Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Zero to 505 in Five Weekends....

505 stories from the front line. Guest blog writer/APS Storefront Manager Mike Lindsley writes, "It all started on a beautiful afternoon in June..."


I remember the perplexed look a young man and his father had painted on their faces as they entered the APS storefront for the first time. (Note: This reaction is not uncommon when it comes to first timers to APS as our mass inventory tends to overwhelm…)

John and Jack (father/son) did not waste any time to clue me in on their recent purchase of a dinghy and the fact they were in need of some real help. Jack’s search into finding a cool and unique project dinghy was over when he fell head over heels for the 1978 Parker hulled Lindsay 505.

For those of you not so into the history of 505 hull construction, a Parker-hulled Lindsay is a very rare boat, of which only 12 were produced. Former International 505 class president and “project manager” for the John/Jack 505 restoration project, Ali Meller explained to me the evolution of the design and construction of the 505 hull over the years. He informed that the Parker-hulled Lindsay is a combination of a partly-cored (soft) polyester hull that gets its constructional rigidity from the cold molded seat tanks and mahogany skeleton. This makes for a light and rigid boat.

The 505 has obviously been through many different constructional changes since the 1960s - materials ranging from plastic to carbon fiber construction - but a solid Parker-hulled Lindsay is quite sought after because of its longevity and ability to fare against newer boats in most local fleets. This particular boat sailed in the 1979 Worlds in Durban, South Africa and WON. (It was sailed by Steve Taylor and David Penfield.)

John and Jack’s boat at time of purchase was a nicely re-finished hull (no hardware), a mast (from another 505 that was too short), boom, spin pole, and a set of sails. This was a ‘blank slate’ that would need all of the typical 505’ing done to it - automatic controls, tapered control lines, all things that make a 505… a 505! John and Jack needed some guidance on where to begin placing hardware and running lines.

That’s where Ali Meller came in. Ali lead the project by first shimming the mast step to correct the too-short mast, measuring for all new running rigging, installing all new hardware, and going sailing with Jack. This project has taken the guys quite a few trips back and forth from their hometown near Philadelphia and quite a few $$...it’s a labor of love, right John?



John believes the stars were aligned for his son’s project. His first conversation with me at APS brought to light the fact there is a 505 fleet in Annapolis, that someone locally (Ali Meller) was willing to assist in this project, that no more than a stone’s throw away from where they would be working on the boat is a store (APS) with thousands of parts needed to outfit the boat. After 5 weekends (and a few weekdays), Jack now has a race-ready, sound vessel!


It’s a happy ending – perhaps, a beginning – for everyone involved. John is quite excited for the experience his son has had so far and looks forward to many years watching Jack sail his project race boat. Ali is ecstatic to have yet another 505 sailing in the Chesapeake Bay fleet. For Jack, this is just the beginning of a great journey known as the sailing lifestyle!

For more information on the 505, and if you are thinking about buying/ restoring one, go here: http://www.int505.org/old_site/us-built.htm. Everything on the site was written and researched by Ali Meller.



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