WAIANIWA was one of our most challenging refits to date. We received an urgent phone call from Chris Bouzaid and Lydia Langston about their custom Dixon designed 60' sailboat that had run aground in Casco Bay, sustaining massive damage to the structure of the yacht. Temporary patches were put on in Portland in order to allow us to tow it up to Thomaston. We pulled the boat immediately to start decommissioning and drying the boat out. WAIANIWA received significant damage to her 2¼" red cedar core that was more extensive the more we removed the outside laminates of Kevlar and E-glass. She had been punctured in the integral fuel and water tanks which required us to remove extensive cabinetry to access the inside of the tanks.
Designed By: Bill Dixon
After the tanks were sealed we then removed 60% of the core on the starboard side and then removed 40% of the core on the port side. We then followed with a gravity-assisted infusion. What was different and the most challenging on this project was the fact that we essentially had to infuse the hull upside down. Usually, we infuse over a mold that is upside down on the ground and allows for the laminates to lie against the mold because of gravity. The infusion on WAIANIWA was the opposite. We developed a stitching process that allowed us to hang all the dry laminates while putting a bag over the whole hull to create the vacuum necessary to infuse the boat. With a very detailed crew doing the infusion and having the input of Chris and Lydia throughout the project the infusion went extremely well and then it was on to the next step of fairing the hull and keel.
Once the extensive amount of fairing was finished we then painted the topsides of the boat. In the end the boat looked spectacular. The maintenance free silicone-based bottom system is a cutting edge product never before used in the U.S. Chris is still testing the product and we'll know more as to it's effectiveness as he uses the boat more in different environments. We installed the newly fabricated rudder and bearings that were completely shattered in the accident.
The project was done in a very detailed and professional manner and was on all accounts a success. This project also allowed us to develop a great relationship with Chris and Lydia and we hope to see them in the yard in the future.