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socrates last won the day on March 23

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About socrates

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  1. socrates

    Broadland Grebe

    Good to see the progress being made with Broadland Swift, we had a look at her when she was out the water and noticed the rot in the stern. We had the same problem and were told it was always an issue with Ripplecraft when they were in the hire fleet. Replacing those planks was a nightmare job to say the least, this is because of the way they are designed and how they are fixed to the frames forward of the bulkhead and keel. The best thing to do is to make sure that the new planks are well treated (see previous posts), cleaned and painted every year. We also ensure that the rear of the boat is kept free of any accumulation of junk in order to allow the air to circulate around the area. Whilst it may reduce the amount of stowage space, it helps prevent the area becoming a breeding ground of damp. Likewise, regular sweeping of the accumulated detritus helps. The previous owners of Grebe neglected this area, so it also rotted from the inside. I agree with replacing the old Lister, it was almost impossible to get parts and if you could find them they were unbelievably expensive. I know the purists would object to us removing the lump of 1930's English metal, but it is just not practical on so many levels. Not least of these is the cumbersome gear change system which can be dangerous in the crowded waters of the Broads. For those who do not know - to go astern you had to completely stop the engine, then use a huge gear leaver (it was actually from a World War Two Tank) to put the boat in reverse, then go back to the throttle which you pushed forward to the desired astern revs. Just about everyone on the boat would end up with untold bruises from the huge gear leaver. We are certainly planning to come to Potter again this summer and will call in and see Expilot.
  2. socrates

    Broadland Grebe

    We have a rough 5 year plan from when we purchased BG, and worked out what needed to be done each year. It is very fortunate that we have an excellent boatyard where Ripplecraft boats were originally built and hired from. We also have a good friend who is highly knowledgeable, experienced and skilled. Whilst we can do some of the work ourselves, we are not skilled enough to make cabin sides and decks. Whilst there are some people who would attempt a DIY, we have seen far too many bodge jobs and expensive mistakes. We know our limits! As for what we like best, my wife and I often have this conversation and have decided that it is a close thing. The advantage of a working restoration is that the winter is still boat time. I enjoy working in the shed with kindred spirits who engage in considerable banter. Our main concern (apart from the ever critical experts) is being hit by another boat - this happened last year hen we were hit by a hire boat. The hirer then said: "Don't know what your problem is, it is only an old boat." Seriously, we love being afloat and there is nothing (in our opinion) quite like being afloat in a vintage Broads cruiser.
  3. socrates

    Broadland Grebe

    At last I have got around to posting an up-date following ten days working on BG. As with most re-fits we are behind schedule which is somewhat annoying, but nothing can be done about it as we are in "dockyard hands" for some aspects of the work. I was delighted to see that when I arrived at Somerleyton, the decks had been glassed and were ready to paint, it also meant that the toe rails and rubbers could be replaced and the sides painted as planned. Due to the light evenings I planned to work from dawn until dusk, cooking on a "Tommy cooker" and sleeping in my car in the boatyard. In other words field conditions. After all it would only be for 10 days and the Duke's Head is as the top of the lane. I worked out a rough work programme with the aim of completing a set number of tasks each day. I began with a light sand of all painted surfaces with the addition of some filler and a further sand before a final undercoat was applied. The decks had been glassed over and were lightly sanded before painting with a single pack deck paint. Toe rails and rubbers were replaced and plugged (easier said than done). The transom was lightly sanded and varnished, it will be stripped next winter when BG returns to the shed for essential defect rectification and the ongoing planned work. The sliding roof was glassed, filled and sanded back ready for painting. (see pictures). A further two coats of deck paint were applied in between lightly sanding and varnishing the toe rails and rubbers. Usually, I don't mind anti-fouling too much but the boat is close to the ground which makes it difficult to do. However, once completed I had a sense of satisfaction that deserved at least two pints of Ghost Ship. The blue and white gloss was applied and the toe rails given another coat of varnish. Numbers, vents and corner fenders were screwed on and BG was starting to take shape. Toward the end of my time, I was joined by my good friend Ricardo who was fitting an engine to one of the yachts (a man of many talents). Next winter we are back in the shed. There is a rotten frame in the front cabin which needs to be replaced. We are also tackling the interior of the boat and adding such things as a decent music system, new water system, and up-grading the soft furnishings. The interior will be completely stripped and re-varnished before replacing the flooring. But that, as they say, will be another story for another day. All that remains now is for the windows to be fitted by the boatyard and BG will be moved outside for the fitting of the sliding roof. I am assured that BG will be in the water at beginning of July - this remains to be seen! We are intending to come to the NBN meeting and the wooden boat show this year for quick visits. We are also intend to venture over to the Northern Rivers at some point.
  4. socrates

    Summer/autumn Gathering August 2018

    Socrates Broadland Grebe 4 Fri/Sat 32 feet
  5. socrates

    Independence - Updates | Maintenance & Care

    Attention on the upper deck, face to port and a pipe. I must remember to bring my Bosun's call when I come down next. Don't forget to teach team dog to salute.
  6. socrates

    Independence - Updates | Maintenance & Care

    You are welcome to come and see us in the shed at Somerleyton tomorrow afternoon. However, you may be given a paint brush.
  7. socrates

    Broadland Grebe

    It was John Lennon who said: " Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans." Indeed, life has moved on and I have not posted much about the restoration of Broadland Grebe. A busy couple of weeks has seen considerable progress made on the boat, but we missed our original launch date and are still in the shed. This proved somewhat frustrating for Ricardo and myself, but it was due to circumstances well beyond our control. Both decks have now been fitted and so have both cabin sides which are ready for the mammoth task of varnishing. After manufacturing the sliding roof sides they were fixed to the roof which will be glazed by the boatyard next week. Exact and careful measurements had to be taken to ensure the sides would fit against the screen, this was no easy task as we also had to be certain the roof would sit and slide on the runners (see pictures). It was at this point that the expertise, skill and experience of Ricardo came to the fore. Having done this sort of things on a previous job, I could be certain that the job was in safe hands. Although I do admit to being a little nervous when we lifted the sides up to measure them against the screen for the first time. The varnishing of the roof sides almost complete, the metal struts were carefully measured, checked and fitted with spacers (see pictures). Again, this involved exact measurement and careful fitting. There is little room for error if everything is going to fit, and more importantly work correctly. Once the decks and roof are glassed, which should be taking place as I write, the remains the massive task of painting and varnishing. This is a short up-date but I will have more to add when I return in a week or so after the next work period . I hope that I will be able to report that we are in the water and conducted a river test.
  8. socrates

    Private Or Hire?

    A lot of private boats were once in the Broads hire fleets. Of course, this includes many of the classic wooden boats you will see on the Broads - some of them belong to yards now consigned to the rich history of the Broads. It never ceases to be a source of interest when someone tells me they hired a boat like our boat back in the 1960's/'70's.
  9. If you are near Somerleyton, Northgate Marine specialise in Volvo engines and have a place in the boatyard. Maybe give them a call.
  10. socrates

    River Yare In Norwich

    It is difficult for a boat larger than 35 foot to turn further up the Wensum, I am not sure if anyone would stop you on a hire boat - I don't want to encourage anyone to break the "rules", but who would stop a hire boat from going up as long as it could get under the bridges? People do worse things in hire boats (and private boats) We were warned about the dragons and the sea monsters, not to mention the occasional shopping trolley and wheelie bin. You can moor at the Ribs of Beef as long as you don't block the bridge and there are other moorings a few metres further up on the opposite side. Well worth the journey into the heart of the Fine City of Norwich.
  11. socrates

    Vhf, Useful Or Not?

    I have thought about getting a hand held VHF, not sure about how useful one would be. Like Maurice Mynah says it may be of use for bridge heights and moorings, but we have managed so far without one. Another gadget to plug in, and something else to remember to bring to the boat.
  12. socrates

    Vhf, Useful Or Not?

    As already stated, VHF is essential at sea.I know of a few people who use it to listen to the gin palaces in order to find out which moorings they are going to and if there is space. I am not really wanting to spend my time on the Broads eavesdropping, rather too much like a tabloid reporter.
  13. socrates

    Good Luck Liverpool

    Money certainly does drive the game, nearly £800 for my season ticket.
  14. Welcome to you, Admiral. Look forward to reading your contributions.
  15. socrates

    Restoration Of Judith

    Same here, you are more than welcome to look at Broadland Grebe. Those of us who have embarked on a restoration project will share your pain and pleasure.

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