Ralph Ė Iíll no doubt get some when I come to commission
to date:- You can certainly publish this on the club website if you
think it worthy of such but I intend to take some photos of the ribs
and keel repair. I need to take over a vacuum cleaner to clean up a
bit for the photoshoot but today is a bit wet for that. Hopefully I
will do it before I go away for a week next Wednesday. Iíll then
send these to you so you have some pictures to go with the text:-
on the refit of Annie, a 21í Mevigassey Tosher,
Essentially Toshers were built for line fishing for mackerel to
provide bait for other fisherman in deeper water.
now just completed the repair of damaged ribs.
carvel construction, pitch pine on oak, the smooth exterior shape is
essentially maintained by the internal ribs. Originally these would
have been steamed adjacent to the boat and put in direct from the
steamer and forced pretty quickly to take up the actual shape of the
planks, as they were formed by the building jig.
cannot practically do this alongside the boat so I manufactured a
bending jig for use at home with the intention of pre-bending the
ribs. Ideally I needed to bend each rib to its own shape but the
manufacture of moulds or jigs for each position was rather
daunting. In the end I settled on four different shapes and made a
mould, or jig, for these shapes.
the actual timber. I wanted to use oak and managed to scrounge a
couple of 4í long by 12Ē diameter oak logs which should still be
green (ish) as green oak is supposedly better for steam bending.
recently upgraded my bandsaw to a larger unit (Ex ďButchers bandsawĒ
which I modified to cut timber) although powered by a 2HP heavy duty
motor, it really struggled to cut the oak logs. I must admit that I
persevered but the final result was disappointing, although the log
was straight with no branches coming from it, there were still
defects that made the timber unsuitable for ribs.
wasted quite a bit of time in trying to utilise grown wood and in
the end ordered some green oak from John Moody Timbers of Ivybridge.
This was cut to length and I ended up with twenty lengths of 4í long
1Ē x 1ĹĒ straight grained and defect free oak which I planed to the
finish size of ĺĒ x 1ľĒ. I steamed them for about 45 mins (One hour
for every 1Ē of thickness is a rough guide) before fixing them in the
jigs and allowed them to cool and dry for as much as two or three
pre-bent ribs were fitted alongside the damaged ones. The
traditional way would be to use copper nails and roves to fasten
each rib to each hull plank but this is a two-person operation and I
decided to initially fit then with 4mm stainless nuts and bolts with
the intention of then taking out the bolts progressively, once the
ribs were pulled in tight and had settled in their new shape, and
fit the copper nails & roves.
developed a method which allowed me to keep the bolts in. I bought
a Trend Snappy Counterbore tool which put a square bottomed
counterbored hole at each fastening position. I bought some 4mm
stainless washers that fitted the counterbored hole snugly and so
both ends of the bolt were buried under the surface of the hull
planking and the rib. Itís surprising how much a single 4mm bolt
will pull down a rib into its new shape!!! By progressively
tightening the twenty or more bolts in each rib I was able to pull
the rib to meet the planking and in some cases, pull the planking
back into line to meet the rib.
additional ribs each side there were a lot of extruding threads to
cut off. An angle grinder and a slim cutting disc soon made short
work of that and now the ribs are ready for a spot of polyurethane
adhesive/filler to fill the fastener hole and then painting. The
finished result will then closely resemble a traditional copper
nail/rove structure. The hull is now as strong or if not stronger
than before. Although some purists may find the use of stainless
nuts and bolts offensive, it seems to have worked for me. Itís
probably cheaper using the nuts & bolts as copper has shot up in
price and nails/roves are not readily available locally. The actual
process of roving , to my mind, needs some practise to enable the
correct amount of pressure and it is all too easy to leave a
fastener feeling tight but not putting much force on the actual
timber, alternatively itís easy to overtighten as well. With the
hull plank holes filled with epoxy, they should be leak free, and
with the recessed nuts covered with the polyurethane mastic, these
will be well protected and if need be the rubber like filler could
be removed and the nuts adjusted should this ever become necessary.
actual process of drilling the planks gave me a good indication of
the state of the timber planks. None gave me any cause for
concern. I did notice however that when I first looked at the plank
timbers when the boat was first out of the water, they did appear
very wet and waterlogged but now, some six months later they have
dried out quite a bit but are not over dry. I suspect that thatís
the result of 7 years of continual use without coming out of the
water at all.
work done I am now turning my attention to preparing the outer hull
for painting. With new planks in where required (around the bow by
the stem especially) and the sister ribs fitted and all fastening
holes filled the hull is in theory now watertight again. I have
rubbed down much of the hull above the waterline and that is about
ready for priming.
to scrape off some of the old antifouling, using a tungsten carbide
scraper that was left on the boat when I bought her, and very
effective it is to. What I discovered was that there are two
waterlines cut into the hull, and the gap between is obviously the
boot topping. The existing antifouling paint does not follow this
line at all especially at the bow or stern so I shall recut these
lines and use them on the final paint scheme which will be Royal
Maroon for the hull and Cream for the upperworks, reminiscent of
Great Western colours so I am led to believe.
repair has also been completed. As the boat spent the last 7 or
more years on a drying mooring at Stonehouse it went on the beach at
every tide. This abraded the after end of the keel such that the
bottom rudder pintle disappeared and the aft end of the keel became
quite degraded. The solution was to cut out the last 5 feet of the
keel and scarf on a new section. Cutting through 5Ē by 3ĹĒ
waterlogged Oak by hand in an awkward position and hoping to get a
perfect scarf joint was expecting a lot but I must say that in the
end the joint was pretty good.
obtained some oak from a supplier in Somerset, this supplier was in
fact a firewood dealer and he regularly obtained oak from a Barn
Conversion specialist. Although these were usually the offcuts from
beams or windows or mantles, they were often 5 or 6 feet in length.
I obtained two pieces just the right length and of sufficient size
to create a new 5Ē x 3ĹĒ section. This section was through bolted
and coach screwed with stainless fasteners into the hog and deadwood
which were in surprisingly good condition. I extended the keel back
past the propeller and turned up in the lathe a stainless pintle
that was through bolted from the underside of the keel at the
appropriate angle. In case my initial hole drilling was not quite
square or accurate I turned the top end of the pintle slightly off
centre so that by slackening off the underneath securing nut, I can
rotate the whole thing so that the pintle lines up in the best plane
to the rudder.
keel repair done its time to think about a new keel band as the
majority of the original one is missing. This keel band is
essential to protect the keel from any beaching (Intended or
arranged a local engineering company to manufacture one for me.
Itís to be made in two parts as it would otherwise be too long for
the galvanising tank and too long to transport. Even in two parts
it will be very tricky to fit as I must somehow take the weight off
the keel blocks whilst I slide on each half, one at a time of
course!!! I must also think about edge bands for the outer edges of
the bilge keels as these are also wasted away.