The Good the Bad and The Ghost

After an initial inspection of the boat Keith put in an offer and paid a deposit that afternoon. restore00014At the survey two weeks later, he was very impressed by the sound condition of the boat below the water.

Keith was happy with the bare bones of Wraith of Odin and states that he was fully prepared for what he expected to be a very substantial restoration project. In common with many all old timber boats the realty of a detailed restoration turned out to be much more daunting.

Keith was on board the yacht when, on  January 4th, 1997 she  was delivered the 7 miles from Pittwater Sydney to Quays Marina, to be installed in a working berth.  He remembers being most impressed by her sheer size restore0003when seen on the hard and by the immediate impression of power her lines imparted. These impressions were especially marked given Keith’s racing heritage in ultra-light weight modem multihulls. Keith prepared a work schedule in the usual manner and was anxious to begin the project. Some of the locals at the marina reported supernatural phenomena affecting the yacht and  Keith even came across a fellow on board performing an exorcism.  While Keith is not a superstitious man he was concerned that this was not the sort of reputation that was in the best interest of Wraith of Odin. The gentleman concerned was removed from the yacht to finish his task elsewhere.

A more mundane complication that delayed early work was the fact that that only one drawing of the boat was available. This had been provided by Dagmar O’Brian, who lifted up part of the carpet of her house to retrieve the plan from its place of safekeeping. 823-c sail plan blueprintAt least Keith had the original sail plan. Keith had slept on the boat and checked each berth during rainy conditions. The driest berth was the forepeak with two umbrellas needed to provide adequate shelter. A priority was made to waterproof the cabin top and the deck. On the starboard side the trunk cabin leaked badly and fresh water had caused considerable damage to the interior in that vicinity.

It only took about two hours to remove the bulwarks (but another four years to finally put them back). The original deck was traditionally sealed with pitch and canvas. This covering was removed in sections to reveal the underlying artic beach timber. It was then apparent that three quarters of the deck plugs had been pushed out by rust affected iron dumps. It became regrettably clear that the deck could not be salvaged.

The deck shelf, clamp, beams and frame ends remained structurally sound .Wraith of Odin had completed 6 Sydney to Hobart races  and sailed to Cape Horn and yet none of the triple laminated spotted gum frames had been sistered and none were split.   Fresh water has penetrated the pitch sealant next to the horn through the cockpit above.

The necessary repairs were on a larger scale to the deck work done thus far.  Wraith of Odin was moved to the highly respected Beashels boatyard nearby at  Elvina Bay. Beashels had the experience and the master craftsman’s skills demanded by the remaining scope of the 1st stage of  the restoration.

spear original

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