Adrian Morgan in praise of Iain Oughtred and Collano Semparoc polyurethane wood glue

Adrian Morgan The Trouble With Old Boats

Now we’re into the amateur boat building season, a series of posts from professional boatbuilder and writer Adrian Morgan about building an Oughtred Caledonia Yawl¬†using a kit from Jordan Boats seem particularly relevant.

At the time of writing, the latest post is here – as the project progresses you’ll have to navigate his site to find earlier and later posts.¬†

Two quotes from Adrian’s weblog seem particularly worth bearing in mind. The first is a testament about Alec Jordan’s kits:

‘Well, Mr Jordan, the hull’s finished and that’s your job done. At which point I take my hat off to you. Thanks to whatever magic you managed to weave on your computer and cutting machines, all went together brilliantly, millimetre accurate. So well, that I would highly recommend anyone thinking of building any of Iain Oughtred’s boat from scratch to think again and buy a kit from Alec Jordan.’

And here’s a similarly fulsome point about the glue he’s using:

‘The garboards went on today and with luck a pair of planks tomorrow. Thoughts so far: the kit is dead accurate; you deviate at your peril. Unlike solid timber, there is little leeway and precious little edge setting. Which is as it should be.

‘The glue that we have been using, Collano Semparoc, is coming up trumps as I knew it would. No mixing, no mess, little waste and a curing time of around six hours. Bt it’s the lack of mixing I like best, plus it has a limited gap-filling ability. The proof is when it has cured to a hard, epoxy-like crust that is nothing like the Balcotan it is supposed to replace. Do not be fooled: this is nothing like Balcotan which cured to a crispy honeycomb that had no strength.

‘I can see this as an epoxy-beater for so many reasons.’

Well, that seems clear then… Thanks for the tips Adrian!

Boatbuilder Adrian Morgan’s latest projects

Norwegian-derived 15ft boat designed by Adrian Morgan

Norwegian-derived 15ft boat designed by Adrian Morgan

15ft water ballasted small boat designed by Adrian Morgan for Loch Torridon

Stuck last week at home in the ice and snow like many in the UK, writer and Ullapool-based traditional boatbuilder Adrian Morgan got stuck into something he hasn’t done for a while – he sent some words and photos.

Naturally, I’m very grateful though I too could do without all that tedious white stuff.

In fact, it all got so bad for Adrian that he decided to start a very interesting weblog: The Trouble with Old Boats.

Here’s what Adrian has to say about the boat above:

‘This was launched in late summer for a client with a cottage on Loch Torridon. It’s built to my design developed from Norwegian original, but beamier and flatter-floored for more stability. She carries water ballast, so is light to tow and launch, but sits deeper for stability. She’s 15ft in length, and built of larch and oak with a standing lug.’

Guillemot rowing boat designed by Iain Oughtred and adapted by Adrian Morgan Guillemot rowing boat designed by Iain Oughtred and adapted by Adrian Morgan Guillemot rowing boat designed by Iain Oughtred and adapted by Adrian Morgan

Guillemot rowing boat designed by Iain Oughtred and adapted by Adrian Morgan Guillemot rowing boat designed by Iain Oughtred and adapted by Adrian Morgan Guillemot rowing boat designed by Iain Oughtred and adapted by Adrian Morgan

Oughtred Guillemot adapted by Adrian Morgan

And here’s what he has to say about this Iain Oughtred-designed Guillemot:

‘Built to replace a 12ft family dinghy that had been well used and loved for 40 years, this Oughtred Guillemot will be rowed on the choppy waters of the Firth of Forth. Stretched to just over 12ft from Iain’s plans for an 11ft 6in dinghy, she has enough length now to allow a rower forward and passenger aft, with another midships, or she can be rowed, swiftly, by one rower sitting centrally.

‘The planking followed Iain’s lines to the letter, once they emerged from below the waterline. Drawn for plywood, there was no way the garboards in larch could match the plywood’s width. I must admit to giving her a little more freeboard forward, as I was concerned she might dip her bow when fully loaded and punching into a head sea. I am not convinced I should not have stuck ruthlessly to Iain’s plans, but where’s the fun in building a one-off boat in solid timber if you can’t tinker a wee bit?

‘With her white-painted bilges, well protected against the rain water that is destined to fill her on her mooring, and varnished topsides, she is a simple, unpretentious little rowing boat of the kind once thrown up in their hundreds and thousands. The finish is smart, but not fussy. You can see your face in the transom, but a little wrinklier than for real. I hope she’ll last looking this good. If she lasts as long as her predecessor, then I will be happy – and in my 90s!’

Many thanks Adrian. I hope you enjoy your weblog as much as I enjoy this one!

If either of these boat tickle your fancy or even meet your needs, contact Adrian via his website: