Friday, April 20, 2012

New Window Frames and Deck Planks

Brian with a new section of wheelhouse framing
New wheelhouse window framing going in.
A lot of work has been accomplished in the last few weeks. Much of the bow and wheelhouse has been rebuilt, including planking and ribs, the framing holding up the wheelhouse and windows, decking around the bow, and the pywood sheathing on the wheelhouse itself.

Before the work started in February we thought we had a pretty good idea of what need to be replaced on the boat. However, the years of sitting outside had done more damage than we had anticipated.

Water had gotten into more of the boat's wood than we had thought when we surveyed the boat in March of 2011.

This winter was very cold and the waterlogged wood in the boat was frozen solid when work began in February. As the boat thawed out in the heated boat shed, planks, timbers, and plywood which seemed solid and sound was revealed to have been merely frozen. This meant more wood to be replaced, which caused the schdule to slip.

We now anticipate the boat work  to be largely completed June 1, rather than May 15.

Don Corwin nailing down new plywood on the wheelhouse roof.

New fir decking

Looking down at the bow before the new
decking was installed

Wheelhouse before the new window frames were installed

Monday, April 2, 2012

New Ribs, New Planks

Ty Harper and young helpers pounding in a rib
Over the past few weeks, Brian, don, and the volunteers have been driving in new ribs and replacing rotten planks. Brian informs us that on yachts, old ribs are usually removed by drinding out the nails or screws holding them to the frame, and then sawing or cutting them out in sections. On old fishing boats where aesthetics are not so important, the old ribs are often left in place and new "sister," ribs are hammered down in the spaces between them. This is what's being done on the Thelma C.

The routine is this: First,  two-inch by two-inch by ten-foot long ribs are cut from two-inch by ten inch oak planks, which are then sawn in half lengthwise, right up to a few inches short of one end. This split piece of wood is then steam heated in long box made Brian made out of stryofoam and wood until it is supple. Two volunteers then stand the split end of the rib-to-be and bend it by hand over their heads as far as they can. While the wood is still warm this bend will hold long enough to help it be hammered down into the hull, between the outside hull planks and the inside hull framing. The ribs are hammered until they bottomout on the keel. Excesss rib length on top is cut off flush with the deck once the hull planking is screwed into the rib.

Marnie Liest removing old caulking
Rotten planks are removed by drilling out the screws or nails and pulling out the caulking with a curved chisel-like tool. New fir planks are cut to fit in the shop, beveled so as to allow for caulking to wdge them into each other, and trimmed by hand to a snug fit before being screwed to the ribs.

Brian Johnson fitting a new plank.
New planks and ribs.
New planks on the bow
Ty Harper inspects the hull planking over newly installed ribs.