The Lindsay 6987 Rebuild

Last Updated December 13, 1995
After talking up the idea of fixing up older boats, I found an opportunity to do so when I "met" Dave Gruver on Compuserve, and he told me he had and old Lindsay 505 that needed some TLC and some time on the water. Buying 6987 was a means to both get another great boat on the water, and race in the '95 Canadian and North American Championships in Vancouver. I bought the boat site unseen, after Dave delivered it to Waterat for a quick evaluation.
Lindsay 6987 was probably built in 1980. Unlike the very first of the Lindsay-hulled Lindsays, 6987 had cored seat tanks. The first owner was John Gilmour. The boat was in Seattle for awhile, and then returned to the Bay Area with Dave Gruver. Like all Lindsays, the boat was rigged by the first owner not by the builder and was probably altered over time, by the various owners.

The boat I bought for $3000 was as follows:

Photos of 6987 before the rebuild.(click on the images for larger versions).

I bought the boat after Larry Tuttle looked at it, and gave me an estimate on what it would cost to fix up the way I wanted it. Waterat did the following work on the boat.

To assist the project, I went through my spare parts supply and provided standing rigging, an unused spinnaker pole, and extra blocks. I also used my sails, one of my Waterat centerboards and my tiller and tiller extension when John Fry and I raced the boat on the West Coast.

Larry did an incredible job on the boat. While it could have gone sailing the day I bought it, it needed lots of TLC. The boat as delivered by Larry was - with the addition of my sails, CB, tiller and extension - ready to race at the North American Championship. Apart from doing the maintenance, Larry re-rigged the boat to meet my request that it be as much like my Waterats as possible. This included the visual queues that I use to set up the rig. Waterat removed the vast majority of the fittings, installed an adjustable forestay, put some of the old fittings, some of my spares, and some new fittings back on the boat, and even marked on the tank where the Waterat thwart would be, so I could judge my jib lead position from it.

The majority of the fittings on the boat now were not on it when it arrived at Waterat, and along with the re-rigged boat, I received several boxes of fittings that had been removed. Given the weight of these surplus fittings, I have to believe the boat is now lighter than when it arrived at Waterat!

In the two regattas that John and I raced, we noted only three problems. One was that moisture was getting into one part of the foredeck from the inside, and this moisture was lifting the finish off the top layer of the deck. The vang attachment point came off the mast on the practice day, and the spinnaker halyard cleat tore out a small knee bonded to the floor and the side of the centerboard trunk. We ignored the foredeck and easily repaired the other two problems. The boat was weighed during the events, and was about 5 kg overweight. I believe a significant part of this was the old spliced and reinforced mast; it felt rather heavier than a new D.

There was some interest in buying the boat from people in the Washington DC area, who would then join my fleet, so I had the Hendersons bring the boat, trailer and dolly (a Derek Campbell special) to Kingston for CORK. I purchased a few more parts so that the boat could be sailed without using my spares, and sailed CORK with Matthew Edwards, the new owner.

Matthew took the boat home, and only days later a tree branch fell on it, putting a softball sized hole in the foredeck. Fortunately, the boat was insured, and a new deck was built by J. Hamilton in Annapolis. Matthew also bought a partially rigged mast, which I helped him complete to Waterat specifications. With a brand new mast, new foredeck and completely re-rigged, the boat is ready for the racing circuit. It is an excellent boat, and is completely competitive. John Fry and I finished 3rd at the North American championship, with a shot at winning going into the last race (we sailed our throwout instead!)

Photos of 6987 racing in the North American Championship

I sold the boat for $5000, which was a slight loss on what I paid for it, and spent at Waterat. I also donated some spares for it. It cost $300 to get the boat shipped back to the East Coast. The total out of pocket costs are rather less than what it would have cost me to ship a boat both ways to do the two events, or to charter a decent boat on the West Coast. Overall, the project was a success. I was able to sell both 6987, and my older Waterat, 7772, into my fleet, and was able to turn around and ask Larry to start rebuilding another older boat, 7200, for me. My current plan is to race 7200 at the '96 Worlds in Australia.


-Ali
alimeller@aol.com