Interview with Roger DeWitteI had the pleasure of meeting with Roger one fine Friday. We chatted for several hours as he looked over Papoose and commented on what was similar and what was different. I was impressed with the scope of what Roger is doing with Electra. He is basically rebuilding almost the entire boat. He has replaced the keel bolts, the floors and the frames. After he is done with that, he will replace all the planks below the water line. In the end, he will have replaced everything below the waterline except the deadwood and the ballast. The old boat is just a mold for the new boat he is building. Seems like Electra was not in very good shape when he bought her. You can follow the progress in the pictures below.
The Rebirth of an L-36Electra is being rebuilt to better than new condition while retaining the timeless elegance of her design. All mahogany brightwork and bronze fittings will be retained. Improvements will allow for safety and reliability but not at the expense of compromising Lapworth's graceful style of the L-36. CAD drawings have been made of all replacement parts and eventually engineering drawings will be created for the hull, deck, mast and interior.
To date, approximately half of the keel bolts, floors, and ribs have been replaced. Replacement bolts are custom CNC machined silicon bronze, floors are solid white oak, and ribs are laminated white oak. A replacement Westerbeke 30B diesel has been torn down and is being rebuilt parallel with efforts to rebuild the hull.
Sections of the hull will need to be replanked, faired and refinished. The cockpit will be rebuilt very similar to the original design with improvements to the weather sealing of the lift-up seat hatches. Standing and running rigging will be replaced as well as all electrical systems wiring. New Spartan Marine seacocks will be installed. 1950's style brass Foresti & Suardi navigation lights will be used. Most of the replacement hardware has been purchased and inventoried for future installatonto insure a timely restoration schedule. Eventually, a revised interior will include updates in design and function for both day sailing and racing. Electra should be splashed later this year and will make the coastal waters of Southern California her home.
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