Saturday, 17 June 2017

Fitting rubbing bands

The 'underground' boat house has not been a success and although I squeezed two Redwings in there for the early spring it is too damp and dirty and the roof drips lime-laden water everywhere so the boats have to remain sheeted over even though they are indoors.  I got 'Pintail' out as soon as possible and 'Talofa' is going into temporary storage back at the old shed whilst the owner's cars are out for the summer - but no workshop facilities exist there now.
So, here, working outdoors I have got around to fitting Nanw's rubbing bands as the originals just below the land of the top strake. The douglas fir had been machined to a 'D' section but a test bend showed that they would probably fracture if I tried to force them to Nanw's curvature.  I set up a 3m length of 100mm polyduct with the end capped and filled it with water and left the two sections' forward ends to soak for a few weeks and then last week gave them an hour in the steam box.  They bent OK except where I'd pre-drilled them, where kinks and cracks appeared. Clamped in place a screw was placed through every other frame.
Another job nearly completed - some work now needed to enable her to carry a simple lugsail and then finish the painting.

Rubbing bead bent around and fastened. The block on her transom is to ship a rowlock for sculling and is an original fitment.

Simple 'D' section rubbing band fitted. Just needs trimming back.

It was the forward end of the rubber that needed steaming since the greatest curvature is here.

Monday, 3 April 2017

A new (temporary) home

Clinker Boat has been busy doing some much needed overhaul work on the Finesse's machinery and small boat works had been on hold due to lack of anywhere under cover to work.
However at the start of 2017 we managed to negotiate the use of a storage shed adjacent to the slipway in Tenby harbour.  It is a bit basic, dark, underground (beneath the owner's garden) with a narrow doorway and constant dripping water, but will do for now to get our Redwing's varnish touched-up for the season. A tent will be rigged inside to keep the dripping water off. Any major repair or construction work is probably not possible owing to the lack of any flat surface, means of generating power and the narrow doors.
Stone shed access way

Just enough room for two Redwings. Uneven earth floor has to be seen to be believed.

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.