Cleans Up Nice


A fresh coat of Le Tonkinois varnish and Aeon is ready for the season.

The original finish is still holding up well going on three years, but it only had two coats and really should have more. This makes four. Paint still looks good, too.

The annual Chesapeake Float will be the first sail of the year this time.





8 Replies to “Cleans Up Nice”

  1. Hi Mr. Long,
    I am embarking on a melonseed build of my own. I wanted a sailing whitehall for years, but your blog blew that dream out of the water. Your boats are incredible. Do you mind if I ask you questions? I have poured over all of your posts and took lots of notes so I will try not to waste your time on material already covered. But there are some places where I do have questions. I have communicated with Tony Thatcher and Dave Lucas as well. They have been awesome, but I don’t want to pester any one of you, so I thought I could maybe spread out the questions. Thanks!

    1. Hi Jayson, congratulations on your early phases of mental illness! You’re in good company. Tony and Dave are great, and it’s good to get several opinions on everything – there will always be more than one good way of doing everything. Ask away, happy to share.

    1. Hey Denis, hope your boat-building season is starting well. I believe that centerboards are just prone to this problem. As long as sand and grit and gravel can get washed up into the case you the board can get stuck. Always knew that. That’s why you find things like gaskets and flaps out there to close the gap. But one thing makes it worse on Caesura. The clearance at the opening is slightly smaller in some places than others, and the clearance in the rest of the case is greater in most places. This lets larger grit get washed up into the case in the bigger spaces, only to get stuck where it’s more narrow. Water washes it in, then it can’t get out. A better arrangement would be, if anything, wider clearance at the opening than up in the case. Then when grit does get washed in it would stop at the opening. Certainly, having at least the same clearance throughout would be an improvement. I’ve seen designs where the case is actually shaped like a trapezoid – getting more narrow toward the top – for this reason. Then what gets in can more easily get out. My problem on that boat is it gets in and can’t always get out. I’ll need to widen and fair the opening on that boat. Best solution, period, is to don’t leave the boat sitting in the surf where waves are stirring up the bottom and sloshing sand and gravel up into the case. Either anchor out, or pull the boat up out of the surf.

      1. Thanks for the informative reply, it will be all sand beach launches when I finally get my boat finished, so board clearance is to be considered carefully.
        Littlewing has been way down the list of priorities for the past year, ( house renovations ), and probably for another year to come, but I enjoy the odd moment just walking around her and mentally sketching all the bits that have to be made and attached. I expect it will be quite a hurdle to pick up the thread, but I’ll get there at some stage..

        Happy sailing

  2. Hello again Barry. It has been a long time since St. Michaels. My girlfriend Katija and I had made a day trip from DC, and had the pleasure of meeting you on the last day of the MASCF. Since then I sent you an email with my centerboard case design and progress. It has been a brutal winter here in New York, so working in an unheated garage was not possible. Finally the weather has gotten better and work on my Melonseed has resumed about a month or so ago.
    I frequently stop by your website to see if there are any new pictures to inspire me, and now the images of a fresh new glow on Aeon certainly have. I’ll be sending you some pictures via email to show you what I have done so far.

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