On a cold and grey Wednesday, 12th December 2018 at the home of Dragon Design, Cabinetmakers, Clara was wheeled out for the first time after undergoing a full and extensive refit. It has taken 6 weeks, not all full time work, and 280 man hours to complete.
As a Mk 1 Lugger, with a hull number of 937, built by Honnor Marine at their yard at Totnes in 1973, she inherited many of the issues boat builders were experiencing with glass fibre and resin lay up procedures. These materials and methods were in their infancy; the laying up of a mould was done manually, and consequently the gel coat was often penetrated and breached by this application of chopped strand matting, hence what I find when preparing the surface ready for spray finishing. The mat is so close to the surface, this requires a lot preparation before one can start the spraying process.
The woodwork, albeit only the Gunwhales and 3 sections inside the cockpit which were included in the boat, were all in Burmese Teak. When the Teak became very expensive after controls on its export out of the country by its ruling military junta were enforced, the industry turned to Iroko, an Asian hardwood which was primarily used for the floors and beds of trucks. Being very dense and fibrous it is very hard wearing. At that stage the Gunwhale section was made of 2 pieces with a scarfing joint connecting both pieces, and there is a significant difference in the colour of these two different materials. You will note from Clara’s existing Gunwhale, which is dark and rich in colour to the light and mellow colour of the new Iroko of the cockpit woodwork. As I have expanded on, early on in her rebuild all the woodwork had been treated in Rustin’s Danish Oil. Yes it burns out, especially in the Mediterranean sun, but will recover easily with a once-over with an oiled pad. So much easier than varnish which bakes hard and brittle. This surface cover then cracks, moisture gets under it and starts the rotting and discolouration process. For those who have sailed my Luggers out in the Ionian, despite the usage they get the woodwork always looks good.
For the overland drive to Greece via Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro and Albania, dropping into Northern Greece close to the provincial capital city of Ioannina, this being around 2100 miles, I have made a supporting cradle. I have found that the conventional beam rollers which are great for rolling the boat on and off are not good to support the side hull sections. The rollers have just 2 points of contact to the hull, so all the side movement is taken onto these 2 areas, thus causing damage. The full cradle which has total contact with the full surface of the hull is soft sprung fabric lined and this fully protects the anti-foul primer.
If you would like to sail this magnificent Lugger in June 2019, I still have sea-facing apartments at Geni Garden from 12 to 26th June 2019. Why not give it a go, have a look at the Reviews and see what they say out about the experience of ‘Luggering about in the sun’