Sylph has so far been the only L-24 that Elk Spar & Boatshop has had the pleasure of restoring.
One of the first things that we noticed when starting her repairs was how the veneers along her backbone were incredibly rotten. The only sensible way to repair them in a way that would last was to cut the bottom off high enough to be able to splice into good wood. As with the L-16 restoration of Seawolf, the old boat was used as a form to cold mold the sections of the hull to be replaced. This "chip," as we came to call the new section, was only made with three of the total seven layers of veneer, keeping it flexible enough so it could be pulled into shape when reattaching it to the hull.
After one side of the boat was cut off and the backbone exposed, the stem, keel plank, and the stern post--all laminated magohany--were replaced, some frame repair done and the frame gussets in the cockpit bilge were replaced. The inside chip was epoxy coated and fiberglass cloth was added in the bilge area so as to keep the hull veneers dry, inside and out. A splice was planed into both the boat and the chip. The chip was then pulled up into place against the frames and bulkhead and glued to the hull along the splice. This was then repeated on the other side of the boat.
The four remaining layers were then cold molded and vacuum bagged over this new bottom, extending the splice further up the hull. Other aspects to this restoration include extensive deck repair and the refinishing of all the interior hull mahogony and cabinetry. The refinishing on the shellaced deck beams and the painting of the overhead was such a difficult job that we flipped the 38' hull to make it quicker. The coamings, cockpit bulkheads and a portion of the cuddy were all reveneered, the teak cockpit sole was replaced and the mast stripped and varnished.
One of the goals of this restoration was to eliminate every chance for water to infiltrate the wood. The outside of the entire boat as well as the entire bilge area was fiberglassed with epoxy resin, the bronze floor timber brackets were set in epoxy and fastened, the new keel bolts came through the wood keel in G-10 tubes and the nuts and washers sat on big G-10 washers so as to not crush into the wood.
With all the mahogony on the refinished boat, Sylph looks just like the day she was originally launched. There are some departures from that day, however. The new wiring and electrical panel will accomodate the solar panel to charge the battery for the cabin reading lights, the running lights and the under deck LED cockpit lights. Plus, a Harken traveller, the adjustable backstay and the control lines that run below deck to Servon jam cleats in the cockpit will make racing in Long Island Sound easier.