Category Archives: Restoration and repair

Fully restored web size - Hendrick van Anthonissen (1606-after 1660), View of Scheveningen sands, with a stranded sperm whale, c. 1641, oil on panel © Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Restored Hendrick van Anthonissen painting reveals whale on Scheveningen beach

Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum’s gallery of Dutch Golden Age paintings has gone back on display display this week following a refurbishment – and includes the surprising image of a beached whale on Scheveningen beach that had previously been painted out.

The whale appears in a 1641 work by Hendrick van Anthonissen.

The beach at Scheveningen must be one of the most painted stretches of coast anywhere – this Googlewhack shows what I mean. Many of them contain fishing and other boats working from the beach, and often a fish market in operation. See an earlier post on this topic here.

PS – I have a modern example of a Scheveningen beach painting that my parents bought years ago on my wall. Can anyone tell me anything about it please? Who was the artist with the illegible signature?

Scheveningen beach with fishing boats

Restored Falmouth Quay punt Teal is sailing again!

Don’t you wish she was yours? Adrian Nowotynski has written to report on the progress of the century-old Falmouth Quay punt Teal, which is now back in the water and sailing again following her restoration of the boat at Hegarty’s Boatyard near Cork.

The fabulous photos were taken by Tim Cooke, who writes the weblog An Ilur in Ireland, and are used here with his permission.

Here’s what Adrian has to say:

‘She was relaunched a few weeks ago with great success. We made it to Baltimore two days before the annual Wooden Boat Festival.

‘We had our first attempt of sailing her during the harbour race on Saturday in over 20 knots of wind. It was fantastic and we were very impressed by her.

‘On Sunday we had lighter wind, competed in the race and took part in the parade of sail, this time under full sail minus the topsail ( need more rope for that one).

‘On Monday we sailed her to her home port of Union Hall where she is now sitting on her mooring ready for adventure.

‘The project has been huge, but a fantastic experience that I am missing already, and Teal is absolute gem.

‘Thank you for posting the updates and I will be in touch if we succeed in any big adventures,

‘I will be getting started with the Apple Pie dinghy soon so will let you know.’

Adrian also adds that she will soon be getting a nice new set of sails.

Read Adrian’s weblog for more about Teal.

Launch day inches closer for the restored motor launch Mary


Ben Wales has written with news of the progress of his restoration of the 18ft motor launch Mary.

The clinker built little boat was used by the smart Royal Lymington Yacht Club, and was also used in Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of the British Army from Dunkirk.

Ben reminds me that we’ve been following his project for four years now! Good for him – it’s great to see that his persistence is now so close to paying off.

Here’s what Ben says:

‘We had to take down the tent cover over the winter as it almost got destroyed by the storms in December and January.

‘While the main work was on hold we did a test engine line up, as I will need to make a new forward engine mount support bracket.

‘In March we set up the tent cover and began to lay the new solid timber forward deck in pitch pine – the planks are fitted tight and screwed down with A4 stainless screws finished with a dowel.

The deck will be sanded, caulked and varnished, and replaced with bronze deck fittings.

Work has now began on the aft deck; the steering blocks for the steering cables have been fitted and a fuel tank installed – this has to be done before the deck can be laid.

‘I hope to have a progress report later next month for you – and maybe Mary will be ready for a summer launch.

‘Regards, Ben’

Thanks Ben! It would be great to see Mary afloat and glistening with varnish in the coming weeks.

Row St Kilda has started

Row St Kilda crew practising

Great good luck you lot! The row St Kilda crew practising

They’ve set off - the 100-mile fund-raising row from Village bay St Kilda to Portree on the Isle of Skye in an open rowing boat built around 1890 began earlier today.

The rowers are raising funds for the RNLI and Skye & Lochalsh Young Carers. The link for donations is here; their website is here, the BBC has a story here, and track their progress here.

I wonder whether they’ll do it all again next year?

HJ Mears Boat Builders work on a mahogany 25ft clinker-built motor launch

Alex Mears of HJ Mears & Son of Seaton in Devon has written to say that the 25ft mahogany clinker built motor launch they’re working on, Tarka, is coming along well.

You don’t see boats like this too often!

‘I’ve attached some photos of where she’s at currently. The owner has added a fair few extras compared to the original brief – laid decks, solid wood windbreaker/cuddy, but fortunately they appreciate that these extra tasks take extra time, which is especially important when the workload is heavy as usual at this busy time of year!

‘The Beta inboard engine has arrived and we’ve offered it up to the engine beds so the shaft, coupling, prop can now be ordered to correct sizes.

‘There is still an awful lot of varnishing to do (we’ve used over 3 gallons so far and that’s prior to thinning!).

‘The sea toilet and storage tank should be arriving this week. The sink and cooker have been offered up in the galley. The rudder, tiller, floorboards and various hatches are currently being decorated, which takes up a lot of time as the workshop has to limit the dusty work while decorating is going on, so we  we try to do that work at the weekends.

‘She is destined to spend this season on one of our swinging moorings on the River Axe, then next year she’ll head to Kingswear. I think the owner would like a brief change of scene but personally I think the River Dart has a lot to offer!

‘We’ve had a lot of interest from people; visitors to the yard, tweets, e-mails and phone calls; everyone appreciates a classic wooden boat, but not everybody wants one though!

‘Anyway I’ll keep you updated with progress.

‘Take care and keep up the good work, Alex’

Thanks Alex!

Restored 1841 whaler Charles W Morgan makes her first trip in over 70 years

Maine-built 1841 whaling ship Charles W Morgan has been towed down river from Mystic Seaport, where she has been kept since 1941, to New London. Read all about her story and find many more photos here.

Happily over the last five years she has been restored at Mystic’s Henry B. du Pont Preservation Shipyard.

At New London she will be ballasted and tested for stability, and her sails will be bent. The photo above shows her crew throwing heaving lines as the ship tied up – the davits all round her will shortly bear her magnificent new whaleboats.

She’s about to set out on her 38th voyage, which will take place this summer in company of two tugs provided by Tisbury Towing of Martha’s Vineyard and the Seaport Museum’s eastern-rigged dragger Roann.

I saw the Charles W Morgan at Mystic many years ago and wondered what her future might be. This seems like a great result - and makes me wonder how it would be if we in the UK got around to building a new clipper. Now wouldn’t that be something…

PS – And how about a string of new small workshops and yards around our coast building and maintaining boat types local to their areas using traditional methods, teaching people to sail them and training youngsters while they are at it? The Faversham Creek Trust seems to me to be an excellent example of what could be done much more widely, and they’re not the only ones. Think of Rescue Wooden Boats… In the past with only a few teaching establishments, they haven’t always had that local focus.

It may be controversial to say so, but I do feel that – sailing barges aside – sailing the larger traditional boats is only open to folks who can afford to keep them and the friends they invite to help sail them - it seems like a closed kind of club, and in the long term I worry that situation will not help in keeping the boats going…

Pretty little traditionally built yacht free to a good home

Jennie of Paglesham 1 Jennie of Paglesham 2

I’ve posted about this boat before – but this boat is now offered free to a good home. I do hope she finds one soon!

Pretty little gaff cutter for sale! Owner Rhodri Williams says she needs quite a lot of attention but is basically sound, although he has neither time nor energy to do the work required. He says he would be delighted and able to advise and help from a distance…

Jennie of Paglesham was built by Frank Shuttlewood in 1946/7 from the bones of his grandfather’s 1885 clinker-built boat Jennie. An article about Jennie by the late Maurice Griffiths appeared in YM April 1948 (see links below).

She is a gaff-rigged cutter measuring 24ft 6in by 8ft 3in by 4ft, she comes fully equipped including new standing rigging.

Jennie of Paglesham is currently ashore at Gosport where viewing may be arranged. Contact Rhodri Williams by email at rhodriyorathwilliams@btinternet.com for details.

Read what old Mr Griffiths had to say about her here: The Other Man’s Boat

My thanks to Fowey boat builder Marcus Lewis for passing this enquiry on.