by Dick Fritz member of the Lake Champlain chapter
Whenever I pass Rick’s Antiques I always have to look. Why not? I’ve gotten two dingys, a 1922 18’ Old Town HW canoe and last my 20’ 1970 Celebrity sailboat. Celebrity was originally a Dutch design which allowed the mast to quickly be lowered to go under bridges in the canals by removing one bolt from the mast step block A 3’split in the mast and one foot of black smelly water in the bilge didn’t deter me. The 3 sails and mooring cover were absolutely new. All hardware and lines were there except the Halyard and pulley at the top of the mast, both were purchased at Lowes.
All the hardware and brass mast track were removed and polished. All lines were washed three times in the washing machine. Some caulking was applied in the bilge. After 30 hours of cleaning the boat came out really well! At one point a raccoon family had been living in the boat and chewed apart the styrofoam floatation. A trip to the local recycle center provided replacement Styrofoam.
With a friend’s help we forced open the mast split and inserted West System G/flex 650 Toughened Epoxy, thickened with West 403 Microfibers Adhesive Filler to allow the mixture to better adhere to the wood. We injected the mixture into the crack and wrapped the mast with plastic. We clamped metal bars to the top and bottom of the mast to keep it straight. The mast & boom were stripped of old varnish with paint remover, sanded and six coats of varnish were applied.
The strut supporting the mast during trailering was bent when something fell breaking the mast. I straightened it, cut out a section .and welded in a piece of stainless steel tube.
While on land on a calm day I stepped the mast and rigged the boat which took some time because I had never seen a Celebrity before.
When I launched the boat for the first time I mounted my 7½ HP Johnson outboard so I could motor two miles to my house. Half a mile from the boat launch the transom wood mount broke and I was happy I had attached a cable to the motor and boat so I could pull the motor up on to the deck. There was a 3 knot wind so the rest of the way home was by sail. Who needs a motor?!
I live on Lake Champlain and it has turned out to be a perfect boat for me to sail alone or with a crew