3 Tonner 



Kylix 29 restoration


Hi John,
greeting from yet another rainy and cold day here in Bideford. I finished stripping the cockpit yesterday, found more rot in corners.......nothing that would make an old man scream. Send you more pictures next week. However, there are two short questions I would like to run by you.
When I was taking the cap rail from the transom I took all screws out first, of course, than lightly tap the rail from the bottom and it came off. There is no issues there, the top edge of the transom is sound. What caught my attention was the fact that the cap rail was originally glued to the transom and then screwed. With a light tap getting it off I just start to wonder what I should do about the deck......3/8" plywood with 3/8" thick teak strips glued on it. the teak needs just sanding and getting rid of the weathered top, otherwise it looks sound. the ply once again has some edges what needs attention but nothing major...what I don't know is the condition of the bond - deck ply/ beck beams.... What would be your take, redo the deck also or keep it on for 20 more years?
In next 2 weeks I am taking out the original Sabb ( two cylinders) 18hp engine, needs just cleaning, painting, reconditioning, de-scaling ...standard maintenance...but I would really like to add an exchanger into the cooling system as so far it is just raw water cooled. They used to sell a conversion kit including the exchanger for this engine back in 80's...anyway, you have much wider contact with classic boats owners.... do you know anybody anywhere in the UK who has a personal experience with Sabb engines and would be willing to give me a bit of an online help?
Greatly appreciate all your help John, really do.
Truly, Norm


Hi John,
I know I own you some update and some pictures so here it goes. There is not much stripping left anymore.
Over the weekend I fought with the bowsprit. It is sandwiched between the samson pots and those are bolted though the stem and also through a deck beam. the bolts are all rusted in the door so the only way to remove it was by cutting the posts above and below deck.
One of the post was rotten to about 1/3 of it's thickness the second one was relatively in decent order but gone anyway. I am thinking about replacing them with just one bigger post as I don't need the bowsprit for my junk rig.....
With stanchions and chainplates it was a bit easier. Heads of the bots needed to be grind off and then pushed through the deck or the topside in case of chainplates....
I also started removing the paint from the hull and the mahogany plank topside. I was hoping in could be varnished again but there is lot of discoloration so I am not sure about it...I use a heat gun and a flat scraper to get rid of the paint but it is going to be a long and painful process, indeed.
Some old primer doesn't react to the heat so lots of sanding going to follow. The hull is another matter. The white top coat is no problem to get off, however the primer is impossible to scrape. I identified it as International Primocon primer. I will try to call International if they have some stripper for that otherwise 40 grit sandpaper will have to do it....

Please, if you can direct me how to contact Chris so I can keep eye in his engine conversion progress, I would greatly appreciate it. (Seems that Bowman's smallest exchanger is for 40 hp engine. At least that's what their catalogue says. I will have to give them a shout...)
Pictures are at the complete bottom of all those messages.
Thanks John for all your help.
Truly, Norm




Hi John

I have a new update for you.
After I finished striping off the white paint on both sides, I decided that it is as good time as any to jack up the boat up. You could say that jacks are the way to go and you would be right, IF you have enough space to get them under the ballast keel...in my case, however, it needed a bit of creativity.
Firstly, I needed to lift the stem as high as the rudder boot allowed me (without touching the ground). Then I put blocks of wood under the centre of the boat. After that I just started to take the blocks supporting the stem and the stern started to rise as the support under the centre of the boat was suddenly the highest point..... then it was easy, put wooden blocks under the stern (better to say under the ballast as far aft as I could go), lift the stem again, blocked up the centre and eased up the stem and rock it over the centre to lift the stern...
I could go two feet up as the initial plan was but then I realized that I still have to get the engine out of the boat so it doesn't make sense to go too high before that is done. For now, I am 14" off the ground ( started with 2 1/2" ) which is enough for a nice 20T jack to fit under the ballast....
Happy days and dancing in the sunshine you would say but there is always something waiting around the corner. For me, it is a discovery that the centreboard ( or at least the lower edge) is " rust infused" together with the ballast. Doesn't surprise now that the last owner never used it. Maybe not because there was never any need for it, as he stated, but maybe more because he couldn't get it down . But that's a story for another time.

The hull plans...I will try to sand the Primocon a little bit so I can see if there are any problems and also it should give me an idea how much fairing needs to be done. I let the planking do it things because all those seams needs to be raked out and re-seamed. I am expecting to find some cotton in those seams which I will not touch, just prime it and re- seal it. I am still not sure what compound to use. There are lots of heated discussions about that on-line and it looks like everybody has its own favourite......no surprise here.
For the hull I have a special treat in mind. I will strip the inside of the hull too ( luckily there is no Primocon used) and it is easy to get rid of the paint. After nice sanding I will saturate all the planking and framing in Owatrol Marine Oil. Interestingly, it is an European version of Australian product Penetrol which some US boat builders use the restore wooden hulls and prep them for fairing and panting..... but that's work for the Fall, if I am still alive.

Few pictures of my hard labour follow.

Hi John,

thanks for your message and you are not telling me anything new. I have learnt  long time ago that if you want to get things done you have two options, either you have deep pockets and you hire people to do it for you or you hit the books and forums, make lots of mistakes but if you strong enough you can eventually succeed....

    I am not a man of many means and even the strength is not as it used to be but i will get it done somehow and I will enjoy her on the Big Blue .  I, also, feel your pain because for all your hard work and hours spending on maintaining your site there is not a real gratitude from people.....well, you know what I mean.

    I know only about one more Kylix 29 build one year after Jemima (launched in 1981) and she is also for sale (somewhere on your side of the country) so there is not even much of chance for sister ships to bond....

         This is my plan. I will work on her and take pictures as I go along. I will send you updates directed more for you and you database as you are one of few who truly cares about MG work and his legacy. If you later post it or not will be for you to decide.

    You have  practical knowledge of maintaining and improving your own boat so I will ask you questions here and there and your answers will be truly  appreciated.

    Speaking of a question, please, if you would be so kind, could you take pictures of few passages (if any) form 'Sixty Years a Yacht Designer", or any other book you have in your library, describing Kylix 29/27 sailing characteristics or any performance notes?

    I am no expert by any mean but I believe that MG was ahead of his time as a designer and just looking at the Kylix rudder.....man,.. tell me how many designs have balanced transom hang rudder, but not just that it is balanced in a percentage (18%) which designers much later finally settled on as the best ratio.....anyway, sorry for the rambling.





Hi John,
Happy Easter to you and your family.
Things are already happening. I finished the shed, ( at least to the point I can comfortably work no matter what the weather is), however there are still some details needing attention...

I started to tear the girl apart in search of rot and sure enough I have found what I was looking for. Hidden under rub rails, cap rails, toe rails, trims....you know exactly what I am talking about. On all those external parts, the boatyard which originally build the boat, had used galvanized screws that I found at different stages of corrosion and the only way to get them out was with a brutal force of wisegrips. Even with them at least half of them broke off and stayed in the hull...oh well,
The condition of the rub, toe rand even the cap rails where from decent to completely black and spongy and all those conditions developed without noticing under the paint which presently peels in huge flakes and showing more ..... Surprisingly, port side is in worse shape then the starboard side. No idea why....Although the mahogany top side is still not sanded, it already showing places which will need replacing......I am not worried about it just yet as I still have at least 10 more days of stripping to go. ( My arms and palms can really feel the fight with rusted screws so the progress is not as fast as I would like it to be)...

Next step in taking out the port lights / holes of the top side and sanding the top side clean. Then and only then I will start to think what to do next. However, this is a story for next time .

Truly Yours,

Hi John,
hope you are enjoying the summer. I am baking here in my shed but making some progress. Better to say I have reached the point of no return as all interior is gone, the foredeck is also gone, one deck beam supporting the old Samson post needs to be replaced. The forward coaming is gone too. It was rotten at the deck level and I need the space to fit a tabernacle. After that I will build a new coaming to fit together with two new beams to attach it to the hull and the upper deck and lower foredeck.
Also, I have decided to go just with one stronger Samson post instead of two. Somehow it fits better.....
On the other side of the boat is a huge hole too. The cockpit is out and the engine is about to be taken out of the boat and sent to be refurbished.....Endless list of projects just waiting for me for months and months to come...
John, if it is OK, I will send you a letter including the proper fee in exchange for whatever set of plans you have for the TIDEWATER design. I am hoping it will show me few details I would like to implement on my boat ( chain locker, cockpit and tanks assembly....etc)
Thanks and Truly,

Tidewater drawings sent!




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