LUCIE Prepares for her 2017 Season

After a very long and exciting 2016 season, LUCIE is in for a much needed yacht spa treatment. Over the course of the last year, LUCIE has been launched and hauled on five separate occasions; she sailed hard for 20 days last season, moved to Switzerland for the 6 Meter European Championship, then moved to San Francisco for the StFYC Invitational and back to Newport, which is a lot of stress and moving for an 85-year-old lady. It is time now for some TLC.


Over the past two weeks we have been in “all hands on deck” mode. Here are a few things that have happened so far:

We started by taking LUCIE off her trailer, which is rather unusual but this spring we have work to do on the forward trailer bunk as well as some of the plank seams. LUCIE is also due for a fresh coat of Baltoplate, as well as some wet sanding and polishing, all of which needs to be done off the trailer.


With all areas of LUCIE fully accessible we first focused on the issues below the waterline, like the planking seams that had started to leak a bit. We knew about these leaks for a while, as we always notice it when we launch LUCIE every spring. It all swells up after 48 hours but when sailing hard upwind the loads on the hull were causing some minor leaking, making for a wet butt and back when crouching below deck. All leaks below the waterline are now fixed, but we’ll get the final confirmation after the first sail in May.

From there we moved on to the topsides. Last season took quite a toll on LUCIE; the topsides were clearly showing it and deserved a proper fairing and some minor repairs. We started out by fixing the covering board to the sheer strake seam, which every season cracks the paint due to the different direction of the wood grain in the construction. This crack in the paint along the sheer was more of a nuisance than a real problem, but we now eliminated it for good.

The topsides received a very deep fairing with longboards, any and all small dents were removed, the paint line covering the boards on deck was faired and the painted waterline was corrected (it was low at the stern with a bit wobbly forward). LUCIE again shows a really crisp and clean waterline, which makes quite an impact visually. From there, the topsides were primed and received a first coat of paint. The final coat will be one of the last things we do in about three weeks.

Both the mast and the boom received TLC; both were inspected and all running gear washed, brightwork prepped and two fresh coats of varnish applied.

As we were going through the boat a few smaller things caught our attention: the lifting eyes for the single point lift need replacement and the wooden blocks on deck for the running backstays are worn out and need a rebuild.

Our work on LUCIE will push on for another two or three weeks, so that we have her in the best and strongest condition for the 2017 season. The launch is planned for May 15 in Newport. From there, the crew will start training and tuning the boat. LUCIE’s first regatta this season will be the Meterfest in Newport, June 9-11.

— Jens Lange

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