Friday, 15 December 2017

Sadly Eider the Lapwing was beyond repair, nearly every timber need replacing. the hog, keel, garboards and plate cas were rotten. Most of the planking was split in at least one place.
However, I appear to have acquired an Edwardian Thames B Rater, the We’re Here. A rather unusual sailing sailing dinghy built before the Great War. Here she is racing on Oulton Broad.

She was substantially rebuilt by Peter Wilson at Aldeburgh Boat Yard about 15 years ago before being left in the field of dreams waiting for a new owner. With the yard under new ownership I didn’t take much persuading to take on the challenge.

With some help from Tim Hannon and his sons we got the 24ft dinghy back to Burrell’s Farm Barn and just managed to get her indoors next to Bobtail our 1949 National 12. Aquamarina the i14 from the 60s has been evicted and now lives in my Fathers garage until I can find a new owner.

A quick assessment revealed the ‘new’decks were quite rotten and they would need to be replaced. This then uncovered more rot in the top of the sheer strake. This is now replaced with salvaged mahogany planking cut from the remains of Eider.

The deck framing nearly complete. I now need to start cleaning up the inside.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

A new project ...

 So my latest project is in the barn drying out after at least 2 years neglect. Eider is Aldeburgh lapwing No 62. Cracked planks, broken timbers detached plate case, the list could go on. 

Only time will reveal the extent of work required. It looks much more difficult than the 1965 i14 which was quite easy.


Monday, 3 January 2011

Canoe Progress

Work on Tom's canoe has progressed quite well over the Christmas holiday.

We decided that the neatest way to join the 2 halves of each plank was a simple scarf joint, much neater than taped or doubled option.

Finally we could start stitching the planks together using small cable ties. Here are the the first four planks joined together.

Progress was rapid with the hull soon taking shape. The gaps between the planks was also pleasingly small.

The joint between each set of planks was then glued using a thickened epoxy fillet. The stitches and moulds could the be removed leaving a plywood shell. The joints need to be reinforced with 50mm wide woven glass tape and more epoxy.
We can then start fitting the inwales/ gunwales,decks etc.

I'm not sure if this is the bow or the stern. They are both the same shape.

We have just weighed the shell which is a very lightweight 9.8 kg.

Meanwhile work at the Boatyard has also progressed. The "Raft Foundation" is complete other than a small section of workshop floor. The workshop was delivered just before Christmas and work erecting the frame should start tomorrow. More pictures of the new build will follow....

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Now that Bobtail is finished (apart from sealing the plate case to the hog). we decided we needed another project.

It is important that Tom learns some practical skills so this autumn and winter he is going to build a canoe.....

We have decided to build a stitch and glue boat as a first attempt and plans were bought from Selway Fisher. The idea is to cut out planks and stitch them together around moulds, creating the right shape hull.

The temporary moulds are made from hardboard. Here is Tom using a jigsaw for the first time.

The boat we are building is a Peterborough 14. This should fit comfortably in the garage. It has 7 planks each side so so should have a nice shape and not look like a coffin.

The plans have plenty of detail and are easy to understand.

The planks are made in two halves. Each plank is set out on a sheet of plywood using a table of stations and offsets.

Tom soon got the idea and moved onto cutting out the planks.

We are still racing N3434 up until Christmas and last weekend we won the Centenary Bowl for the second time.
It really is a splendid trophy.

Back in the garage when one set of planks are complete the other three sets were roughly cut to size. The four sections were then clamped together and planed to shape. The rough cut ones were cut over length to allow for scarfing the two halves together. Much neater than joining with fibreglass tape.

Cutting out 28 "half" planks is a long process when you are only 12, so a some were finished in the evening to prevent a rapid loss of interest.
The plan is tto have as many complete planks ready for next weekend so we stitch som together and find out if it will all work.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Launch Day

Following the destruction of the yard work on Bobtail has been slow due to the loss of the tallurit press and roll swage machines. The kind loan of a hand swaging press and the efforts by Peter retrieve and repair the fire damaged equipment has enable the project to be complete.

Here we are at the back of the remains of the yard. It all fits together.....

Bobtail leaving for Aldeburgh Yacht Club, the sad remains of the Yard behind us.
A slight hiccup on friday when the final delivery of fork and eye terminals included a note " forks to follow" didn't stop us. Half an hour raking through the remains of the Yard revealed 3 useable fork terminals and the rig was finished.

After a very short Club race on Saturday afternoon Bobtail was launched in the evening sun with a very light breeze.
Bailing soon commenced and the rate of flow appeared to reduce with time. The Jeckells sails look fantastic and she sailed very nicely in the breeze.

Peter and the crew of "If" appeared for a close inspection on the way back from their moorings.

Ther is a similar picture of N76 (Coot) but sailing downriver.

Antony then took Rory and James from a quick sail in the old Lady

So After 19 months Bobtail is now restored and sailing on the River Alde. I must say thank you most of all to Peter Wilson for his encouragent, knowledge and use of the Boat Yard. Not forgetting Colin and Martin (purely metal) for making the trolley and other stainless steel fittings for the boat, Richie at Jeckells for making the vintage sails including some lovely, tiny second hand piston hanks on the jib and Tim for helping me with the rivetting when my arms were too short.
Finally Dawn, Phoebe and Tom will now see me return to the house from 19 months camped out in the garage working on my Project.

Saturday, 1 May 2010


Luckily my little boat was safe at home and didn't suffer the same fate as Magherlin.

She was a successful prewar i 14 awaiting restoration by Jack and Matt or could have been my next project.

Sorry but this is all we could find.
Lovely race on the Alde this afternoon. N12s first and second unfortunately we were omly second, 1 minute behind Duncan

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

A very sad day

A very sad day today, the Aldeburgh Boatyard caught fire this morning and is a total loss. No one was injured but four boats were lost together with archive material that cannot be replaced. I will never forget working at the old yard at weekends and holidays or Peter's patience in teaching me how to repair boats. I hope he has the determination to rebuild and carry on.

On a more cheerful note 3434 is as finished as she will be this year. Despite a major disagreement with a new slot gasket, mkII worked and we raced on Saturday. Not Baggy T weather but still great to be on the water.

I didn't like the navy blue colour scheme, so after a few hours in the garage and she is now a pleasing shade of red. Hoping for more wind this weekend.
I'm still waiting for Bobtail's new sails to be finished and will then sort out her rig ready for a late spring launching party.