Saturday, October 16, 2010

Transports and Inspections

Transport and first two inspections
After rebuilding a 28 foot wooden motor sailer with my neighbor Jan, we realized we liked to work with wood, and restoring old boats and decided to look for a boat for me. Since sailing is not exactly my cup of tea I was looking for a classic wooden motor boat. To make a long story short, I found a classic Storebro 34 motor boat dating from the seventies which "needed work". The expression "needed work" was an understatement when looking at the wood rot and the holes in the hull on the bow and the stern.
In contrast to the motor sailor, which was build using three layers of mahogany plywood in diagonal planking, resulting in a cold molded hull of 1.5 cm thickness, the carvel built hull of my Storebro is made up of massive mahogany planks of 3 cm thick. Therefore, the techniques I will be using for this boat are quite different from the skills we learned from the former project.

Although the winter time is not the ideal time to inspect and buy a boat we went over and were pleasantly surprised by the lay out of the Storebro 34 and the standing height in the main cabin.
The aft cabin is much lower but since it is mainly a bed room with two beds it comes over very comfortable.
The boat was bought and it was decided to sail the boat from the south part of Holland to the area where we planned to do the needed maintenance of the boat.
While I was for my work abroad Jan made a second visit to prepare the boat for travel over the Dutch water ways. I received a picture from him which made me not very comfortable for sailing the boat over and it was than decided not to sail the boat over the Dutch water ways in the beginning of May 2010.

The decision was than made to transport the boat by road to the area where I live.  Arrangements were made and the boat was loaded on a truck and transported to the yard

Second inspection

The Bow

After the boat was delivered and properly positioned as well as supported it was time for the first decent detailed inspection.
As with all boats the second more detailed inspections shows more parts not as good as one would expect.
In this case more rotten wood was found and although some of this was expected it is always a kind of disappointment to find more work than original anticipated.
During this inspection it was found that repairs were made in a poor and unacceptable way and actually there were more cover ups for rotten wood than actual repairs were done in the past.
Wood was placed over holes in the stern side and bow side, the ones of the stern side we were aware off but the ones of the bow came as a bit of a surprise.
Originally it looked like at the bow side that this was original as built but unfortunately after removin some wood and stripping some paint is showed that rotten wooden mahogany planks wers removed and inserts were made of Plywood.

Most likely this is also the reason that the bow is starting to separate during the drying process of the boat since it shows that there is no proper connection made between the original mahogany hull, ply wood and the frames of the boat.

The Stern

Most of the hull is in a reasonable condition and the worst parts are the aft corners between the sides and the stern of the boat.
We were aware of this fact and to perform the necessary repairs on these parts did not came as a surprise. After some more detailed inspections of the first area to be repaired a plan has to be made. First all hardware was stripped of the deck while at the same time measurement and pictures were taken of the position of all installed hardware. The idea is to bring the boat in an original condition with the same hardware on the same position as been found. Then comes the moment that the actual dismantling of the boat has to start, which is actually one of the biggest decisions to be made when one starts a project like this. When that decision has been made all comes natural . A process is started which can not be stopped anymore till one is finished. Since we wanted to start with replacing the wood of the aft hull sides where it meets the stern the aft cabin was stripped at the inside. This went reasonable easy since the panels were screwed against the frames.

As can be seen from above pictures more rotten wood was found and actually all deck support have been rotten away or were penetrated with water. The result is that we also had to replace the deck support beams from the stern to the bow as well as the ones of the transom aft.
After removing some of the teak deck aft and on the sides of the boat the actual repairs started with the portside aft hull.
First with an electric saw we started to remove the planks between the frames and at the same time checking how far the rot had entered the mahogany hull planks.
For complete removal of the planks also the rivets have to be removed where the planks are connected with to the oak frames. Methods used for removal and installing rivets will be discussed in a later stage.

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