Former Boat Building Academy student Ian Baird has begun working on his first professional project since graduating in December 2010.
If his name is familiar, it’s because he built the replica Dorset crab and lobster boat Witch of Weymouth featured in earlier intheboatshed.net articles (hot nailing the timbers, crab and lobster boat in the workshop) during his time at the BBA.
His latest project is a restoration of a 1961 clinker motor launch built by the Burnham on Sea Motor Boat Company. It has been extensively used by the owner’s family who purchased it newly built – however, after 50 years her bottom planks and centreline structure are in need of urgent repair.
When he first saw her, Ian says it was difficult to accurately assess the extent of the damage as she was glass-sheathed on the bottom of the hull and keel. However, the signs were that she was not in good shape.
When the sheathing was removed, she needed an entire new centreline structure, new garboards and three further planks either side and re-timbering throughout, as the old timbers fell out when the planks were removed.
‘I was left with a pair of gunwales and a selection of planks,’ says Ian.
‘The gaping hole and stumps of broken timbers gave her a bit of a “hag’s grin” look, but she’s coming together now nicely. The centreline structure has now been replaced and the garboards are now fixed so we are looking at an April launch.’
The restoration will be covered in full in a forthcoming Watercraft article later in the year.