Changing the world, one site at a time…
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Removal of upper rubbing strake.

Just how many bloody screws are there?

Another day spent unscrewing. We are amazed just how many screws there are in the upper rubbing strake.

Every time we remove a layer of timber, we find another set of screws underneath. The original brass screws are in fairly good condition and can usually be persuaded to come out. However there seems to be a lot of steel screws employed as well – presumably not original.

Most of these are either stuck solid, necessitating cutting around them with a hole saw, or the heads just shear off completely and the shank has to be removed with a pair of mole grips.

We've discovered there is a softwood strip wedged in all the
At the last count, we have removed 561 screws and we're pretty sure it will be over a thousand when we've finished.
way around the boat between the hull and topsides. This is absolutely saturated and completely rotten. Unfortunately this piece appears to be screwed on from inside and outside of the boat. Needless to say, when we replace it, it will only be screwed in from the outside!

All the destructive work is a little disheartening, but needs to be done before we can start on the more rewarding aspects of her restoration. Still, the weather last weekend was fantastic and it was nice to be able to get stuck in!

A useful discovery

We were wondering what timber to use to replace the external woodwork. We want to paint the hull black, therefore wanted something a bit lighter than any of the mahogany or mahogany a-likes.

So it was either teak of Iroko. It didn't take long to decide against teak – we simply can't afford it!! So Iroko it is then…

Having spent some time on-line looking for suppliers, we came across a company that sells smooth Iroko decking in various widths but all 20mm thick. It appears to be pretty straight grained so should be ok to use. Luckily 20mm is about the thickness we need for the strakes and it's available in long lengths as well.

With luck, a little tickle with a thicknesser should be all it needs. We think we'll take the plunge when the time comes as its much cheaper the normal Iroko stock.

Still trying to decide whether to laminate up thin strips of timber around the bow section or to try and steam bend it.

Haven't tried steam bending before, so it could be interesting! Must admit to being a bit worried about bending Iroko due to its heavily interlocked grain.

On the other hand, we're not that keen on the look of a laminated strake, so we'll probably give the steam bending a go.

We'll need to construct a fairy big former to match the bow – in fact we'll probably make the curve a bit sharper to allow for a little spring-back in the timber.

Will probably fashion a steam box from drainage pipe as a plywood steam box of the length we'll need would be enormous!

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The screws we have removed so far!
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Wood rot in the upper rubbing strake!
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The softwood packing at the hull-to-topsides joint has almost completely rotted away.
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Starting to remove the rubbing strake from the bow
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Another pile of rotten timber beginning to grow