Archive for the ‘Boat restoration’ Category

It has been awhile since I have posted about the 1982 O’day DaySailer I bought last year. You can read about in a previous post called New boat, New Project.

I did the shake down sail earlier this year to determine what really needs to be done to the boat. This particular model of sailboats has a 23 foot tall mast that has to drop through the deck when installing the mast. This is a bit of a challenge and requires several people to do this safely. After some research I decided to install a tabernacle system which allows for a much easier time of raising the mast.

I ordered the part from D&R Marine. It came with very easy to follow directions. The most intimidating part of this project is cutting your mast so make sure you measure carefully.  You will actually make two cuts so measure and mark both spots before you do any cutting.

After cutting the mast I installed the bottom half of the tabernacle to the short piece that was the bottom of the mast.

I used a chop saw made to cut metal to insure that I made the cut straight. You will also need a drill and tap plus there was some filing I had to do in order to remove the barbs from the cut.

I dropped this part through the deck and connected it to the bottom of the boat with a drill, tap and stainless steel screws provided by D&R Marine.




Once it is installed you can see that the tabernacle sits just above the deck. The whole plate is stainless steel so no worries of it rusting.

The top half of the tabernacle is installed on the bottom of the long piece of the mast after cutting an additional 1.5 inches.

This system works beautifully and I was able to raise the mast safely on my own. You slide the first pin through which allows the mast to pivot.

I could lift the mast and use the line and pulley for the jib to help lift it into place. Once it straightens, all that was left was to insert the back pin that holds the whole thing in place.

This whole system allowed me to raise the mast easier and safer by myself than before with the help of three other people. I am excited to take the boat out again in a few weeks.

Finding the Sail

Posted: March 31, 2016 in Boat restoration
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We have been working on a 1976 Chrysler Dagger 14 sailboat. One of my biggest challenges was going to be finding a sail for the boat. 

A local sail shop (yes a sail shop in the upstate of South Carolina) quoted me $450 to make a new sail. Knowing this was my worst case scenario I began searching online for the right sail.

I finally tracked down a sail at Minney’s Yacht Surplus store in Costa Mesa, CA. They were great to work with and the used sail was only $95.

I decided to convert over to a slug and shackle system which should be easier to use for one person. I took some measurements and bought the 7/16 slug and the 15/16 shackle from Sailrite.

I have 9 grommets and I attached them to my new sail.

Of course I could wait, so even though it was starting to get dark we moved the boat out of the garage and hoisted the main sail!


The Chrysler Dagger 14 sailboat I recently bought as a project was missing the centerboard. I contacted a guy online through a Chrysler sailboat forum and he sent me pictures and a drawing of his centerboard.

A friend had recently given us some scraps of mahogany so we glued some pieces to make the board and then began hand shaping it.

Once we got the basic shape down based on tracing the hole for the centerboard.

I just keep fitting it in the hole and marking with a pencil where it is rubbing and then shave with the hand plane and repeat the process.


I recently bought a 1976 Chrysler Dagger 14 a fun little boat to learn how to sail on. I was on a pretty limited budget and this boat was about as cheap as they come – $100. You can read the first two posts on this project by clicking Restoring a Chrysler Dagger 14 and  Cleaning the Hull.

Of course there was a reason the boat was so cheap, it was missing three key elements: the centerboard, the rudder and the main sail. Minor problems, right?

We are in the process of making our own centerboard after getting the dimensions from a guy online. A future post on that part of the project is in the works.

After searching online, I found a guy selling a rudder and sail from a Jetwind boat made by Sears and he lived just 20 minutes from my house. The sail wouldn’t work but the rudder bracket actually matched up. The blade on the rudder is about 6 inches shorter than the original for my boat but the hardware and the tiller handle were exactly what I needed. Since there is not much of a market for Jetwind parts I got it all for just $40. I gave the sail to a buddy who has a Sunfish to see if he could use it.

The hole on the rudder bracket was 5/16 so I drilled out the bracket on the boat to match.

I bought a 8 inch lag bolt and cut off the threads, leaving myself enough space to taper the end and drill a hole for the pin.

 I wanted to use stainless steel for this but the store I went to didn’t have anything that long. So I will just keep an eye on it over the season and replace it if it gets rusty since it only cost me $.91.

I used a bench grinder to taper the end and smooth out any rough spots. This will help it slide through the brackets more easily.

I used my drill press to drill a hole through the bolt that the pin will go through to keep it from falling out.

Again I used the grinder to smooth out where the drill bit came through and installed it to see how it works.

Everything lined up great and the rudder is balanced and swings easily. I will need to add a spacer to the tiller handle so it doesn’t rub the deck of the boat. I have some mahogany to do this with so it shouldn’t be a problem.

I have decided to try the rudder out before making any major changes to it. If I find that the rudder isn’t giving me the performance it should, I will replace the blade with a longer one made of wood.

Cleaning the Hull Chrysler c14

Posted: March 13, 2016 in Boat restoration
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We recently purchased a 1976 Chrysler Dagger C14 sailboat that we hope to get on the water this summer.

After bringing the boat home we set it up face down on sawhorses in the garage so we could focus on the hull. Since we bought the boat so cheap we didn’t inspect the hull when we purchased it, so we had no idea of its condition.

We were glad to find out there were no bad spots or holes. There were a couple of dime size blisters but nothing we felt needed to be repaired at this point.

Using 2000 grit sandpaper we wet sanded the hull and then wiped it clean. After using the sandpaper, we went over the entire hull with rubbing compound and a high speed buffer.

We could quickly see the original blue color coming back.

While I would love to have a bigger boat after this process I was glad this boat is only 14 feet long.


Next up…flip it over and see what we need to fix next.

I have always had a interest in sailing. Back in college I got a chance to crew on a small sailboat during a local club race. I fell in love and it has never left me.

After turning 49, I decided to not wait any longer and start making a long time dream come true. The first step would be to buy a small boat and learn the basics. Being short on cash made me decide between putting the dream to rest now or go after it on minimal cash investment.

I found a 1976 Chrysler Dagger on Craigslist for $100. I didn’t think I could get much cheaper than that even though the rudder, daggerboard and sails were missing.  We drove 3 hours to Charleston, SC to pick up the boat.

Let the fun begin!