In 2013 Darling’s Boatworks of Charlotte, Vermont hired me to work on the rebuild of DAISY, a sloop built by Arno Day and Joel White at Brooklin Boatyard in 1965. DAISY has been in one family her entire life and had never had any serious work done to her. The owners had been complaining of leaks around the stem and possibly in the garboard. The original plan was to remove and replace her stem and possibly refasten. As with all such projects the list of tasks grew as we took apart the boat.
I worked with Charlie Langworthy and Oliver LaFarge on the project. Later Pam Darling and other staff would take care of DAISY’S brightwork and paint. After getting the stem out it became clear that the timber below it was rotten as well, and beyond that it was decided to also replace the mast step. The garboards were bad and quite a bit of the sheer on the port side needed replacing as well. DAISY is cedar planked on bent oak frames with mahogany sheerstrakes. She was bronze fastened and we also decided to refasten her entirely below the waterline. Luckily just using a #16 bronze screw where there had been #14’s worked fine for 95% of the fastenings.
I fashioned new backbone timbers out of some large pieces of white oak purchased from New England Naval Timber in Connecticut. We scarfed new frame ends for most of the frames forward, made new floors, and gave everything a good coat of red lead paint. Oliver reefed out all the old caulking and put in much of the new. One small innovation was dealing with the fact we were repainting the hull black and only had white seam compound. I remembered my days thirty years ago working as a stonemason and we used mortar colors, fine powders we mixed into our mortar. We ordered some black and it darkened up the seam compound beautifully (but be sure to get the version without iron oxide).
The hull took quite a bit of fairing, and gloss black is a tough color to paint a hull and not see every imperfection. I’m also not a fan of plank-on-frame boats painted dark colors due to heat buildup, but the owners were insistent on keeping that particular family tradition alive. Can’t blame them, as they’ve been great stewards of the boat.