Off she goes, Iain Oughtred's slightly foreshortened Penny Fee, at 15ft. Sails by Jeckells, spars by the wonderful Jeremy Freeland at Collars. The rest by Messrs Burke and Morgan (that's Jonny by the way...)

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Two Go South

The second of the restored estate boats goes home today. The first, a Frank Knights-built mahogany on oak 16-footer, which needed a complete strip, retimbering and plank repair; the second, an elm-planked 10-footer that had been badly converted from a sailing boat and coated in B&Q shed paint. This, ironically, had probably preserved her until it was time for another strip down and retimbering.

Both are ready to go back in the water and, as a bonus, the owner is arriving today with a few choice cuts of pork from his own pigs. Fair exchange, I would say for all that scraping.

Meanwhile there's another old clinker boat waiting to go in the shed for a pre-season sprucing up.

Maybe it's the time of year, but there have been a number of approaches recently for the restoration of old clinker boats, some feasible, some not. I insist on a few photos beforehand and they can be very revealing, and save the expense of a wasted visit. For example, what would you do with a boat like this?

Or this?

Both owners suggested that it might not be impossible to bring them back to life. To which I replied, honestly that "anything is possible, if you are prepared to pay for it". But better by far to take off the lines and build afresh. I fear it is unlikely to happen.

Maybe there are boats worth restoring and others that should be allowed to revert gently to nature, as we all will one day.

1 comment:

  1. I truly admire your work. My husband and I are working to restore a Glen-L Fancy Free. I don't know why anyone would just let a wooden boat go neglected, better to give it away to someone who will show it love. We have photos of our boat when it belonged to the builder (just beautiful), but we are now her forth owner . . . our hope is to get her back to the admired vessel she once was.