The blog will now be devoted not to boat building but to my 82-year-old Vertue, Sally II, now undergoing a well needed refit at Johnson & Loftus in Ullapool (and gliding...)

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Guillemot Afloat Again

The Guillemot I built last year came back for a pre-season refit, after a very hard first season on the Firth of Forth. Work included the fitting of a rubbing strake (she was badly chafed on her mooring) and for some of her steamed oak timbers to be replaced. Whatever the reason, five had developed cracks at the turn of the bilge, so we replaced them with Scots pine, which, together with larch, I believe are better for timbers.

For a start it is much easier to find totally clean larch or pine - which can be offcuts from good planking stock - rather than oak, and when you do find some you think to yourself  "what a pity to turn this lovely piece of oak into strips".

I have seen many broken oak timbers, but never a larch one. It is not a down market solution, in my opinion, but a better one for boats of this type that are built to be used hard, rather than as show pieces.

The refit also included making a wider thwart at the transom and general sprucing up of the topsides.

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