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GJW Direct 2020

Restoring a very early wooden OK dinghy

by Rob Evans 5 Apr 14:33 BST
Restoration of OK dinghy K46 - step 1 © Rob Evans

Our series of ebay restorations continues, but this time only £50 was spent, or was that actually £0? Rob Evans tells us the story...

I needed a trailer for a 13 ft fishing boat and noticed a handy one for sale an hour away from my home in Wales. The trailer happened to have an old OK dinghy sitting on it, but it was the trailer I wanted. I rang up and made arrangements to fetch them both.

The trailer was good, and a deal was done for £50. The OK was a bit sad, with a broken wooden mast, tufnol fittings, and a bit of half inch galvanised water pipe as a mainsheet car on the traveller. The bottom was bumpy where it had been sitting on the trailer.

I brought it all home gave her a good tapping all over: sound as a pound! I turned her over on some blocks and the dents were good enough to fill. I decided to make her sea-worthy and use her locally.

I stripped the deck using a blow lamp and scraper, then applied two coats of laminating epoxy with white colour paste. I was not trying to build a piece of furniture just a floating workout. While sanding the cockpit I revealed 'K46' carved into the hog.

The dents in the bottom were due to the trailer supports, but I fixed those and epoxy filled. The hull was sanded with a DA and then cheap gloss applied.

Luckily the OK National Championships were only half an hour's trip away, at Abersoch, and there I was virtually given an alloy boom and a sail. A friend let me have an alloy mast. A launching trolley was salvaged from the local sailing club's scrap corner. I wasn't in time to compete, but now I had everything I needed. We were off!

This is a lovely ending to a story that could have gone in the direction of a bonfire! Well done Rob for keeping the old girl sailing. Remember we want to hear YOUR stories of boat repairs, renovations and invention too.

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