Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Starling Project - Part 2

This and the previous post were originally posted in May 2014. I am now in a better position to take this project forward, so I have re - posted this and the previous post to give better continuity to the story. One advantage of letting the boat sit for a while has been that it is now bone dry and ready for some restoration work.

It didn't take much time to remove the plywood deck and clean up the deck beams with my newly restored wood plane. With the deck removed I was able to check thoroughly for any wood rot on the inside of the hull. I think I am not going to have to completely remove and replace all the plywood. There are a number of areas where I will have to remove some sections of plywood but generally the rest of the wood is sound and rot free. The next stage is to turn the boat over and completely remove all the paint with a belt sander. I will then remove and replace any areas of plywood that look at all dodgy. I am doing all of this in a methodical manner, one step at a time, and carefully clearing away the wreck of wood as it is removed from the boat. I have gone through the stage where I had been getting a bit discouraged with a mess of old discarded wood lying around and everything looking and feeling a bit chaotic. I haven't been  helped by the work area which is a bit cramped and by a pile of firewood at one end of the carport that keeps encouraging me to see sense and just chop up the boat and add it to the pile. There was one point where I was sorely tempted, but as soon as I had cleaned up the pile of discarded deck ply and vacuumed the inside of the boat she  changed quickly from a boat being demolished to a boat being built again - such mercurial knife edge changes in my attitude are old well worn paths for me in this yacht building / restoration / life malarkey - the lesson is not to rush to judgement and do something you might instantly regret - bugger that pile of firewood - perhaps I will hide the big axe somewhere safe.

All this and the diesel engine off the big boat to fix as well - stark raving bloody mad I am.

The diesel engine on the big boat is still there. I had a dream one night that it had run away to join a circus but when I next looked it was still there. Never mind, the momentum has begun and all  will be well and all manner of boats will be well.


Ben said...

It looks like you bought yourself a real challenge!.
Why plywood is used? It is a pest in watery conditions. The so called water resistant ply wood I used in the fascia of the roof of my old house did not hold up very long. Solid lightweight Red Cedar is what I prefer. This is off course a remark from a land lobber that knows nothing about boats.
Working in a clean area can be a motivation in itself.
Lots of success.

Alden Smith said...

You are correct about the problems with plywood. But it is ok so long as you seal it either a very good paint job or by covering the ply (especially the join between the deck and the hull) with fiberglass. The main problem with the rot in the plywood in small yachts is that they have simply been left out in the weather and been rained on constantly - the sun cracks the paint, the water gets in and rot starts.

Plywood was used in the 1960s to build the hull and decks of a famous yacht, the 73 foot Stormvogel which was designed by your very famous Dutch Yacht Designer E.G.Van de Stadt