Saving Helen

Saving Helen, Sailfish 600 – the restoration of a 50 year old Sailfish.

In January this year, Callum from Benalla contacted the website to say he had a Sailfish that someone might want to restore. I hopped in the car and went for a drive, this is what I found:

Helen, tucked away in a garage in Benalla. Sail is wrapped around the boom at top right.[By Greg Barwick, Benalla, 5 January 2017]
Sailfish 600, Helen, looking a bit worse for wear, but look at that registration and the sign writing for the name, is this a Bruce Scott effort? [By Greg Barwick, Benalla, 5 January 2017]
Water staining, split across stern just above upper rudder gudgeon, another split was also apparent at the starboard chain plate. [By Greg Barwick, Benalla, 5 January 2017]
Bow damage, filler apparent. [By Greg Barwick, Benalla, 5 January 2017]
I made the decision that the task was beyond my abilities and after chatting with Callum, we decided to put an advert. up in the Classifieds section on the website.

Then Ken Maynard discovered the website, contacted me, contacted Callum and brought Helen back to his place for a full restoration.

They don’t make tiller extensions like that anymore! Helen, sail set for the first time in years and ready for the restore to start. [By Ken Maynard, Diamond Creek, February 2017]
Ken realised he would have his hands full getting Gonzo back up to speed, so he recruited his father to do the restore on Helen:

A close up of the damage at the stern, anyone know anything about M. Allen & R. Steel, Sailfish builders, apparently? [By Ken Maynard, Mordialloc, February 2017]
035 2
And so it starts, first sand off and fair out as much as you can while retaining an actual hull. [By Ken Maynard, Mordialloc, March 2017]
Cleaned back to bare wood and looking pretty damn good at this stage. [By Ken Maynard, Mordialloc, April 2017]
Finish coats going on, a refinish and some new paint, but I like that the history and the character of Helen has been retained, this is not an old boat trying to look new, it is a full restoration of a boat that is not afraid to show it’s age. [By Ken Maynard, Mordialloc, May 2017]

Start of a new rudder blade

The images above show the state of the restoration of Helen by Ken and his father as at May 2017.

The website has received further photographs showing progress to October 2017. They reveal the sparkling newly varnished deck. What is almost certainly Bruce Scott’s lovely signwriting of the boatname has been retained. An inspection port hole has been cut in the aft deck to allow access to repair the transom.

Helen 1

Helen 2

Helen 3