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More Deck / Carlin / Beamshelf Reprairs

At this stage I started stripping off more of the existing deck. As I took sections up I’d take out the old brass screws and bolts and chuck them in a large bucket – I think i Weighed in 6 buckets at around £45/50 each eventually!.

Removing the old deck, This was a layer of 1/2″ ply with greased calico on top with a layer of inch ply on top of that. the joints were just plain butt’s with white lead putty. A crap effort really:

The original deck beams had been replaced in the 90′s along with the deck.

Rather than the original 2.5″ x 3″ they’d fitted 4″ square section which was just wedged in rather than being dovetailed as it should have been, to make up for this they’d fitted a tie bar made of 16mm steel stud bar tying the beamshelf and carlin together alongside every beam.

These had rusted and made everything even worse!.

I replaced all the beams with Iroko to the original dimensions and removed the tie-bars:

Showing joint on a new deckbeam – these are a half joint with a dovetail on the top part:

New beam showing how the beam shelf and carlin are at different angles – this makes each joint different!: (the beams were epoxied in after these photos was taken)

New decking down, This is the last laminated section everything else was done using 2″ply:

After this photo was taken The outboard edge was planed off to match the angle of the hull, the ply was sheathed with woven glass cloth and epoxy and a 4″ bi-axial cloth tape was used to cover the deck edge to hull join:

This is the other side of the boat showing where water has run in down a join in the top layer of ply and rotted  everything out:

Thanks for reading.


Structrual Repair – Rubbing Strake, Beamself, Carlin work…

Having replaced the stem and satisfied myself that the underwater section of the hull was in good shape thought turned towards getting the large hole where the foredeck was supposed to be sorted.

Another chunk of rainforest was ordered, several cubic feet of which can be seen in planking form sat on the floor of the forecabin:

A section of the teak planking on the port bow had been replaced in the past with Iroko as part of what appears to be a very large accident repair.

The badly replaced deck fitted in the 90′s had allowed freshwater to run into the end grain of this planking and caused a fair amount of rot.

The hull itself is “double diagonal” construction with two layers of 15mm thick planking run at 90degrees to one another with calico inbetween, then fastened with thousands of copper rivets.

Luckily the areas I needed to replace were mostly short lengths and there were existing joins hidden behind the rubbing strake, Here you can see some new timber as well as a section where i’ve stripped the rotten planking off:

This is where modern glues and adhesives really simplify the job – these short lengths are bedded onto polyurethane rather than calico, the scarfs are epoxyed and eventually get sandwiched between the rubbing strake on the outside and the stringer on the inside:

At this stage I had to remove the handrail stanchions and bollards from the deck and strip off the remains of the rubbing strakes so I could replace the stringer inside:

With new stringers fitted the lower rubbing strake was replaced – this is through bolted to the stringer with m12 stainless bolts at 11″ centres:

The beamshelf which attaches the deck and hull together turned out to be badly rotted so I cut back the deck to gain access for replacement:

Showing the first 6″x1″ laminate being dry fitted – note the new stringer and rubbing strake bolts just below it:

16ft lengths of planking were used:

These photos show the process on the starboard side -

First the rubbing stake was replaced and through bolted in order to keep the shape of the hull when the deck and beamshelf are cut out.

The hull planking is fairly flexible and its the frames, stringers etc that help it hold its shape.

Once the old beamshalf is removed new packing blocks are fitted between the frames, these are 2×6″ iroko and bedded on polyurethane adhesive/sealant:

Then two laminates of inch planking are glued in and the whole lot is planed of to match the angle of the deck:

The original steel knees/breasthooks were cleaned up and refitted with m20 bolts:

New deck beams were cut out of 3.5″ Iroko:

The deck was trimmed back slightly more in order to replace a short length of the carlin which joins the deck and the cabintop together:

I’d got a very good deal on enough 2″ marine ply to replace pretty much all of the sidedecks at £50+vat a sheet as opposed to its list price of over £340 it was too good to miss!.

The foredeck and the very forward section of the sidedecks has quite a bit of camber (curve) as the 2″ ply is incredibly stiff (32 laminates of gaboon with less than 0.01% voids) I decided to laminate the foredeck out of two layers of inch ply.

This is budget “far eastern” marine ply at £96+vat a sheet and I wish I could have afforded something nicer – although its epoxy sheathed so it dosn’t matter really

First bits of ply dry fitted:

And with the second layer epoxied down and a layer of epoxy and fibreglass cloth on top:

Better end this post here as its incredibly long!

Thanks for Reading,


On the Slip / Stem Replacement

Up to this point most of the work I had done had been to try and make the exterior appear as it should have been originally.

In the back of my mind I was pretty worried what the hull itself might be like underneath the waterline. I’d bought the boat afloat without a survey or even having seen the underside.

With this in mind and with the new funnel, wheelhouse and exhaust system meaning the boat was once again moveable it was arranged to pull her out of the water on the slipway at work.

The plan was to burn off the old paint below the waterline and re-paint and hopefully to replace the stem which had turned out to be badly rotten as well as having large sections missing which had been hidden by wooden cheek pieces bodged on by the navy.

I’d already removed the deck and rotten beamshelf from the bow area to gain acess to the back of the stem (called the apron) which had also turned out to be rotten to just above the waterline. I’d replaced this whilst afloat but the stem on the outside needed replacing down below the water and the presence of a rusting iron shoe which covered the forefoot meant I wasn’t sure how far down the damage went.

These photos show the work that happened whilst on the slipway -

Looking forward a couple of days after the boat came out, I’d removed a badly damaged wooden and copper shoe from the keel by this point and had just started burning off 40 years of toxic antifoul:

Looking aft:

Up on deck this was the current state of the bow – The apron has been replaced as well as several frames and a couple of stringers to try and stiffen things up a bit:

Crap photo but the red thing sat on the cabintop by the bow is the new stem knee ready for fitting:

New stem knee fitted in place. you can see just how rotten most of the original timbers were on the right of the photo:

The damaged and rotten parts of the stem were cut back so an idea of the timber required could be made. What you can see in the top half of the photo is the new apron which the hull planking is fastened to. The lower half is the remains of the stem which is bolted to the outside of the apron:

Lower part of the stem with the rotten wood removed (this was eventually trimmed right back to the keel scarf on the far right of the photo)

Joe came down to give me a hand burning off around the waterline, whilst I continued burning the antifoul from below the waterline. A tedious job but a very good way to familiarise yourself with the condition of the hull!:

Luckily the teak hull planking was in exceptional condition:

A few damaged areas of the sacrificial hull covering above the waterline were removed ready for replacement:

Eventually the bottom was all burnt off, sacrificial planking was replaced and the hole from the watercooled exhaust was replanked. The timber for the new stem was overdue by about 3 weeks by this point which meant I was stuck on the slipway for another set of tides:

With the bottom painted in special grey underwater primer:

There aren’t any photos showing the stem being laminated as the timber had only turned up the day before Joe went back to the mainland so I ended up fitting it on my own.

Basically its laminated out of half inch thick planks 12ft long by about 5 inches wide which were steamed/boiled in a 6″ pipe which I’d welded an end cap and some legs to so that it sat at 45 degrees over a large gas burner.

After half an hour the planks were taken out of the steamer and screwed into position with bronze screws. After being left for a couple of days to take the shape and for the moisture content to reduce again they were removed, belt sanded, pasted up with epoxy resin and refitted.

Once the resin had set the stem was drilled and bolted to the apron with M20 stainless studding above the waterline and bronze below the waterline.

These photos are all taken whilst I was planing the finished stem to the correct shape:

This is where the stem is scarfed onto the oak keel, a fairly flawless transition:

The hull was antifouled:

The Propeller was dressed to a good finish with a grinder and new zinc anodes were fitted to the steel rudder:

She was then re-launched and as there was rumblings about the EU forcing red diesel taxation on uk boat owners  I took her down to the fuel barge to top up the diesel tanks with 145 gallons of finest cherry (thanks to a Payday Loan from the Bank of Joe!). This photo actually shows her coming out the water again the same day due to a leaking water intake valve for the engine:

The large bronze valve (a bastard design known as an Orseal Valve) which relies on a series of “O”Ring seals which are supposed to be forced to seal by high pressure steam obviously didn’t like being used for seawater rather than steam!

it had probably been leaking unnoticed since the day the boat was built.

With some *quality shims cut from 80grit sandpaper the valve was reassembled and the boat re-launched for the second time:

I’ve since sourced* a replacement valve but have not fitted it as the sandpaper seems to still be doing its job!

*its previous owner probably isn’t missing it


Engine Room & More

Whilst the rest of the Boat looked like a bomb-site the Engine room was still intact and relatively tidy:



The Foden 2 stroke was the pinnacle of 1960s british diesel engineering. In an attempt to get more powah they chose the two stroke principle but added twin overhead exhaust valves to each cylinder.

The supercharger blows air into a gallery which supplies the intake ports in each cylinder liner. The block is alloy with removable steel liners and individual cast iron heads.


Mines a 6 cylinder, they also built inline 4′s and a beast of a 12 cylinder which was basically two 6 cylinder engines in a shared crankcase with the crankshafts geared together!

Later on they added a turbocharger and intercooler making a supercharged intercooled turbo diesel! (great to listen to but not to own as they don’t run for long!)



Main engine instruments, the engine is also monitored by a “Teddington Visutector” which is a box full of capillary tubes and relays, if somethings not right lights come on in the wheelhouse and a large klaxon thats meant to be fitted to the outside of the wheelhouse also sounds:




Original light fittings in the engine room, The boats 24volt throughout:




I managed to source a replacement for the missing engine room vent but had to get new flanges tig’ed onto the alloy bases:




The funnel was removed at this point as i was building the top for it:




With the funnel and top refitted. Cleaning the millscale off was impossible, Should have bought primed plate. Eventually I found someone willing to take it away and grit blast it inside and out for £60 which was the best money I’ve ever spent!:




I also wasted some money on a ex green goddess searchlamp and a black VHF antenna which had to be specially ordered from the states and cost the best part of £250 :-/




The exhaust silencer has been fitted inside the funnel by this point (another £170)




Nice new dry exhaust fitted utilising piping from the local creamery which was being demolished, some new weld bends and a sexy stainless flexipipe out of a very large comp-air compressor:




The cabin was a bit tidier again and the stove was repaired and reassembled after much cast iron welding and a new oven lining:








Steelwork & Wheelhouse

The new steelwork in the cabin sides was pretty much all in place but only tacked due to my generator not being up to running out 3.2mm rods on the arc set.


I borrowed a ancient 300vDC 3 cylinder lister genset on a trailer but it promptly spun several main bearings and being the centre of a complex ownership dispute, rather than repairing it I sent it back to its (supposed) owner and the steelwork sat unfinished for the best part of a year:



I built a new wheelhouse out of 3″ thick Iroko to as close to the original as was possible when working off period photos on the internet, Part of the base of the original was still in place which helped with dimensions although the previous owner had cut most of it off with a chainsaw:







I’d also made a funnel using the flange holes on the deck as a pattern for the shape and guessing a bit regarding height, Note the *professional looking template for the funnel top in this picture!:







The wheelhouse was built inside the forecabin so I was literally living in 5″ of iroko dust for about 2 months – I ended up developing a huge allergy to Iroko.

Several years later even cutting it with a handsaw still makes my throat close up and i spend the next 8 hours coughing up blood! Unfortunate really as I’m still using it for 90% of the structural work i’m doing!:







The forecabin had become a utter shithole by this time:




Note the new steelwork in the bottom of the cabintop which still needs the frames replacing, also the stove is now disassembled after a incident involving burning foundry coke!:




Aft cabin showing a finished area of steelwork, every single one of the angle iron frames is a sligtly differant angle so all were fabricated from flatbar: