Thursday, June 18, 2015

Beachcomber's Mushroom Farm

Just to prove that I am a 'regular guy' I include this glossy shot of the twenty-plus year old Yanmar after de-corosion and respray. The prettier motor will enable faster burnouts and donuts I'm sure.

The aft sole looked a little rotten in one corner, and the grating had lost a tooth, but I was surprised to find a mushroom farm underneath when I brought it back to the sensible atmosphere in what has to pass for a workshop at the moment...

So I'm glad I decided to make a new sole, it may be temporary, we'll see what else needs doing while I see how it works. The grating was nicely made and is rotten in places, but I have cut out the rot as far as I can tell, and have grafted new wood to make it useable again.

Above, the table saw was used to remove half the thickness around the perimeter, and below, new rails are attached.

The ply will be painted with Jotun alkyd Primer initially. It is a light grey and very robust. We'll see if it is too light in tone to be serviceable under foot. The grating will be coated in Sikkens Cetol.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Beachcomber Lines

I was able to get reprints of these drawings from the firm that produced them for the previous owners. When I saw them I was struck by the uncanny resemblance of this boat to a design from Campion boats that I very nearly built before deciding to make our Navigator. TD drew a lovely cutter rig on his hull 'Pearl' and a somewhat larger 'Annie' as I recall. The boats were smaller than this one, and the stern was a tilted transom rather than a counter stern, but the overall presence was similar.

Monday, June 15, 2015

renovating a 150yr old boat outdoors in mid winter

Starting with some ugly shots...
above, the tiller was greyed and multicoloured, but a very beautiful piece of work, so I couldn't resist staring there. The challenge in Winter though is getting sufficient temperature to dry things off and harden the finish. 

 The combing was next and was bigger to sand that it can see some of the deck boards. These varied considerably from fresh to greyed to crackled to de-laminating. Her old berth was heavily shaded on one side and this position tended to leave almost half the boat damp for long periods. But the planks ribs and bilges are pretty good. Note the Manilla line. Fred used only natural fibres in his rigging.

Above, one of the previously shaded areas. Some of these boards had lifted at their edges, curling away from the epoxy coated ply beneath. It was a bit of a triumph to get the epoxy to go off in the cold weather, outside in high humidity. Pre-warming it and the (fast) hardener in hot water (in a bucket) got things started. The repairs have sanded up well since.

Next, while I wait for a warm enough day to varnish the combing I'll continue to strip back the gunge from the decks and begin making a new aft cockpit sole plate- the old one has started to rot and is in danger of rotting the frames that it sits on. All the flooring is of Australian White Beech, like the decks. I'd like to stick to that or something similar, but to get me going I'll make temporary replacements from 21mm ply, and paint them. I'm stuck there because I don't want the floors to deteriorate further this Spring, but I don't have time (or a sufficiently well set-up workshop any more, for a while) so a temporary job seems in order.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Getting started with Beachcomber

With Beachcomber now home in our pen, the scale of the job became more apparent. She had missed a few years of routine sprucing-up and the timber looked tired and grey, but we needed, first, to undertake the essential behind and below the scenes work, and that meant a trip to our local slip. She was due for antifouling and in any case I needed to have her surveyed before I could insure her.

Bury's slipway is a magical place set between Metung and Lakes Entrance. It is rural and it feels isolated  and is a wonderful local business which has overseen the maintenance of wooden and other boats hereabouts for generations
This is an unusual view of her stern, and I'm not sure Beachcomber would approve of it being published....not her best angle, but it does show the cutting of the gains and the transition to a solid piece of timber aft. Those boards have been on her since the time of the American Civil War  or the Victorian gold rush and at least thirty years before Australian states federated into a nation.

The screw after cleaning and before repainting. I have a bit to learn about docile diesel inboards, but I love the relaxed put-put and the gorgeous noise of the exhaust bubbling under the stern. She runs on the smell of an oily rag. I took her to the dockside fuel stop today after a few trips and she would only fit twenty dollars worth in the tank.

The current project now (apart from adapting our new house and shed for our things) is the restoration of the deck and timber trim.