A major watershed in Dorothy‘s restoration was reached today as Tony drilled 4 silicon bronze bolts into the new floor straps, fixing them firmly to the keel. (see above. Below are the forward floors as viewed from the hatch last May, with mast step removed.)
This structural repair up forward has been a long-thought through process that began last April (see photos in this news update) as Tony ripped out the floor and straps, pried up the mast step, knocked out the galvanized bolts that were loosely knocking about in half inch holes because the metals had corroded the wood, and began seriously contemplating how to pull together lap joint that had become separated by about 3/8th” from the keel and stem – if it were even possible…
This last piece of business is quite serious, because all of Dorothy’s spot repairs over the years have been done around…
Despite having a week off work, and despite that week being largely sunny and dry, and even though the injections in my knuckles are finally starting to take effect, events have conspired to keep me distracted from my boat building. An Easter weekend invasion, a welcome one, but an invasion nonetheless, kept us busy with campfires and singalongs.
So it was an action packed sunny break and back at work I’m wondering when I am going to be able to squeeze in some boat work. The mast step is very slowly progressing and I’ve been scavenging plywood offcuts to make templates for replacement frames. General consensus seems to be, that sistering frames (bolting a new frame or section of frame next to an existing one) is a bit of a bodge, resulting in weak spots and extra weight. It looks likes there are around half a dozen frames that could really do with replacing so the next job will be to make templates with a hot glue gun and skinny ply then make a former and laminate some up in oak. Squeezing them in in one piece may be impossible so I might need to look at making them in two bits.
I also tried my hand at converting some of the felled larch into beams….. and despite my little hairy helpers.
The result was less than satisfactory.
I’ve invested in a chainsaw planking guide from http://www.fisher-direct.co.uk/ (arborist supplies and equipment). It is reasonably priced and I’ll let you know how I get on. An article in Classic Boat about a builder who bought a plot of woodland and felled enough larch and oak to build a 26 foot yacht has inspired me to think about planking and seasoning the larch rather than make it into beams for the deck of the cabin in the woods. After all Flamingo will need a tender, 🙂 and larch might be a good substitute for Pitch Pine when it comes to her own planking repairs.