CODBLOG27 : Work Starts on Kandahar

Hopefully, we learnt a little with Gwalch and this will make the progress on Kandahar easier. The only work that was done while we were up at Alun Simpsons was the removal of the paint from the topsides, the little that was left after exposure to the elements in Beaumaris for 25 or so years! In its new home in Llandudno we got the boat well supported and got on with the work:

1) Strip off the old deck and combings.

It had been a traditional laid deck which would have been very pretty in its day but was now well past saving. We will replace it with a marine ply deck which will be more practical and certainly easier and cheaper to fit.

2) Remove Deck Beams and Carlings

Carefully number up all the deck beams and remove them all except the two at the front and rear of the cockpit. These will provide some support during the next stages.

Surprisingly, some of the deck beams may be re-usable. In any case we found that the old ones on Gwalch were invaluable for use as templates when fitting the new ones. This will be some time hence so we will store them carefully.

3) Remove Keelsom and Rudder post support block.

Both of these will need renewing. I out-sourced Gwalch’s Rudder Block to Jeremy Byrom and I’m hoping I can do the same again!

4) Remove main Floor Beams.

These are surprisingly much sounder than the ones we pulled out of Gwalch. They still have to be removed because the planks were nailed to them using steel nails. These have rusted away in the planks but are still embedded in the beams. Making new beams is a better option than trying to pull all the nails out of the old ones.

5) Clean out the inside of the hull.

All the old paint has to be scraped off using a hot air gun and scraper. Fortunately, twenty-five years of weather makes it a little easier. The paint under the fore decking has been most protected and will be the hardest to remove.

6) Remove Bow Stem.

This was almost falling out anyway. We’ve already sourced the new oak blank for it as it was cut from the same curved bit of tree as Gwalch’s. Arthur, I’m sure, as with the last one, is itching to start whittling this down to size in his spare time!

7) New Floor Beams

We made our first visit this year to our friendly wood yard for oak planks for the beams. We also bought the plank for the Keelsom. At over 10 foot long this ensured a draughty ride home in Keith’s Mondeo!

Patterns for the new beams were made using the old ones as templates and then a trip to the satellite workshop in Stockport (Rod Yates’ shed) to cut them out on his bandsaw. Back in Llandudno the new beams are finished off by planing and sanding to ensure the correct contours of the boat are maintained.

8) Prepare Hull

One of the more tedious jobs that must be done is to drive out the rusty bits of nails still in the planking. The heads are inevitably buried under paint and filler and this must be cleared, otherwise, when the nail is driven out there will be damage to the wood on the outside of the plank. Also, this is a two-man operation using a heavy block underneath and a hammer and drift from the top.

Progress so far:

Progress over the winter has been steady but not very fast. Getting the Guard Boat sorted is obviously a priority which has taken a lot of time (especially Keith’s). David Lloyd has joined the team and giving a lot of help until he went off sick with a cracked rib (not work-related!). The cold weather looks like it is behind us now so hopefully its “All systems go”.

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