Sunday 20 September 2015

Deck's on....

We have had a great summer at Moreton Marine.  Fedoa is coming on leaps and bounds as we have moved up onto the deck.  We have had other customers tearing us away from Fedoa through the Summer, with a number of classics in Cowes including Eleonora, Stormy Weather ,Infanta and Zoom needing our attention.  The Royal Yacht Squadron Bicentenery, Panerai Classic and Fastnet race all happening in Cowes made everyone remember that their boats needed some love!  We have also replaced the deck of a 1980's Swan, and campaigned a boat in the Fastnet ourselves.

Fedoa's deck is now completed, with teak covering boards, margins and king plank setting off the Alaskan yellow cedar swept deck as the original deck was laid in the 1920s. 

The bulwarks went on over the deck finishing them beautifully,

 and the team have all contributed to refurbishing the old hatches, as well as building a new fore hatch, lazarette, steering box and a striking new pilothouse.

The spars are being made by Collars in Oxford with lovely douglas fir, supplied by Stones Timber in Totnes, who have been supplying the teak and cedar for the deck.  The spars are well on their way and we hope to have them here for dressing next month.  The fittings will be made in house to fit the spars, and then sent for galvanising.

We are now starting to work through the deck fittings, with the original gammon iron refurbished to be used as a template for a bronze replacement. 

New chain plate templates have also made and are being sent to the foundry, along with the sheet horses and various other deck fittings.  The samson post is in and holes cut for the spars, and two of our shipwrights are busy rebuilding the rudder. 

We are snagging the joinery below to make it ready to finish off the varnishing, and now have to get back to the systems, finishing the engine systems, aircon, water maker and electronics.  Another busy few months approach as we head into the last part of the year....


Saturday 4 April 2015

Moving outside for Spring

Since the New Year Fedoa has been steadily progressing.  The last major bits of cabinetry on the inside were completed in January and February, with the remaining cupboards built into the saloon,


and the owner's cabin aft fitted out to a high standard.

In March we moved out of the interior, and have put a good numbers of hours into fairing the hull, which is now ready for its first coat of primer.  


The new and the old timber has all be faired by hand to give Fedoa back her beautiful lines, with the whole thing being soaked in thinned down epoxy resin to strengthen and stabilise the timber.  We are looking forward to seeing the result once she starts to be painted

The next exciting phase is the deck.  

We have put down teak covering boards all round the edge of the deck, and now the new yellow cedar laid deck is being sprung up against the covering boards as per the original deck in 1927.  It is already looking good, and you can start to see what the finished deck will look like from the first few planks.  Teak will be laid for and aft down the centreline as well.

We hope to have the deck completed within the next month, and we can fit the bulwarks over the covering board before adding a capping rail and varnishing.  Then we more onto the joinery on deck and final painting and caulking of the hull.

Sunday 21 December 2014

November / December 2014

It feels like a long time ago that the stairs went in.  Fedoa's interior has come on leaps and bounds as the panelling through the saloon and entrance area has been completed.  We have now got all the cabin doors made and hung, and they have been taken out again for varnishing.  The varnishing on the mahogany started in December, and has brought the interior to life.  

Many many hours of prep work have ensured that a great finish will be achieved.  Some details of the interior are still to complete.  Cupboards in the sleeping cabins and saloon, as well as the owner's cabin still need to be done.  However, the galley and heads are almost complete, and getting some oil onto the sole boards has tied all the cabins together beautifully.

Having tried the engine box in the middle of the saloon, we decided that it dominated too much, so this has been cut back and redone to make this area cosy with a "gentleman's club" feel, but spacious enough to be practical.  

The introduction of bunk fronts and the chart table gives a good idea of the final layout.  The table over the engine is a stunning piece of mahogany which forms a great centrepiece for the room.

Fitting the stainless fridge and freezer means that the joinery in the galley could be finished off and this looks great.  Dovetailed drawers and fiddly door catches have kept us busy.  

The teak gratings in the two showers have been made to perfection which finishes off the traditional look in the heads, with just the sink and toilet plumbing to finish these cabins.

  The hull sides are being finished with painted cedar slats to line out lockers and visible areas throughout.  This is a great job for our young shipwrights to fine tune their accuracy and fitting skills.

The New Year brings plenty of new challenges.  The arrival of the air conditioning units and watermaker means that we now have all mechanical systems in place.  Some of us will continue below decks with the installation of these systems and the finishing off of the joinery, while others will turn their attention to the deck.  We are now ready to lay the covering boards and king plank in teak, before laying the cedar swept deck.  

The original hatches are currently being used to keep the interior warm for varnishing, and these will be refurbished and reused over the new deck as they are in good condition despite being nearly 90 years old.

It has been a fantastic year of boatbuilding for all of us, and the team at Moreton Marine have met all the challenges thrown at them with initiative and enthusiasm.  It is a great privilege to be able to restore a boat with Fedoa's heritage so completely, and we are making sure we honour Alfred Mylne by doing the job as well as we can.

History Update

It has been a great few months for learning more about Fedoa's varied history.  I was contacted by the children of someone who sailed across the Atlantic in Fedoa in the 1950's.  This led to another member of the crew getting in touch, who came to see Fedoa last week.  The conversation with someone who sailed Fedoa reliving their memories from 60 years ago was fascinating, and hopefully more pictures and press cuttings from their fateful crossing are on their way.  The following is an excerpt from an email I was sent regarding this passage, which involved a hurricane, an injured and hungry crew, and a memorial service for them before they arrived safely in Antigua:

"Nat used every fibre in his body to climb the mast in the atrocious and treacherous conditions in order to free the halyard which was stuck, preventing them from lowering the mainsail. Unfortunately his shoelace became stuck at the top in the main halyard pulley, but after struggling for some time he managed to break free. (For several years after this he refused to wear shoes with laces). Without any clear idea of where they were having been blown off course by the hurricane, and without a navigator, they decided to steer a westerly course.....  By a remarkable coincidence, the course they had chosen exactly bisected the entrance to English Harbour in Antigua, and two months after their departure from England they finally arrived."

We were also contacted by another relative of a former crew of Fedoa who had sailed her in the Fastnet in the 50's.  They apparently finished 35th out of 36!

October 2014

October  was all about the interior.  Steve and Ade have been concentrating on the mahogany panelling, which is completely transforming the interior.  The saloon and stairwell areas are now pretty much complete.  Simon has been fitting the door frames, which is tying together all the walls and bulkheads really nicely.  Paul has been concentrating on the heads and the galley, making and fitting cupboards.  With a painter working away in the background everything is coming together well.  We expect to finish all the cabins except for the Owner's  by the end of November.

The stove, fridge and freezer are now ready to be fitted, so the galley will be ready to go, and all the plumbing is now ready for a final fit.  Once the dust settles from the whirlwind of joinery we will get to work on the varnishing and final fit of the fuel systems and main electrics.

Other jobs tackled this month include fairing the hull, which after hardening up and refastening the whole boat is no small task (A new apprentice starting in November should speed this along).  We have also made the large mahogany table top to fit the engine cover, as well as starting all the mahogany joinery throughout the saloon, side tables and the chart table and mahogany worktops in the galley and heads.

The staircase has also been made and assembled, and is being fitted today.

Thursday 2 October 2014

Brazilian Mahogany for the Indian Summer

August / September 2014

August saw us continue on the interior of Fedoa.  We fixed the engine in position and installed all the tanks enabling to start connecting up all the pipework .  This had to be done while everything was accessible, putting in the majority of the plumbing, exhaust system, bilge pumps and pipes, fresh water system and a large amount of the electrical wiring.   

The new generator was also fitted in the lazarette, and the necessary systems introduced for this.

Woodwork in the interior included ply panels where structural strength is needed, and tongue and groove panelling in the service areas such as the galley, focastle and heads to finish off the bulkheads, as well as the douglas fir carcassing.

In September we continued with installing pipework, with the sanitation systems introduced, and fuel system all designed ready for installation. 

Joinery has stepped up a level now, with all the structure now in place.  We have sourced a beautiful batch of Brazilian Mahogany from Stone's Timber in Devon, which I went to inspect in August.  This has arrived and we have tried to get everything else completed (where possible) before introducing the final joinery.  All the iroko sole boards are now fitted, so we have started fitting door frames and some panelling made from the mahogany.  This is, as expected, making really stunning woodwork that is going to look absolutely right for the period of the boat.  

Other areas that have been built include the galley and the three heads, which now just need finishing with the mahogany, and most of the sleeping cabins.  Painters are currently coming in as we stop for the day and working through the evening, so we don't interfere with each other's work, and things can keep progressing at a good rate. 

We are hoping to get all the mahogany interior done over the next month or so, meaning that we can move back out of the boat and get the deck laid while the electrician, mechanic, painters and varnishers get things finished off down below

We have also spent some time finishing the outside of the hull to the final shape with all the planking now faired so the skin fittings can all be fitted through the hull where necessary.  The hull can now be primed and caulked which will greatly improve the "finished" look of the boat.

Everyone has got through a huge amount of work, and the joinery feels like a reward after some of the tougher jobs that have been tackled over the last few months.  The team are doing a great job of staying focussed, and are producing an interior of a very high standard.

Sunday 10 August 2014

Full Steam Ahead

June / July 2014

In June most of our hours went into the deck, with the cedar and ply down, and the whole thing faired and sheathed with epoxy / fibreglass by the end of June.  This is now ready for the cedar and teak laid deck which we have decided to do after the interior fit out to minimise the risk of it getting damaged.  The other time consuming job that was finished in June was splining the topsides, which is now finished so the hull is ready for fairing.

July has been back to full speed with almost twice the hours going into the boat as in June.  We started the month with the exciting event of the new engine going into the boat.  This was achieved with the help of South Boats and their crane, with which we managed to fit the engine through the side of the tent, and drop it down through the main hatch with a block and tackle.  600 kgs of Perkins is now in position in the centre of the saloon.   We also fitted the thrust bearing to thrust plate, and prop shaft through the stern tube so we can order the aquadrive to complete the drive gear.

We have got most of the cabin sole fitted this month, using solid iroko boards to give us a base to build the furniture off.  With basic wiring in and tanks in position we now have the basic cabin layout installed.  A traditional finish throughout the boat in keeping with the original is going to include tongue and groove panelling, fielded panels, and raised and fielded panels, some being painted and some varnished depending on the use of the cabin / area.

Other jobs have included preparing the area under the cockpit for the generator, which will be fitted in August, and making the cockpit itself.  Also, starting to fit the plumbing and galley systems below floor level before too much is built in over the top.  We are making great progress and are still on target to get the majority of the interior joinery finished, the electrical and mechanical systems installed and be finishing off the deck by the end of the year.

Monday 12 May 2014

Feeling like a New Boat.....

May 2014

We have now completed painting the inside of the hull, and having sanded back the 2 coats applied by hand we have sprayed on the final coat(s).  Fedoa is now feeling like a new boat being fitted out rather than an old one being patched up.

With all the floors fully fastened in we have been able to slide the keel back in under the boat.  It was offered up and was a good fit on the new wood keel, with all - both original and new - holes lining up with the holes in the lead.  The gallery bolts are all in and fastened, and the main keel bolts all in place with just the nuts to go onto them to have the keel fitted.  This has been bedded on a lead / linseed putty to form a watertight seal. 

Having drilled for the stern tube earlier in the year it was a fairly quick job to get this installed, and from there we were able to fabricate a steel thrust plate and fit our rear coupling for the shaft. 

We have also made and fitted steel engine bearers, so everything is in place for the engine to be dropped in when this arrives.  Other steel work fitted includes hanging knees, either refurbished or remade, and a steel breastplate across the front of the focastle to reinforce under the inner forestay attachment.

More work has been done on the interior bulkheads and floor bearers so all the cabins are now demarcated, and we have worked out the best layout for the companionway staircase, with a mock-up installed last week which we can use for access into the boat.  We are very happy with the layout, with generous cabins throughout.

Looking ahead, we will be fitting the first 2 layers of the deck on this month; a layer of tongue and groove cedar, followed by a layer of ply sheathed with glass cloth and epoxy. We are also aiming to get the engine fully installed so we can get the shaft / aquadrive fitted and all the fuel tanks templated / made up ready to be plumbed in next month so the interior fitout can begin in earnest.