Hampton one design page to be added
Hampton One Design, designed by Vincent Serio, Newport News, VA 1934
This is how I got the Hampton in April, 1984. The boat had been sitting upside down on the trailer for about three years. All the varnish had weathered off the coamings, the cockpit was filled with leaves, pine needles and assorted debris that had blown into it. The Douglas fir spars were practically bare and so rough I gave up stripping them and just used a slow speed grinder to get to bare wood and then sanded them. Despite the neglect, there was very little rot present and no structural problems. I started by doing a thorough cleaning and stripping of all hardware, followed by sanding and minor wood repairs.
I don't have many photos of the initial overhaul but the picture at the left compared to the right gives some idea of how rough the boat was. Here I have wooded the coamings and started varnishing as seen by the traveler bar.
The photo at the right was taken a few months later moored at the boatyard I worked at. I got off work at 4:00 and by 4:15 I was usually on my way out of the cove. This was my routine 3-4 days a week for most of the summer. The boat was initially painted a
BOLD BLUE but that was too much, so I mixed it with white and came up with the robin's egg color.
Below right is what I found the following year when I decided to remove the fiberglass cloth that had been set in polyester resin; not a good choice, although this probably preserved the boat given the neglect it suffered. This move was precipitated by some minor damage sustained when rammed at the 50th anniversary regatta for the Hampton Class in Sept 1984. (below left)
Upon peeling off the old fiberglass skin and grinding away the remnants this is how the hull looked. Overall for being 40 years old not so bad. I refastened some planks, patched some spots that the wood fibers had pulled out and faired the hull. I then painted the hull with enamel and it sat for three years as work intervened. At left the self draining scuppers were removed. Later I glued in a piece of cedar and put a brass drain and plug in. During this time period I replace parts of the coaming that had rot in them and fashioned new blocks for the jib sheet cleats as well as some other minor wood repairs; a new mast step, replacement of the mast partner and repair of the enlarged lower gudgeon hole in the transom.
In 1988 I sanded off the paint, checked the hull over for damage, then fiberglassed over the entire hull w/ 4oz. cloth and WEST system epoxy. Although a fairly small boat, this is not a one person undertaking. I recruited my (non-sailing) wife to help and she made the job much easier. Center below, I am supervised by the boss.
Above I am wetting out the glass cloth and using a squeegee to get rid of the runs. Right, the finished product! The week after we glassed the hull, we painted the hull w/ Interthane two part polyurethane. I rolled the paint on and used a chip brush to smoth it out. While not a BRISTOL type finish, the "orange peel" result is less likely to show imperfections in the hull and is indiscernible from a few feet away. One more week of reinstalling hardware and fittings and then we relaunched at a nearby lake. Lake sailing is not a lot of fun due to a lack of wind. When you get a lot of wind it's usually gusty and shifty and takes a lot of skill to sail in.
At left is the second time the finished boat was in the water. My best friend and I go for a short spin after a morning of waterskiing with his boat. When the wind picked up and ruffled the lake we sailed. His father had his sailboat along so it was a real boatfest!
The Hampton is a real handful in anything other than light wind (8-9 knots). The tall, spindly mast is supported by seven shrouds, including running backstays. The modern rig is a 3 shroud design; much easier to rig and sail. Although a spinnaker is not flown, the one crewman does work a trapeze in heavier air. While only one foot shorter than a Lightning, the boats minimum weight is 500 lbs. compared to 700 lbs. for a Lightning. The centerboard is plate aluminum and is not nearly as heavy as the Lightning boards which are about 125 lbs.
JUNE 1984: First launch day! What a feeling! Just enough breeze on a hot June day to move the boat w/o overpowering it. I can still remember how it accelerated in a small puff and handled so responsively.
Spring and Summer 1985/86
Designed for the light conditions prevalent on the Chesapeake in the summer, the Hampton carries 157 sq. ft. of sail, no spinnaker and one trapeze. It's light weight allows it to move in just a ghosting of air. I passed a 40 footer motoring at 5 knots in only about 10 knots of wind! This is typical of late afternoons on the Bay.
For more about the Hampton, see WOODENBOAT Magazine # 162 Sept/Oct 2001!!