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Thread: an old boat somewhere yesterday

  1. #1

    Default an old boat somewhere yesterday

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Sound Beach, NY

    Default Re: an old boat somewhere yesterday

    I watched the weather and some commercials in spanish.

  3. #3

    Default Re: an old boat somewhere yesterday

    some links dont cross countries, i dont know how to get another link

  4. #4

    Default Re: an old boat somewhere yesterday

    http://I had been working under the arches at Kew Bridge building loudspeaker cabinets for rock bands. I made the routing jigs too for all the guys to use and we made the cabinets of birch and gaboon plywood. I layed the concrete floor in the workshop, I had learnt to do this making swimming pools in Norfolk. When I got involved with a lovely Frenchwoman I wanted to stay with her, so I thought I better get a long term job. I'd heard about the Brentford yard so I went along to ask for a job as a labourer. It didn't occur to me to be a shipwright or yacht joiner; when I asked the boss for a job he jokingly said to me you can replace our shipwright, a south coast trained guy who had just left. I thought he was joking but six months later I was a shipwright. The boss said I'd become a boat builder overnight and a year later I was the shipwright foreman. I had studied hundreds of boats and lived on them most of my life so I knew how they went together. I'd studied every book I could find: I knew how to rig them and when I started work at that yard in Brentford it all came together. I found something I was very good at and it became my career. What a surprise, I worked with my girlfriend. Brentford is where I learned the main shipwright techniques. I made spile boards, patterns, jigs, planks ,frames ,floorboards ,panels, roofs, decks, shearing, bulkheads ,linings. The boats were usually elm or steel bottoms 3" x 7' x 6” to 30” wide bottom planks, fastened across the boat to steel or wrought iron knees which were also fastened to the first strake, the chine. The first strake was slightly angled. The rest of the oak side hull planks were slab sided until the top strake, which was angled in. The forward and aft planks were mostly steamed in a steambox that was.fed by a fire made of old planks and anything else, sometimes started with paraffin. These oak planks were very difficult to steam into place as there was any amount of junk either side of every boat or on the dockside over the water. Tanks, boards, panels, plywood, cupboards taken out of the boat to get to the hulls to repair them, fridges, cookers, a car or van, trolleys, baskets, oil drums, water containers. You could barely find a way through the yard sometimes. Bicycles and motorbikes, stacks of oak, elm, pine, mahogany. If you can steam 2 inch thick by 10 inch wide oak 25 foot long planks round the bow of a narrowboat you can probably steam them around most boats because the bows of narrowboats have sharp shoulders. And the smell of fresh steamed oak soaked in linseed oil in the sunshine is great along with tobacco ,red lead and creosote. It smells great though dangerous. We replaced cratch beams, foredecks, stern decks, cabins, beams, gunnel caps, and counter blocks. The whole world of narrowboats is very particular. Apart from us repairing them there didn't seem to be many people who repaired them on the canals in southern England. The other yards mostly did interior work. Some of these narrowboat owners go to odd lengths to buy replica tollgate tickets from 100 years ago. Some of them dress up like people from 100 years ago. One guy walked into the yard and asked if we had a narrowboat. He had bought an old clapped out engine , maybe 60 years old a Bolinder, the holy grail for these boat owners. With a faraway look in his eye and his hand on his wallet we could tell he was serious.

  5. #5

    Default Re: an old boat somewhere yesterday

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