Working in the open air, Ben Wales makes progress in restoring the Royal Lymington Yacht Club motor launch Mary


Starboard bow 08a

Brave Ben Wales has written in with an update of his ambitious restoration of an 18ft motor launch named Mary. (See earlier posts about Ben’s project here and here.)

‘At the start of June we had began to replace the topside planking in khaya mahogany. I had found it difficult to locate any suitable boards of the width we required to cut out new 20ft planks and also they would need to be planed all round off-site, as there is no power available to us on site.

‘The old planks were carefully cut out using a hack saw, and to release them, the copper nails along the plank lands and  some nail heads were drilled out.

‘Most of the old planks were either fragile or just rotten, so did not make an ideal template to mark out the new planks. What’s more, due to the widths and lengths needed we decided to scarf in three new planks on each plank run. The scarf joint is glued and nailed.

‘Painting will hide the scarf joints – Mary was never finished in varnish – and the only clue will be the extra nails, so while scarfing isn’t usually employed on a new boat of this size, it has saved us a great deal of material and money, and left very little waste.

‘I have attached some recent pictures of the work we have done. The starboard side is nearly complete and soon we have some more timber arriving to complete the port side. After that, the next stage to re-timber the launch, more of that to follow later this year.

‘Regards, Ben’

Thanks Ben – and great good luck. I hope the weather’s good when you get your next batch of timber.