Spring Commissioning with TotalBoat – Part 1: BOAT REPAIR


The winter was unkind to many of our boats and plans for a tidy and possibly even early? spring commissioning. Around here, snow banks are finally almost a distant memory and any day over 40 degrees feels like a heat wave. So gentlemen and women – start your sanders… time to get down to business and tick off the projects on your spring commissioning  list.

TotalBoat Show is ready to help with the full support of our award winning customer support team and help line. Daily we get accolades from pleased customers raving about how knowledgable and helpful our call center and tech help hotline are. And we work hard to learn about and try every product we can to give you – the customer – the best advice out there for jobs that aren’t always knocked off as easily as the instruction manual might lead you to believe.

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Volvo Ocean Race: Step Inside The Boatyard

The Volvo Ocean Race sailors have had a week+ off to recharge themselves after a long and tough leg from Sanya, China to Auckland, New Zealand. But as the sailors disappear to reconnect with family and friends and explore New Zealand, the work is non-stop for the crew at the VOR Boatyard as they prepare the boats for the toughest and longest leg yet – from Auckland, to Itajai, Brazil 6,776nm away.

This year’s race, with the implementation of one-design boats, has allowed the VOR race management to centralize many of the operations that were once a financial burden to the individual teams. By using identical boats, the VOR has cleverly reduced team costs by providing universal access to a core group of sailmakers, boat builders, riggers and the like, leaving each team to worry about sailors and shore support – minus the giant burden of boat maintenance on personnel and budget.

Meet the Boatyard: the one stop shop for all teams to fix, reinforce, repair and prepare every boat with equal access to centralized supplies and labor provided by the Volvo Ocean Race. Along with the race village, the Boatyard is packed up and shipped around the globe, beating the boats to each stop, and greeting them with a complete shop set up ready to haul and inspect, repair and relaunch.

Last week the media got a great inside peek at the Boatyard where they allowed tours and photos of the setup. Check out the picture gallery from Sail-World.com and be sure to stop down to Fort Adams in Newport, RI in early May (May 5, to be exact) when the Boatyard (and the rest of the VOR Village) arrives for the North American stopover.  You will be able to check out the boats and the Boatyard on site and get a good feel for how the race’s shoreside ops are running. Additionally there are lots of great family activities and weeks of food, fun and entertainment being held at the Race Village at Fort Adams State Park.

And if you’re particularly ambitious this spring, get your boat ready to launch by early May and stand by to be part of the [sure-to-be] impressive local fleet assembled to greet the teams as they approach the Newport finish line from Brazil.  It’s an amazing thing – to head out from Newport’s coastline in search of the arriving boats – at whatever time of the day that happens to be.  Nighttime and middle of the night are actually pretty amazing! Don’t be dissuaded! Be a local badass and get out there! Also plan to be in Newport on May 16 for the In-Port Race and on Sunday May 17 for the exciting start of Leg 7, when all the teams line up for an impressive start off Fort Adams.

Let’s show the Volvo Ocean Race, the rest of the stopover cities and our local Team Alvimedica that Newport was the right choice for the North American stopover.

The fleet sets out from Auckland for the fifth leg of nine on Sunday, March 15. It is the longest and most challenging stage of the nine-month race, which takes the fleet through the Southern Ocean to the next destination of Itajaí in Brazil.

Newport’s stopover info can be seen here on the VOR site.
Newport’s official stopover website is here with volunteer, event and schedule info.

TotalBoat on Instagram

#boatwork #wood #fiberglass #rot #repair #paint #color #Boat #Jamestowndistributors #TotalBoat #noproblem #wecanhandlethis

#boatwork #wood #fiberglass #rot #repair #paint #color #Boat #Jamestowndistributors #TotalBoat #noproblem #wecanhandlethis

The Detailers: Robert Darr

If the opening frame of this video doesn’t draw you in, then you can go back to watching your reality TV shows…. you must not be a [snowbound, longing for springtime] sailor. What is it about having the tiller in one hand and the mainsheet in another – sitting quietly in almost no breeze – aboard a little wooden beauty of a sailboat that captivates every sailors imagination? Am I right? Have you clicked?

We reached out to boatbuilder, Robert Darr, to get his insight into the work he was doing in our featured film. He had some cool insight to offer us about his work and about this boat in the film:

RD: The boat that I am hand-planing in the video is the ‘Eleanor’, named after my daughter.  I designed it about 12 years ago as part of the design class that I teach at the Arques School of Traditional Boatbuilding in Sausalito, CA.  The vessel is a sturdy mini ocean cruiser, 21′ long sloop with a displacement of nearly 2 tons. We cut the pepperwood and black locust trees for her hardwood, and local fir for her deck. We cast her lead keel and also patterned and cast her bronze fittings.  The other boat in the shop is the Loon, which I designed about 9 years ago, also in our design class.  Loon is 20′, with a displacement of one ton, half of which is in a bulb keel that adjusts from two feet to five feet of draft. Viewers may be interested to see other designs at our website: www.arqueschl.org

Another tidbit about Bob and his school’s work that seems worth mentioning is their basic philosophy about teaching the craft of boatbuilding:

The Arques School has, since its inception, harvested its own lumber as much as possible, abandoned the use of toxic fungicides, and limited the use of harmful glues. Power tool noise hazards are reduced through an emphasis on hand tools, which also reduces the production of wood dust. The Arques School’s classes have been developed over the last twelve years to provide adult students with an authentic understanding of traditional boatbuilding.

Bob and the crowd at Arques School of Traditional Boatbuilding is yet another example of fine boatbuilders who have, for many years, bought various products from Jamestown Distributors.  We are proud to have contributed the great work being done by Bob and his boatbuilding students. Thanks for the inside scoop on ‘Eleanor,’ Bob.

Great Wooden Boats: RED Epic

Wooden boat lovers and camera geeks unite: this great little video showcases some great boatbuilding using the very best video cameras available (RED cameras).

Really this video was an excuse for the filmmaker, Philip Bloom, to shoot a very cool subject (we get that part) on a very cool camera he had on loan. So the little info we have is very camera heavy because Bloom was super stoked on his loaner – but we wooden boat lovers will look beyond the fancy frames to the amazing work being done at the Great Lakes Boat Building Shop.  This small operation epitomizes the dedication and love that goes into every inch of a wooden boat. Enjoy this beautifully filmed little short about Mike Kiefer and his Michigan based boat shop.

Filmmaker, Philip Bloom says: Whilst on holiday near the Great Lakes in June I was able to borrow Eric Kessler’s RED Epic for a few days. I messed around with the slow motion 300 FPS first thing but I really wanted to shoot a little piece with it so we found the Great Lakes Boat Building Company online. Phoned them up and asked if we could spend two hours with them making a little film…Mike, the owner said of course!

Loads more details (mostly about the camera) on my website:



Shot on the RED EPIC
Music by Drew Barefoot “Enjoy the calm”

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Time to roll (and tip!) Brendan preps the #TotalBoat #WetEdge topside paint and is ready to paint his #StoneHorse #sailboat. #boatwork #preparation #paint #JamestownDistributors

Time to roll (and tip!) Brendan preps the #TotalBoat #WetEdge topside paint and is ready to paint his #StoneHorse #sailboat. #boatwork #preparation #paint #JamestownDistributors