Legendary Racing Boat Refit: The Duracell Project

Meet Matt Steverson, an experienced shipwright. After two years of sailing his 1980 39’ Sloop, Louise, on a successful pacific ocean expedition, Matt and his wife, Janni, were ready to take on their next adventure! They are now owners of a piece of American racing history and have started their refit journey, documenting it on their YouTube Channel, The Duracell Project.

Matt is refitting and restoring the legendary race boat, Duracell. Duracell is an Open 60 Sailboat that was built by legendary American sailor, Mike Plant. Mike Plant sailed and beat the American record for solo circumnavigation in the first Vendee Globe in 1989. This is one of the world’s toughest sailing races, known as the Everest of the Seas. After Duracell was involved in a crash, the former owner put up a post online to find a new owner who would be fit to take on this project. Two years after replying to the online forum post from Duracell’s previous owner, Matt and Janni were gifted this racing boat and now have the honor to turn it into a comfortable cruising home.

In today’s episode, Matt begins to build the new transom for Duracell. The goal of the stern redesign and build is to create a bigger cockpit by taking advantage of the racing boat’s sloped transom. Matt’s new design to expand the cockpit will leave more room to sail the boat single-handed, benches for guests, and a big swim step. After building a mold that conforms to the shape of the hull on the bottom and makes the aft face flat and straight across, he begins the first lamination for the stern. He uses our High Performance Epoxy and 1708 Biaxial Fiberglass Cloth. He pours the epoxy from our mixing cups and saturates the cloth by spreading it with a plastic spreader. He does four layers into the mold, plus three more in the radius for impact resistance. Once the epoxy is cured, he comes back the next day to remove the mold, and the new transom shape is now starting to form!

Be sure to give the video a like and subscribe to The Duracell Project to follow along the weekly episodes of this journey as Matt and Janni document every step of their project! Thank you for watching!

1 comment

I love to watch the process and The way you go about making your alterations As a young man I wanted to do The same as you However I found a 48 Hughes and sailed it for 23 years on Georgian Bay And finished up with a 30’ nonstouch And 45 years of sailing I am now 88 and loved every minute of it Keep up a good work you’re doing a very good job

Wayne Stahle

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