward towards reconstruction. Boatbuilder Dan Shea’s first order of business is to cut strips of Douglas Fir to laminate into new deck beams. Then comes the careful job of measuring and fitting the beams to precisely fit the hull and … Read More


Video: Restoring Vela – Episode 1

When Mike Zani’s 1965 classic sailboat, the Graves Constellation, “Vela,” rolled into the TotalBoat Workshop we knew we had a great video series about to unfold right before our eyes. Welcome to video 1 in the series on restoring this beautiful keelboat. It’s a project that was too big for experienced yachtsman, Zani, who had previously … Read More


Vela: A Story Best Told From the Bow

When Vela, the Graves Constellation, rolled into the shop back in the fall, the scope of the restoration that was to take place seemed to be fairly massive – but certainly not daunting to Master Shipwright, Dan Shea. This was to be “massive,” like buying an old house and ripping out everything but the exterior … Read More


Restoring a Classic: The Graves Constellation, “Vela”

  Step into the TotalBoat Workshop for a super up-close look at a total refit on a 1965 classic, the Graves Constellation, “Vela.” Her owners are no strangers to yacht racing and when they found this hull for sale, they knew it was a chance to bring an old classic up to modern racing form. … Read More