SYDNEY boatbuilder Jerry Hendrey takes older fibreglass yachts and makes them better than new.
The latest in Jerry’s series – an IF 26, the fibreglass Folkboat – was completed recently and is now for sale. The Folkboat, Dragon Fly, had a sound hull but the interior, rig and fittings had seen better days. So Jerry stripped the interior of all but the original furniture mouldings. He also removed the rig and threw it away.
Then he rebuilt the interior to the best modern standards and style, using Mountain Ash and teak for the timberwork, tinted glass detailing and, for the upholstery, white leather.
A Jabsco electric toilet went into the gap between the forward vee berths; the in-fill cushion hides the head. In went a sound system, VHF radio, and on the consoles amidships new two-burner stove and sink (both in stainless steel) mounted on carbon-fibre laminate.
For ventilation Jerry installed four opening ports in the coachroof sides and a small skylight immediately behind the mast.
A new underdeck mast support beam was laminated and installed, supported by two stainless steel compression posts. An all-new Selden rig went on including new chainplates and fittings. The original 3/4 foretriangle was changed to a 7/8 setup to maintain sail area for the shorter-footed headsail (115%) to make the headsail easier to tack for small crews. The jib is mounted on a Furlex furler.
The original mainsheet traveller spanned the centre of the cockpit, restricting space for the crew, so Jerry removed it and had built a horse mounted on the aft deck. He also made a gorgeous Oregon tiller, and then built a new rudder which fitted the hull more snugly than the original.
The winches are Barlow and Clevco; Jerry retained the originals but had the chrome stripped to reveal their bronze construction.
Sails are from the MacDiarmid loft, the headsail with vertical battens for easy furling, the mainsail fully-battened with a loose foot.
The original 10hp Yanmar auxiliary was virtually new and has been retained, fitted with a two-blade feathering prop from local manufacturer JBC Yacht Engineering.
The deck is covered in Tek-Dek, a synthetic that looks like teak and shares the wood’s non-skid properties.
Dragon Fly is now a high-fashion yacht; far more glamorous than any Folkboat you have ever seen.
“The marine surveyor said this would be the best Folkboat afloat”, says Jerry. “And I felt pretty happy about that”.