At the end of winter while the ground is still frosty and the air has a crisp bite, a hardy crew of hopeful sailors work inside the schooners' palstic wrappings scouring the decks and interior, and preparing the old girls for new paint, varnish and in some cases, new timbers.
Schooners lay snug under their winter covers
As the weather improves and the summer draws nearer, one by one the boats are uncovered and hauled out at the nearby shipyard. The bottom is pressure washed, the hull is sanded and flaking paint chipped out. Opened seams are reamed out and caulked with new Oakum and sealing compound.
The boat is secured into a cradle.
A heavy duty winching system hauls the cradle and boat up the ramp to above the hightide waterline.
Scaffolding is erected around the boat.
Meanwhile up on deck all surfaces are repainted, and if necessary, repaired. When the new exterior caulking is set the entire hull is repainted with the bottom getting a new coat of bottom paint. Hopefully this has all taken place over 3- 4 days and the boat can then be returned to the water and taken back to port to be rigged and readied to sail.
Relaunched and enjoying the summer season.
Does that sound like fun? Well, it’s easier if you have a good crew and all the necessary equipment, and you’re quite comfortable moving around on 15 foot high scaffolding.
Perhaps you’d prefer to work on a smaller boat in the comfort of a warm, dry shed. Send us some photos and a description of your own boat restoration and be in the running for some great prizes from Maine Windjammer Cruises, Peek Polish, New England Ropes, Good Old Boat Magazine, Spiroll Rope Protector, and 2K Yachting.