View Full Version : Vertue restoration - Episode 1
12-01-2003, 06:50 AM
Corio Vertue finally arrived on 27/11/03. After the heart palpitations of seeing her lifted of the transport, and moved by travel hoist to her temporary land berth it was time to take stock.
1. Removed all moveable bits from interior.
2. Ripped out all electrical wiring.
3. Disconnected all thru hull fittings.
4. Mast removed for re-rigging, and deck fittings - pushpit, pulpit, staunchions (with much difficulty) removed)
5. All "bodged" timberwork hacked out.
The result of 4 days of toiling in a hot and dusty boat yard is that I can now see the true skills of the boatbuilder, and appreciate the form and function of a classic Laurent Giles design. Work that needs to be done includes removing some rot from the transom, replacing the stern gland, a new bridge deck bulkhead, and if funds are still available replace the steel floors. Probably the best discovery was a bilge drain which made it possible for me to have the interior completely pressure washed without having to pump out the bilge.
To cap of my initiation into wooden boat restoartion was the visit of a local boatbuilder who had sailed on Corio Vertue with the original owner. I don't know who was more surprised; him seeing the boat he had first sailed on over 40 years ago, or me being dumb struck by someone who actually knew, and sailed the boat in his youth.
God, this wooden boat stuff is addictive! However, much to my misfortune the boat delivery was 2 months later than anticipated, and my week-ends are now devoted to Christmas function. Hope to give you an update in progress, and pics, in the New Year.
12-01-2003, 07:56 AM
More please, plank by plank and screw by screw.
Now the torture begins,,,,,,,,,,,, ;)
12-01-2003, 10:20 PM
Ian and I are in hysterics! Misery loves company! I've spent years rebuilding my Vertue (Patience, SN 136) and I'll tell you, when you finish up at one end, it's time to start over again! LOL
Look, this is the voice of experience talking... I know it is tempting to jump into the thing with a Sawsall and a crowbar, but PULEEZE, for your own sake, take photos of everything before, after and during disassembly. You WILL forget! Maybe two years from now when you decide to get around to putting the new wiring in, you WILL forget how it was laid out to begin with. Since these boats weren't built on assembly lines, NOTHING is interchangeable. If you try to put the hinges back on a locker door, it had better be the SAME hinge in the SAME place on the SAME door, or the holes aren't going to line up! Really. Use zip lock plastic bags and put all parts and fasteners in a bag with a slip of paper in it listing what it is and how it goes back together. I can't tell you how many times I bought new fastenings or parts, simply because I couldn't remember where I stored the original stuff... only to find it later.
Also, I don't know who built your Vertue, but I believe all of them were built to Lloyd's 100A1+ so they are WAY overbuilt. Don't sweat the "steel" floors... they should be cast iron, and they will still be plenty strong long after we are all gone. Yep, they waste and flake and make a huge mess in the bilge, but think of them like you would the Lucas electric harness on a vintage Jaguar 120... a pain in the ass, but that's what makes owning one a mark of distinction. (Try keeping them painted with epoxy... it helps, but not by much.) These steel floors are there only because Lloyd's scantling rules require them, not because they are necessary to keep the boat together!
Anybody who's embarked on the same "adventure" will tell you the same... one project begets another. You'll pull one thing out and find something else needs doing. Or... you'll get one thing done and looking great, but that makes everything else not yet done look twice as bad! The real killer, which you can't really avoid, is realizing that many jobs often have to be done "while you're at it. (I pulled an engine to repower and found four cracked frames, the replacing of which justified a new cockpit since the old had to be disassembled in the process, new through hulls and cocks, all new plumbing, and well... you'll see) Take it slow and don't bite off more than you can chew at a time. That mistake almost drove me to giving up. (I think there was a year or two worth of time I spent just moaning...) Baby steps... that's the way to do.
Get her back in the water as soon as you can. She'll repay the favor by not leaking! That will go a long way to keeping the iron floors from rusting so much.
Good luck! ....and may God have mercy on your soul! LOL
12-02-2003, 06:09 AM
Luckily it is not plank by plank - the hull is in terrific condition, and yes, there are a couple of cracked frames, but I'm not going to worry about those for quite some time. The inventory and fittings are not that extensive to worry about - if it didn't belong out it came. I'm just trying to get Corio Vertue back to sea going condition and I will worry about the "pretty" things later. Do some sailing, do some maintenance, and do some restoration.
Bob, I appreciate your comments about the steel floors as I am bit worried about them due due to their severe deterioration. And yes, I was already to take photos after my few days of labour, only to discover the battery in the camera had died. However, I'm going down on Friday after work to get some pics and hope to get them onto this forum.
You guys obviously know your stuff so all comments and advice are most welcome. The big day will come when V99 will be sailing in and around Bass Strait (early 2004) once again, but I'm also relishing all those little job that make owning a wooden classic such a personal experience.
12-02-2003, 08:51 AM
Yup...when finished at one end it's time to do the other...sheer madness this wood maintenance...like maintaining a bridge...chip and paint....and who said " there's nothin' more enjoyable than messin' with a wood boat"..??...it takes a "woodenhead" to go at it year after year... :D
12-02-2003, 03:03 PM
Everyone knows my story by now so I'll refer to "Relentless' as "like a Vertue". LAV. We've just come back from a couple of fabulous days winter sailing. Flat seas and a steady 25 knot wind hour after hour. A plastic boat with twice the LWL took 30 minutes to slowly-very slowly overtake us and it was flying a genny about 140%. We had our main and jib on. The owner of the plastic boat was driving his crew (wife?) to get more out of their boat. He was apoplectic. We were only 100' apart.
When they did overtake the usuall wave was not forthcoming.
The point: Get her in the water and experience the feeling of sailing an amazing boat.
I'll be posting some pics of the trip an a couple of days.
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