Thursday, 12 March 2015

Preparing to repair port-side top sides planking

Having completed fitting new planks to the starboard side I turned my attention to the port side. Again she was a patchwork of original and crudely fitted repair pieces of softwood and one of oak that was so stiff it had straightened a section of gunwale. As built the boat had an elm walestrake each side that had softened to dust and only a couple of short sections remained. The gunwale had a sort of 'threepenny piece' appearance as a result and was no longer a fair curve. These short sections of elm were the only parts that were still fastened to the rest of the boat with copper nails and roves. To remove these existing fastenings I used an angle-grinder to take off the top of the riveted nail from the rove then drove the nail back with a narrow pin punch before pulling it out from the outside with pincers. 
Riveted end of nails ground off inside boat

Protruding nail head gripped with pincers for pulling out

Once removed and the land cleaned up the new strake was cut after being marked out as a pattern from the starboard one. A few trial fittings later and happy with the fit I removed the old rubbing strip  and cut the stem and stern geralds 
Offering up port-side walestrake

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Fitting the starboard walestrake

With a bevel planed on the lower strake and the 'geralds' cut and checked the top starboard strake was fastened in place. It was glued at the stem rabbet (hood end) and also at the transom. The original planks had been fastened at the hood ends with bronze 'grip-fast' type nails but I chose to use stainless steel and some silicon bronze wood screws here instead as some of the original fastening holes were picked up by the screws.
As with the lower plank, fastenings through the old ribs have been omitted for now as they are all to be replaced as are the inwales. I have clamped and temporarily fixed two cross-spalls to hold the sides of the boat together till the rest of the repairs are completed. Both middle and after thwarts are just perched in place and no longer fastened to anything at the moment.

Topside planking repairs completed - starboard side
Simple cross-spalls hold sides of boat
Topside planks now fastened - starboard side