Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi all from Sydney Australia. Just joined (be gentle!).. About to hand over $3500 for a Thunderbird 26 from 1978 in great condition & was wondering if anyone here had some advice for me... FYI I have wooden boat sailing in my blood (Great Grandfather hand built boats in Tasmania from Huon Pine) and for some reason I'm drawn to them. I would like to work on one.. Fibreglass just doesn't 'do it' for me (I've worked with fibreglass alot).. I have pics I can post from the interior +bilge if that helps? 

Many thanks in advance & I hope to be a long-running member here! 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not many Tbirds around in Sydney, I know that in the US you still have alot active.. I might also add that this particular boat has ALWAYS been under cover (custom made) on mooring and until 2018 was regularly raced (championship winner the owner tells me).. Only freshwater in the bilge (I traced the leak to the mast + pop top hinge) 

Link to post
Share on other sites

FYI the bilge water was FRESH water, which I tracked down to: the pop top hinge + the track in the mast (& possibly the mast boot which is home made) 

 

Thoughts? 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Tbirds are excellent boats, I used to race aboard one on SF Bay. 

 

Freshwater leaks are not good news, they can lead to dry rot.  Track the leak and look closely at the wood in any areas when the water might collect.  If the wood is soft, dry it out and see if it hardens up.  If it does not, there are quite a few threads on how to repair dry rot!

Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, qwerty57 said:

Tbirds are excellent boats, I used to race aboard one on SF Bay. 

 

Freshwater leaks are not good news, they can lead to dry rot.  Track the leak and look closely at the wood in any areas when the water might collect.  If the wood is soft, dry it out and see if it hardens up.  If it does not, there are quite a few threads on how to repair dry rot!

Thank you qwerty.. I've prodded/pulled as mich as I can everywhere in the bilge and cannot get a pair of 'pin-nosed' pliers any more than 2mm into any piece of wood (using my 100kg of body weight!) 

The initial appearance of water had me very concerned however once I tasted it (yuk!) I was somewhat relaxed. I then poured water over the cabin and mast boot to find water inside the cabin..easy leaks to fix. 

Mast bolts seem OK, cross members in the bilge are rock hard (except for 1mm off the edges).. Rainwater ingress is something I will fix upon owning, other than that water, there is no visible damage or rot anywhere! 

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Snowgoose2021 said:

Thank you qwerty.. I've prodded/pulled as mich as I can everywhere in the bilge and cannot get a pair of 'pin-nosed' pliers any more than 2mm into any piece of wood (using my 100kg of body weight!) 

The initial appearance of water had me very concerned however once I tasted it (yuk!) I was somewhat relaxed. I then poured water over the cabin and mast boot to find water inside the cabin..easy leaks to fix. 

Mast bolts seem OK, cross members in the bilge are rock hard (except for 1mm off the edges).. Rainwater ingress is something I will fix upon owning, other than that water, there is no visible damage or rot anywhere! 

Edit, water was FRESH WATER 

Link to post
Share on other sites

fun cool boat. wash the whole boat inside with soap and water. it will tell you a whole lot. moreover it will make feel better about buying the boat and will be returned many fold. It is cheap to keep and easy to sail. from what i can tell it is only few places that need a light sanding and paint to bring her around to proud ownership. Wooden boats are the best but they are like a marriage.

Most importantly - go out and sail! Once you do, you will be on the hunt for regattas and weekenders.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So with the handle Snowgoose - I assume you have bought Snowgoose? If so she raced for many years out of the SASC. When I was young, there was a very large fleet of Thunderbirds racing there.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Tbirds are cool.  Their birthplace is my stomping grounds. Cool history also.

The Thunderbird class sailboat was designed in 1958 by Seattle Washington naval architect Ben Seaborn,[1] in response to a request from the Douglas Fir Plywood Association (now APA - The Engineered Wood Association) of Tacoma, Washington for design proposals for a sailboat that would "... be both a racing and cruising boat; provide sleeping accommodations for four crew; be capable of being built by reasonably skilled amateurs; provide auxiliary power by an outboard motor that could be easily removed and stowed; and out-perform other sailboats in its class."

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, See Level said:

Did Australia reserve a brick of hull numbers maybe, because #328 would put her build in the early 60's. My dad's was 680 in Seattle, built in 66.

Maybe - I do remember in the late 1960s Thunderbirds having numbers from the 300s up to 1100 or higher. I think this boat is a pretty old one. We started getting the glass ones in the 1970s.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/2/2021 at 1:51 AM, Black Jack said:

fun cool boat. wash the whole boat inside with soap and water. it will tell you a whole lot. moreover it will make feel better about buying the boat and will be returned many fold. It is cheap to keep and easy to sail. from what i can tell it is only few places that need a light sanding and paint to bring her around to proud ownership. Wooden boats are the best but they are like a marriage.

Most importantly - go out and sail! Once you do, you will be on the hunt for regattas and weekenders.

Thanks Blackjack.. I'm being paranoid I think (or maybe just careful! 

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Blitz said:

Tbirds are cool.  Their birthplace is my stomping grounds. Cool history also.

The Thunderbird class sailboat was designed in 1958 by Seattle Washington naval architect Ben Seaborn,[1] in response to a request from the Douglas Fir Plywood Association (now APA - The Engineered Wood Association) of Tacoma, Washington for design proposals for a sailboat that would "... be both a racing and cruising boat; provide sleeping accommodations for four crew; be capable of being built by reasonably skilled amateurs; provide auxiliary power by an outboard motor that could be easily removed and stowed; and out-perform other sailboats in its class."

Hi Blitz, tried the Tbird Forum and jeeze.. It's truly a ghost town now.. No one is active any more in there 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, mccroc said:

Maybe - I do remember in the late 1960s Thunderbirds having numbers from the 300s up to 1100 or higher. I think this boat is a pretty old one. We started getting the glass ones in the 1970s.

Dynal sheathed probably, this one 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Blitz said:

Tbirds are cool.  Their birthplace is my stomping grounds. Cool history also.

The Thunderbird class sailboat was designed in 1958 by Seattle Washington naval architect Ben Seaborn,[1] in response to a request from the Douglas Fir Plywood Association (now APA - The Engineered Wood Association) of Tacoma, Washington for design proposals for a sailboat that would "... be both a racing and cruising boat; provide sleeping accommodations for four crew; be capable of being built by reasonably skilled amateurs; provide auxiliary power by an outboard motor that could be easily removed and stowed; and out-perform other sailboats in its class."

Agree! I'd love to get her back into shape, I've seen alot of beautifully restored Tbirds in the US 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thunderbirds are great boats, the big main helps them in light airs and the boat is robust and likes more breeze.  I have a glass bird so not much help with the wood ones, but check out these fleets over at facebook.  Seattle and Boston have a lot of knowledge of the wood boats.

https://www.facebook.com/Thunderbirdfleet2seattle

https://www.facebook.com/ThunderbirdFleet5Boston/

My T-bird - https://www.facebook.com/CompoundXTBird1050

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...