60ft oak on oak restoration project

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by kwerkus, Sep 19, 2015.

  1. kwerkus
    Joined: Sep 2015
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    Location: UK South Coast

    kwerkus Junior Member

    Ahoy!

    I'm new to the forum and this is my first post so a friendly hello (hi!) from me and also a quick thank you to the many knowledgeable folk here for sharing your wisdom; there's some very helpful and valuable advice on these pages and long may that continue!

    I've owned, sailed & lived on ferro & plastic boats before but have very little knowledge of wooden boats, beyond the very basic stuff one picks up from quayside beers here & there anyway. So it was probably more than a little hare-brained when, yesterday, I purchased an old wooden MFV conversion, neglected and in need of much (MUCH) work! :eek:

    She was originally built in 1956 as a North Sea MVF/trawler, 60ft LOA, carvel construction. A surveyor reported her scantlings outmatched requirements by some margin; she has sawn frames of 4.5inch (doubled) & 6.5inch with frame spacing of 18inch centres, deck beams of 5.5inch, all oak. Her hull planking is all 3inch oak.

    A previous owner was in the process of converting her to a gaff ketch several years ago but was forced to sell her on before he could complete the task. The last owner used her as a static live aboard but for the last two years or so she has been unused, neglected and is now in need of much love (and no doubt cold hard cash too!).

    Her current deck is douglas fir planking but the whole lot needs replacing; a ply sub deck has been added at some point and water has worked it's way between the sub deck & planking, rotting both severely in several places. The poor water-tight integrity of the deck and the lack of ventilation down below has allowed rot to develop in several places, mostly linings/partitions/sole boards but also some beams/frames, a few of which might need renewing. At least 9 hull planks need renewing, very likely several more once a detailed out of water inspection can be undertaken.

    So, there is much to do!

    I'll post some photos and updates etc here once things get underway but in the meantime, I'm seeking some advice/guidance and would welcome any pointers :)

    Can anyone recommend some good wooden boat building books?

    Oak:
    Do you know where to source suitable oak in the UK?
    What is suitable oak exactly (fresh/air dried/green/kiln, white/other oak, type of cut etc)?
    Do you know if there is a wooden boat builder in the UK specialising in oak?
    Can you recommend a good wooden boat builder in Hampshire?
    With what does one treat and/or paint oak frames/planks?

    Deck:
    What is the benefit of a ply sub deck?
    What woods can be used for the deck planking?
    Which would you recommend?
    With what are they treated/painted with?
    Can I use any other material for the deck?

    Please feel free to post any opinions, questions, related info etc. I'll be grateful for any and all feedback & suggestions!

    Cheers,
    Kwerkus
     
  2. Tad
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Tad Boat Designer

  3. rasorinc
    Joined: Nov 2007
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    Location: OREGON

    rasorinc Senior Member

    You want to use dry white oak though if you have live oak where you live it would be slightly lighter (dry) NEVER CONSIDER RED OAK.
     
  4. rasorinc
    Joined: Nov 2007
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    Location: OREGON

    rasorinc Senior Member

    A ply sub deck gives you a solid surface to lay the top planks on.so they are fully supported and can be fully glued unlike planks that span 18" or 24". Also, depending on ply thickness plank thickness can be reduced. Western red ceder top grade can be a beautiful deck and is very durable and does not rot. it is soft so needs a hard finish coating. With a sub deck you can use wood tiles for a decking top.
     
  5. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six Previous Member

    All wood will rot, including Western Red Cedar.

    WRC is extremely resistant to most types of rot, but is not completely immune. WRC will last for decades literally buried in the ground, but will eventually rot.
     
  6. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    The South coast of the UK has many top notch shipwrights. Your best bet would be to hire one to do the hard/technical work and you help along to lower the cost. Books are OK, but they are not enough to learn everything. It is a common amateur mistake to start a job and damage more than gets fixed. By the time they learn enough, they realize the disaster they caused.
     
  7. rasorinc
    Joined: Nov 2007
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    Location: OREGON

    rasorinc Senior Member

    I meant to say Western Red Ceder petrified and age dated to 1,000 years BC does not rot.
    My apologies. PS hard to find and very expensive.
     
  8. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six Previous Member

    It is? In Oregon?

    Here in Seattle, it's quite easy to find, although it's not cheap.

    There are entire lumberyards dedicated to cedar here. I'm very surprised that it's hard to find in Oregon.
     
  9. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    WRC isn't remotely suitable for a decking, even if it's veneer. It's too soft, doesn't hold fasteners well and again, proves that Jammer should just stick with his tract home building expertise.

    There's really only one good way to make a deck. This is a plywood substrate, of sufficient thickness to serve alone, covered with a minimum of two layers of 6 ounce (200 gsm) cloth, then if desired, covered with a sacrificial wooden deck. The solid wood portion can be a veneer or thicker, but in both cases the fasteners are bonded, if the deck isn't just glued in place. This produces a tight, stiff and leak free deck and if covered with solid wood, looks just like a laid deck, without any of the drawbacks they offer.

    This isn't to say you can't have a traditional laid deck, but is to say that a plywood substrate, under a traditional looking deck, will stiffen the boat and be leak free.

    As far as the OP's questions, Tad and Gonzo are correct, in your area, the local builders will have a good idea of the appropriate species available, for your application. You have a fair number of choices for traditional work, but you'd probably be best advised to seek out a more modern builder.

    Stan, live oak (63 lbs. cu. ft.) is heavier and more desirable than white oak (47 lbs. cu. ft.), if you can live with the 25% weight difference. Red has its place, but typical is continuously immersed in salt water (deadwood, appendages, etc.) or well protected inside the boat.
     
  10. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six Previous Member

  11. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    So you know how to use Google, that's amazing, but WRC dents too easily and doesn't hold fasteners worth a damn, in spite of it's use in your tract home business. Typical yacht decking is teak and workboats employ pitch pine or other dense, oily species, all for obvious reasons. Check out the physical attributes compared to WRC and see where you opinion stands (wanting as usual). Aren't they calling you over at hammerswingers.com?
     
  12. SukiSolo
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Most of the oak in the UK is European with two main types. The OP would do well to contact these guys near Midhurst. I've bought oak from them before and it was of very good quality. I believe they can do beams up to 600 X 600mm square at quite long lengths....;)

    http://www.wlwest.co.uk/

    Also worth using are these guys.

    http://www.goodwillies.co.uk/

    For soft woods like WR Cedar and some hardwoods like Sapele, Utile etc Sydenhams, just outside Fareham on the A32 are useful too.

    If you want to replace the deck 'cover' with Doug Fir, the UK grown stuff is too fast grown - it just thrives here in Hants. You would need some imported slow grown stuff from the Pacific NW. My local Doug Fir trees have anything from 3 to almost 10mm as annual growth rings!, still useable for some things though.
     
  13. kwerkus
    Joined: Sep 2015
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    kwerkus Junior Member

    Thank you all for the advice & useful links, much appreciated. I'll be removing all of the existing subdeck & deck planks and I'm definitely leaning towards the idea of 2 layers of ply, sealed, epoxy glassed then painted & will consider a deck 'cover'. My only hesitation is that a boat designer suggested elsewhere that an epoxied ply deck can be bad practice on certain hull structures as it is far too rigid and doesn't allow much movement at deck level, which can result in the tranfer of stresses to, or exagerated movement in, other parts of the structure. Whereas traditional planked decks, with all their inherrent drawbacks, do allow much greater flexibility of the structural components. Does that make sense/is it anything I need to consider?

    I also read elsewhere that epoxied ply decks don't allow the boat to "breathe" properly, although I found that mystifying given the goal is a watertight deck! I'm very likely to go with the ply option, I just want to ensure there's no potential adverse implications I need to consider. Any thoughts/opinions on the above?

    Cheers,
    Neal
     
  14. peter radclyffe
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    peter radclyffe Senior Member

    i did some work removing sterntubes, rebuilding the logs, and reboring, , re .aligning and replacing the shafts , tubes, A brackets and props on an old 72 ft silver motor yacht, for one of the companies mentioned, above, because they didnt know how to do it, they pulled the yacht apart regardless of measureme ts or documentation, much as a vandal would destroy a bus shelter, and left me, arriving weeks later to put it all back together, so be careful who you choose
     

  15. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I'm not sure what "boat designer" you talked with, but they're nuts. Many a classic yacht, with it's origional laid decks has been saved, simply with the addition of a plywood deck, which serves to stop movement (what you want) and stiffen the upper portion of the "beam", if you look at the boat from an engineering standpoint. If you view a boat as a structure, it's a complex truss or box beam, maybe even a girder sort of thing. The keel and/or deadwood serve as the lower portion of the truss or box/girder flange, while the deck the upper portion, with the bulkheads and partitions the intermediate triangulation (webs). A stiff upper section will stabilize the structure and this is what you want.

    Second, this "breathing" thing is literally a bunch of crap. Bridges don't breath, nor do skyscrapers, why boats? Flexibility is desirable and plywood will offer this, but breathing? Really, this is someone talking out their butt.

    Simply put, an old carvel (for example) does have some movement, but as built (new) it's designed to minimize this movement, as best as the building method permits. In fact, the best thing you can do to a boat like this is, make it "whole" again, by restoring the rigidity of the structure, it's joint stiffness and pounding the planking hard again with new caulk. What happens is an old hull starts to "work" (read undesirable movement) and this stresses all the fasteners, joints and fastener holes open up, causing more movement. All of this is bad. The proper fix is to remove as much of this movement as you can, so the frames are fixed, the fastener holes filled and refastened, planking pounded tight again, making it as it was or as close as practical, to when it was built - stiff, tight and strong, with minimal movement.

    A plywood deck does this much easier and much more effectively, with longer durability, if done right. Anyone that says "these boats need to move" or "have to breath" just doesn't understand the engineering behind their structures and are living on old wives tail BS.
     
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