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Advice on Fiberglass Lightning

Seamus603

New Member
I'm starting to look at getting back into sailing after too many years away from it. There's a Lightning fleet near me, so I've been trolling the class website, craigslist, and the internet in general for a good used Lightning. I'm a little concerned about what to look for- if I look at a boat that appears to have been drysailed- is delamination or osmosis likely to be an issue?
Thanks for the help
Seamus
 
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LaLi

Well-Known Member
In one word, delamination or osmosis are not likely to be an issue. Badly repaired cracks, and leaking bailers and hatches may very well be. Ask me how I know :confused:

If you have a specific boat in mind, you can post pictures here, and I can try to say something relevant about it :rolleyes:

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Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
My family had a Lightning when I was a wee lad... dunno if I ever sailed aboard her, I have no memory of it. And I think it was a wooden hull... haven't checked the Internet yet, but were Lightning hulls once made of wood? No fiberglass? Meh, guess I'll find out soon enough... :rolleyes:

Edit: When ya talk about the market recovering, I reckon ya mean this whole 'Coronavirus' deal? :confused:

Not one case in Cochise County, but I'll throw in my $.02 anyway: just another CDC-manufactured strain foisted upon the American Public, LOL. ;)

Gotta go post in another thread... CHEERS!!! :cool:
 

Seamus603

New Member
You're correct,Lightning hulls were once
wooden- cedar planking and mahogany, IIRC. In the 60's(?) Nickels Boat Works built the first fiberglass Lightning. On the class website, there's a section dedicated to those who maintain and restore their "woodies."
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
That makes sense, because this would've been in the late '50s or early '60s... which means I wasn't born yet or I was simply too young to take aboard the boat. My pop, bless his dear departed soul, was a submarine commander but also a diehard small craft sailor. When we lived in Europe from 1968-1973, he talked about buying a Norwegian ketch to sail the Med, but I guess the other woman (not me dear departed mum) was the one who benefited from the purchase. Long story, but not uncommon, a family man of decades throwing responsibility to the four winds while chasing a younger woman... probably happens more often than we know. It's not something I'll ever do, and that's all that matters since both parents are now deceased. :confused:

Here's another question: were those Lightning "woodies" ever sold as kits? Because some ancient memory dredged up from the past keeps telling me that my pop BUILT this Lightning, he was always a good woodworker and it would've been just the project to appeal to him. You know, build a boat and take family members sailing... I'm thinking this is what happened, but all this happened so long ago and so much has happened in between, I can't possibly make the definitive call. I remember him showing me a picture of the Norwegian ketch, a sturdy & seaworthy craft (as one would expect when the builders are from Norway, LOL). A Viking craft, which would've appealed to the mariner in my dad, hopefully he made some good voyages aboard her... :rolleyes:
 

Seamus603

New Member
What subs did your Dad serve on? I was an enlisted reactor tech on the USS Trepang and USS Topeka in the '80's and early 90's. As far as Lightnings being sold as DIY kits, I've never heard of any. However, plans are available from the class organization and some astute woodworkers out there have built their own from them.
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
One of his boats was the USS Ronquil, we had the gangplank sign for decades, LOL... truth be told, in those days there was no modern sub base under Point Loma in San Diego, subs anchored in the lee of the Point and shore boats were used for all resupply & transport purposes. Again, in those days, since my pop was always big on reducing or eliminating waste (of time, money, or whatever), my folks lived in a small yet pretty cottage on Point Loma. I went there decades later after heller family grief and tried to imagine my folks being young & in love... not a bad place for that sort of thing, the Point, the ocean & bay views are friggin' awesome, so even a military couple strolling hand-in-hand would feel like millionaires, AYE? Now it's entirely different, but at one time San Diego used to be a sleepy Navy town, Coronado in particular with the bases bracketing the 'island' (technically a peninsula). Sheeeeee-it, now foreign investors are snapping up any property that comes on the market... I heard the Hotel Del Coronado was bought by the friggin' Chinese, so much for that historical landmark right on the goddam beach. Ah, well, those foreign buyers can't take my memories away, and that's all that counts... so p!$$ on 'em, LOL. :rolleyes:

Edit: One of my seven brothers followed in my dad's footsteps and became a CDR in the USN Submarine Service, but his boats were all nuclear and not diesel like the old school boats... I suppose I should say "technologically inferior submarines." Meh, it still takes guts & fortitude to be a submariner, that's for goddam sure!!! In a way, I wish I were rich enough to buy my OWN submarine, not be aboard one of Uncle Sam's boats, that way I could PAR-TAY deep under the surface of the ocean, LOL. :eek:
 
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Seamus603

New Member
I spent very little time in San Diego- when the Topeka came out of the yard in Connecticut, I took it around through the Panama Canal, and spent a few months at Point Loma before I got out. This was 1991. Nice place, but I was a homesick Long Island native who couldn't wait to get back east.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
My family had a Lightning when I was a wee lad... I think it was a wooden hull...
In certain corners of this planet (of which mine is one), there's a whole generation that experienced sailing primarily through the Lightning. Our national class association takes part in the local boat show every year, and every time there are these old folks that come up to the stand to tell more or less the same story... "Oh it's a Lightning! They still sail these? Our family had one back in '64 or so... but it wasn't like this one, it was wooden and the mast was wooden, too, and it broke and we fixed it and it broke again and it was so much fun!" :confused: :D

And by the way, in my fleet there is a wooden boat built in 2006. The builder's intention at the time was to build many more (hopefully even for overseas sales), but the anticipated demand never materialized.

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Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
I spent very little time in San Diego- when the Topeka came out of the yard in Connecticut, I took it around through the Panama Canal, and spent a few months at Point Loma before I got out. This was 1991. Nice place, but I was a homesick Long Island native who couldn't wait to get back east.
The Canal Zone is a trip, I traveled the length of it in 1982, on my way to Jungle Training at Fort Sherman, Panama. That travel included a rickety old train and a boat ride aboard landing craft... later in training, we flew in choppers over the rainforest and the coastal bluffs & reefs, pretty spectacular scenery for a youngster off the West Coast. :cool:

I copy the homesickness, and parts of Long Island are beautiful... funny how I don't really miss Kalifornia except for the sailing, the rest of it can take a hike: traffic, smog, crime, foul city attitudes, etc. I'm gonna pull 'stealth trips' back to Dago in due time, using my paid vacations to cram as much sailing in as possible, otherwise I love living here in the wilds of southeastern Arizona. :rolleyes:

Fresh air, high desert & mountain scenery, zero traffic & practically no crime, since the would-be perps know that even Grandma is strapped, LOL. Not only strapped, but ready to blow their fool heads off with her .44, just by way of entertainment. Oh, yeah, we have heller offroading & world-class rock climbing mere minutes away... once my foot heals I wanna do a long moderate route out at the Stronghold, that place is awesome!!! :eek:

Well, gotta go get ready for work, one more day and this week is done, and Friday is my easy day... I'll spend it with Master Mechanic MuuMuu the Barn Kitty, have to snap a few pics later, LOL. I foresee some serious cruising in a Yamaha electric cart as well, my cart is pretty quick for an electric number, I keep it charged up to the max so it's ready to roll at any time. Nice scenery on the course too, as a workplace it doesn't suck, LOL. CHEERS!!! ;)
 
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