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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 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


Restoring the 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


Restoring Vela: Episode 7 – Applying TotalProtect Epoxy Primer

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 Epoxy Barrier Coat Primer is used on a number of Vela’s surfaces both above and below the waterline and the team makes … Read More


Restoring Vela: Episode 6 – Fiberglassing the Decks

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 Flexible Epoxy Adhesive, 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 … Read More


Restoring Vela: Episode 5 – Cabin Windows, Cockpit & 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 … Read More


Vela Restoration: Episode 3 – Deck Beams and Carlins

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


Restoring Vela: Episode 2 – Laminating New Deck Beams

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


The Graves Constellation “Vela” Restoration is Halfway Done!

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 walls. … Read More


Restoring a Classic: The Graves Constellation, “Vela”

  Check out the whole restoration series on our YouTube Channel or click here for the playlist of all the Vela videos! 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 … Read More