Monday, 31 December 2012

Now for something less stressful? Part II

After the long period of time sorting out in the boat. It was time to get the outside of the hull in a condition to look like it was when it was new. This was going to take a long time and a great deal of patience. This time was going to take the best part of 3 or 4 months over a period of a couple of years when it was fitted in around of work I was doing on other people's boats and when the weather was good to do outside. The first to do was to clean out the old caulking in the seams from the deck to the keel. This was a very mind deading jobs racking out the seams with a old racking tool with out destroying the edges of the seams. It is amazing how long a 22 foot boat becomes when you have to clean out that many seams. But at least when it was finally done and the seams were cleaned of all the old caulking and linseed putty it was a job well done. Then there were a few planks that needed refastening where they had moved over the years and where ribs had broken and needed replacing, before recaulking the seams after they had been primered with underwater primer. The problem area was the garboard planks as these needed refastening the most as the ribs in the bottom of the boat had broken over the hog and had to be replaced from the mast step right back to where the inboard engine used to be. So out came the stream box and a fun few hours streaming and nailing in new ribs in, was to keep my wife and I busy has one pull them from the stream box while the other drilled the holes and nailed them in place. We make a great team and the job was done in quick time.

Then my wife said that she would like to try her hand at caulking the seams with caulking cotton. this she did after I sorted out the caulking cotton and showed her how to do it. She said in was relaxing after the stressful work she does and having done a great deal of it over the past 30+years I was only to happy for her to do it.

However she did not like the next bit as much, painting the seams and then getting the linseed putty out of the tubs and working it into the seam. She said I done my bit it now time for you to get your hands dirty. So there I was seating on a stool with putty knife in one hand and the putty in the other and a long way to go to fill all the seams up again. I sometimes think why to I own a wooden boat?
But when all is said and done they give you hours of fun both on and off the water.

Once that job was done, then it was left a while so the the putty would skin over before starting to paint the boat again and get the hull looking like new again which was going to take sometime.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Now to something less stressful, well may be?

Now that the major job of the Keel removal and refitting was done. Then it was time to start on other more skillful jobs that did not involve a big hammer & Burt force. Fittings the Toe rails and Rubbing skates was a more enjoyable job as it was one that people would see. Unlike the keel although it was a skillful job not many people would see how much hard work when into doing the job. The amount of blood sweat and tears that when into doing it.

It was also the time that the deck fittings were made and fitted to the boat, as all these fittings had been stripped off the boat before I purchased her and started to rebuild her back to a sailing boat once more. This needed a trip to Classic Marine in Woodbridge in Suffolk. As many of the fittings had to be specially made for the boat. Moray did a very good job of these fittings and have serviced me well ever since. As well as the toe rails and Rubbing Skates and hull fittings for the rigging, there had to be a new tableance made to fit the odd sized mast the boat had. So with that made it was time to fit all this new iron work to the boat and to make it look more like a sailing yacht once more.

That job done I started again on the interior and the fitting of  the battery box and water tank and the shelf's in the galley and the water pump and cooker.

The new marine plywood floor was fitted in the cabin so it was safer to walk around down below with out breaking your leg.

Then came the fitting of a new sea Toilet. The toilet bit was easy, going a new hose nipple was not so easy as I had to have one specially manufacture by a local engineering company to fit the original skin fitting.

Then was time to finish off painting inside and out.   When the weather was not so good to do the outside paint work, then it was time to paint out the lockers and bilges  and keep warm and dry.

Then when the weather was better then it was time to get the big mother sander out on the hull to start to fair up the planking. This was a long job as it had not done for many a year. Once it was done it looked a whole deal better. Then came the long job of putting paint on and sanding it off until I got the hull painted. Then came the varnish work on the cabin sides, toe rails and rubbing skates, 6 coats to start off with until the wood stop soaking it up, then just building up the depth of varnish until there was a good overall coating on the bright work.


Sunday, 7 October 2012

Updates on Mai-Star II Progress back to the water.

After the first year work was completed and the deck was refitted and covered and sealed with epoxy matting and glue. Then it was time to make a start on the inside of the cabin and get the cabin fitted out with its bunks, floor bearers a new cooker and sink, lockers and water tank  and a battery box. Then the new floor boards were made and fitted so I had something to stand on while doing the rest of the work.

 This took a long while to do as for most of the time it had to be fitted in around other jobs and client's boats.  The first part of the job was to work out how to fit it all in and  make it all work. that took a all of drawing out and reworking until I got it the way I needed it and that it would work.

The main problem was to make it work as a modern boat, but at the same time give it a traditional feel and look. The new interior was to look light and not dark like some old boats I have worked on in the past. This time it would be a mixture of white gloss paint and dark mahogany trims to set off the interior to its best and give the interior the look it needed.

With that decided it was then a matter of setting out the bulkheads in the positions they needed to be and then build the framework and bunk fronts and tops in. But before that was done, the floor bearers had to go in and be set up true and level. This was a fun job as getting the boat level was not easy as it appeared to look a bit out of true. But after a bit of shoring up one side and letting off the other it was sorted. Then the floor bearers when in and the rebuilding of the inside could get underway.

These photos show the start of the interior refit. It took a long time as the weather was against me and I had other comments to sort out. I got there in the end. After this time the boat was moved to where it would spend the next years getting more work done on it.

The interior layout was planned along the way that many boats of that era were laid out with the galley near the cockpit end, then two berths in the main part of the cabin. the heads in the fore end of the cabin along with a pipe cot on the port side. This took a while to do has other work kept me from getting on with it. 

Once it was finished the interior started to come together, Then new bunk cushions  were made and I had my first night's sleep aboard the boat. Although the boat was far from being finished, it did give a sense of what was to come over the next few years.

Now that the interior was well on its way and most of the fit out inside the boat was done apart from painting and varnishing. It was the turn of the outside and the keel to do. The next few weeks of my spare time and that of my wife's was spent on cleaning out the old caulking and cleaning up the seams and then re caulking the seams with new caulking Cotton and linseed putty. This was a long and mind destroying task as it when on and on and on. However, when it was complete it was a job well done as in was at long last going to be water tight and would keep the weather out once there were a few coats of paint on the outside. 

Then came the one job that I was not looking forward too doing. The Keel removal and refitting. This job was going to be one job that was going to be a battle of wills between me and the boat and I was not going to lose this battle. The first job was to remove the inside nuts on the hog. This was not going to be easy as many of the nuts had rusted away over the years and the ones that were left were not a standard  size.

So it was decided that the best course of action was to cut off the nuts with a cutting disc on a grinder and then drift out the bolts. Sounds easy, but it was far from that, At first they did not move, it refused to give an inch or even a millimetre.So to plan "B" get out the large oak wedges and drive them between the hog and the iron keel. At last there was a little movement, but it was painfully slow and hard work swing a large hammer under a boat which is only a few feet off the ground. At least it started to move once there was enough room to get a electric  hacksaw in the gap then I was able to cut through the old keel bolts and get the keel off the boat and start to the work on the hog and the keel and remove the old keel bolts out of the iron keel and out of the hog and get new ones made.

The hog was in good condition seeing as it had not seen the light of day for many a year if at all in it's 73 years. The bolts in the hog came out easily and the holes in the hog were not bad condition and just needed cleaning up and repainting with some underwater primer with a bit of red lead powder mixed in.  The keel on the other hand was a different beast altogether this took a whole lot longer to spilt into it's two parts and remove the old bolts. Firstly, the major problem was that the keelbolts were steel and the keel was iron so the two fused themselves together. So getting the bolts out was going to be a long job and at times a painful one. However, one by one the bolts came out but it was a long job. It would not many been so bad if the bolts had been fit so they were vertical, but they were not they were set at 5 or so degrees off the vertical and oppsite to each other The back one was at an altogether different angle, not only off the vertical from port to starboard ,but it was leaning backwards as well. so it was the worse one to get out.

Once these were all out then I was able to spilt the keel parts in two and clean up the surfaces of the keel so that when it was put together again and refitted to the boat, it would sit back in place correctly and true.

Refitting the keel was a fun job involving the boatyard's travel hoist and skill on the part of the hoist operater to get the keel back in place which needed the boat to be placed in some very odd positions in order to get the keel bolts lined up with the holes in the hog. This part of the job refitting the keel was by far the easy part as it when off without any problem. Making me a very happy person. .

With that stressful job over it was time to get on with some more enjoyful jobs like fitting toe rails and Rubbing stakes and finishing off the painting of the hull.  

Monday, 20 August 2012

The long journey to restore Mai-Star II Part II

After the first year of restoring Mai-Star II, there was a laid off for a few months while other work had to be done for other clients and Mai-Star II took a back seat. Then when the spring came and weather improved and the longer days were here, I was able to fit a few hours in around my other work. The first job was to removed what was left of the old deck. Check the deck beams, Carlin's & the gunwales and the top of the top planks for any damage or rot. Surprising there was no rot in any of the major parts, this was a blessing as I was not looking forward to removing any of the major parts as this would put the project beyond reason in terms of making good sense to restore.

Having passed that major problem and not having to renew any of the major parts, I started about refitting the year and making the boat watertight from above. Unlike before this new deck would be a lot lighter and less likely to leak than the old one, as this was made from 5inch by 1 inch T&G softwood. The new deck is 12mm marine plywood and scarf jointed together so it would be one complete deck without any joints that could leak and cause water to get into the lamimates of the plywood. this was glued and screwed to the deck beams and carlins and gunwales as welll as the deck so making a watertight seal from above.

Once that was in place then the whole of the deck was sanded and keyed up to be cover with deck  matting and which was fixed in place by coating it with epoxy resin and sealing the plywood.
Then this was covered with deck paint to seal the epoxy from the weather.

Then I turn my attention to the inside and started to paint out the inside of the boat first with International Primicon primer. the boat had three coats of this and then three coats of undercoat before finailly have three coats of white gloss to finish off.

Next job was to start fitting out the interior with new bulkheads and the rest of the bits needed to make it a yacht again.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

The long journey to restore Mai-Star II the 8 year journey

It all started with a trawl through the Internet on eBay as I was looking for something to restore over the next few months or a year or so. There she was looking very down at heel and in need of a guiding hand to bring her back from the edge of extinction.

But she was just what I was looking for a gaff rigged boat of the 1930's and was completely stripped out ready for a new interior to go in along the lines of the original with a couple of modern items.
The owner who I brought it off had started to do some work but it had got too much for him to do on his budget. So he put on eBay and I got it. First job was to get it out of his back garden and back to the boatyard where I was working at the time. This was no easy job as when had to pick the boat, cradle, its mast on to a double axle trailer with just a lorry jack and blocks to raise the boat up to the height of the trailer. This took what like an age but after a few cuppa's and a lot of pushing and pulling it was finally on the trailer and we were off to the boatyard to start the long journey back to becoming a sailing boat again

The picture above is photo of it after I had just given it a coat of yacht primer to keep the weather out of the planking while I sorted out the deck and got her weatherproof from above.

Although her deck was in a poor side, her deck beams and Carlin's and gunwales were in good condition given they had been exposed to the weather for a long while. So in the end it became just a matter of removing what was left of the old deck and laying a new marine plywood deck and sealing it with cloth and resin and then sealing it with deck paint.
Before that was done. I build a cover over it while it was outside in the boatyard so that I could get on with some of the other jobs inside the boat. The stripping back of the old paint left on the hull removing any bit of old chain and other bits and pieces.

These photos show the condition of the inside of the boat when I got it back to the boatyard and the long process it was going to be bring it back to anything like a sailing boat again. There was the challenge so my wife & I set about ring it back to life.

Two photos below show the condition of the back of the boat in its stripped out condtion and before any paint or work was carried out  on putting the cocpit back together again.