New project on Colonel Mustard (USA-109) started March, 2007

Older econstruction of USA-109. Boat had been modified by removal of drain tubes and removal of centreboard ridge
aft of the mainsheet tower. I found that draining after pearling was too slow. So I put the drain tubes back in.

cracked forward bottom
Forward hull has gotten soft. A flash camera
reveals cracks in the inner layer of the glass and
foam sandwich on the bottom up forward.
Port side.

broken wire, cracked bulkheadOne of the cracks in the bulkhead and a broken
support wire. The mast support post is just
forward of this bulkhead. The wire formerly
attached to that post.

cracked bottom starboardCrack in bottom extends along a seam in the
foam used for the sandwich. Starboard side.

path of cut

Elkhorn Composites (Dave Hopton and Craig
Smith) consulted on a plan to repair Colonel
Mustard and render her useful for a "club" or
"association" Contender.

path of cutA tentative effort with the pry bar did not cause
the deck to immediately lift off the hull.

uuuunh!Some plastic wedges are inserted, driven
deeper and additional wedges are added.
Various pops and creaks are heard as the
old pucky finally releases its grip on the deck.

Pop! the deck is off
With a final sigh, the deck lifted off to reveal
the structure. The black post under the mast
and wires from the bottom of the post to the
chainplates were intended to take the loads
of the mast thrust and shroud tension.
When the wires failed, the bulkheads failed.

Removing old structure

The bulkhead under the mast just fell to pieces.
The forward bulkheads under the deck were
intact but they did not extend to the bottom of
the boat - unfortunately.


The foam sandwich on the sides is different
from and in much better shape than that on
the bottom of the hull. There is a longitudinal
crack in the starboard side just where the foam

demolition continued
The next step after the bulkhead removal
is to sand away all vestiges of the inner
glass and foam on the bottom of the boat.

In the future, new foam and glass will be vacuum bagged in. Then new bulkheads
will be fitted and installed and the deck
repaired. A surgical scar in the deck will
remain showing where the "nose job"
was performed.

Port side before cutting in drain tube.

Port side after drain tube is shaped.

Starboard side before cutting. I
considered using still larger 2 inch
square tubing identical to that in my
Tony Smith boat but decided it was
too complicated to fit to the cockpit.

Both drain tubes are shaped. Tough job.

This drain is larger than the original, I believe. I mean the diameter, not the

Pray that you never have to do this job.
I used a Dremel to cut it back flush to
the transom later.

I decided to install Pro-Grip in place
of non-skid tape which was peeling off
anyway and the moulded in nonskid as
the mould came frrom Miller and Whitworth
in about 1970.

Our "Pro-Grip" is ethylene vinyl acetate
(EVA) but it has measurably the same grip
as Pro-Grip purchased in Europe. I
chose 1/16 inch thick material out of
ignorance but it works well, I think.

Two strips were taped down
upside down with one edge
right next to the piece of
deck where it would finally
be stuck down. Then I put
contact cement on the piece
of Pro-Grip and the deck at
one session.

Posing and waiting for the
glue to dry. Nice tum. Right
down to racing weight I see.

I flip over one strip and
smooth toward the rail. You
can see the second strip is
still upside down back aft.

Smoothing the Pro-Grip
under the rail.

With both sections down, I
peeled off the tape that had
marked where to put contact

You know, it does not look too badly.
Next I used masking tape to make a
freehand outline of the sweeping
section back aft. The moulded in
non-skid was sanded off right up to
the tape with a random orbital sander.
The objective was to remove the weight
of non-skid gelcoat and leave a smooth
surface for the contact cement.

Area is sanded and ready for pieces of
Pro-Grip. Fasten the pattern down over
a large sheet of Pro-Grip and lay down an
outline just outside the pattern to show
where to cut the Pro-Grip.

From the original tape outline on the
starboard side, I overlaid a piece of
clear fillm and repeated the pattern on
that film. Then I cut out the film and
pasted it on the port deck temporarily
and laid down tape around the pattern.
See the pattern lying in the cockpit.

Another view. The aft section
was cut frm two pieces of
Pro-Grip and seamed together.
Not too hard to do.

The first piece of Pro-Grip is down and the
pattern is applied again . The first pieee of
ProGrip grew slightly when the contact
cement was applied so the pattern was
moved slightly aft to compensate. Stuff

After a lot more work was done, you can
see the completed Pro-Grip on the aft
deck and on the cockpit floor. You also
see that the drain tubes have been
trimmed back flush with the transom
and transparent flaps added over them.

Starting point.
A very common trailer set up. No lateral
support and no mast crutch.Trailer built
by Montgomery Ward. The tongue is so
heavy that I added a third wheel.

I fitted the parts from a different trailer
but discovered the parts were in bad

A new cradle was fitted to the boat. It
rises so high in order to be able to
support a cross beam over the first
boat and carry a second boat. It
also helps you steer when you are
backing down a ramp. The rollers were
left at the end of the trailer to help
launch and retrieve from a boat ramp.
Still needs a mast crutch in this picture.

The wedge shaped wood piece let me bolt
an old winsurfer mast as the vertical post.

The top of the post contains a slingshot shaped piece of wood that is shaped to fit a mast. This wood piece was too thin and
broke so la madera grande was built.
¿Hable español? Un poco.

La madera grande is hell for stout

The cradle is built of 2x4s and 2x6s
shaped and epoxied together. Angle
iron is bolted to the cradle and then "J"
bolts hold the angle iron to the main
crossbar of the trailer. Looks overbuilt
but it is rock solid. Astroturf is the carpet.

The footstraps at the aft end of the
cockpit narrowly clear the tip of the
centreboard when it is drawn up.
Shock cord prevents them drooping,
Makes it easier to get a foot in. Note
that the Pro-Grip covers this vital area
to help the foot straps do their work.

The centerboard case was very carefully
re-shimmed to be quite snug on the board.
Long strips about 1 inch wide and .065 to
.085 thick were used to close the gap. Then
some special "Japanese Glide Tape" from
Annapolis Sailing Products (APS) is the
innermost layer that the board slides on.

There are no cleats holding the board up or down. Shimming was done at the top and at the bottom of the centreboard case. The board still tended to swing back to 45 degrees (which is not a totally bad angle) so the blue shock cord was added, the sheet metal cleat on the centreboard was added. When launched and sailing, pulling the cord tight on the centreboard pulls against the shock cord and helps keep the board down. The control lines go to the rail amidships, one for down, one for up. The board stays where it was tugged to last.

The angle markers on the board are taken to the bottom of the boat.

There are three plastic rings used to turn
the control lines. The lines then turn
forward and go to shock cord so they
will not trail over the side.

Shock cords turn at the bow in these
plastic eyes.

Picture on the left.

The turning block on the mainsheet has
been offset here. A big pain to do with
this particular fitting. A stainless
steel washer has to be added under
the horizontal fitting and then the
horizontal fitting must be ground
away so that the pin will go
through the swivel post. The the
piece of wood it fitted in there to
keep the turning block from falling
down in light wind.

If Harken springs were about 10 times
stronger so that the turning block did
not lean over toward the cleat this
would not be necessary. This peculiar
modification is very common on
European Contenders.

It makes a big difference when the wind
is blowing hard and the cleat keeps
swinging away from you and toward
the boom.


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