July 25, 2013. We had a request for some technical information from the new owners of Summer Wine, Facon 24 Sail #1798. This prompted an email to Alan Mountford who is doing a major restoration on his Falcon 24, Blue Gum, in Queensland, Australia. Alan responded with a lot of interesting, useful information. That exchange is below - with minor edits.
A couple of questions: Is the Falcon 24 hull solid fiberglass (no wood or other coring)? Do you have a depth sounder tranducer in Blue Gum? What kind? Do you have any experience with the keel bolts on your boat? Are they visible?
Construction The Falcon 24 hull is solid glass (GRP). The deck and cabin top are a Glass / Balsa sandwhich. The coamings, cabin sides and cockpit well sides are all solid glass. Just the areas that can be walked on are sandwhich construction.
Depth Sounder I have fitted a new depth sounder/fish finder. The old depth sounder packed it in before I hauled out to start the restoration - so both transducer and instrument are new. (I was using a lead line.) I mounted the transducer where the old one was on the starboard side about a foot forward of the main bulkhead and about a foot up from the keel line so that it is vertical. That entailed laminating up a solid glass block inside and outside to accomodate the angle of the hull. It is a Navman instrument that I bought for a good price at the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show on the Gold Coast several years ago.
Log. The Log is one that was given to me by a fellow yachtie years ago when I was in NZ. It has the letters iTi on the instrument. It had no circuit diagram to wire it up but managed to figure it out by trial and error without blowing anything up :-) It had never been used before it was given to me and has no distance run on the meter. It is a paddlewheel type with a needle on a circular scale. The old log was a Sumlog with a cable drive and the sender unit was mounted on the hull on the port side below the front end of the cockpit. Consequently it used to grossly under-read if there was a bit of slime on the bottom.
The sender unit for a log should always be mounted in the forward part of the hull just ahead of the keel. I mounted mine on the centreline of the hull. I fitted a new paddle wheel unit to the H 28 charter yacht I owned when I had it. I mounted the sender on the port side about 6inches up from the keel line and about 18 inches forward of main bulkhead. But on port tack it didn't read properly - so this time have mounted as I said on the centreline - so hopefully it will read accurately.
Keel Bolts. My ex-wife had the misfortune years ago of dragging anchor in the middle of the night when she was out at Great Barrier Island. It was blowing about 40 knots and Blue Gum dragged onto rocks in the bay. it took a while to get the boat off the rocks and fortunately she didn't start taking water - but I found out later it was very close.
When I came to repair the boat I found that the keel bolts go from the bottom of the lead to the inside of the boat. The nut is set in a recess in the bottom of the lead and then filled over with epoxy filler. I was able to withdraw several of them and they appeared in almost perfect condition. They are 3/4 inch, from memory, and stainless steel. I put them back with a good coat of Lanolin grease and covered the nuts on the inside with a piece of Densotape. The lead was badly dented and the glass keel aft of the lead was basicly shattered on the bottom. When I started grinding the shattered glass away bilge water started seeping out - so the boat came within an ace of sinking !! I cleaned it all up, filled the dents in the lead with epoxy filler, faired it all off and reglassed the bottom of the glass section of keel. It has been sound ever since.
Hope that helps :-)
July 25, 2013. The former owner of Summer Wine, Giles Grimston, read the post we made above and has come back with the following advice to Calum and Jess (minor edits).
Morning stranger. I trust you are well.
I have just read the Summer Wine stuff and can give you some info.
Having lost one halyard on her you need to remove the fairlead housing at the base of the mast. You cannot feed unless you do this. Drill out about 8 pop rivets and it pops out. Feed from the top and use a coat hanger to get the end out when it reaches the deck. Replace with Monel rivets from Bunnings.
The keel bolts except the forward one came out for inspection and were greased on return 18 months ago. The surveyor took photographs for his files (John Burns). They are all fine to do except the very front one. Be gentle when undoing use a nut from one of the others as a lock nut. If in doubt check with others.
The front one was always a mystery and I can shed no light except that it needed tightening occasionally. Due to the precarious nature it is impossible to get enough purchase on it to over tighten.
Happy sailing. She is lovely and with a clean bum you will really get the best out of her.
Click here to go to Summer Wine's page when Giles had her.