Friday, 23 August 2013

Some of the past and present projects undetaken by J-Star Boat Services

 This Mai-Star II as J-Star Boat Services found her as a shell with out decks and looking in a sorry state 
The interior of the boat with the odd bits of old gear still in her after she was given up on my her last owner
This photo is of her after the old paint was removed and a number of repairs were done and just waiting for a new plank to be put in on her port side
This photo is of her cabin roof before it was stripped
This photo is of her fore deck before a new plywood sub deck was fitted
This photo shows the new fore deck being fitted  

 The fore deck finished and the fore deck hatch refitted
This photo is of the cabin roof stripped back and the seams cleared out and filled ready to be covered
This photo shows the cabin roof finished and the cabin sliding hatch refitted as well as the wooden hand rails
This photo is of the end of her first trail sail and showing the crew the stay sail fitting on the top of the gammon iron
This photo is of Jasmine a halcyon Class dinghy with all the seats and stringers removed or unfixed before removing the broken ribs  
The old ribs reoved and the bottom of the boat cleaned ready for the new ribs to be fitted
 This photo shows all the new ribs fitted and the second of the full length plank going in.
This photo shows both full length planks in place
This photo shows the new aft ribs fitted under the aft deck 
This photo shows a River Thames single skiff after it was repaired after it needed two new lengths of plank and a couple of small frames and rowlocks renewing and being rubbed down ready for revarnishing 
The finished skiff after six coats of varnish and just before it when back to the local Thames rowing and punt club  

The boat builders at J-Star Boat Services are experienced sailors and test their workmanship on their client's vessels to ensure before returning them to their owners that the job is done and returned only when we are happy that the job is done.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

The history of GadflyII from 1939 to 2013,but looking for information from years 1973 to 2007?

When you buy any old boat, it is good to try and find out about its history as well as you can. Seeing where it as been and the people who have owned over the years and find out about any stories you can learn from its past owners.

Gadfly II was the second of three boats to have the name of Gadfly and was built by Anderson Rigden & Perkins in Whitstable. Its first owner was a man called Mr H.C.Doughty from Margate in Kent who had it launched in the spring of 1946. although the boat was starting to be built in 1939. From talking to people about the boat it was almost finished before the second world war started, but was put to one side and covered up for the rest of the second world war and finished off and launched in the spring of 1946.

This is where Mr Doughty comes into the picture having already owned Gadfly I otherwise called Gadfly Jack, This he sold her after the war and the one who had Gadfly II finished and launched and owned until the October of 1953 when Lt CDR Bawtree buy her and then sold it to Mr R.M.Parker in July 1955. Then it changed owners again in May 1959 when Mr W.D.Austin bought her.

Her next owner Mrs J.L.Watson bought her in July 1961 to sail her round the Solent with family, I was contacted by her son Charles Watson and he said that the boat was a good sailing boat for its size and the only reason his mother sold Gadfly II was because the family had increase in size and the boat was too small for them all to go on.

The next owner Mr R.J.Watts who owned for sailed her out of Erith Yacht Club but sold her again as he had plans to sail other boats and sold it to Mr E.J.Little who owned it from Dec 1962 to Dec 1968, when Mr F.G.Menden owned it until May 1973 to Mr N.P.Knight from 10th May 1973. It is at this point the trial runs cold, apart from Mr Watts seeing Gadfly II off Pin Mill in Suffolk on the River Orwell and talking to its owner who now called Gadfly II just the The Fly that was in the early 1980's.

It was the last time that have been able to find out where it was and who owned for until I came upon an advert on EBay. That she was a boat in need of a full restoration and was going for a small amount of money. The last owner had started to do some work, but he had not been able to carry on with her restoration and so I bought her and started the long and pain taking job of bring her back to life. This project started in 2007.

The first job was to strip her down to her basic shell and remove all the old paint and varnish off the hull and cabin sides and remove what was left of the decks. Once that was done then start the job of rebuilding the Gadfly II into a sailing yacht once more and get her sailing again.

The rest of the restoration project can be seen on the other posts on the long journey to restore Gadfly II.
If there is anyone who can help fill in the years between 1973 and 2007 could please email me at

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Removing the old ribs and skin fittings out of the cockpit

 The first job of the day was to clear off the surplus wood off the plugs put in the rubbing skates to cover the screws up that are fixing on the stakes.
The next job was to remove the old surplus skin fittings that are no longer needed in the cockpit and fit grading pieces over the old holes.
The old skin fitting for the engine the boat had in for years that was not there when Gadfly II was built.
 This photo is of the exhaust skin fitting which has been removed as is no longer needed and the hole will be used again but a little bit larger to be used as the outlet skin fitting for the manual bilge pump.
The smaller skin fitting will be removed and have it replaced with a skin fitting for the electric bilge pump.
 This photo shows the nails being pinched out of the planking and in one case breaking a bit of planking which will be repaired when the new ribs are fitted.
 This photo is of the edge of the cockpit side deck which has been sanding down before it is sealed with epoxy resin and tape to ensure the deck is watertight. Port side view
                                          Starboard side view
 This photo is of the nail heads being ground off and the nails punched out on the starboard side
  This photo is of the same job on the port side, removing the doubling ribs that are not needed.
This photo is of the ribs having been ground off and the old aft engine bed removed as it is no longer needed  
 This is another photo of the ribs being ground off and one of the rib that has been removed already

Sunday, 4 August 2013

The progress of the refit of Mai-Star II

Over the past couple of weeks the progress as been slow and steady getting different parts of the inside panels and locker lids sorted and rubbed down ready for the new coat of paint or varnish depending of which piece of the interior is being worked on.

This coming week it is hope to start work on the cockpit especially under the cockpit sole where the ribs in the cockpit have been doubled or even had three ribs placed side by side. It appears that in the past it was easier for the boatyard to place new ribs beside the old ribs rather than remove the old ribs and use the old holes rather make new holes. so now taking out these old ribs and putting back just one rib and fitting glued plugs in the old nail holes. This will ensure that the bilge will look tidier and cut down the chance of rot developing between the gaps in the ribs where dirt gets lodged and keeps the area moist and an place where rot starts. Once that is done and the new ribs are in place then the whole area can be primed and painted. Then the cockpit can get the extra floorbearer fitted and the new cockpit sole can be made and fitted. The cockpit seats can be made to fit, so that they can be made to be part of the under deck shelf and also the top of the cockpit lockers that will be under the cockpit seats.

While all this is going on the two bilge pump outlet skin fittings will be replaced and also the manual bilge pump will be re-sited in a new position which will make easier to use.

Once that is done then the cockpit coaming will be fitted after the deck repairs are finished and the boom support fittings are made and fitted to the aft deck.