Knowing that I bought my Sprite basically unseen, 400+ miles away from me, I should not have been surprised to learn that not everything was as I was told. In the pictures sent to me the brightwork was good and shiny, the paint looked flawless, and she looked like a well cared for little boat. Reality is so often so different from the truth.
While I am happy to report that older Sprites like mine use Mahogany instead of teak, it is a sad fact that 50 years is a long life for any hardwood board. The wood on Flirt was not even marginal, it was soft and rotted. the tiller gave up the ghost on the way home from Lake Champlain, breaking in two just above the rudder head. The Companion Way hatch was warped, and the Coamings were soft and flexible. I could have driven away rather than hooking up my Land Rover to the trailer and dragging her home, but obviously I put on my rose tinted glasses that morning.
The only good news is that is all came off without an issue. Only three screws refused to budge, all the bungs were easily pierced with the same straight Slot screwdriver I used to remove the screws, and everything came off in one piece so I can use them as templates for the new.
At this point I am almost done the destructive part of the refit.. at least on the outside. The Cabin has it’s own horrors for a much later date