A couple of months ago I took delivery of very old pond yacht from the Llyn Maritime Museum which was in need of pretty much a full restoration. The yacht itself would need the hull restoring along with new sails making as well as some fittings for the rigging etc, the model could only be described quite large the hull coming in at 4 feet approx. (and with the bow sprit and rear boom in place nearer to 8 feet).
The first job was to very carefully remove the old sails and masts etc and putting to one side for future reference as these were to be replaced with vintage cotton sheet, the next job was to prepare the hull this was pretty extensive as several layers of paint and under coat had to be removed ( to avoid the risk of any reaction with mew paints etc) Once all the old paint etc had been removed and checked over the next task was to fill and skim the entire hull where required and then sanded down to achieve as smooth a finish as possible. As you can imagine this was a slow task but necessary for the hull repaint, with regards to this the hull took several coats of primer followed by 2 to 3 coats of both the green and the white to achieve the end result. The final task when the painting was complete was to add the gold W/L mark (supplied by Beccs) and then seal the entire hull with Gloss varnish above the W/L and Satin varnish below the W/L the enhance the final finish.
With the hull now completed the next job was to replace the sails with new ones to match the style of the original ones that were on the boat, this job I have to admit was to be taken on by my wife who managed to obtain some 80 year cotton sheets which would be perfect for the job in hand. The first task was to very carefully lay out the old sails (what was left of them) and cut the material for the new ones, once cut out all the positions of the mast rings and other rigging attachments were carefully noted for future reference. With the new sails now cut out the task of stitching all the sides etc was done this as you can imagine took some considerable time to reproduce them accurately but in the end it was well worth it, the next job is to age the sails as requested by the customer this was done using a weak mix of coffee and left to soak until the right colour was achieved.
Now that the sails are complete the job of sorting out any repairs on the mast and booms could be carried out as well as making replacement rigging fittings, once this was completed the masts and sails could be very carefully refitted and checked and then rigged with new ropes. Once this task was completed a final check could be carried out to make sure everything was adjusted ok, part of the rigging process due to the size of the model was to make sure that it could be disassembled and reassembled without any major issues. With the restoration now completed it certainly makes a very stunning display model which should be enjoyed for years to come.
In summing up although sometimes very challenging at times it certainly proved rewarding.