Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Life of a Boat Builder Part Three

The end of the first year came to a close with all the boats outside the boatyard sheds all tucked up under their covers outside and made safe. In those days they were just left to dry out naturally with the hatches on the boat left just open and so they would keep the air flowing through them. Unlike these days where owners put heaters and dehumidifiers in them. The client's boats got the same treatment as the yard's boats in that the boats were cleaned inside and outside and the insides were washed down and cleaned out and all the floorboards and other loose items were stacked up so there was air flowing around the boat and not closed up.

Then as Christmas was upon us the boatyard closed down for the Christmas break and did not reopen until the New Year. Then it was at this time the boatyard owner would start to get booking for the hire fleet and at the same time get a launching date for any new build we had on the stocks.

So at this time the boatyard was starting to get into high gear with deadlines to meet. Because of the way the boats were either stacked up in the shed or what was needed to be repaired or replaced work would start on these boats first.

Some boats would need new planks, others would need pieces letting in were it was localised damage, where as others just needed a coat of paint or varnish to sort them out. So the next few months were spent repairing all manner of planking be it clinker or carvel. Repairing wooden cabin roofs, making new windscreens, laying new decks with limo or canvas and paint. So the work was varied and interesting and showed me how many of the old boats we looked after were done and the methods used to do these jobs before modern materials took there place.

Some of the jobs were not so nice as, some involved getting under boats and removing antifouling off the bottom of boats where it had got too much on and started to fall off. This was as specially true when you had to do this outside in the winter, when the cold winter winds were blowing off the North Sea and you had to rap up like a teddy bear to keep warm. However, on other days when it was sunny  it was not so bad and a bit of fresh air was always a pleasant change from working in the workshop or the shed rubbing down cabin sides or boat hulls.

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