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Sultana is reborn


Bob Taylor
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Hi folks,

I haven't posted here for quite some time and thought I'd toss a note out concerning what Hurricane Ike did to Sultana. Seems 150 mph winds at my house decided to blow her off the trailer, roll her around a bit, destroying all the sticks. The hull took a bit of damage but it was easily repairable. After working all summer on her she's back together and better than new! I've changed the running rigging a little and rebuilt all the standing rig from Red Oak. As soon as I get her back to the water I'll post some pics.

I've attached an older picture

Following seas.............

post-145-129497707482_thumb.jpg

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The Weekender has to be one of the prettiest boats that can be easily built.  I like my bigger, production boat for its sailing ability, but if I were rich, I'd have a more traditional boat with the salty good looks of the Weekender, but suitable for deep water sailing!

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Two things with red oak...it sucks up water unlike white or live oak and the weight aloft. Make sure you seal the wood VERY well. You will also likely experience a bit more tenderness in the boat with that heavy a wood for your mast and spars. I too like the looks of the Weekender/Vacationer...although I have reservations about that extremely shallow keel and leeway.

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I sealed the new sticks with several coats of epoxy and marine varnish afterwards. The water intrusion can't be as bad as sunlight for deteriorating material. I now keep several UV protective covers over the new sticks.

As far as sailing with the shallow keel, I've been able to put water down the rails and never felt she would blow over. The wide hull pushes back something fierce the further over she gets.

The unexpected benefit I realized after building this boat was the attention she gets on the water. People will go out of their way to have a closer look. Even at the boat ramp, folks will saunter over to try to figure out how such a tall thing can sail with such a shallow keel. Once they see the shape of the hull it becomes apparent.

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Bob,

I have liked Sultana's looks from the first day I saw her; in fact she inspired me to look at seriously building a Vacationer. I did not realize she had been damaged and am glad you have her ship shape again.

The Red Oak will only be a problem if exposed to the elements all the time, especially since coating with epoxy. Moisture will still penetrate but if you trailer her and keep things covered most of the time, it should be good for years....or the next hurricane, whichever comes first. :)

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This thread reminded me of why I did not build my Vacationer. Lewisboats hit on it. On Lake Michigan, where I tend to sail, gets way to rough and choppy for a flat bottomed boat of this design, IMHO. On the other hand, I learned to sail on Galveston Bay and Clear Lake. A Weekender or Vacationer would be perfect for those shallow bays and lakes on the Texas coast. The other reason I did not build one is that I am getting too old and stiff to want to be crawling around in the low interiors. I have considered building one without the cabin but being able to get out of the weather is nice.

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All boats are compromises, and while I loved my Weekender, like the Vacationer it has a flat bottom.  That made it less than ideal outside of the breakwater here because it would pound against the wind chop pretty badly.

My production sailboat is also more of a hard chined, flat bottomed boat, but not nearly as much as the Weekender.  With the heavy daggerboard, it handles the wind chop easily and is better suited to sailing in these parts.  But I miss being able to rig and back into the water in 15 minutes, and nothing in our waters looks as good as the Weekender or Vacationer.  Well, some really expensive boats do, but nothing I could afford does!

My Weekender now calls Lake Mission Viejo its home port, and is being restored by my brother.

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Glad to hear Sultana is getting ready to sail again.  She is one of the best looking boats I've ever seen.  I even had the privilege of sailing on her at Lake Conroe several years ago.

I hope the turkey feather wind indicator is still intact. 

Bill Paxton

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  • 8 months later...

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