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.


Video: hot-nailing a traditional crab and lobster boat’s timbers into place

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Over at the Boat Building Academy at Lyme, Ian Baird has been making progress on his replica of the Dorset crab and lobster boat Witch of Worbarrow. The timbers of the new boat named Witch of Weymouth have gone in, the gunwales are now in place and the spars almost completely made.

He also gave me the link to this splendid Youtube film clip of the process of hot-nailing her steamed timbers into place. It looks wonderfully frantic to me!

On the boat herself, what’s left to complete are the knees, thwarts and finishing, which must all be in place by the time of the grand student launch on the morning of the 9th December. If you’re in the area and are interested in boats and craftsmanship, do get along!

For more posts in this interesting boat and its origins, click here. Also, look out for a series of three articles describing the build, the first of which is scheduled to appear in the magazine Water Craft in January.