Monday, 14 November 2016

Nanw - Rowing boat stuff

Fortunately the weather has been kind and I have been able to get on with one or two further jobs outdoors on Nanw. Firstly I gave the interior another coat of primer after having treated the new frames with wood preservative. This was followed with a couple of coats of grey bilge paint in the areas under the floor boards (burden boards).
Bilge painting
Since the walestrakes and inwales have all been replaced I worked some rowlock cheeks out of fir and glued and fastened them in place behind the rowing thwart positions. I re-fitted them in the same spots as the originals were - about 250mm behind the forward and centre thwarts.
Rowlock cheek
Once planed flush I worked some cappings from offcuts of white oak and morticed for the galvanised rowlock plates. These were clamped and glued in place and holes bored to take 1/2" shank rowlocks.
Cappings glued and clamped

Rowlock cheek cappings fitted and faired
Off the boat I had been gluing up new timber to make new stern thwart and side benches. The original hardwood benches which were as ripe as anything and consisted mostly of car body filler were used as a template.  The benches are arranged to be removable to allow for painting - I assume - so I followed suit with the replacements.
New side benches being shaped.
To give some protection I have started giving this new wood in the upperworks a few coats of timber protection ('Cetol HLS').  I am trying this stuff as an alternative to varnish on this boat.  There is no gloss finish but it soaks into the timber nicely and looks very workmanlike and it is supposed to be resistant to UV - so we'll have to see.
Sharp edges rounded, sanded and the timber oiled

Monday, 26 September 2016

Small Clinker Boat Restoration is homeless...

...or more correctly, 'shed-less'.  The owner of the shed that I had been using announced that he wanted his shed back to store some of his growing collection of enormous 1960s American cars.  After a brief pause whilst he checked that they would actually fit through the door....!!! I then had to move all my unfinished projects, tools and timber out.  I have the temporary use of a nearby field so everything is now outside underneath poly-tarps.
So now looking for a shed to rent somewhere in South Pembrokeshire or possibly to attempt to apply for planning permission to put a shed up on the field that I am using for storage - it is currently grazing land that has not been occupied for about ten years.
Working on any of these has now become difficult and slow thanks to the rain and the evenings drawing in.

Two unfinished Redwings and 'Nanw' now standing outside in the corner of a field.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Priming and fitting keelband

Not the most exciting work but essential nonetheless, I have been rubbing back and priming the outside of the boat. Also invested in some 1" by 3/16" brass convex strip to make a new keelband. The cost was eye-watering and was more than half what I paid for the original boat!
Found this trailer and have ordered parts to adapt it to carry 'Nanw'
Keelband cut and fastened - cost a small fortune!
Outer hull primed. Underwater primer used below the waterline. Walestrake varnished.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Work continues on Nanw - re-caulking

Finally got the replaced sections of planking fastened - the scarfs were glued, which worked well thanks to the repair sections being in the boat's bottom where there is very little curvature. New bilge keels were cut, shaped and fastened picking up the original screw holes which took time.
Repairs fastened and bilge keels fitted

Attention was turned to preparing the boat for re-painting.  The garboard seam was already open and sections of the existing stopping and caulking had been falling out.  I made a tiny seam rake to clean out the whole of the seam right up to and including the stem post.
Garboard seams raked out using specially made tool

New caulking was driven in. One side was more open than the other and took between 4 and 6 strands hardened up with a make-shift narrow caulking iron I ground up from a hacksaw blade.  One day I will come across or invest in some proper tools for this job and learn to do it properly, but each time I have had a caulking job - which is not often - I have made a custom tool.  Nanw's garboard seam varied between 1/8" and 3/16" wide only, opening to 1/4" or more at the stem seam.

Separating cotton strands from the roll/bale,
between 4 and 6 were needed in each garboard seam

Once the caulking was driven home and hardened up the seam was payed with Sikaflex.  Not traditional but a) Sika remains slightly flexible and b) I had an open tube of this expensive stuff left over from a job on the Finesse and I found that it soon goes off if kept hanging around. Next job is to finish stripping the rest of the old paint.
Caulked seams payed with mastic sealant

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

A small repair to a Finesse 24 yacht

Progress in the shed has been slow this spring as I have been devoting most of my spare hours to getting the Finesse 24 'Enfys' ready for the water, this spring.  Stripping off the old bottom paint and other maintenance has been taking up most of my free time.  Here is one job that I had to do as a result of a collision last summer whilst she was on her mooring; the port top corner of the transom had the capping split open leaving the edge of the deck sheathing exposed.  I cut back the capping and fashioned a repair section in an offcut of Iroko and despite the cool weather, got the epoxy to cure. The repair will get new varnish when I do a general 'scratch-and-patch' job around the upper works as part of the spring maintenance.  The cab sides and uppers are OK for another season and may get a strip back next year as the finishes are over 5 years old now.

A new section of capping cut and scarfed to port quarter of transom
Glued and screwed. The 'cross-head' stainless screws are ugly but will be stopped over before varnish.
The owner of the boat that struck 'Enfys' will be billed for this repair.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Repairing Redwing frames, ribs

Pintail has a few broken ribs and to repair them I decided to try this as with her deck on it would be impossible to feed a new steamed length of timber down behind the inwale and riser. There were four broken timbers that had failed at the point of greatest curvature and stress. There were two together on the port side in way of her chainplate that could not be ignored and a couple on the starboard side. New oak was cut to the Redwing scantling of 5/8" by 1/2" and long enough to overlap the break. These were steamed and clamped alongside the broken frames as shown. Now, I am not 'sistering' these frames - after a couple of weeks to dry out I drove out the fastenings of the lower part of the broken frames and cut a long scarf which was glued with Semparoc as we re-fastened, as shown. This is a bit of an experiment but it saves removing all the rib in an inaccessible part of the boat.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Paint stripping

We managed to get one of the repaired sections of planking fastened in but winter progress has been slower than expected as I do not have regular help up at the shed and instead have been doing jobs that I can get on with alone.
One such job is to continue stripping off Nanw's old paint.  I had deliberately left as much of her paint on as possible since it slows the rate at which the timber dries out with the boat out of the water. Now in the winter her salty timber is very damp again, even in the shed and I have been scraping it back. One of these modern decorator's scrapers with tungsten carbide blades is great for dry-scraping and I have also been using it on the Finesse yacht at Saundersfoot to strip her thick anti fouling. The bottom paint comes off OK but the top sides will need heat-gun or blow lamp.
Finally, I found that unless I clean and oil my plane, saws and chisels immediately after working on Nanw's timbers they quickly go rusty from contact with the salty old wood!
Old paint gradually coming off

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Pitch Pine

A slightly 'off-topic' post here. They are doing some 'improvements' to our local Baptist Chapel that have involved ripping out some of the pews. We found the 'carpenters' had dumped the timber pews in a skip outside - It is pitch pine and has graced this chapel since 1869.
Unsurprisingly I liberated this 'unobtainium' of the timber world and stowed the pews (now in kit form) in the boatshed. What surprised me is how dense and heavy this timber is... I know the lengths here are too short to be of much use for anything other than small joinery on my projects.

Some years ago I owned a lovely carvel built 26' launch built of pitch pine on rock elm timbers - she is over a hundred years old now and still survives at Evesham, I believe. Her hull planking was all full length i.e. no scarfs. I have heard this timber referred to as the 'Queen of softwoods'. The resin content gives it a resistance to decay that few timbers can match.