Thursday, 26 December 2013

The refit will restart next week and it will be full steam ahead to get the boat back afloat

Now the end of this year is upon us, it is now time to think about getting on with the boat once more.

The main job to do on the yacht in the next few weeks is to get the planks back in the bottom and get the new ribs put in the port side and get the hull shape back into position and the the seams below the waterline splinted and sealed and the hull faired.

Also a tent will have to be build over the boat so that the cabin sides can be worked on in a little bit of comfort over the next few months while the weather is a poor and there is a need to keep the boat dry while rebuilding the cabin sides and getting the roof back on the cabin.

The planking in the bottom will need some steaming has there is a fair bit of shape and twist these planks. Once these lower planks are back in place. Then I will have to get some more green oak to make the new ribs as these will have to go in fairly soon and but only after I have got the boat hull shape back into position. This is especially true amidships on the port side where the main body of the broken ribs were and where a bit of a chine started to develop over the years.

This will have to be removed before any ribs are put back in. The main thing that will have to be done will be to clean out the seams in the area so the planks can be pushed back into position and the seams closed up and the hull shape can be back in place.

So it is just a matter of getting the new year day out of the way and then get back to sorting the boat out.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

This week it was the turn of the new cabin sides to get some work done on them & other work.

After a few months of working on other clients boats, I now have a bit of time to work on my own boat and get the new cabin sides made and start to make progress. These will be the first new cabin sides the boat as had in 74 years and this time they are going to be made out of Mahogany and not larch which the first set that were made for the boat. Also this coming week there will be work on the hull planking and also the cockpit re-working to make it easier to work in while sailing and easier to work the main sheet and foresail sheets which will be re-designed and re-positioned to make it easier to trim the sails when short handed.

The main body of work this winter will be on getting the hull sorted, in as much as getting all the broken ribs replaced and the doubling ribs removed and their old holes filled and the hull faired up and where necessay the seams that need splineing can be done. 

Then with the cabin sides all glued and splined together, get them fixed to the carlins and the cabin roof refitted and made watertight and then get the interior refitted and the whole boat repainted inside and out and then relauched ready for the new season next year.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

This week we start again on the Mai-Star II and get underway with the list of work to do on her.

At last the weather has dried up a bit, so can make a start on getting the planks and ribs back in her again. Also get the cabin sides sorted out and get the edges of the deck squared off made ready to have the new cabin sides fitted back in place.

The main job this week will be to get the new planks in and also the splines fitted in the planks around the stern where the planks and stern post meet. This as for sometime been a cause of a leak which as not gone away even after clearing out the seam and re-cualking it several times in the past. So it as been decided that it is time that the problem will be best solved by spline the seam.  

Starting to put the planks back in the bottom.

This photo shows the longer of the two planks being cramped in place 

This photo shows that there is some need for steaming the plank in place to take the curve of the hull.

 This photo is of the same plank showing that the plank need to be made a little smaller to fit in the gap, just a little hand planing to be done and then about an hour or so in the steam box and then cramp in place.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

The main cabin aft hatch repairs and making new hatch runners

This photo shows the hatch being repaired as two of the four parts of its frame work had broken or had worn out after 70+ years of use. 
The cabin hatch runners are also in need of replacing as these have seen better days and are worn out especially the area where the hatch runs in runners. This was a problem as the hatch would not open before the hatch was hit the roof of the cabin causeing the hatch to lock up on the roof before opening fully.
The next job on the new runners will be to raise the runner position so that this does not happen again easily.
This photo is of the repairs to the hatch with a new beams made to replace the beams that were broken or worn out.
 This photo is of one of the new roof rails being shaped

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Starting to do small jobs in the workshop for the boat while the weather is not so good.

Today it was the turn of the cabin hatch to start to be sorted out with a couple of new pieces needing to be replaced as they had worn out and one had broken after many years of service.

Other jobs to be done will be to varnish the cabin roof hand rails and also the other pieces of wood that need doing for inside the boat such as some of the bunk top and front trims. 

Saturday, 16 November 2013

It is time to start making a start on sorting out the repairs on the Mai-Star II once more.

Now that the dust has settled on the changing work load, I now can plan to get on to doing some work on the hull of the yacht and make a start on getting her back together once more.
This is one of the many jobs that done over the next few months along with the new cabin sides and roof and the refitting of the port holes and new navigation lights to the cabin sides and also other jobs on the mast and a list of jobs to do in the cockpit. Which is has you see a little on the empty side and is a blank canvas in which it can be re-designed to fit a number of bits of equipment both above the floorboards and below. 

Sunday, 10 November 2013

When refitting or restorating old classic yachts the main hurdle is getting into the mindset of the person or people who build your classic yacht in the first place

When refitting or restorating old classic yachts the main hurdle is getting into the mindset of the person or people who build your classic yacht in the first place. Especially the tools and methods they employed to construct it. With Mai-Star II or as she was called when she was first launched in 1946 Gadfly II, having been started to be built in 1939. Then she was put to one side during the hostiles and once work on boat got back into full swing she was finished off. Trying to trace her history has been a bit of a minefield as many of the records from the boatyard where she was build have either been lost or destoryed at a fire at the boatyard or burned when the boatyard was closed. Either way I have been able to patch much of it from fromer owners or boatyard staff that are still a live today. This winter the second major refit is taking place with the removing of a large number of ribs on the port side from midships to the transom and a few from the starboard side in the cockpit where a number of them were doubled or even had three ribs set side by side. Babergh-20130806-00202 IMG-20130814-00218 Also there are a couple of planks that need replacing as these are damaged.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Update on the planks and ribs that need renewing

This photo shows that the two doubling ribs are removed as well as making a start on removing the first of a number of broken ribs down the port side a midships.

This photo shows the lower end of the ribs where there was a short doubling rib fitted where the old rib was missing. vthe doubling rib will not be renewed but a full length rib from deck to keel will be fitted.

This photo shows the two damaged planks removed with the planks edge cleaned up and just waiting for the wood to come from the timber man to get the planks and ribs back in.

There is now a start made on the refit of Mai-Star II again and once the timber as arrived then the hull can get sorted out and the rest of the boat can be sorted and the boat got back into commission once more.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

At long last, now I have the time to get going on the boat and get work on done on it.

After a long lay off work on the boat, it is now time to make a start on getting the cabin sides and roof back on and sealed up before the worse of the autumn and winter sets in and it will be difficult to get the work done out oside where the boat is. So the time to get on with the work is now. The main job to do is to sort out the deck to cabin side edge and make sure that this good. That way ensuring the same problem as before does not happen again. Once they are in place the refitting the deck beams and the roof can follow and the boat will be watertight from above. Then the work on replacing the damaged planks and ribs in the hull can get underway.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

It will be time to get round to working on the boat again soon.

It will be soon time to get on with the Mai-Star II again after not being able to work on it for a long time due to other work commitments. However, shortly it will be possible to get on with it and get the new ribs put back in and the damaged planks removed and replaced as well as the new cabin sides and roof to refit once the other work in done on the hull and the interior is sorted out.

Then once that is done then the electric wiring for the interior lights and the other gear such as the VHF and Log /ehco sounder and compass light and the navigastion lights. Then we will be able to go for a well earned sail and take a few trips a long the coast and further a field next year. 

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

All being well should get back to starting the refit on Mai-Star II again shortly.

It as been a while since there as been any major work done to the boat, mainly due to other work commitments. However, over the next few weeks we should get back on track and get some of the smaller jobs out of the way, such as the replacing of the ribs in the cockpit and down the port hand side of the hull up to the level of the chainplates.

Then is will be the turn of the starboard side in the cockpit to have its rbs replaced but not as many on this side as they appear to be in good order apart from a couple in the fore end of the cabin in the fore peak which n eed replacing during the winter months.

Once this is all done it will be the turn of the cabin sides and the cockpit coamings to be done and the new cabin roof to be made and fitted. then the new cockpit layout to be made and fitted and the fuel and water tanks and batteries to be fitted.

Then hopefully put back in the water to have a few short sails over the wintert months when the weather is fine.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Ordered the timber for the refit of Mai-Star II

Had a good day out sorting out timber for the replacement planking and new ribs that are need on Mai-Star II this autumn refit season. So with this timber ordered the work on Mai-Star II can now scheduled into the forward work load. So as soon as the Essex Country Show is over then work can be started on this and get it sorted and made watertight for the winter.

Going to get some more wood for the refit of Mai-Star II

Today it is out on the road to the local timber yard to get some more oak and larch for the refit of Mai-Star II. I need to get some good green oak for the ribs that need renewing in Mai-Star II's cockpit and the ones that need renewing down the port hand side in the main cabin that have been broken over the course of its long life.

I will also be getting some larch for the planking that need replacing in the bottom of the boat where there has been damage and a small amount of rot. Once we have the new wood and can get on with the repairs then this should see the hull of the boat sorted out and then we can turn our attention to the cabin sides and roof of the main cabin. This making the boat watertight from both directions. Then it will be a case of getting the boat all painted and varnished and get it back in the water to do some sailing over the winter months.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

The coming weeks and months will see a change in the progress of the refit of Mai-Star II

Now that J-Star Boat Services as now got a new apprentice boat builder onboard, there will be time start doing some major work on the boat and get the ball rolling again, and get on with some of the major jobs that are needed to get the boat back into a good condition and ready to set sail on the high seas once more.

The first of the major jobs will be on the hull where a couple of areas of damaged planking needs replacing and a few ribs need replacing as they are broken due to old age and heavy grounding over the years. The major area of damaged ribs has been on the port side, which was the side that had a 20 gallon water tank under bunk and that would make the boat fall over to port as there was nothing under the starboard bunk to counter balance the weight of the tank.

Now there is going to be a couple of batteries on the starboard side so if it is in an area where is it possible to dry out there is a chance in future for the boat to go to ground either side not just the port side.

This autumn the main areas for work will be the cockpit ribs which all need replacing and the three planks on the port quarter and replacing the broken ribs on the port side and the couple that are broken on the starboard side.

Once that is done then the attention will be on getting the cabin sides and the roof renewed and the cockpit coamings renewed and the whole boat painted and varnished.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

This week as been a bit of a hit and miss affair

This week there has not been a lot done to the boat, apart from fitting hardwood plugs in the old nail holes after drilling holes to fit the plugs in. Then the nice(tongue in cheek) job that is gluing the hardwood plugs in place after they are covered in epoxy glue and tapped in place.

After that was done then the cockpit seats and stamson posts were removed to gain access to the remaining ribs that have to be replaced in the cockpit. This will be done when I get some more green oak from my local timber source who cuts it to order so that it is as green as it can possibly be and make fitting new ribs easier round tight curves. This is especially true in Mai-Star II cokpit where they go through two different directions from the hog to the deck.

After these jobs were done the weather and family comittments stopped me from doing any more work this week. Hopefully next week I will be able to get the plugs cleaned off back to the level of the planks and will be able to start painting the hull of the boat where the plugs have been fitted.


Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Start of another week of repairs to Mai-Star II

This photo is of the back of the cockpit showing how over built Mai-Star II was built in 1939 and why it as been able to last as long as it as.
 This photo shows the old nail holes plugged with hardwood plugs, which have been epoxy glued in place, also shows the two planks that have to be renewed as they have damage to the planks.
 This photo shows the stern post with the putty and caulking removed and this joint will be filled with a spline as this is too large to caulk and keep sealed.
 This photo show the same problem on the starboard side and will get the same treatment
 This photo shows the port side of the cockpit with the cockpit seats removed and the aft samson posts removed, now it will be possible to get to work on the damaged planking and to renew the broken ribs.
 Another photo of the port side of the cockpit showing the extent of the job ahead
 This photo shows another rib that as broken while the boat is out of the water, due in part to the dry weather and the boat moving.

 This photo shows that there are a number of broken ribs still to come out of the cockpit, so my hands are going to be full for some time to come

Sunday, 18 August 2013

The history of GadflyII

When you buy any old boat, it is good to try and find out about its history as well as you can. Seeing where it as been and the people who have owned over the years and find out about any stories you can learn from its past owners.

Gadfly II was the second of three boats to have the name of Gadfly and was  built by Anderson Rigden & Perkins in Whitstable. Its first owner was a man called Mr H.C.Doughty from Margate in Kent who had it launched in the spring of 1946. although the boat was starting to be built in 1939. From talking to people about the boat it was almost finished before the second world war started, but was put to one side and covered up for the rest of the second world war and finished off and launched in the spring of 1946.

This is where Mr Doughty comes into the picture having already owned Gadfly I otherwise called Gadfly Jack, This he sold her after the war and the one who had Gadfly II finished and launched and owned until the October of 1953 when Lt CDR Bawtree buy her and then sold it to Mr R.M.Parker in July 1955. Then it changed owners again in May 1959 when Mr W.D.Austin bought her.

Her next owner Mrs J.L.Watson bought her in July 1961 to sail her round the Solent with family, I was contacted by her son Charles Watson and he said that the boat was a good sailing boat for its size and the only reason his mother sold Gadfly II was because the family had increase in size and the boat was too small for them all to go on.

The next owner Mr R.J.Watts who owned for sailed her out of Erith Yacht Club but sold her again as he had plans to sail other boats and sold it to Mr E.J.Little who owned it from Dec 1962 to Dec 1968, when Mr F.G.Menden  owned it until May 1973 to Mr N.P.Knight from 10th May 1973. It is at this point the trial runs cold, apart from Mr Watts seeing Gadfly II off Pin Mill in Suffolk on the River Orwell and talking to its owner who now called Gadfly II just the The Fly that was in the early 1980's.

It was the last time that have been able to find out where it was and who owned for until I came upon an advert on EBay. That she was a boat in need of a full restoration and was going for a small amount of money. The last owner had started to do some work, but he had not been able to carry on with her restoration and so I bought her and started the long and pain taking job of bring her back to life. This project started in 2008.

The first job was to strip her down to her basic shell and remove all the old paint and varnish off the hull and cabin sides and remove what was left of the decks. Once that was done then start the job of rebuilding the Gadfly II into a sailing yacht once more and get her sailing again.

The rest of the restoration project can be seen on the other posts on the long journey to restore Gadfly II.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

so the ribs start coming out

This photo is of where the ribs and the planks need refastening as nails have stretched after 74 years of hard sailing

 This photo is of where the port aft chainplate was damaged in a storm and it needs removing and refastening and sealing.
This photo is of the starboard forward end of the cabin bunk top and one of the few ribs that is still in one pieces where as the ones on the port side are broken.
This photo shows the doubling ribs removed on the port side in the cockpit before the old nail holes are sealed with hardwood plugs which are going to be glued in place with epoxy glue.
 This photo is of the starboard side of the cockpit with the doubling ribs removed and before the old nail holes are sealed, and before the old ribs which are still in place are renewed, the old ribs are broken and will need replacing with fresh green oak.
 This photo is of the bottom of the stern post and shows the shape of the bilge.
 The port side looks like a bit of a pin cushion with all those old nails removed before they are all plugged up and sealed.
 This photo shows an old repair done many years ago when Mai-Star II was involved in a breaching that broke a many of her port side ribs and the ribs were not replaced but beefed up by fitting these two grown frames.
 This photo is of the bottom end of the ribs in the photo above, showing it broke in more than one place.
 This photo shows that the boat as developed a bit of a corner at the turn of the bilge
 This photo shows how it as developed further along on the port side.
 This photo shows that the starboard side is fairly good condition just a few nails to sort out.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Starting to work through the refit list.

Now that I have made my refit list, it is now time to get to work ticking off the jobs that need doing first. The small jobs that as normal take more time than they should do , but need doing all the same.

Small jobs like ensuring that there are not any sharp edges on locker lids or bunk tops so that when things are put in lockers they do not get held up on these edges.
Rubbing down locker lids and bunk top with a fresh coat of paint, then starting to make new trims for areas of the cabin and cockpit.

Sorting out pattern material to use for making patterns to new cabin locker bases and cockpit lockers a job that needs doing this year. It was a thing that was highlighted last year while sailing when there was not enough room under the bunks that had a base in it to keep the stores and clothes out of the bilge.

Another job that needs doing in to make trims for the cabin bulkheads so that the edges are sealed and the mahogany trims will set off the white painted interior well and make it look better as well.

So all in all a busy week ahead getting through my latest refit list.

Friday, 26 July 2013

So the the refit begins

So the work in the cockpit as started with the removal of all the floor boards and now it is time to remove all the doublers ribs and broken ribs and replace them with new single piece ribs that will run from deck to keel.
This photo shows the old engine bed that is going to be removed as well as the blank over the old stern tube hole which be filled and a proper blank put over the old hole.
This photo shows the number of doubled up ribs there are in the cockpit that do not need to be there. These are the ones on the port side and the photo below are the ones on the starboard side.

 This photo is of the old engine exhaust and telltale skin fittings which are going to be removed and a couple of new skin fittings for the manual bilge pump and the automatic bilge will take there place.

Now it is time to hit the list of boat jobs on own boat.

Now with a little time to myself, it is about time I started doing some work on my own boat. Although the list is long there are a number of jobs that will not take that long to sort out and be able to do quite quickly. While other will take some time to sort and do.

The first thing that needs sorting in the boat will be to empty out all the loose floor boards and locker tops and lids and then get to grips with vacuuming out under the floors and in the lockers before washing down the inside of the boat and making sure it is clean before rubbing down the  white gloss paint work and repainting the bilges out with a fresh coat of Grey bilge paint. While this is being done make up patterns for the rest of the under bunk storage and in the galley lockers as well.

Then will come the wet messy job of washing down the inside of the boat, lots of fun!!!!


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The short list of work to be done during this refit?

Vac out boat from stem to stern and remove all loose boards.
Wash down inside of boat.
Sort out aft port side chain plate as it is leaking badly.
Take out chain out of locker and get rope spliced and then marked out depth with thin line.
Rub down all paint work on inside and outside of boat from stem to stern.
Paint out bilge with grey bilge paint and white gloss on cabin hull sides.
Paint out cockpit all over.
Make new seats for cockpit and make locker under seats and re site bilge pump and fit new skin fitting for both pumps.
Make new locker bases for under seat lockers in cabin.
Make and fit new trims in cabin.
Sort out washboards in cabin and fixings for trims.
Make and fit top of transom trim.
Make complete new fore hatch and fit new skylight in top.
Make new cabin sides and front and cabin roof.
Refit roof hand rails and refit hatch and new runners.
Sort out water system and fit new sink
Varnish all toe rails and rubbing skates and cabin sides.
Fit VHF and sort out wiring for engine and other things, such as lights depth and speed instruments and compass light.
Get new battery x 2
Sort out fuel system so it is better managed.
Fix to mast navigation light at top and sort out VHF cable.
Make up switch panel.
Switch over compass and fire extinguisher and fit switch panel to starboard bulkhead ahead of cooker.
Fix in position cross trees so they do not move when mast is rigged.
Re site GPS so it can be read easily in cockpit and interface with depth and speed if possible and wiring up to boat supply so it does not run on batteries alone.
Get more ballast about 300cwt ?
Make cabin side trims to fit over frames and fix to bulkheads.
Fit shore supply to boat for charging batteries and using 240 volts gear.
Sort out tops of aft end of cabin bulkheads so that they are the same.
Fit under deck lighting for use in beds and heads.
Fit third floor bearer in cockpit to stop floor boards moving.
Fix aft Samson posts in position.
Sort out cockpit and cabin side trims to new shape.
Sort deck edge and grind back and epoxy edges to seal.
Make new boom and mast support.
Re-varnish mast and spars and sort out rigging and other items on boom and gaff.
Make up new corner pieces for front and back corners of cabin sides.
Trims round deck joint of Samson post on fore deck.
Sort out cleats for jibs and main sheet to make easier to use.
Fit oil light to front of cabin bulkhead.
Re-site water filler to deck?
Fit new cloak and barometer
P.S. just a short list to get on with for the moment.

Now it is time to do some work to Mai-Star II to get her ready to go back in the water.

 Now that I have a few hours to spare. It is time to start work on the inside of the boat to get reay to fit the new cabin sides and roof.

This photo shows the plywood pattern fitted to the carlins and lined up with cabin front pattern on the port side 
This photo is of the starboard side showing the same thing as the port side.

 This photo shows the plywood pattern fitted up to the aft cabin bulkhead.
This photo shows the same as the port side the plywood pattern fitting the aft cabin bulkhead.

The next two photos show the old cockpit seats and the position of the manual bilge pump and gas bottle which is going to be changed and new seats and lockers are built in the cockpit for better use of the area.
The next two photos show the condition of the bilge which is in need of a coat of paint and a few old ribs in need of sorting out and replacing.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Missing a year's sailing

It appears that because of other work that the planned sailing for this year is now been cut short. However, this will give me more time to get other work on the boat done. Then it will be put in the water later on and sailed during the winter months when the rivers will be less busy.

The main job to get sorted will be the cabin sides and roof and once that is done the turn my attention to the cockpit and the engine and the electrics. Then work on the mast to put a masthead light on for sailing at night. also put the VHF Ariel up on the masthead as well.

Other work to get done is to repaint the topsides and deck and varnish all ther rubbing skates and toe rails and make a new forehatch. Then may be finish off the work on the end of the boom to ensure the main will reef correctly.
This photo is of a leak that is round the end of the starboard garboard plank which will have to be looked into before the boat is re-launched

 This photo is of a small leak on the end of the port garboard plank

 A leak along the bottom of the port garboard plank halfway along

 A photo of the inside before the work started on replacing the cabin sides and roof 

 A photo looking aft on the port side towards the cockpit before the work was started on removing the old wood.

A photo of the inside undercover  

 A photo of the port side having been started to be sanded down
 A photo of the port further along

A Photo of the starboard side having the same treatment as the port side
 The cabin and cockpit sides now removed readsy to start sorting out the deck and carlins before starting to put new cabin and cockpit sides and roof back in place.