Ian Baird restores a clinker-built Burnham on Sea motor launch

Yoma II Burnham on Sea Motor Boat Company clinker motor launch restoration

Yoma II Burnham on Sea Motor Boat Company clinker motor launch restoration Yoma II Burnham on Sea Motor Boat Company clinker motor launch restoration

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.


Thames double skiff for sale

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I fouled up badly at the Beale Park Thames Boat Show: my mistake was to believe the weather forecast and went to the show on the day it rained most.

On the following day it was supposed to rain from dawn to dusk – but instead the sun shone – I’ve seen photos to prove it. Every sailor, gardener, farmer, camper and boat show organiser has had the same kind of experience, and all one can do is smile and make the best of it, which in my case meant taking a lot of photos of gently rain-spattered boats and people.

I’ll be putting a lot more shots from the show up over time, but I thought I’d surprise the folks who came to the show to sell this splendid 1902 Thames skiff by putting up some shots of their boat – and perhaps helping them to find a buyer.

I told them I’d do it, but like so many others they were sceptical. I think they imagined I needed to be paid – but I don’t and it’s not in my plan. Give me a good story or some pics or both and I’ll put them up, though if they’re not, I won’t. Even if this site someday becomes truly commercial, I doubt I’ll ever want to charge contributors money for providing information for a good post.

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Duncan Sclare pours 19ft Gartside cutter keel

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Duncan Sclare pours the lead keel for his 19ft Paul Gartside-designed cutter. Click on the thumbnails for larger images

Duncan Sclare in County Mayo, Ireland has an advantage over many amateur boatbuilders: 30-odd years of experience as a furniture-maker, cabinet-maker, carpenter and joiner. See his website here to see what I mean.

Talented and practical man though he is, I still think the story of how he cast his own lead keel this week is quite something. Here’s what he says:

‘Hi Gavin. Your readers may be interested in my project to build Paul Gartsides cutter design 163. This build is going to take some time as it has to be fitted in around making wardrobes, kitchens and other stuff I do to make a crust. I have been working on it for almost a year now with little to show exept lofting, lists, stacks of timber and so on.

‘Last weekend however work for real started with the casting of the keel. The pictures show the mould made from MDF and softwood and buried it in sand. Just short of 1 tonne of scrap lead was then melted down in an old cast iron bath. This took about three hours, but then the plug was pulled and the molten lead allowed to run into the mould. There was some singeing of timber and my hair, but otherwise it seems to have been successful!

‘The keel now needs shaping up and we can start to add the oak timbers on top. It will be great to get into some woodwork after that messy job!

‘In the background of the picture of the mould shows larch boards (planking) air seasoning and my battered Orkney Strikeliner still used for day trips around our West Coast.

‘I will keep you posted on (slow) progress. BTW, I love the site – great work keep it up. Best wishes, Duncan.’

Wow Duncan. With so much danger and excitement going on, I’m astonished you found time to take the shots! The result looks excellent, by the way 😉

See Duncan’s striking photos of Inishkea in an earlier intheboatshed.net post.

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