I finally started restoring my 1959 Glasspar Del Mar. The fiberglass is in decent shape and it mostly needs some interior wood replaced and/or refinished. The deck seems solid and the transom looked ok except the plywood layers were separating. The transom is 1 1/2" thick and I assumed it was two layers of 3/4" plywood. When I took a closer look, I found the wood was pretty soft and so I started to chisel away at the rot. I soon discovered that it wasn't two layers of 3/4" ply but four layers of 3/8" plywood. The reason is because the transom has a slight bow outward and 3/4" ply will not bend that much without steam or kerfs. But 3/8" will bend. I ended up taking out 3 of the 4 layers of 3/8" ply and kept the last layer that was still well bonded to the fiberglass hull. This allowed me to keep the form to bond and screw the additional plywood. I made a pattern and cut three layers out of 3/8” ply and cut two of them in half for easier installation. I used a resin type glue along with clamps along the top and screws towards the bottom where the clamps wouldn’t reach. Many of the screws I left in place as extra security against delamination and they got sandwiched in between the layers. The fourth and final layer was one piece. I used green fiberglass bondo to fill in the cracks along the edges and bottom and then tabbed everything in place with fiberglass strand and cloth. This was not the right way to build a new transom but I did not want to take the time to remove the entire top cap so I would have full access to the transom.
It’s also interesting to note that Del Mar’s never had splash wells. This does give a little more usable space to the boat but does water ever come in over the transom?
I have a second, older Del Mar, maybe a 1957 and the transom on it is 3/8” thinner then this 1959 but it has a 2x2” piece of wood about mid transom running from side to side. I like the thicker transom better. Also, the older Del Mar’s had two little “consoles” where the cabin starts (and open to the cabin above the consoles with a walk space in between) instead of a solid bulkhead with doors. The one I’m working on now has two straight doors that enclose the cabin but they are rather ugly and a future mod will include an oval shaped door with a port hole window.
Some of the Del Mars have a little “scoop” below the cabin windshield that appears to be an intake vent for the cabin. They are non-functional.
The interior wood panels that run from the cabin to the transom are two layers of 1/8” plywood bonded and stapled together. If you were to mount a folding helm seat, these panels may have to be reinforced.
Seats- has anyone ever seen factory seats for a Del Mar? I have not even seen them in a photo. What did the helm and front seats look like? The best option seems to be a fold down seat that would allow the skipper to stand or sit at the helm. Were there ever back seats? Where did the fuel tanks go?
Looking forward to hearing from other Del Mar owner’s and restorers.