A late 1950’s International Flying Dutchman Class sailboat. The Mahogany hull was cold-moulded in Holland and imported by Paul Rimoldi of Miami Florida. Mr Rimoldi made everything else, including many pieces of hardware. He raced the boat on Biscayne Bay into the 60s and sailed it for many years later. He rebuilt the boat in the late ’80s but died before he finished. We bought the boat in August 1992 from his widow and sailed it for almost a season before we discovered that the hull was in very poor condition; the Urea-resin glue between the veneers had begun to turn to dust. We stored the boat and bought another FD.

I began restoring the boat in 2001, working summer evenings when it was not too beastly hot. I built a roll-over cradle which would carry the hull at any angle for ease of working. I stripped the outer layer of veneer off. I removed all screws, both original and repair fastenings, most of which had corroded to dust and replaced them with Mahogany dowels set in epoxy. I cut out all delaminated areas in as many as three of the remaining four thicknesses of veneer and epoxied in new Mahogany. I steam-bent and installed a new White Oak stem. I reveneered the hull and coated it out in epoxy. I rolled the boat right-side up and stripped the deck, all later repairs to the hull, and the finish. I added new stringers matching the originals. I laminated new frames in place. I laminated and installed a new thwart and any small pieces of plywood required for the boat. I replaced the centerboard trunk cap. I replaced all the deck supports and repaired the original deck frame. After varnishing the whole of the interior, I installed a new deck of 1/4″ Khaya plywood. I reinstalled the original spray shield and coamings, and made new rubrails of wood from a 1963 Hinckley B40 mast. After varnishing the topsides, I reinstalled most of the original hardware and made new stainless steel hardware in ’50s style where I felt it appropriate. I rolled the boat upside down and made new rubbing strips from fiberglass rod; the Class requires the shape of the old-style bronze strips on the hull but I did not want screw holes. The new strips are painted gold and were varnished along with the rest of the hull. I made three new kick-up rudders and centerboards using old parts, but made new stainless steel hardware. I re-rigged the boat with new running rigging. We sailed Surcease for the first time in 19 years in August 2012.

We showed and sailed the boat this past October at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s annual small boat festival. They awarded her a First Place ribbon in her class for the race (about 70 boats, none really in her class; we were first by a very large margin). They awarded her a First Place ribbon for her restoration.

Design Specs

Designer Name: 
Uus Van Essen
Sloop, 180sf in main and genny, spinnaker
Builder Name: 
Douglas Heckrotte
Home Port: 
Philadelphia, PA
Launching Date: 
August 18, 2012