With the sailing season done for the year and Spark's successful debut at the Small Craft Festival in St. Michael's MD over, it's time to get down to brass tacks and admit the truth.. I have a lot of work ahead of me. My "GeeP" needs to be stripped down to a bare hull, the paint sanded off, the decks lifted, and plenty of paint and varnish applied.
While she has good bones, the paint on my boat is not good. Years of racing has left deep gouges and scraps and indifferent storage for the past 3 decades left what was left oxidized, faded, and in just poor general shape. I am also not a fan of "grass green"
The decks on my GP are also in poor shape. A lack of varnish has allowed them to dry rot while she was stored in that barn. You can hear the very fibres creak when any weight is put upon her decks. Just slapping varnish on them would be akin to lipstick on a pig..
First step is a complete strip down of everything off of the hull. This took the better part of a full day as all the hardware came off, her floorboards and seating came out, and I pried the half round rub rails off of her gunwales. Surprisingly, she does not look any worse for wear in this configuration. It's no wonder nobody took any pictures of Spark at St. Michaels.
With everything off and out, there is a surprisingly large amount of space in such a small fourteen foot boat.
In stripping Spark, I discovered something interesting. The early GPs had a bronze "horse" across the stern. This was a tubular affair that went up and over the tiller for controlling the sheets that tie the boom to the boat and allow for letting the sails out or pulling them back in. My boat had the later style wooden horse that went all the way across the stern with an adjustable traveler. In pulling this assembly off, I discovered that my GeeP originally came with the older (and prettier) bronze version, but was later converted to the latter system for more control when racing.
Of course I am going to fit the older system back into place. I already have enquires out to either get a used one or to produce one anew. It was the holes in the deck beneath the wooden horse that gave it away.
Here is how it looks now with the full width horse and how it should look with the bronze affair.