Restoring Vela: Episode 2 - Laminating New Deck Beams

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 nestle into the flange. These new beams will support the weight of the new plywood deck and, along with new carlins that run parallel to the hull, these important structural pieces draw Dan’s wooden boatbuilding expertise into play and insert some classic techniques into this classic fiberglass hull restoration. 

Having Dan on the job with unending wooden boat expertise, provides lots of great options for rebuilding this classic, 1965 sloop. Using TotalBoat’s High Performance 2:1 Epoxy to build the new beams, Dan and his capable helpers are breathing life back into this beautiful, older fiberglass hull which leaked and needed lots of work to make sound again. Dan’s work is meticulous and projects like the Vela restoration are a happy mix of traditional and modern boat building techniques that are a joy to see him bring together. Join us in Dan’s boat shop located on the Herreshoff Marine Museum’s property as well as back in the TotalBoat Workshop where Dan and friends will restore Vela to her former glory with some modern adaptations. Dan has lots to teach us and is a great asset to the project.

Watch the Vela Restoration series here and see how saving these older “classic plastic” hulls is a very worthwhile pursuit.

16 responses to “Restoring Vela: Episode 2 – Laminating New Deck Beams

  1. Very confusing — why did you cut the hull all apart if you were doing the project to reuse the hull? I’m not getting the scope and progress of the project, just some philosophical points without being tied to the actual project.

  2. Sorry, but high speed video does not help me. I would have thought you had learned something from Lou Sauzeda about how to present this. This episode was not helpful.

  3. Walter, you remind me of the beggar who complained that his gifted sandwich was on wheat and not on rye. Give them a chance.

  4. I too found it confusing.
    I’m sure there is a great deal to be learned from Mr Shea , but the video production gets in the way.
    I’ll keep watching because it is a beautiful boat and hope that future episodes get a bit clearer.
    I’m still grateful for the chance to watch.

  5. Sure would like too see the master at work and not some sped up video thing. It is a true gift to see someone with experience sharing some of their craft. I hope we can see some of that soon.
    Thanks for the effort though.

  6. No insight from video. Looks more like a promotional video for the shop rather than having any relevance to the particular project. Hopefully the next episodes will be more instructive.

  7. Lose the cliche music. Lose ALL music. Quit talking in generalities. Don’t fast-forward the woodworking. What the devil is going on here? And I agree, it looks like an infomercial.

  8. Wow. To all above, the the video’s are an introduction to Dan and the project. Much more to follow I’m sure. Re- at no point did they cut the hull apart. They cut the old leaking deck off of the hull. There’s a difference. The hull is the bottom of the boat, and the deck is on the top.
    Chill out everyone, and enjoy the ride. Jesus.

    1. I watched again, and it seems there is a lot of nice footage of some other boat (not part of the project) with extensive work being performed on the bottom part. It’s one of the boats with a green and white bottom part. The Vela bottom part is dark-colored, but it’s not shown much.

  9. The world is speeding by and this is a perfect opportunity to watch and listen. Sometimes a production is just insight to a masters position. In this case I’m hopeful that we learn. I’m also enjoying the music and the interaction. If u can’t appreciate the the productivity then then don’t waste your time, shut it off and move on.

  10. Thanks for the intro to Mr Shea and his shop. I spent a lot of time with the video paused just so I could check out the set up and details of a working business, a lot to learn there. Also learned a few tricks like the vertical bending jig for the frames (a space saver) and wrapping those deck beams sure does keep the epoxy under control. I appreciate learning about what products were used and would like to learn more about the small steam box set up. And what is on Dan’s library shelf! As a side note for those who want a faster or slower pace, there is a pop up box on the lower right of the youtube screen that allows us to watch a video at different speeds (0.25, 0.5, 0.75, Normal, 1.25, 1.5 and 2), different qualities and auto generate close captioning. The CC was fun, evidently Dan is working on a Hair Shop boat 🙂
    Can’t wait to see more and thanks for the peek into Bristol Boat Company.

  11. I watched but it was to fast. I really wanted to know what the plastic wrap was for and then how he did the layout and actually did the bending the deck beams. But perhaps its my complete lack of boat building that leaves me baffled !

  12. Dan comes across as a wonderful guy. I am guessing he has talent, skill, and knowledge beyond what any of us here watching has. I look forward to learning something about boats. If the subsequent videos are longer and have more explanation, it might be good. Thanks

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