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With a lot of rotten planking replaced, we set about restoring the paintwork of Grebe. This meant rubbing her down almost to bare wood, a task which exposed an interesting variety of sins and omissions on the part of previous owners and even more suspect planking.The previous owners had mixed their own paint which was possibly Dulux house paint, but more probably some own brand discount paint from QD.  It was a sort of white with a hint of green, I am sure it had a name like "Apple Orchard" or "Meadow Mist", you are probably familiar with the poetry of the paint aisle in a DIY shop.Sanding discs became clogged with this stuff as we stripped the planking down, a job which took over two weeks of pretty solid work. 

We coated exposed bare wood with primer and gave the boat three generous undercoats, rubbing down between every coat. For the technical people we used a brush and roller. This was followed by three coats of topcoat using a roller and brush. We were then able to replace the rubbers and toe rails with new one's we had had made up. The rubbers and toe rails were varnished with 5 coats of varnish. Previously, the toe rails and rubbers had been painted using garden furniture paint, the colour being "sewage works brown". 

A new transom was also made from two pieces of African mahogany. This was varnished with 8 coats of varnish.  Following a week of graft, I went away for a night on the beer with a friend in Norwich. It was Easter Sunday when I returned to the shed with the mother of all hangovers. To my horror, the owner of the boat next to us had decided to sand the blue hull of his fibreglass sports boat. I will just leave this to your imagination. It took yet another week to strip and re-varnish the transom, a week we could barely spare as I was restricted to school holidays. We had intended to be in the water for the May holiday but had to spend the time re-varnishing the transom. 

Grebe was launched on time thanks to the help of a friend who was able to re-varnish the transom for us. The boat slipped into the water at the start of the May holiday week and she looked wonderful. There was still a great deal to do, but the newly painted hull and varnished transom meant that we could see light at the end of the tunnel at last.

aboout to launch.JPG

painted in shed.JPG

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In August, we had two very good friends join us for a couple of weeks cruising on Broadland Grebe. We planned the trip to include a weekend visit to the Wooden Boat meeting in Beccles, something we were really looking forward to. We booked a mooring in advance and arrived with eager anticipation of spending a weekend with fellow wooden boaters. After mooring stern on we set about preparing for a relaxing afternoon sitting in the chairs we had placed behind our boat, everyone else seemed to have done this and we were looking forward to getting to know some people. While gathering a supply of drink and nibbles from our store cupboard, we heard a conversation taking place on the jetty behind our boat. Several seasoned wooden boat experts were discussing our boat and casting their knowledgeable eyes over our pride and joy. The experts were not happy, in fact they were being very pass remarkable and critical of  that we had turned up with a boat that did not meet the requirements or standards of the Wooden Boat meeting. We sat and listened with a mixture of anger and shame, not daring to show our faces to the assembled group of riparian experts, who were clearly unhappy that we had not only turned up with scruffy cabin sides but we had the audacity to be next to them.  

In no uncertain terms we were unwelcome, and our boat was a disgrace. My wife was livid and it took three of us to prevent her saying something unfitting for a woman of the cloth to the assembled gathering of experts. Avoiding a conflict and feeling unwelcome, we decided to leave Beccles faster than a French warship from a sea battle. Without making eye contact with the wooden boaters, we slipped our moorings and proceeded elsewhere. If those people at Beccles are reading this, and we know who you are, you did not ruin our holiday you simply showed us what sort of people you actually are. 

Lesson learned. We freely acknowledge we are not experts on wooden boats and we are near the bottom of a steep learning curve when it comes to the technical aspects of maintaining a wooden boat. We are not rich, so can't afford to put the boat into the hands of a boatyard for years in order for her to be restored within an inch of her former glory. We are not stupid, we know our limitations and we actually know enough about boats to be aware of the enormity of the task involved. The experts knew nothing about us but they were happy to condemn. I make no apology for posting this, and hope that, when you read it you think about what you are saying about other people and their boats. If you had taken time to talk to us, you may have increased your knowledge of a different model of boat, met someone different to yourself, and enjoyed our company. 

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It's at times like this that we need a few more options of how to react to a post. I would have used "Wow" for sure if it was there. Sounds like an appalling way to be treated. You've been brave enough to follow your dreams and take this on. And that should be respected, no matter what.

Good luck with your continued journey and I for one will keep reading with interest.

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Socrates, I have not met you but I have seen your boat, in the old Crown Cruisers yard at Somerleyton, when I was visiting another boat owner there, last year. I well remember the boat when she was on hire in the 60s and and admired the work that you were doing to get her back on the water. As a traditional boatbuilder myself I well know what is involved in this, and how much passion as well as effort, goes into it.

No doubt those who "know who they are" will be replying to your post in whatever way they are able but from me, do not be discouraged! You have done a great job to get this boat afloat again and I hope you thoroughly enjoy the next phases of the restoration.

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Grebe looks wonderful. You have rescued her.  Please continue to post updates 

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I have just shown this to Susie, my wife, and this was her reaction:

"If you are restoring an old house, you do the roof before you do the rest, to keep the water out. If you are doing up an old boat, you do the hull before you do the rest".

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Ah don't worry about it if I remember correctly another ripple craft boat broardland lapwing got a fair bit of criticism from some in particular Steve truss's valuation of 200k , knowing the owner's and working on lapwing I know full well that a lot if effort went into that boat as well as a serious amount of cash , but what bugged me was she was fresh out of the shed and hadn't been seen other than photographs by those critical of her .

At the end of the day your keeping history alive n there ain't that many ripple craft boats about where as there are quite a few more of certain vessels and not because they were better built just because there were more of them cos I know ripple craft boats were built very well and strong , and for my money I'd rather have a classic that was built in small numbers than say a mk1 ford escort built in volume .

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5 minutes ago, Vaughan said:

I have just shown this to Susie, my wife, and this was her reaction:

"If you are restoring an old house, you do the roof before you do the rest, to keep the water out. If you are doing up an old boat, you do the hull before you do the rest".

Exactly :default_biggrin:

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I would love to know who made the comments at the Wooden boat show and I have a stern word.  At least you made the effort to turn up none of us Wooden boat owners feel the boat is ever finished but like others have said you are keeping the heritage alive.

you are more than welcome to moor next to us anytime.

Doug.

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I am certain that Griff of Broad Ambition would say the same as Doug, in fact of all the people I met at the meet last year I cant think of a single one that, would say such a thing, they all seemed more interested in the work done, and the work proposed to be done. I have to admit that last year was the first one I had attended.

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2 hours ago, Vaughan said:

I have just shown this to Susie, my wife, and this was her reaction:

"If you are restoring an old house, you do the roof before you do the rest, to keep the water out. If you are doing up an old boat, you do the hull before you do the rest".

Exactly. We may not be boat builders but we do consider ourselves logical, so we started at the bottom. We are now replacing the cabin sides which caused so much consternation. 

old cabin side.JPG

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Well, that's a mess!! Not much to be saved, by the look of it. I really wouldn't have a clue where to start on such a job. I can't adequately express my admiration for ALL you woodie owners. 

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Great thread just love these (never ending )restoration projects .looking a the photos i thought she looked great - carry on the good work and thanks for sharing the journey with us all 

 

Finny 

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46 minutes ago, Regulo said:

Well, that's a mess!! Not much to be saved, by the look of it. I really wouldn't have a clue where to start on such a job. I can't adequately express my admiration for ALL you woodie owners. 

With something like that you start by ringing Tim Collins :default_biggrin:

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I think we saw you 31st July/1st August at Norwich yacht station and them Brammerton. Shocking story from Beccles but those people are not boat or broads lovers, and I am glad you did not let them spoil your enjoyment.

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5 hours ago, brundallNavy said:

I would love to know who made the comments at the Wooden boat show...

Doug.

So would I. It was at the 2015 event and was one of a couple of issues that occurred that day. 

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49 minutes ago, JanetAnne said:

So would I. It was at the 2015 event and was one of a couple of issues that occurred that day. 

That doesn't sound good , one would have thought that with everyone having a wooden boat there would be a high level of togetherness , its well known that some view GRP boats as not proper but to turn against a wooden boat really surprises me but not half as much as the fact that the incident reported wasn't the only one that day that's really sad .

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3 hours ago, Ricardo said:

With something like that you start by ringing Tim Collins :default_biggrin:

Not Tim Collins he won't stock mahogany that big. Only one place to head and that's Martham.  

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2 hours ago, JanetAnne said:

So would I. It was at the 2015 event and was one of a couple of issues that occurred that day. 

Nipper was looking less than pristine that year. At least your cabin sides where complete I only had half of one with the other half sunbathing somewhere near Great Yarmouth. 

Doug. 

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1 hour ago, brundallNavy said:

Not Tim Collins he won't stock mahogany that big. Only one place to head and that's Martham.  

I forgot to mention we purchased a log of African Mahogany then had it cut into 23 foot x 2 foot 6 inch boards. If anyone knows someone who can plane wood this big - please let me know. I would rather not cut the boards up for the sides.  

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I'm not sure if Martham's planner is limited to 24 inches but always worth a ring. I don't know of anyone else other than maybe Patrick Richardson at Potter. 

Doug. 

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5 hours ago, brundallNavy said:

I'm not sure if Martham's planner is limited to 24 inches but always worth a ring. I don't know of anyone else other than maybe Patrick Richardson at Potter. 

Doug. 

Thanks Doug, I rather suspect we are being optimistic trying not to joint the cabin sides. But it was worth a try.

 

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Hi Socrates

We had new cabin sides fitted by Martham, these  were in two halves joined at the forward end of the cockpit.

I forget the  width of the wood but the photo will give you some idea.

222mb.jpg

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14 minutes ago, springsong said:

Hi Socrates

We had new cabin sides fitted by Martham, these  were in two halves joined at the forward end of the cockpit.

I forget the  width of the wood but the photo will give you some idea.

222mb.jpg

Thanks for posting this. Yes, I can see that they are a little bit shorter than our sides. The problem is that we can't get our Boat to Martham. Looks like we will have to go for the joint option.

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If you now how thick the cabin side is you just need a trailer to take the planks to the planner, I have done this a couple of times with Martham.

Doug.

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