Project Focus – Refinishing 18′ Y-Flyer

“A Y-Flyer?  What is that?”  Those were the same questions asked by Dad and John when I brought this project down to the boatyard!

The Y-Flyer is a 2-person racing sailboat that was initially designed to be built at home out of plywood.  Today most Y-Flyers are built of fiberglass, but the wood ones are still going strong.  One of my friends from college has built 3 of them and passed this boat along to another friend from college (all of us sailed together on the Ohio State Sailing Team).   They were preparing to go the South Carolina for the Y-Flyer Midwinters in early March and needed a coat of varnish to make the boat go faster (well, maybe just to look really fast!).


18' Y-Flyer, a scow-type racing sailboat

The crew at coffee break quickly decided that this boat made a great and welcome addition to the range of boats inside the shop!  We had several projects going on at this time:  26′ Lyman Hardtop, 26′ Dodge Watercar, our workboat (aka, “The Punt”) and the Y-Flyer.


Hardware removed in preparation for sanding. Tight fit inside the shop!

After sanding to 320, cleaning up the shop and wetting down the floor, we applied the first coat of varnish.  We prefer using Schooner 96 varnish.


Applying 1st coat of varnish.


Second coat of varnish complete!


Re-installing hardware taking care not to scratch the finish!


Job complete. Time to go sailing!


About Mike

I pinch myself every day... I can't believe I'm back in Vermilion working at the boatyard! I grew up spending afternoons and summer days working at Moes Marine. I moved to Boston after college and met my wonderful wife, Maura, while living life in the big city and working at Boston BoatWorks. We traveled and volunteered abroad for 9 months in 2009 and then found our way back to our families in Ohio. We are now living in downtown Vermilion with our son, Owen, who visits the boatyard daily at coffee break!