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Restoration Advice

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FlyByWire View Drop Down
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    Posted: 21 April 2005 at 9:35am

Hiya,

I'm looking for some advice on a boat I'm restoring.

I bought a house-boat in a pretty sorry state about two years ago and decided to rebuild her from the inside out.  In doing so, I discovered she was a High Speed Launch, although I've never managed to identify her.  She's 40'6" LOA with a 9'6" beam, would originally have taken twin Perkins P6M engines and from this, I think, was probably a 300 class HSL.  One thing I have discovered is that she was, at one time, owned by Richard Dimbleby - some time around 1965-70.

Anyway, I've decided to do a proper (or as near proper as my wallet can afford) job of restoring her and her current condition is a hull with the decks partically stripped up and no superstructure (which was a horrific box a la house-boat).  The hull seems fine to me, although she's been out of the water for a good six months now and some of the seams are opening towards the gunwales.  What I really want to know is, if I put engines back in her and put her to sea, will the hull take it?  How can I truely tell the condition of the hull?  Is it worth my while getting a survey done on her?  I'm loath to do so, as I have a deathly fear of the surveyor shaking his head and declaring my boat firewood.

I understand that, where HSL's have been restored before, the hull has been sheathed in fibreglass - although this is a solution, I would much rather keep the hull more original than that.  Of course, if this is at the expense of refastening al the timbers, I'd have to reconsider...

Any advice will be very gratefully received.

Best Regards,

Paul

 

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dgray View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dgray Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 January 2006 at 10:04pm
Hi Paul,

I'm trying to restore a little 32' ST or service launch and have pretty much the same problem.  The solution I am contemplating is to fiberglass sheath to the waterline (not visible !) which should make her stronger and more waterproof!

I can see the inner diagonal mahogany layer on mine and (mostly) it is fine. The only damage I have is some freshwater rot ( leaking deck) and otherwise she and seems well fixed. I'm getting a professional boat builder to give mine the once over.

Mind you, if I don't like what he says, I'll get a second opinion. If I don't like that anty better, I better get the cheque book out because they'll probebly be right!  It's best to know while she is on the hard.

Good luck with it.

Regards

Don







Don


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FlyByWire Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 February 2006 at 9:32am

Hi Don,

 sorry I've left it so long to reply.

  My boat's an ST as well it turns out, not an HSL - shows what I know!

  My hull seems pretty strong and the general opinion of people I've asked is that, as long as I'm not going out charging into force ten seas with the throttles wide open, then the hull should be fine and is probably best left undisturbed.  I'm still not convinced about fibreglassing, having taken so much of it off my boat and found nothing but rot underneath...

  In the end, I *did* get a chap to semi-survey my boat (he runs a local restoration company in Penryn where my boat is and agreed to look over her for me) and he was actually pretty complimentary, so I'm a bit happier about the whole thing, now.

  Good luck with yours - have you got much to do?

 

Paul

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Christian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 February 2006 at 8:06pm

Hi Don and Paul

As far as I can make out there were three BPB Co Seaplane Tender variants,the 200 series (Nos 200-324) narrow beam 37'6" LOA 8'8" beam,the 40' narrow beam boats and the later wide beam 300 series(Nos 357-366  and 436-439) which were 41'6" LOA 11'9" beam.The numbers then started with 1500 in July 1942.I'm still looking for more info relating to boats with the dimensions you've mentioned,perhaps this will prompt somebody to enlighten us.From the pics I've seen of both boats,they do look like BPB Co designs.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dgray Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 February 2006 at 9:01pm
Hi Guys,
It seems mine was a 37'6"  that had 5'6" chopped of her  in 1954 to make a yacht out of her (according to the date on the ply & a boatbuilder I know).  I really could do with that extra 5'6"!!

Mine is definitely a BPB boat as I found the original switch panel ( brass)  which is about 14" by 12". It has about 6 switches marked BPB on surface.

I must get it together to put up some photos of restoration. ALL my problems are due to freshwater ingress ( rain).  Gotta remove about 20  planks. Ah well, it could be worse, could be triple diagonal instead of double!!

Cheers




Don


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FlyByWire Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 February 2006 at 9:23am

Hiya,

all my problems are due to rainwater getting in under the decks, too :(

One thing to bear in mind, Christian, is that although Scott-Paine designed the original boats and went on to form the BPB, a few other builders were also building ST's at the same time. For instance, the historian at RAF Hendon thinks that my boat is most likely a Walton Yacht Works boat from the mid 1930's. On top of that, I have found that the boat yard my boat is currently in is actually part of what was a much larger shipyard during the war and that they repaired things like ST's, ML's and MGB's. They also started building them themselves, as did many shipyards around the country, but whether they stuck to the original designs or improved and adapted as they went along, I can't say.

I suspect that a lot of military vessels were modified or built to modifed designs during the course of the war and tracking those designs down probably isn't possible. For example, I read in one book that Scott-Paine himself applied to the admiralty to modify a 70' MTB by lengthening it by 5' to improve the top speed.

Certainly, my boat is 40'6" LOA and 9'6" beam at her widest - this would make her slightly longer than a BPB narrow-beam but about a foor wider.

Paul

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote a76njk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 February 2006 at 12:01pm

Hello all,

A good friend of mine has completed a significant amount of work on an 68'x19' beam RTTL replacing in total around 40% of the side planking and structural timbers beneath with a view to returning her to original service condition. His bill for timber is huge. He found that most of the damage had been caused by fresh water ingress from leakage around non-standard hand rails that had been placed around the deck. Also the previous owner had placed fibreglass wool between the inner hull and a new interior skin to insulate the boat from the cold. This soaked up even more water causing more damage. I suspect that any boat of this type with good ventilation around the inner hull will last for years and that by encasing the hull in fibreglass could prevent the natural drying process.

Cheers A76NJK

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Christian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 February 2006 at 1:22pm

Hi A76NJK

Same applies to RTTL 2753,she has perfectly sound planking except behind the ply covers below the deck edge,where fresh water has caused some rot(this from a deck shower which had been fitted for the painters during her paint storage depot days).Dad soaks all the boats daily with salt water before the sun hits them and keeps them well ventilated,this I think has been the secret to their current good shape(also they've never been laid up in a river).Which RTTL has your freind got?A guess would be 2748,let's see some pics if he has no objection.

Regards,Christian

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote a76njk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 February 2006 at 12:15pm

Hello Christian,

The boat is RTTL 2751 Phoenix and is in very good condition in pretty much every respect. Quite a bit of the original equipment still remains on board. She was laid-up in the River Hamble for many years just south of the M27 river bridge and used as a live aboard. The water being very tidal was mainly salt which I believe has looked after the lower planking. However she will be removed from the water later in the year to inspect the underside and for repainting back to service colour scheme but from the inside she looks just fine with no significant leakage.

I will get some pictures of the restoration for the forum when I next see the owner. The interior is very 1970's and needs reworking but externally she is very close to her service condition.

Cheers

A76NJK

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Christian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 February 2006 at 2:54pm
Hello A76NJK-Thanks for the reply,I've seen pics of her in '99,'01 and '04,on her river berth,looking progressively worse.Where is she now?Pics depicting her restoration progress would be great.
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