Whilst acknowledging her age now since she was built 53 years ago, it is evident that she has been used extensively, based on the damage and repairs that have been undertaken, some reasonable and others at best negligent in terms of safety of the craft. But yes, she has survived and will be of a high standard in 3 weeks time.
Having initially started the cleaning out and assessment process which allowed time for the hull to dry out, I got stuck into the timber work repairs and renewals. You will have noted the initial pictures of the Transom board and the engine mounting bracket. These have now been restored, all in original Teak. You will note that the engine mounting board had mild steel 8 mm coach bolts, albeit corroded and rusty. These have now been replaced with 10 mm A4 stainless steel.
Well, you might ask the question, what is the finish applied? My preference is Rustin’s Original Danish Oil. Its a natural product, needs to be built up and maintained, but even in the sun and hard environment of the Greek Ionian it still look good. The harder more synthetic and manufactured finishes, whilst easier to apply will age, harden and flake.
Another renewal task was the making of the new floor section. I prefer them in 4 panels with a lift-up stern section behind the centre board casing, big enough to get a hand scoop in to dry the bottom out. Favoured material is a soft wood, preferably a Swedish Upper Gulf ‘unsorted’ grade. This has a tight grain with minimum knots, and the knots when the do occur are just a small button size; it’s light in weight and holds paint well.
I’ve now made these sections, all sanded, chamfered edges and pre fitted. They will be primed in a water-based primer with an oil-based top coat, before the grey deck anti-slip finish.
Whilst at this stage of tackling the renewals I have made a centre board box casing. These very early Luggers were basic, having an exposed ribbed casing. So, Angie will now sport a full casing made of Iroko, a Teak substitute.
Again, an addition I favour on my Luggers is for the side locker cut-outs to have framed opening hatches. These like the centre board case are made out of Iroko. We make these in-house at Dragon Design. Again, in a sanded finish prior to the Rustins Danish Oil application.
The final major task, not expected to this degree, was to replace the centre plate pivot pin, 2 days later newly engineered with strengthening plates either side. It started by noticing a rusty stain mark on the floor bottom below the pin. Ah! I thought, needs cleaning. But oh no, a lot more than that. The pin was secured in the centre board cheeks by just two lugs that were held into the holes by resin filler and a little fibre glass matting to the outside casing. The lug on the port side has broken away and with the weight and movement of the centre plate had created a much larger hole; this was not good!
This now required a major strengthening and modification to this very basic design. You will note a square pad of 3 mm stainless steel has been fixed to the case side, this replicated to the other side. The pads were aligned and set on a pre laid up base of chopped strand mat and West resin, to cover the enlarged hole and to encapsulate the plates, finally bonding the entire strengthening plates down to the base of the centre board casing. A job well done and better to find it now than when out on charter in the Ionian.
The good news is that the new Mariner 4 HP outboard has arrived. Yes, it has been an eventful two weeks. Well, at least one job has been completed: the boat’s Bung has had a new washer!
Before any final spray work can be contemplated, we have taken Angie off her trailer and turned the hull over in order to replace the keel band and beaching rails. This should be the last major task before the refitting can start.
So please keep following progress with Angie’s rebuild. Maybe you will have the chance to sail her yourself out in the Ionian, if you choose to ‘Lugger about in the sun’.