Tag Archives: boat repairs

Anthony Mace fixes up an old Merlin Rocket

Anthony Mace runs a small Bristol-based business called Shipshape Boatbuilding & Woodwork from a workshop at Underfall Yard, Bristol, and also does mobile repairs and restoration work, and takes on bespoke commissions.

He set up in business around a year or so ago, after graduating from the Boatbuilding Academy at Lyme Regis in 2015, and prior to that worked as a designer and occasionally taught product design at the University of the West of England.

Anthony chose to retrain at the BBA after over a decade of sitting in front of the computer – he’d got into design because of a love of making things and decided it was time to get back in the workshop and work with his hands again.

I’ve had some interesting projects since I graduated including fixing a Maltese dysa, but I wanted to let you know about a recent project I’ve just finished:

‘The job was a restoration of a Merlin Rocket (no. 2480). I believe this boat was started sometime in the 70s (so the owner told me) and had never been completed. The owner had bought the boat as just a hull with some framing and the centreboard case, as well as a really interesting curved thwart.

‘I stripped the old varnish off, repaired the cracked transom (which had split) and buoyancy tank, before fitting new curved side and fore and aft deck framing in marine ply.

‘I also steamed and fitted a sapele cockpit combing, spinnaker chute and gunnels, as well as finished it in a mix of paint (outside), oil (to make maintenance of the hull interior more practical) and varnish (decks and combing).

‘The boat has now gone back to the south coast where the owner plans to rig it himself before getting it on the water this summer.

‘I’m always looking for similar projects and commissions.

 

‘All the best, Anthony Mace’

I’ve attached a couple of images of the boat before and after the work, but there are lots more of the work in progress on my Facebook page and Instagram.

Restoration of an early Merlin Rocket (no. 2480). This boat was started sometime in the 70's and had never been…

Posted by Shipshape Woodwork & Boatbuilding on Thursday, 26 January 2017

 

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A busy and interesting summer for Stirling and Son

Stirling and Son 14ft dinghy

Stirling and Son are busy as usual this summer with varied work both in and around Plymouth and further afield.

Stirlings must be counted one of the most interesting boat building and design operations around. Down at their covered slipway at Plymouth, the pilot cutter Cornubia is having her hatches re-varnished and a replica Viking longboat is being repaired.

Further afield, in May a small team went to Germany to work on the 60ft teak built Mylne yacht Mingary. This is a link to a video of work on the yacht. See a video of the work on that job below:

In June Sara and Will visited Glasgow for the Clyde Classic Design Symposium and delivered a talk about the process of designing the new Victorian racing cutter Integrity at the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club.

The plans for the 14ft sailing dinghy that Sara and Will sailed around the Eddystone Lighthouse and then across the Channel are now available. The plans comprise lines, sail plan, construction plan and technical detail with templates of the backbone, knees, rudder and moulds.

The study plans show the level of detail and are accompanied by a materials list and a scantlings list. The plans are not available through the website (which is due to be updated). For information on the plans please email Will at info@stirlingandson.co.uk.

14ft sailing dinghy study plans

In Spain Martin Scannall has built and launched a 9ft dinghy built to Stirling and Son plans. She is to be the tender to the cutter Sauntress.

At the other end of the scale Will is working in conjunction with naval architect Theo Rye on the design of a 140 ton topsail schooner of circa 1830 that is to be built in the far East.

Stirling and Son undertake traditional boat building and wooden boat repair and have an office at Tavistock, tel 01822 614259, and a covered yard at Devonport, tel 07727 233346.

Stirling and Son deliver two very different 12ft rowing dinghies, and repair a hogged Tideway

 

Lead On (first photo) is a new pilot’s punt built for for Kindly Light, a Bristol Channel pilot cutter, was completed by Stirling and Son and delivered to her owner during March.

She was built to the owners specification’s following his extensive research into the pilot cutters‘ boats.

Here’s what Will has to say about her:

‘She is built to both tow well in a seaway and also to scull well, and has very flat floors midships to provide stability, a little hollow in the bow under the waterline so that she cleaves the water with full sections above the waterline to give her good reserve buoyancy forward. Aft, she has a shapely transom above the waterline to reduce drag to a minimum.

‘In an initial tests in Carrick Roads, when a 12-stone man stood on her gunwale only 6in of freeboard showed above the water.’

That stable shape is very clear in the photo.

The second shot above shows another new 12ft rowing dinghy that left the yard at the end of March. Destined for a lake in Sussex, this is a much finer boat for rowing on lakes and rivers, and is varnished with gold leaf scrollwork and cove line. Will remarks that it’s interesting that two 12ft rowing dinghies of similar beam can be so different.

A third 12ft dinghy – a Tideway general purpose sailing dinghy – came into the Stirlings yard for repairs recently. New sidedecks and foredeck were fitted, underwater repairs were carried out and the boat was completely refinished.

Will’s remarks about this boat include a useful little warning for owners of timber-built dinghies:

‘This Tideway had generally stood the test of time well but, like another dinghy we repaired earlier in the year, most of the damage requiring attention had been done by the trailer where she had sagged aft of the last trailer roller.

‘A good piece of money-saving advice for traditional dinghy owners who keep their boats on a trailer for long periods is to put some supporting blocks under the transom – it is better to risk causing a little extra rocker than have the boat hog.’

Thanks Will! Stirling and Son offers traditional yacht building and wooden boat repair, and is based at Tavistock, in Devon.