Refurbishing Bandit's Steering Wheel - Part 1

Since January when we got Bandit back to Cambridgeshire, the steering wheel has been bothering me. The varnish was badly peeling off and the grain of the wood had gathered a lot of black dirt. It just looked rather messy.

Our distributor is currently in the mail to the company who are going to be sorting it out so we thought we'd remove the wheel and do something with it while we're not able to use the boat. Today I removed the chrome plated wheel cap, the wheel itself and the silver bezel behind. We had a small black steering wheel that we had on a previous boat so that's what we're going to have to use should we need to move the boat.

Dad began by stripping off all the old varnish using a special remover paint. As the wheel currently stands, it looks awful. There is no varnish on it and we've begun rubbing it down using some sand paper. We were amazed that the wheel was made from teak. We didn't know what it was made of but it was clearly a very expensive steering wheel. Tomorrow, we'll look up a local company that can re-chrome the front cap and the rear bezel as they've both corroded due to being at sea with salt water. I also removed the stainless spokes from the wheel so we can clean them using some metal polish.

Next is to continue rubbing down the wheel. Dad has ordered some very expensive, high-quality varnish from online so we're currently waiting for it to arrive. We reckon we'll get about 20 good coats on the wheel and it should look as god as new!

Prior to doing anything to the wheel

Two bezels ready to be sent off for re-chroming
Stainless spokes all polished up
Our tiny temporary black steering wheel


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