Fixing up old boats is hard, expensive and dirty work. If you doubt it, even for a moment, consider this weblog, which demonstrates a truth that applies even to boats with GRP hulls. Mind, she’ll be wonderful when she’s done…
This lovely rowing boat built by P Siddall of Bridlington – but its Dutch owner, Ton Jansse, is in need of knowledge and advice on how best to proceed. He has already asked how to replace the missing bits of strake, how the interior should be laid out, what kind of paint to use and what colours would have been used originally.
He’s clearly the kind of chap who wants to do it the right way.
If anyone can fill in some of the gaps in terms of paint and colours, interior and so on – and if anyone has photos of similar boats, please let me know at email@example.com, as usual.
But perhaps the biggest question, I think, is the one about how to obtain the necessary boatbuilding skills. Short of going on a course (desirable, probably, but not always practical), what do readers think an amateur’s best sources are these days?
Oxfordshire-based Philip Burton is building a Julie skiff – and once it’s done we’re naturally very much looking forward to being able to call by to see it in action on the river. Here’s what he says:
‘I have spent the last few months building my first boat which I choose to be a Julie skiff.
‘I live in Oxford uk and I’m sure you will be aware that the river Thames runs right through our beautiful university city, so I’m really looking forward to getting the boat in the water very soon.
‘I am very impressed how easy it was to follow your plans and the basic hull came together relatively quickly, and I learned a lot about stitch and glue and fibreglass techniques.
‘I used 6mm marine ply and I was quite surprised by how much it weighed, and also how much it blunted my planes and chisels. But I guess that’s the price to pay for using ply that will last a long time in wet and soggy conditions.’