Boat Rebuilding Program

Visit our Boat Rebuilding and Maintenance Photos for step-by-step photos of how we rebuild & maintain our fleet.

Since the decision in 1976 to remove the Tempest from the Olympics, the class has struggled in the United States. Most of the boats still being raced or sailed are 30 to 40 years old and in need of rebuilding. Fortunately, the boats made by Mader and Plastrend, to name just two builders, were very well made. If properly rebuilt, these boats have lots of years of use left in them. USITA Long Beach has taken advantage of this situation and purchased six older Tempests at a very reasonable cost. Three have been rebuilt and are being actively raced in regattas hosted by the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club (ABYC) in Long Beach, California. The other three are in various stages of being rebuilt.

The USITA Long Beach rebuilding program is attracting a lot of attention from members of ABYC, the home club for the fleet and other Tempest owners. Because the boats were so well constructed, the cost of rebuilding a Tempest has always been relatively easy to justify. The only drawback has been the lack of an active racing fleet. As soon as at least four Tempests at ABYC are in the water, fleet racing will begin in earnest, and this should act as a catalyst to further growth of the class in the United States.

Not everyone who wants to rebuild a Tempest has the skills, time or knowledge needed for every aspect of the project. Fortunately, USITA Long Beach fleet members have been working on boats for years and have all of the knowledge and resources needed to rebuild Tempests.

At this point it is important to point out that in the early 90s, the design of the Tempest was changed by modifying the interior of the cockpit and the standing rigging. The new design is referred to as the Mark II, while the older, original design is called the Mark I. All of the USITA Long Beach boats being rebuilt at this time are being rebuilt following the original, Mark I design.

Although all of the boats are being rebuilt as Mark I Tempests, they differ in how the spinnaker is launched. On the three, newer boats the spinnakers are launched from an opening in the bow (bow launchers), while on the two, older boats the spinnakers are launched from bags located on either side of the mast in the cockpit (bag launchers). The major details on the five boats being rebuilt are shown in the following table.

Sail No.NameYear BuiltBuilderMold No.Builder's Serial No.Type of Spinnaker Launcher
USA 160Dr. J.1967PlastrendM2P1T1115Bow
USA 211Breakthrough1970O'Day316836Bag
USA 318Showboat Gambler1975MaderM13199Bow
USA 323Class Act1975MaderM13149Bag
USA 329Long Term Affair1975MaderM13197Bow
USA 333Arabesque1976MaderM13212Bow
USA 335Showtime1984MaderM13281Bow

Full descriptions of each boat are located in our Meet the Fleet section.

Fiberglass Parts

Over time, parts on older Tempests wear out, break, or get lost. As part of the USITA Long Beach program, we have build molds for several fiberglass parts:

  • Covers for the inspection ports in the cockpit floor
  • Cover for opening to storage area below the stern deck
  • Cover for the original spinnaker well forward of the mast

If you need these parts, let us know, and we will give you a price and availability.

Mast Partners and Mast Levers

In addition to the above fiberglass parts, a local machine shop can fabricate the following metal parts:

  • Mast partner, Mark I design
  • Mast lever, Mark I design

Again, if you need these parts, please let us know, and we will provide the price and availability.

Favored Suppliers

After spending years working on Tempests, we have a list of favorite suppliers. Almost all have websites, which makes it easy to shop, regardless of where you live.

  • Annapolis Performance Sailing, or APS

    This company has been around a long time and has a tremendous selection of parts for Tempests. In addition to parts, they have a great selection of line. Their prices are lower than anyone else’s. You will be able to pick up all your fittings, line and foul-weather gear from them.

  • Baxter & Cicero

    They are located in Costa Mesa, California and can be reached at (949) 642-7238. Ask for Hank Thayer. They are a good source of canvas covers for Tempests, bags for launching spinnakers, utility bags mounted on the bridge to hold the tails of control lines, spinnaker socks used in conjunction with the bow launch to launch and hold the spinner when you douse it, customizing your trapeze harness or custom embroidery for hats and sailing clothing.


    These folks have a super website and are an excellent source of trailer parts, including lights and hitches.

  • Tarp and Cover Superstore

    If you can’t afford a canvas cover for your Tempest, get a great deal on a tarp that measures 12 feet by 25 feet, and it will stand up to direct sunlight a lot longer than the standard blue tarp.

  • Bolt Depot

    When you need to buy a lot of stainless bolts, nuts, screws in bulk, the Bolt Depot is an excellent supplier. Just checking out their website will give you an education in fasteners.

  • McMaster-Carr

    This company has an incredible array of parts for rebuilding your Tempest. You will find aluminum and stainless tubing, plastic sheet, lubricants, tools and lots of other stuff. The prices are reasonable, and you don’t need to buy in bulk.

  • Bahia Marine

    If you need wire rigging, you can’t beat Bahia Marine for service and prices. They are located at 714 Marina Drive in Seal Beach, California. Their phone number is (562) 799-7444. Todd does the rigging, and Nancy answers the phone and manages the office.

  • Capitol Machine Company

    This company has been fabricating Tempest parts and working on stainless steel Tempest keels since 1985. They have great service and reasonably good prices. They are located at 1642 E. Edinger Ave., Suite A, Santa Ana, California. Their phone number is (714) 541-2652. When you call, ask for George Nye. He’s the owner, knows about the rebuilding program in Long Beach and directs all work on Tempest parts. George is the person who builds all of the mast partners, mast levers and forestay turning blocks.