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.

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