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...)

Friday, 8 February 2013

More Tales from the Milking Parlour...

Splits mended, planks scraped it will soon be time to steam in the new oak timbers. Rather than try and find mahogany to match the original I went for the epoxy and mahogany dust option, in effect reconstituting the timber using a modern mix. The alternative might have been replacing the damaged sections in larch, then staining to try and match the mahogany.

This way the original material is retained and the repair will be both strong and almost invisible. The splits were in the usual places, where the bilge runners had broken and at the turn of the bilge, where most of the steamed timbers had also broken.

The bilges are now white which will make them easier to clean.

I also restored the floorboards, which can be a pain in the neck. Just when you reckon you've finished the boat, here come the damn floorboards, and as they are the first thing you see, they can't be an afterthought.

More next week when the steaming starts. First, on Monday, it'll be time to machine the oak. Where did it come from? About 200 yards from the cow shed where I am working.

Timber miles? About two. That's the way it should be, if at all possible. Besides it's nice to think that a little bit of Leckmelm Estate has been incorporated into a boat built in Ipswich and restored up here.

In another 40 years, who knows, someone might be taking the timbers out again and replacing them. With what? Pre-formed oak-style carbon laminate, perhaps. Roll on. Make life a lot easier...

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