A Boat on the Side

The Restoration of a Daydream . . . .

And no, I’m not talking about some idle fantasy here, it’s a real boat – designed maybe 60 years ago in New South Wales. She’s a 28’ (8.5m) double-ender with a deep, well ballasted keel and rather narrow beam. Chop the canoe stern off and you’d be close to a Folkboat except these were built in ply rather than clinker. The one we’re working on is high and dry in the yard of Tamborine Mountain brewery and the owner, a master brewer, is on the job with me when he’s not working his alchemy in the vats.

The boat was, frankly a mess with rotted frames, rotted cockpit and, well, rot in extremis . . . .

The first job was to strip away all the old ply and fittings, saving as much as possible then we ripped out the soft bits and coated what was left in a mixture of thinned BoteCote epoxy plus TRDP preservative. We used an automotive parts cleaning gun to force the thinned mix into all the cavities. Fortunately most of the structure was sound but we needed to replace nearly all of the 50 x 23 stringers in clear Oregon prior to fairing and re-skinning.

Originally the boat was built from 12mm ply but for extra strength I decided to use two layers of 6mm marine with the joints staggered. Once epoxied together the sheeting forms a tough laminated shell over which will go the glass cloth in several layers.

The boat, now half a century old, is quite a shapely thing, reminiscent of a classic S & S or a pre-war racer. There’s a lot to be done but good progress has been made so far and as she’s an Australian classic, one of a dwindling breed, she’s well worth saving.

Interestingly the aft section of the keel has a built-in tank which I suspect was filled up when pressing on to windward in a stiff breeze and emptied out when running downhill. More importantly, the brewery also has an excellent range of traditionally crafted full flavoured cheese and a fine restaurant. This job is good. I’m hoping the client will find another old boat to fix up after this one . . . . . .

Daydream Believer

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Crate News

I recently asked for details of innovative and unusual uses for our delivery crates. The crates are in four different sizes and used to pack the various smaller components sent out with our kits.

The response so far has been, shall we say, lukewarm. While there’s over 300 been sent out and we know of many different uses to which they’ve been put, one competition entry stands out – Bill Thomson in the UK has used his to make the frames for another boat. While the vessel is only part built from the crate it does earn my ingenuity star, particularly as I didn’t think of it first – bummer!

So send your entries in quickly – Bill’s will be a tough one to beat! We’re interested in entries to the following: medical or therapeutic uses, transport, and aids to marital relationships (a nice kitchen display unit perhaps?)

He could at least have recycled the pallet-wrap for the skin, though . . . .

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