Katydid loses her ballast keel, but what about her wooden one?

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Fife-built Clyde 17/19 lugger Katydid loses her iron ballast keel

I love restorations. The restorer never knows quite what he or she is going to come up against, and along the way they generally find all sorts of interesting things. An example in this case is a keel bolt in such sad condition that I wonder whether it contributed anything at all to keeping the keel attached the last time this boat went sailing.

Restorers are also obliged to make all sorts of decisions as they go along. Right now, Charlie Hussey is having to decide whether Katydid’s 115-year old wooden keel can be repaired, or whether it needs to be replaced. He’s even asked us to look at the photos and throw in our tuppences…

See Charlie’s weblog here: http://www.marinecarpentry.com/katydid/

Well, I let him have my guess, even though I’ve no idea what hundred-plus- year-old timber looks like when it’s bad compared to when it’s still ok. I think I’ve heard that an electrolysis process makes it look quite strange quite some time before it actually becomes weak, but what do I know? Perhaps Charley will give us his decision in a day or two.

PS – I’ve just noticed that intheboatshed.net is now two years old, almost to the day. It’s been quite a ride, and some would say something of an obsession. Still, it has also been fun, and satisfying too. The sharp-eyed will know that we’ve recorded almost 320,000 hits in that time, and some may even have spotted that only today we’ve scored a new record for traffic on this site, thanks to our dear friends at Duckworksmagazine highlighting the Julie skiff project.

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News from the Boat Building Academy, Lyme Regis, and from Charlie Hussey

(Above) Boat Building Academy alumnus Charlie Hussey’s latest project. She was
launched in 1892.
(Below) Another Clyde 17/19 lugger, Harlequin, in flight

Principal Yvonne Green writes from the Boat Building Academy at Lyme Regis:

‘Hi Gavin,

‘Thought you might be interested that Charlie Hussey (the student who built Seapod the Peapod during the last academic year) has just started a job restoring a Fife-built and designed Clyde 17/19 lugger, and has started a terrific blog that will chart the commission at http://www.marinecarpentry.com/katydid/ .

‘We will also be launching seven (crossed fingers) student boats on  the 10th December at noon in Lyme Regis harbour.

‘They’re an interesting lot, both students and boats. Student profiles and photographic diaries of the boats are at http://www.boatbuildingacademy.com/students/ClassofMarch2008.htm The students started the builds in mid-June this year, and are also required to attend lessons and complete assessment pieces, so they’ve been quite busy.

‘I’ll send further details, and photographs of each boat nearer launch time, but thought you might like an idea of what’s happening on the workshop floor at the moment.

‘Very best wishes,

‘Yvonne’

I certainly do – and thanks for the update!

Websits: Boat Building Academy

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