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 Post subject: Work on Planet, N12 N672 1948
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 2:29 pm 
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Location: West Sussex
As part of our recent transaction I have now taken on Planet from Stephen Hawkins. I've thought about this for over a year but since my other boats are now serviceable (if not watertight) I needed another project. Many of my earlier reservations were based on the fact that she is painted and under that paint various repairs were clearly to be seen...and when I asked Steve where she leaked he replied 'Everywhere'.

My first job was to remove screwed down floor boards. Apart from revealing Chris Barlow's replacement ribs on port side I found 12 broken ribs on starboard side plus one more to port. In this pic they are marked by the red bits of tape.

ImageDSC01484 by dralowid, on Flickr

Then I had a go at the hull.

ImageDSC01481 by dralowid, on Flickr

Plenty of insulating tape(?) woven glass tape, some gap filling glue, old cracked putty and a fair amount of silicone. Interesting to note that the paint adhered far better than the tape, indeed some of this stripped of very easily. Bits of the boat look as if they have suffered under the administartion of a blow torch.

Now I have revealed significant cracks on the three planks either side of the keel in the centreboard area and further aft too.

ImageDSC01477 by dralowid, on Flickr

Also curious joins in the garboard that look very old and may be original though that doesn't smack of good boatbuilding in a 12 ft boat which I would expect to have had full length planks.

ImageDSC01488 by dralowid, on Flickr

ImageDSC01471 by dralowid, on Flickr

So what next? This is where I am looking for input from 'them what know'.

The boat has what is fashionably known as a 'soggy bottom'. The starboard side flexes quite easily when pressed with the heel of the hand but that is hardly surprising. It is also slightly out of shape around one of the garboard joins but I doubt there is much I can do about that. The cracked planks have little lateral strength but seem OK fore and aft.

I am not up for replacing planks on this scale so the first job is to mend and strengthen the ribs to try and prevent the weak planks from flexing so much. I will replace or scarf in repairs on the broken ribs. I will then laminate another rib onto the existing ones running from keel up out of the damaged area and ending where the runs is fairly flat and not too curved so as not to create a pressure point. In effect this will make the 3/8'' thick ribs 3/4" thick under the floorboards and around the centreboard. If the planks were in better shape I wouldn't need to do this but I reckon they need all the help they can get.

Then I need to consider what to do with the joins in the garboard. I don't particularly want to scarf in another bit of plank because that just makes for more joins. I may patch on the inside and do something epoxyish on the outside.

Cracked planks? Clean all the muck out of the planks and where possible epoxy in fine fillets...unless some has a better idea.

I'd better hurry off down to the boatyard now, he's about to order some green oak for another rib repair job and if I can tack my requirements onto his a few £££s will be saved.

Interested to hear your thoughts about my approach

Michael

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 Post subject: Re: Work on Planet, N12 N672 1948
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 4:36 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:41 am
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Location: The much maligned Swindon Town
Michael,

I am glad to see you have started this thread. Although I am a little embarrassed.

Was there still a wood shortage in 1948, when this boat was built? With regard to the plank lengths.

Its seems that the floor boards were multi-tasking. I.e. keeping her together, hiding her weaknesses and providing the crew with somewhere to put ones feet. Could this have been towing damage, considering the other weaknesses? I certainly never let anyone get in her whilst on shore.

Even though she looks bad, when I sailed her last (last summer) we could still happily keep up with the 'leak rate', although at that time we probably had a drip from every nail hole. But I am shocked about the amount of broken ribs. A cup or two every leg to keep on top of it.

I look forward to seeing your progress. And I would like to come down to steam some ribs one weekend - just for the experience.

As I mentioned at the time, I might have been tempted to sacrifice the floor boards for repairs to the rest of the boat, and make up a set of new ones out of ply. Paint them in non-slip to brighten up the cockpit.

Regards

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1967 National 12 2383 "Sparkle"


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 Post subject: Re: Work on Planet, N12 N672 1948
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 6:38 pm 
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Location: West Sussex
Steve, the floor board would have stiffened things longitudinally but not laterally which is where the problem really lies but yes, they did a good job of concealing the breaks in the ribs which I think are old. By the way, the aforementioned boards are only pine or something similar, just a soft wood.

I don't know if the boat has been dropped at some point in its life, there are certainly signs of it being crushed or whacked hard on both sides because of cracks around the ends of the thwart as if it has been squeezed.

As to leak rate, I am familiar with leaks, my Tideway manages around a bucket an hour and worse if beating hard, in other words it sinks slowly. Afloat, upright with no one in it, it doesn't appear to leak at all...another job for the winter. The Merlin also leaks from a patch but this has been staunched with Gorilla tape.

Thanks for the offer of help, let's see how I get on, will need to find the wall paper stripper/steamer and someone has borrowed my old bit of soil pipe!

Michael

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 Post subject: Re: Work on Planet, N12 N672 1948
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 1:08 pm 
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Location: The much maligned Swindon Town
Just goes to show what a lot of old varnish does. I thought that since they were so dark, and had so many holes in them, that the floor boards must have been made of something similar to the hull.

There you go.

But your pictures seem to have got everyone running for cover......

Keep in touch.

Cheers

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 Post subject: Re: Work on Planet, N12 N672 1948
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 3:59 pm 
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Location: West Sussex
Newly devised mini rib steamer works a treat, just enough puff for thin ribs, 20 mins seems enough. Would you believe that someone has borrowed the wallpaper stripper to actually strip wallpaper?! Note Citroen suspension gaiter which has finally come in handy (Citroen long gone)

ImageDSC01489 by dralowid, on Flickr

Various methods employed to hold down cooling (or laminating) ribs. Mini mole grips and Lidl clamps. Cracked planks clearly visible...ho ho...

ImageDSC01498 by dralowid, on Flickr

Most recent mistake, sanding down the end of a bit of green oak before steaming. Went black in the steamer...must be something in the sandpaper grit?

A modus operandi is developing based on roughly an easy hour's work a day which suits me fine. Can't spend too long with my head in the bottom of a boat, summer isn't over yet and there is sailing to be done.

Michael

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 Post subject: Re: Work on Planet, N12 N672 1948
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:38 pm 
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Great progress! Keep it coming.

Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Work on Planet, N12 N672 1948
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:29 am 
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Posts: 159
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Stephen Hawkins wrote:
Michael,



Was there still a wood shortage in 1948, when this boat was built? With regard to the plank lengths.




My father built a sharpie in the 50s and had to go up and down the street buying peoples wood ration tickets from them. The only wood he could find readily available was 6 foot "coffin lengths"

Graham

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Osprey 1340, Osprey 1245, Osprey 55, Miracle 1358, Laser heap, ancient Mirror kit half assembled, Project Miracle in need of decks........
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 Post subject: Re: Work on Planet, N12 N672 1948
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:26 am 
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Location: Gosport, UK
Graham T wrote:
Stephen Hawkins wrote:
Michael,



Was there still a wood shortage in 1948, when this boat was built? With regard to the plank lengths.




...The only wood he could find readily available was 6 foot "coffin lengths"

Graham


Just as well it was a Sharpie then! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Work on Planet, N12 N672 1948
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 10:06 am 
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Location: West Sussex
...and didn't they put aluminium decks on Fireflies because of a shortage of ply?

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 Post subject: Re: Work on Planet, N12 N672 1948
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 10:35 am 
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Firefly 114 still had the ali decks, complete with brass screws, in the 80s. Can only think salt was never added!

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 Post subject: Re: Work on Planet, N12 N672 1948
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:52 pm 
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Location: somerset
Interested to see Planet is getting some good attention. Well done! I owned her for a few years about ten years ago and at fisrt she was fairly dry but then started to leak and I replaced at least one rib I seem to remember and I think it was because the garboard plank had opened up. It looks as if the garboard is ripe for replacing really. I have done this on MR 36 and it isn't too difficult if you are prepared to be patient.

I also remember scraping out a lot of car body filler on the keel edge and replacing with epoxy filler. As far as I can recall that was all I did. I could see that other planks had been repaired.

If planks dry so much and they crack badly and then get filled with epoxy, what happens then when the boards take up water again? - they will swell but can't return to their original width as there is now hard epoxy adding a few mm so they end up wider than they would have been and that will be enough to crack brittle ribs. Something to bear in mind if you are going to fill gaps and splits. Epoxy may not be the answer to everything.
It is true that sun is able to kill a boat as much if not more than water!


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 Post subject: Re: Work on Planet, N12 N672 1948
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 1:33 pm 
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Location: West Sussex
Currently I am working up the ribs. When I have got them all back in and the boat is more stable I will turn my attention to the planks. I am still open minded as to the solution so welcome any suggestions. Unfortunately it is not really just a case of replacing the garboards. If I were going to go down this route I reckon two maybe three planks a side would need to be replaced. Hmmm.

I take the point about the problems that hard epoxy, fillets etc can cause when planks take up but really wonder just how much a 'dry sailed' boat actually takes up?

Alternatively I've used Sikaflex and similar with success on the Tideway, both on lands and cracks, using a very small bead of the stuff. I know some people don't like it but it is easy to use, remains flexible (ish) and it is not difficult to make a neat job. So far it has lasted two years.

Any advice welcome

Michael

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 Post subject: Re: Work on Planet, N12 N672 1948
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:38 am 
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Location: West Sussex
Quick update...

All broken ribs done.

Where necessary I've steamed and scarfed in repair sections, then I have steamed and laminated another rib onto the existing one running out three planks either side of the keel. All screws (that I can reach) holding the ribs the keel/hog have been removed and replaced with s/bronze screws. All the original screws on the boat appear to crumble to nothing... The boat is now much stiffer, and looks roughly the right shape.

This repair will be all but hidden by the bottom boards which will now sit approx 3/8ths higher than they used to.

First pic shows steamed new ribs clamped in place and cooling. Note use of Lidl clamps and thin nosed mole wrenches which are great for holding things down on a clinker boat.

ImageDSC01539 by dralowid, on Flickr

Second pic shows ribs laminated in place but not cleaned up.

ImageDSC01579 by dralowid, on Flickr

Next job will be dealing with the daylight. Work now on hold, winter months to be spent fettling the rest of the fleet.

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 Post subject: Re: Work on Planet, N12 N672 1948
PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:13 am 
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Great to see Michael. She will be a lovely boat to sail when you are finished.

Cheers

Steve Hawkins

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 Post subject: Re: Work on Planet, N12 N672 1948
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:58 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:41 am
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Location: The much maligned Swindon Town
Micheal,

I was reading a book yesterday about racing dinghy maintenance, written by the designer of your Merlin Rocket. The book was written in the early 50's. He suggests that to get the cracks to close up, the wood needs to get wet, not by attempting to fill the boat with water and springing all the planks, but by turning it over and using whetted cloth sacking on the outside. The splits have occurred as the boat has been allowed to dry out too much.

It might help, but not whilst its frosty. I will pass the book on to you, when I have finished reading it.

Cheers

Steve Hawkins

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