Friday, September 27, 2013

The Tale of Two Boats

There are two boats in the shop these days. One is Misleading Lady, the 1928 Ventnor Boat Company craft which has nearly completed a thorough and meticulous restoration, and the 1970 vintage Beetle Cat sailboat, which is just beginning hers.  The Ventnor is receiving coat after coat of stain, sealer, and varnish and is taking on a bright, deep luster.  Every day she looks more yachty and more grand. At the same time, the Beetle is shedding parts and looking increasing forlorn.  In wooden boat restoration, as in many aspects of life, things tend to get worse before they get better.

Newt sands a side deck, in preparation for staining
Nearly there.
Last week, the Beetle gave up her coaming, rubrails, and deck canvas.  This week, she lost a few deck planks and is close to being divested of her centerboard trunk.  The trunk, just like virtually every centerboard trunk, leaks, and must be removed, inspected, and either repaired or replaced.  In the case of the Beetle, disassembling and removing the centerboard trunk involved removal of three foredeck planks, including the king plank, in order to gain access.  Then several members designed to brace the trunk against the deck beams could be removed. 

The process was complicated by the fact that the deck planks were fastened with copper ring nails which had corroded to the point where they had essentially become one with the surrounding wood.  Finally, we decided to drill around each nail with a bung cutter to remove the king plank.  While the plank will need to be replaced, it remains intact as a pattern for its replacement.

John and Lee prepare to remove the king plank to gain access to the centerboard trunk.
Jeff pounds out the brace holding the trunk in place.

The brace is removed and the entire trunk is accessible.
The sides of the centerboard trunk are fastened to the head ledges with through bolts, which were removed fairly easily.  Additionally, several copper ring nails had been added for good measure.  Removing them was not so easy.

Aft end of the centerboard trunk.  Nearly all the through bolts have been knocked out.
Once the trunk has been completely loosened, we will flip the boat to remove the trunk and begin to work on the planks.

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