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Thread: Cold Mold over Old Carvel Planking

  1. #1
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    Default Cold Mold over Old Carvel Planking

    You'll have to reach back in your memories for this one. Years ago (10-20?), There was an article in WB about cold molding over an old carvel planked hull. The idea was to give new life to an old boat without re-framing and re-planking. The method was to strip the finish, dry the boat out, then laminate two or three layers of cedar veneer over the hull, then cover with epoxy and cloth. You'd then have a watertight hull and the cold molded layers would both stiffen up the boat and take up all the structural aspects of the original ribs.

    Whatever became of this method of re-building? I haven't heard of it since. Have any of these boats survived and how are they holding up?
    Reasons why it never caught on?
    1. Hull would now rot from the inside out.
    2. Too costly?
    3. Builder's wouldn't guarantee this method?
    4. Added too much weight?

    Anyone out there have any answers/clue?
    Just curious. I've no intention of using the method myself.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Cold Mold over Old Carvel Planking

    It's done quite successfully. It works best if the hull is aggressivly wooded and the seams all reefed. After all rot has been replaced - given what comes next lots of little dutchmen are fine - and the seams splined and then the inside and out CPES sealed, the strips - not veneer and not ceder except maybe two under layers above the waterline.

    In general the schedule is dual diagonal and final layer lengthwise.

    It's a labor and epoxy intensive process best suited for a person really really really in love with the old boat. It's not even remotely commercially viable.

    The examples I know of are a couple of boats in the 12T-15T range and one Wianno Sr. Those were redone fifteen or more years ago. I have heard of maybe a half dozen other projects more recently but not tracked them down. About 1/4 of the original hull was left as shavings on the shop floor and the cold-molded layers totaled about 1/2 the original so the new total was perhaps 25% thicker than original. This does not appear to hurt the boat. The Wianno Sr measures to class standards just fine given that the extra wood weight is balanced by the much reduced moisture weight.

    One of the people I know who did this to an older yawl did it not because the boat was in need of saving. She was just fine for normal coastal cruising. But this guy had decided on a transAtlantic, winter over in Ireland, and then down to the Med, bop around Africa, and finally come back the southern route. He wanted the old girl bullet proof and that's what he got.

    Sometimes you don't need the outer layers, just seam battening the boat and sealing with epoxy will do, as it did for so many years on Granuaile. But either is much superior for strengthening a wooden sail boat than any form of glass and mastic. Good systems that give long hard life for the long term boat owner.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Cold Mold over Old Carvel Planking

    If my recollection is correct, you are thinking of the boat Curlew, owned by Tim and Pauline Carr.

    I think that anyone would have to say that their rebuild was a success, and I think the boat is still going strong.

    Bob

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Cold Mold over Old Carvel Planking

    Another great example, dredbob - I remember the Curlew articles and have long admired the Carrs. But I don't know them personally. Curlew is a perfect example of how this not especially cost-effective (in the normal boat universe) approach becomes the very thing for the right people and boat.

    No market supports it as a commercial restoration. There is no material down-side to the method for those with the need for such a strong restoration and the guts to do it.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Cold Mold over Old Carvel Planking

    I think there was mention here a year or two ago about such a restoration on a nice old Luders by a builder near Bar Harbor.
    I also remember reading of a nice looking job by Bent Jespesen in BC.

    I'll bet a nickel, maybe more, that someone will do this to a Concordia yawl in the next five years. The method is just right for boats that are heavily loved and lightly framed.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Cold Mold over Old Carvel Planking

    A pair of really lovely young ladies got involved in trying to build a sailboat that was a abit large for their budgets, The yard wasn' helping them They were running them out of money so they could take the boat and finish it and sell for their own use. I watched them work a couple of deals like that before approaching them about TanaMari. They gave a very good estimate and time period for Tanamari, $65,000 for the hull and deck with finished unterior work and keel attached (I paid for Keel), paint finished. I had sheets and sheets of drawings showing exactly where the holes were to be cut fore wiringm the number size hole to cut etc.
    First...my resin arrived, but they began using it in another ladies project. I had brought in a excessive load of African Mahogany to use for the diagonal planking and the yard had started charging the two ladies a double price for it until I pointed out that they were using my material and it needed replaceing immediately. They were a bit shocked to find that the material would cost them 2-3 times what they expected, same with the resin that they had been using. The hulls were finished as far as we wanted to go and stacked all the tools etc inside with personal effects. ( The yard that was ripping everyone off was run by an American selling pirated plans from all major architects). It cost us about 6000 dollars to have a barge towed with two hulls and two shipping containers from Pattaya Thailand to Moorea. About 6 months later both boats were finished to top of the line standards. We sold the containers and tools to a local yard for a very substantial profit. The tug operator started looking around to find a place to live, but I think they made him believe he would like somewhere else better. I did also. This was before that large influx of American tourests of the Mutiny movies
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Cold Mold over Old Carvel Planking

    Quote Originally Posted by dredbob View Post
    If my recollection is correct, you are thinking of the boat Curlew, owned by Tim and Pauline Carr.

    I think that anyone would have to say that their rebuild was a success, and I think the boat is still going strong.

    Bob
    http://www.woodworkforums.com/f32/re...gazine-103432/

    Restoration of Curlew , not an extremely costly way of securing a strong hull I'd say .The Carr's certainly didn't seem to have a lot of money to spend .
    Last edited by PeterSibley; 02-12-2011 at 11:47 PM.
    Try to work out what the marketing guy wants you to do then do precisely the opposite.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Cold Mold over Old Carvel Planking

    When I started reading this thread I was first thinking of the Curlew, but someone else mentioned her. I have seen a couple of these jobs done as well as people using Fibre glass in the same way. An older wooden boat dried out and then a heavy fibre glass layup on top. My brother did a bunch of work for a guy who had bought an old boat that had been covered in this way. no money was available, so they fabricated aluminium frames to replace the worst rotten ones and redid the interior in "Early rustic cabin" and away she went. the boat is still around a dozen or so years later, having had less than $12K purchase and work put into her. I have seen several fishing boats similarly redone with fibre glass.
    There is a lovely little older power boat close by which is drying now, stored in a closed bowshed shelter awaiting skinning (if I heard the story right it will be cold molded) in the spring.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Cold Mold over Old Carvel Planking

    Jimmy Greens' "Tango 2"
    The molded over boat floats higher !!
    A fine interior is more expensive, takes more skill than a hull. (gawd knows I have a simple interior)

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Cold Mold over Old Carvel Planking

    I should have been clear about cost. It's not cost effective for a commercial yard because it's very labor intensive. If the labor is your own, that's not an expense. The wood is relativly cheap. Epoxy is expensive but if you're buying in commercial lots that cost is at least containable. At least it need not be an all at once cost. That's why even poor sailors who can afford the time on the hard find epoxy-wood-sheathing a better way to get the boat they really want.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Cold Mold over Old Carvel Planking

    Thanks guys. I kind of figured it was a home-builder's method of saving a boat. Glad to see that when properly done, they were a success.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Cold Mold over Old Carvel Planking

    http://www.practical-sailor.com/mari...oldrebuild.pdf

    There is this article from years ago. I have been planning to do this to my 1955 Paul Luke, 34' yawl.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Cold Mold over Old Carvel Planking

    I knew the Carrs & Curlew back in 1990 in Falmouth. As far as I know Curlew is part of the Maritime Museum in Falmouth now & still sailing. To see her out of the water took your breath away, the skinning in NZ Kauri was perfection, only 2 through the hull openings with rubber flaps to streamline them! & no motor of course. To see her sail in light winds was extraordinary.

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