Saturday, 31 January 2015

Final Week for a while on the Yorkshire Coble

This coming week will be my last week for a while on the restoration of the Yorkshire Coble as I will have finished the wood work part of the boat restoration and it is now time for the Engineer to do his work on the Engine installation and get the fuel and electrics sorted before the boat is re-launched and recommissioned and put to work again.

It has been a long and drawn out affair at times with some jobs taking longer to sort out and other jobs coming to light while doing the job.

All in all it has been an interesting job and one that shows the many different types of boat that my team and I get to work on around the country and sometime abroad.

Last plank going in place

Starting to fit the front end of the plank up to the old scarf joint 
 A close up photo of the plank scarf joint  
 Photo showing the outside view of the plank and its shape

Shoring up the plank into position 
The boats new colours Black White and blue with Red antifouling. 

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Port hand side plank starting to go back in place.

The plank starting to be fitted
 The plank starting to be bend over the frames and fitted top and bottom on to the lands 
 View from the outside showing it shored up in position.

Starting to paint the boat again to make it more like it's old self

The hull is now being painted filled and faired up 
The hull looking a lot bigger now its painted white
 The aft end just waiting for the wear patches to be made and fitted.
 Like most Yorkshire Cobles they have a area in the bow painted a different colour to set them aside from other ones when they are at sea fishing. 

This colouring is similar to a thing they do on Norfolk Crab boats where different families have different colours on their boats to let other fisherman  know who's boat is out fishing.

Making a start on putting port side planks back in

The frames are being sorted out and leveled off before fitting new plank to port side.

Starting to plane the high spots off the old frames before fitting new plank back in place. 

Doing the same job to most of the frames as they were a little high in places along the length of the plank

A photo of the area of the aft end of the plank to be fitted

The new plank being shaped to fit on the boat.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Busy week in North Yorkshire working on a Yorkshire Coble.

This week has been a busy week with new planks being fitted and the boat being painted inside and outside and starting to look more like its old self.

The long plank on the starboard side now refitted and ready for the Rubbing Strakes to be fitted

Having fitted the new plank and painting the hull it was time to fit the first of the Rubbing strakes.

The Rubbing strakes all fitted

All the work done on the starboard side apart from reitting the brass rubbing bands

First coat of undercoat on the inside after two coats of primer

Looking a different boat with a fresh coat of paint

Looking a lot bigger ad brighter with a fresh coat of paint.

Looking lighter and fresher, just a few more coats of paint to go before the inside will be finished off and the engine can go back in.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Life of a Boat Builder Part Six

At the end of the last part of life of a boat builder I was making anew mast for an old Classic Norfolk Broads racing yacht called Maidie.  Along with other jobs around the boatyard repairing and servicing client's boats and help run the boatyards fleet of boats. I had time at the weekends during the racing season to go sailing on my own boat and also clients racing boats around the Northern Norfolk Broads.

This was a great learning curve to see how clients ran their boats and how much time and money it took to run a racing boat on the Cruiser Class racing on the Broads and would stand me in good stead for my later involvement in the James Capel-RYA Crew Search for America's Cup, Admiral Cup and other national and International Regatta's which this completion was done to find crews for these events.

So while work at the boatyard followed a predictable pattern I was able to enjoy my passion for racing a vast amount of different types of yacht from dinghies up to large Broads yachts.

Then my parents got a sea going yacht and my focus on sailing and racing changed, and the fact that they moved the boat from the Norfolk Broads to Woodbridge in Suffolk and then to Ipswich opened up a completely different world to me. Thats another story for later on in the life of a boat builder.

Back to the life of a boat builder, after the mast and the weekends racing yachts around the Norfolk Broads,, during the week was spend as I have said it was repairing clients boats, however towards the end of 1978 I was to help the boss start to build a new wooden crab boat for one of the Davis fishing family. This was going to be my first venture into building a new boat from the keel up.

The first job was to get the building stocks down out of the roof where they had been hanging since the last crab boat he had built a couple of years before. Then get the mould stations down as well and get his note book out which gave him the measurements of the mould positions once the keel. stem and sternpost were made and fitted together and fixed on to the building stocks.

The first job in this whole process was to go out in the yard and look at the crooks and bends for the pieces to make the stem and sternpost and get the piece of seasoned oak for the keel and bring them into the workshop to start working on them to make them into the parts of the boat.

In those days it was before the age of heavy machinery and so a fair amount of this work was done with simple hand tools and basic electric tools. A far cry from the modern way of doing things these day, but it was good education into how to do it if there is little way of modern machinery and skill that is so easily over looked these days.

Once the first three pieces of boat were made they were fixed together with copper bolts and a good layer of red lead paint and then placed on the stocks and braced off the roof beams which the boat was going to be fixed to until the boat was completed.

Once this was all done then the moulds were fixed in place and screwed don on to the keel and braced on to the roof beams and to each other.  Then the long job of spoiling the planks was started, the first plank being the garboard or sand strake ascit is sometimes called was fitted to the boat, this plank more than any other of the planks took the longest to fit as it was fitted along its full length into the keel rebate and into the stem and sternpost, so it was going to be a long job.

Once the first plank the garboard was fitted then came the larch planks which the boat was built out of apart from the garboard and top plank which were made out of oak. So as the weeks progressed the hull of the new crab boat appeared as like magic from a log of larch on the floor to a thing of beauty.

Finally the hull was finished and the time had come to fit it out. First the green oak ribs had to be made up and put in the steamer and cooked for a couple of hours so that they could bend into position in the boat, these ribs were full length ribs from gunwale to gunwale and was a four man job with two men outside driving copper nails into the hot oak ribs while the two men inside pushed the ribs down into position and drilled the pilot hole for the copper nails to be driven into by the two outside the boat. This job had to be done at speed as the oak ribs would cool off quickly and not be able to bend into position.

The next job after fitting all the ribs was to clinch all the nails up with copper roves and then the long job of cutting and shaping wedges to go under every rib on the hull so as to stop any of the planks from splitting up the middle when the boat came ashore after fishing and was full of fish or crabs depending on the time of year.

Then next part of the life of boat builder will be about the fitting out of the crab boat and the next couple of boats I help to built with the boss.          

Sunday, 4 January 2015

A New Year and an exciting time at J-Star Boat Services

The start of a New Year and a view to the future as the country comes out of one of the worse recession for a long time. It is now time to look forward to better times ahead. Here at J-Star we have a steady run of jobs to see us through to the Summer with a number of new projects and a number of ongoing project to finish over the coming weeks and months.

We also have to get our own boats ready for the season and get our new clinker dinghy finished off and ready for it debut showing later in the year.

The main push on the home front is to get our sailing challenge yacht finished and afloat for May so it can undergo  sea trials before doing the sailing challenge in the summer.

Other work underway at present is the major refit of the Yorkshire Coble with a number of new planks and rubbing skates that need replacing and a new engine fitted and the sterngear in need of sorting out.

Then we got a new one off project that as come in over the Christmas break which the team are looking forward to tackling.

Also the steady stream of old clients needing their boats got ready for the new season that is not far away.