Woodwind Yachts Inc.
Wooden Boat Restoration, Repairs, Refinishing, Building and Sales
Wooden it be Wonderful to own a Woodwind Yacht !
Our Feature Boat – The Dragon “Chimaera”
A Mythical Three Headed Dragon
In the summer of 1992, Dr. Walfun Luey of Toronto contracted Woodwind Yachts to build him a new wooden 30′ – Dragon Class racing sloop, incorporating as much as could be saved from an old deteriorating 1963 German built Dragon.
The original vessel was built from mahogany planking, bronze fastened to steam-bent white oak frames and timbres. She supported a cast iron keel and the spars were of sitka spruce.
The “new” vessel was to be constructed in the same traditional manner as her predecessor (with the exception of some modern innovations) and the materials used were to be the same.
The original hull had deteriorated extensively, largely due to fiberglass having been applied over the planked hull. The vessel was therefore completely dismantled to remove and salvage only six original pieces of wood and the ballast keel.
Careful dismantling of the original vessel using a chainsaw ! ! It took 2 days cutting away and unfastening the vessel to salvage only 6 original wooden pieces including the counter-horn timbre (stern post), deadwood, deadwood knee, upper transom framework, one deck beam, rudder and the cast iron ballast keel.
From the original plans we lofted the vessel (carefully drawn to full scale) onto 8 painted 4×8 sheets of adjoined plywood.
The mould was then carefully built and constructed from the lofting, over top which the “new” vessel would be built.
The white oak ribs were steam-bent over the mould and clamped in place to dry for several months. The ribs were then removed, varnished and re-fastened to the mould.
The mahogany hull planking was made, fitted and temporarily fastened using clamps and stainless steel screws with fender washers. This picture shows the original deadwood (dark piece) has been permanently installed.
This picture shows some of the laminated oak floor timbres which have been built and removed for varnishing before their final installation.
The hull planking was removed, varnished, and permanently re-installed with bronze fasteners and a fine strand of cotton caulking with wet varnish between all planks.
Liftoff !! After planking was complete, the vessel was released, lifted off the mould and turned right side up. The mould was then lifted intact and suspended from the ceiling where it awaits the next Dragon project.
We were asked and pleased to display our half-finished yacht at the 1994 Toronto International Boat Show. For additional effect we faired, sanded and varnished the port side only, leaving the starboard side still rough and untouched.
The view of the hull interior after final varnishing, but before the decks were built and installed was most impressive to all at the Toronto Boat Show.
After the boat show “CHIMAERA” returned to our shop for the balance of the project. Here, the deck beams, king plank and carlins are shown being constructed and installed.
One layer of premium marine plywood and a final outer layer of solid teak planking was sealed and permanently installed over the deck framework.
The cuddy cabin was constructed in a similar fashion, with mahogany being used for the outer layer.
The balance of the vessel was then faired, sanded and protected with 7 coats of Epifanes varnish. The decks were sanded and oiled with 3 coats of Cetol.
A view of the beautifully sculptured laminated mahogany winch blocks which are fastened through each of the coamings.
“CHIMAERA” coming out of our shop. Her bottom has been painted and she is ready to be transported on our trailer to the marina for launch.
“CHIMAERA” launched and rigged up. With stunning beauty she stands alone at the 1994 Toronto In-Water Boat Show.
A close up of her finished aft deck!
And another of her lovely bow.
“CHIMAERA” serenely sitting at her protected dock at the Port of Newcastle Marina, Ontario. The two Folkboats in the background were restored in our shop some years earlier.
Looking aft in the cockpit shows the running rigging appearing on the traveller bridge for ease of control for either the crew or the skipper. The traveller bridge also houses a built-in gimballed compass.
View of the cockpit showing the traveller bridge, beautifully sculpted coamings, laminated tiller etc.
Looking down on her port side amidships.
The undersides of the cabintop.
“Chimaera” and crew preparing to race.
She has proven to be a very competitive yacht with sea-kindly manners, even in adverse weather.
Close-hauled with her decks awash, she’s a beautiful sight from a nearby vessel.
Sailing home after another successful race.
Some of the custom features Woodwind Yachts has incorporated into the building of “CHIMAERA” include:
- Every piece of wood was built, removed, protected with 4 coats of varnish, for longevity, then permanently re-installed.
- Screws were not used to permanently install the teak decks thus eliminating any plugs and giving the decks a much cleaner appearance.
- The shrouds run through the decks and are secured to a stainless steel mount fastened through the mast step, thus eliminating any hull strain.
- All running rigging is routed under decks and appears at the traveller bridge, thus keeping the topsides clear of all lines and making adjustments extremely easy for the captain and crew.
- “CHIMAERA” has been outfitted with our custom-designed electric auxillary motor system which neatly stows away under decks and out of sight when not in use.
- We offer a complete and very reasonable maintenance program on any vessel built or restored at Woodwind Yachts.