restoring a 1919 Colin Archer

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by ironbearmarine, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. ironbearmarine
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    Location: Alameda, Ca

    ironbearmarine Junior Member

    Hello,
    I would like to share my current project with the group. I am restoring a very solidly built Colin Archer design ketch, that started its life as a work boat, then yacht/world cruiser, and before coming to me, a floating storage shed. I am not new to big projects, nor big wooden boats long on labor and short on funds. The current vessel is 40 ft on deck and 14 ft. abeam. She is iron framed and every timber is out of teak. Massive knees and deck beams. The deck is 2x3 inch planks and her skin is 2 inch thick planks 10 inch wide. Inside you can see the adze marks where the planks were carved to fit close against the frames. I have owned her 5 years, and have done no work on her save keeping her clean, and dry. I took possession of her as a bare hull with new masts, standing rigging, and a solid comprehensive survey. This summer I started working on her. My first project was reefing out her deck and caulking it. I started that by bleaching and cleaning the deck with an off the shelf two part cleaner, which also helped loosen the old caulking material.
    To break up the monotony of that job I went looking for dry rot. and found it near the cockpit port side. Today I'll be pulling the rotted timbers to see how far it goes.
     

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  2. peter radclyffe
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    peter radclyffe Senior Member

    iron frames, who designed & built her
     
  3. ironbearmarine
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    ironbearmarine Junior Member

    The documents say that it is German built, but not by whom. The designer, it says, is Colin Archer. Her port of registry before 1975 was Casablanca, Morocco, with French ownership.
     
  4. RHP
    Joined: Nov 2005
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    RHP Senior Member

    What a lovely boat, wish you the best of luck. Its going to be a labour of love with a bit of blood, sweat and tears thrown in as well no doubt!

    Richard
     
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  5. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Do the doc.s say where in Germany?
     
  6. ironbearmarine
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    ironbearmarine Junior Member

    My documents do not say where in Germany. Most of what I have is from 1949 on, when she was French owned. Her owner from the late 1970's said she was Bristol down below when he sold it to a pair of Afrikaans. It was they who stripped out her interior and used it as a warehouse. I bought her as a bare hull from another owner. I was going to put in a spartan interior, as the primary goal was to get her sailing again. Last spring I got a call from a man with a heavy Germanic accent. He said he saw the vessel at my dock and asked if I would like to have its interior and hardware, as he had it stored in his basement. We struck a deal, and I cleared my calender and started working full time on it.
     
  7. Marco1
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Marco1 Senior Member

    I can believe you found the original interior after 40 years?
    Incredible!
     
  8. ironbearmarine
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    ironbearmarine Junior Member

    Yes, after all those years to have so much land in my lap, the interior plus running rigging, ground tackle, and significantly, a treasure trove of documents, logs and manuals. Also sail plans and drawings of the below decks layout. You can see that NOW was the time to start the work.
     
  9. ironbearmarine
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    ironbearmarine Junior Member

    More on La Creole

    Here is a shot of her interior as of today. The frames most decayed were those which supported the chain plates that are set inboard of the bulwarks. Originally the frames were likely hot formed to lofted drawings on a workshop floor. I designed and built a hand operated machine that will allow me to cold form replacement frames, which are made of 2 inch by 2 inch by 1/4 inch angle iron (which is mild steel). I also have a bench mounted hand operated hole punch to add the holes for the fasteners. Lots of sweat, not many tears, and no blood, but the day is young!
    The other photo is of the old girl at my docks in my back yard as it were. There is also an 1896 steam tug that I couldn't bear to see end up in a dumpster. Haven't the time to deal with it this year!
     

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  10. peter radclyffe
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    peter radclyffe Senior Member

    you may like to put a gasket of tarpaper, roofing felt under the frames in the bilge, maybe white mastic above the waterline where it gets hot & may melt the tar
     
  11. peter radclyffe
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    peter radclyffe Senior Member

    if you have problems bevelling, if you get a press you can press into the angle to change the bevel, with an angled former underneath
     
  12. peter radclyffe
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    peter radclyffe Senior Member

  13. ironbearmarine
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    ironbearmarine Junior Member

    The roofing felt is a good idea for a substrate between the frame and planking. I was thinking of nylon re-enforced pvc sheet cut to strips (like Hypalon).
    I was also going to try 2 inch channel iron. I am also building a small but powerful English wheel to smooth out the sinclastic and inclastic forms of the frames. Working metal has been my meat for 40+ years.
     
  14. peter radclyffe
    Joined: Mar 2009
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    peter radclyffe Senior Member

    please excuse me, i did not know, for sure you must know how to do this
     

  15. ironbearmarine
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    ironbearmarine Junior Member

    Please! I didn't mean to sound off putting at all. I was just sharing what I know. You have a very impressive history, and it is a pleasure and honor to exchange and share knowledge and experiences with you.
     
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