MARBLEHEAD Rebuild / Restore

I had received an old Marblehead that was (probably) rescued from a dumpster, and decided I would restore/rebuild it. When done, not sure how competitive it will be, but if nothing else, I hope to have a nice looking boat.

From what I have been able to determine, it is a “TURNER” design, and probably close to a Pinter in performance (tho what generation of Pinter, I don’t know). Only the hull arrived, so I have some major work.

I have pretty much stripped out all of the internal structure with exception of the existing mast base system. The boat was a swing-rig at some point in time, based on the distance in front of the leading keel edge. I think I will leave the under deck stuff alone after re-epoxying everything and re-coating all the raw wood. Thus it will carry a standard rig.

I would like to ask for information/clarification on my first question that I ran into:

[i]Is a cork bumper on an “M” still legal and considered “elastomeric”?

I am in process of a restoration/update on an older “M” and when I started to begin work on the hull - I sanded off paint at the bow and found a shaped piece of cork attached as a bumper (I guess) Just wondering if this is still legal - silicone probably wasn’t easily available when this boat was built - or if I should just pay a visit to my band-saw, cut off the bow and start over with a shaped silicone bow bumper. Extra work, but if cork is questionable, I need to remove/replace now - not after a lot of finish work on the hull only to find out it is no longer acceptable.

Thanks for any thoughts/replies/opinions
Also, the hull is very flexible, so may have to add in some strips of carbon tape - crosswise internally - running from gunwale, down, across keel of hull and back up to other gunwale. This to prevent and eliminate a lot of cracks on the exterior of the hull - either from misuse, dropping or flexing.


Photos are of the hull in “As Received” condition

Hi Dick,
about bumper :
it depends on when the boat was registered. It is possible that according to Rules D.1.1. , the same material like cork is allowed.
About the hull skin:
repairs may requires additional weight !
The maximum drag is 66cm from hull bottom including bulb. Actually drags of 50/52 cm are more common.
Not easy anyhow, whish you good luck !

Thanks, Claudio -
I’m not sure of age and when boat was originally registered. Because I have no sail numbers and there is no sticker inside, I think I will just band-saw off the cork, make sure the bow block is in good shape and sealed, and then fabricate a new rubber/silicone bumper. I think this thread might turn into a blog on the restore.

One of any prior owners thought they could seal the cracks by multiple coats of paint. Didn’t work to eliminate flex. On closer look, the interior hull fabric looks like it was a “dry” layup as there is virtually no epoxy/resin on the inside of the hull except where some of the repairs using a non-sticking resin was applied - probably by paint brush. I’m going to “dig out” what I can and then add a single coat of epoxy without fillers to see if it improves the flex in the hull. If not, then cross-hull carbon tape will be used and spaced along the hull. I won’t do a full hull covering - just in areas where flex is greatest. I started removing the paint from exterior of hull - looks like it was an oil based paint. A little acetone on rag, left on hull for about 20 minutes and I was able to start scraping off the paint using a piece of glass.

Also checking on cost for a new carbon mast, but I may lay up a laminated wooden mast with a few strips of carbon tape as a few of the plies. Thinking of an aluminum keel with carbon skin - but not positive on that just yet.

Thanks for your comments. I will try to keep this thread updated

Bow - after removing runs and drips
Mid section - acetone and scraping to remove paint
Bow - more sanding and fairing where possible

NOTE: Paint does NOT fill and prevent hull flex cracks. What a waste and more time to make corrections.

Have made a bit of progress on the hull. Found out it is probably late 1970’s or early 1980’s vintage design.

Completed tearing out extraneous stuff from inside. Still undecided about swing vs. standard mast, so that portion of the internals for handling swing rig will remain ---- at least for now. Out side of hull has been sanded using 50 grit paper to roughen up the surface. Got most of the paint off that someone used to seal up flex cracks. I mixed up some WEST Epoxy and “painted” it (brushed) to inside of hull., Just that little bit of a thin coat made quite a difference in flex, with very little weight. There still are a couple of places of flex, but I may laminate a piece of 1/64" balsa sheet in place and epoxy coat which will really help - yet not add much weight.

I think polyester resin was used as an adhesive, so a lot of stuff has seen the joints broken. The block that holds the rudder post in place has broken loose, and the top cross beam for the rudder is also split and will need to be removed and replaced.

Currently I am preparing veneer to be added to exterior of hull, and also need to fabricate some curved deck beams to provide some amount of camber to the deck.

I am considering the fabrication of a laminated wooden swing rig, and also a laminated standard mast. Keel will probably be cedar strips glued up as a lamination and then shaped and covered with glass cloth. If mast ideas don’t work out, Larry Ludwig in Texas can supply the long mast blanks needed.

LEFT: Top view of rudder post support beam which has split and must be replaced.

MIDDLE: Interior view of hull looking forward, after epoxy has been brushed on to interior of hull.

RIGHT: Photo of rudder support block at broke it’s polyester "glue ???) joint. Probably what caused the top rudder post support beam to split. You can see where I stopped brushing on the epoxy coating.

Hi Dick,
it appears like a black tissue, is this a carbon tissue ? If yes, I wonder the use in late 70’ or begin 80’ for model applications !

Claudio - before I brush coated with epoxy, the finish of the cloth felt very soft - almost “fuzzy” in feel. Normally, I am used to carbon with a smooth, almost silky feel to the surface, but with this being soft to touch, and no feeling of any resin, that is why I thought it didn’t get enough epoxy to keep the hull firm.

Since in my big cat class, one of our local builders (John Lindahl) started using carbon in 1984, I would put the hull build about the same time. Just guessing of course.

I was tempted to apply a layer of dress fabric like you did on one of your boats that had a “wild” pattern, but decided to go with veneer instead. Maybe will do some dress fabric cloth on my “next one” ! :smiley: