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Thread: Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

  1. #1
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    Default Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

    It was blessing or curse I got to possession one of 35’ Arthur Robb’s masterpieces built in 1955 by Moody in England. It was sold as a solid boat but... Long story short, I am in legal dispute with the vendor hopping to get some money back. Also I am very keen to restore her so I hope to get advice and critics which I would really appreciate on my following plan:

    1. Deck. Original 1” thick screwed and caulked teak deck is leaking badly. I plan to remove the teak, lay the 12mm plywood with 2 layers e-glass on epoxy over. Than glue the old teak deck back. I plan to
    a. cut the screws to safe the time,
    b. cut off the parts of planks with screw remains,
    c. the rest of planks cut along to get 1 cm thickness
    d. glue them back, filling the space which was cut off with planks across.

    2. Bilges. Almost all structural frames with steel strips are deeply rotten. Those frames without steel strips are solid. Mahogany planks look good. Steel floors and frame strips show a bit of rust but not that bad. My plan:
    a. My boat builder strongly advice to get rid of all the steel in the bilges and make new wooden floors for every station. I am a bit reluctant to do so as it is not to the original design and adding time/cost. Happy to hear the opinions.
    b. I think to laminate the replaces of rotten pieces of frames directly on inside surface of planks without removing any of them. The laminate supposed to be 5mm kauri strips (any other suggestion?, definitely not oak) stapled to each other with 8mm monel or galvanized staples in places where least possible for plank screws. First layer is stapled but not glued. Then remove formed frames, attach to steel planks and floors or wooden floors. Bolt down with new keel bolts. Refasten the planks.

    Wish I could give up my job for a year.....

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

    Leonita?
    "The truth shall make ye fret" - Terry Pratchett

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    Default Re: Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

    Quote Originally Posted by CapnJ2ds View Post
    Leonita?
    She is.

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    Default Re: Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

    Take the steel floors out and have them galvanised. If you want to throw money at her, see if the floors can be used as patterns for cast bronze.

    I think that cutting the screws in the deck will not save time, dealing with the stub ends will be as much hassle as backing the screws out.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

    There's always a problem when posts like this appear. The sort of restoration you are contemplating is a series of overlapping challenges that have to be anticipated and worked out in advance because the work has to be organized properly to provide the sort of sequential access required. (e.g. the floor bone's connected to the keel bone and the frame bone's connected to the floor bone and the clamp bone's connected to the deck beam bones... dem bones, dem bones, dem bones.) You aren't going to get much good advice off the internet without sorting all the fly specks from the pepper. It gets worse when no pictures of the problems are posted.

    I am familiar with the Cheoy Lee Lions and Robb 35's which are probably very similar to the Moody-built model you've got. Very generally, I'd offer the following responses:

    1) Before you do anything to that laid teak deck, you need to determine why it is leaking. Planked decks leak a lot for a lot of reasons. If you don't identify the problem in the first place, you are likely going to cause yourself a lot of unnecessary work, decrease the value of the boat, spend a lot of money you don't need to and probably never really solve the problem. Plywood sheathed in Dynel and epoxy can be a pretty good deck surface, but once you start putting screws through it, you've broken the integrity of the sheathing and you are almost certainly going to be getting moisture into the plywood edge through screw holes and so on and eventually you will be back to square one with a rotten plywood deck. Consider possible causes of your leaking deck. Is it that the teak planking simply requires recaulking and stopping? (Quite likely.) Is the caulking failing because there is a lack of structural integrity in the deck substructure? Recaulking is a very easy fix compared to tearing everything up down to the deck beams. Laying plywood on a boat constructed as yours is going to always pose problems at the covering board seam and you are going to have to take up the rails and all deck hardware and replace the covering boards with properly made ones to accommodate the interface with the plywood, or carry the plywood all the way to the outside edge of the planking, which will leave you with problems caulking the top seam of the shear strake against the underside of the plywood decking... and so on. Retrofitting different construction techniques and materials in traditionally build boats is a minefield of challenges. You can do it "quick and dirty" and spend a lot of money for a relatively short term fix, but a fine yacht really is destroyed by that approach, if it is worth saving at all.

    2) The iron floors in British built boats of the era (including Cheoy Lees, which was at the time essentially a British yard building to Lloyd's rules) commonly present the problems you've described. Frequently, you are stuck dancing with the girl ya brought because the ballast is iron, so the keel bolts are iron, so the metal floors are going to have to be iron to avoid electrolytic problems down the road. Your options are to remove the metal floors and have them cleaned up if they aren't too wasted and then regalvanized (real hot dipped galvanized, like an anchor) and then reinstalled. If your ballast is lead, you can replace the keel bolts with bronze and the floors with bronze, using the old iron floors as patterns. I expect you will find that replacing the metal floors with wooden ones isn't going to work because to equal the strength of the metal floors, the wooden ones are going to have to be proportionally larger and may not fit in the bilges. (And, as anyone who's been there can tell you, heel rot in frames isn't solely limited to boats with metal floors!) Laminating frame heels in place certainly will work, depending on the extent of the rot, but one must cut out all the rot before doing so and make sure the lamination is "stepped" into the original frame so there isn't a "break" between the lamination and the old frame that will eventually crack. Also, carefully check your frames for cracks, which are often concealed by paint, or even filled with paste and painted over to be intentionally concealed, especially in the wineglass sections of the hull. These are common. Sistering may be required there and if so, it is sometimes easier at the end of the day to replace the entire frame with new wood, laminated in place or otherwise.

    3) Consider contacting Moody's if you haven't already. I believe they are still in business and they may be able to recognize the problems you face and advise as to how they may have repaired other Moody-built boats with similar problems.

    So, I can't tell you how to do it, but I can tell you that your questions suggest that you have not made a complete proper diagnosis before trying to formulate a treatment program for your patient. More diagnostic testing is in order, I'd think.
    Last edited by Bob Cleek; 02-05-2015 at 01:35 PM.

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    Default Re: Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

    And pictures. I'd. Id not waste too much time or money on lawyers. You bought the boat. Did you get a survey? Your mistake. Get on with the work at hand.

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    Default Re: Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

    2 Bob Cleek
    First I do appreciate your time and efforts you put in your very extensive and informative reply. You raised a lot of issues which I have to think again.
    My plan is considering the cost of keeping the boat under shelter. First under shelter remove the deck, engine, furniture which on the way, then repair frames in stern otherwise inaccessible. Than install the deck and move for outdoor stay. Than work on rest of the frames and floors and install teak on the deck.
    1. The deck has to be repaired in principal. Previous owner paid the seams with a Sikka product also there is fresh cotton in seams so there was an attempt to fix it traditionally. More over this sort of deck construction is always subject to expansion and shrinking which leave the deck very vulnerable to rains after a hot day. It is always has to be washed with salt water at least once a week.
    There are signs of rot underneath the planks and I suspect rot in the covered boards as well due the same course - leakage. I think to lay the plywood between cabin trunk and rails, cutting rabbets in both members for the fibrecloth. So there is supposed to be a problem between the rail and the top plank: the deck is stiff, but planks are moving. Apparently I have to make somehow the stiff connection with tops of the frames and the deck. The laminated frames in the bilges would help a little bit but not to the extend of the problem. Would you have any suggestion or other principal solution?
    I am going put the machined pieces of salvaged teak planks back on the top without screws but gluing with Sikka product. So it won't be any breakage of the integrity apart of the holes for the deck hardware which will be treated accordingly. Any potential problem with this technique?
    2. I am not 100% sure about the ballast metal. The previous owner said it is lead, but I don't really trust him. I will see when I put her out of the water. If the ballast made of lead it is apparent electrolysis between the the bolts and the ballast which could be the course of most of the trouble. Would the galvanising floors really help as it will be introduced another metal - zinc I suppose. So it has to be galvanised the bolts and nuts as well? Would fibreglassing of the wooden floors help? Wrap it in say 10 layers of basalt cloth with epoxy. Or totally replace all the steel strips with fibreglass ones with the same thickness 10mm. Or integrate the fibre strips between the laminates of the frames - this way connecting the frames... A lot of crazy ideas. I know
    Thanks for pointing out the possible hidden cracks in frames. I expect all the troubles on this boat. Probably I extend the laminating away from most curved places. What is best way to connect the laminated parts to the old healthy parts of the frame? Would sharp angle connection work or it is better to make sort of dovetail?

    Definitely everything will be re-planned when the actual work commences. But at this stage it is important to define all the possible strategies. Plan A, plan B, C and so on. And I do appreciate any help in finding all the appropriate information.
    Last edited by volodja71; 02-08-2015 at 05:32 PM.

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    Default Re: Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

    One of my two very favourite designs. Congratulations! Good luck with it! Pictures pleeeeeeease!!

    Rick

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    Default Re: Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    And pictures. I'd. Id not waste too much time or money on lawyers. You bought the boat. Did you get a survey? Your mistake. Get on with the work at hand.
    Under New Zealand law you can claim the money back within certain limits if the sold item was misrepresented. I have had a legal advice on it, lawyer draw a letter to the vendor - that is all my legal expenses so far. I was naive to trust a person, but that what most of kiwis do. The vendor was stupid enough to state lies verbally and in written and it is easy to prove. I will let you know how the story ends in April. It is really pity to miss this summer but money claimed worth it.

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    Default Re: Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

    Those are not mine. I will definitely shout some in progress

    New Picture (17) by vlad.balo, on Flickbr />
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    Leonita by vlad.balo, on Flickr

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    Default Re: Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

    Nice boat, hope it works out OK. But you bought it without even taking it out of the water? (I admit though, I have an Arthur Robb design boat, which I bought without a survey and without taking it out of the water! I knew there were some problems with the teak over ply deck, and other than those have had no surprises, no problems with her.)

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    Default Re: Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    Nice boat, hope it works out OK. But you bought it without even taking it out of the water? (I admit though, I have an Arthur Robb design boat, which I bought without a survey and without taking it out of the water! I knew there were some problems with the teak over ply deck, and other than those have had no surprises, no problems with her.)
    I bought her on the water as you see on the middle pickture. She is beauty and the guy said right things exactlywhat I want to hear. Like a virgin on a first date

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

    Where is that , volodja? It almost looks as if it could be silo park ( but a reversed image).

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    Default Re: Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

    Well, if you bought the boat without a haul out, you didn't get a proper survey. "Like a virgin on a first date... without a rubber! If you didn't get a proper survey, the odds are very good that you really don't know what is wrong with her... or not. You are really just flailing around musing about doing this or doing that to fix this or that and that's a complete waste of time. It's probably basically a good boat, but you really haven't had any sort of competent inventory of the work that is required to repair the problems that exist. Here's how that goes... You say "my laid teak deck is leaking." and somebody in a boatyard, or at the marina or the yacht club bar (after a few drinks) or on the internet (with or without a few drinks) says, "Oh, replace it with fiberglassed plywood.' and you think, "Gee, that sounds like a good idea!" and off you go. Problem is, you have no clue why the decks are leaking. Now bits and pieces of information seep out, like "There's rot in the covering boards." They are, IIRC, teak, so they shouldn't be rotting. And you're planning on pulling up a laid teak deck and then sticking it back down on top of glassed plywood with Sikaflex? Don't bet on it. You are going to butt up a plywood deck against your cabin sides? And you are going to keep that from leaking by running the glass in a rabbet? These are the sort of things that everyone goes through before spending lots of time, energy and money on a degree from the School of Hard Knocks. Here's a "cheat sheet" that will save you a lot of time in that school: Find a good surveyor which wooden boat experience. Have the boat hauled and surveyed. Your surveyor should provide a detailed list of what is wrong and what is required to be done and what that will cost. Follow the surveyor's advice. That's why you paid him for it. If the boat is beyond your pocketbook or abilities to restore, you will have the surveyor's report as evidence that at best, the buyer was unaware of the defects and at worst, the seller misrepresented the vessel's condition and you can hopefully get your neck out of the noose. If you decide to proceed, then follow the surveyor's advice, not the babbling of a bunch of gas bags on the internet. Their advice is pretty much worth exactly what you pay for it. Not that there won't probably be the right answer somewhere in every thread, but if you are asking the question, you don't know the answer, so what good does that do you?

    The Lion is a nice boat. Moody's is a premier yacht yard. She has the pedigree and "good bones." She may be worth "saving." She may, or may not, be worth it to you. That is the first question you have to answer, not "how do I stop my deck from leaking?" Everybody has to start somewhere and there's no shame in asking or in not knowing the answer, but if you want the right answer, you need to be careful about who you ask. 1) Get a written survey of the whole boat and all systems from a competent wooden boat surveyor. (Not from somebody in a boatyard who says they can fix it.) 2) Be ruthlessly honest with yourself in deciding it you are able and willing to see the tasks required through to the end. The obvious problems you've already identified are neither minor nor cheap to fix correctly. Their correct repair will demand experience and skill. An incorrect repair will only cost you more in the long run. To the extent you can let go of all the romantic illusions about this project before experience does it for you you will be better prepared to accomplish the task if you ultimately decide to tackle it.

    I strongly suggest you read Chuck Thompson's very informative thread from beginning to end. http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...26-Restoration His boat is quite similar to yours and the challenges he has undertaken probably similar to what you will face. His thread is a monument to dedication, perseverance, and determination. He's been at it for three years now. If you enjoy the process of working on a boat, as Chuck obviously does, the task he has undertaken and you are considering taking can be a source of joy and satisfaction. Learn from Chuck's wisdom. It's borne of experience.

    I know, it's tough to hear. But them's the facts.
    Last edited by Bob Cleek; 02-09-2015 at 04:50 PM.

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    Default Re: Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

    You have a lovely boat Vlad, one of my favourite designs and, in my opinion, worth doing the right thing by and not taking short cuts.

    This advice of Bob's is worth repeating in bold though - it is without doubt THE best advice you will receive here or anywhere:

    - Find a good surveyor which wooden boat experience.
    - Have the boat hauled and surveyed.
    - Your surveyor should provide a detailed list of what is wrong and what is required to be done and what that will cost. Follow the surveyor's advice. That's why you paid him for it.
    -If the boat is beyond your pocketbook or abilities to restore, you will have the surveyor's report as evidence that at best, the buyer was unaware of the defects and at worst, the seller misrepresented the vessel's condition and you can hopefully get your neck out of the noose.
    -If you decide to proceed, then follow the surveyor's advice, not the babbling of a bunch of gas bags on the internet. Their advice is pretty much worth exactly what you pay for it.
    Larks

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

    Bob, great advice as usual. I heard that you sold your boat, a boat I've admired ever since you touted its vertues. If you don't mind answering, was it the maintenance or simply a lifestyle decision?

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    Default Re: Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

    Bob's advice re the surveyor is good advice. However, while I do actually know a good surveyor, good surveyors who will give you a survey you can use as a jobs list, let alone a costed one, are hard to find. But if you can do it, then do it. But if you can't, here's an idea or two to get you started:

    Laid decks do typically leak so yours is no exception. If you want a deck that doesn't leak and wreck your boat, then you need a waterproof deck. The best way to achieve this is to lay a plywood deck, sheathed with fibreglass and epoxy. To maintain its integrity, you then need to make sure that every fastening that goes through it or into it is captive in an epoxy plug and sealed with epoxy or a good sealant. If you want to lay your teak strips back over the sheathed deck, you can do that but it'll use a whole lot of time that I think ought to be spent on fixing up the rest of the boat instead - just my opinion. Teak decks are hot and slippery. A sheathed deck painted with off white or light cream is much more suited to your climate and it looks great.

    So, I would start by getting the boat inside and ripping the deck off. That'll allow you to assess most of what needs to be done and gain access to frames etc. that may need work. Try to get any interior work or hull repairs done before you replace the deck.

    Of course you need to sort out any issues you might have with keel bolts. But you'll need to get the boat out of the water to see what's going on with them anyway. You can see if the keel's iron or lead by diving down with a magnet but unless you're going to somehow claim back money if the keel's not lead, then I can't really see the point. You may as well just get the boat into the shed, clean it up and dry it out and see if you can extract a bolt or two.

    A common problem with carvel boats is that plank edges are damaged around seams from enthusiastic or inept caulking. Mahogany is quite soft so it's possible you'll have some damage to these seams. Your fastenings are old so, unless they're monel (lucky you if they are!) then you'll want to remove fastenings in various places to assess their condition. Leaky fastenings and seams lead to wet bilges and, in your climate, that'll cause rot where condensation forms inside the boat. Some people will suggest that a bit of salt water in the bilges is a good thing. It isn't.

    Chainplate fastenings are commonly corroded (especially if they're stainless steel) or worn. They can look great from the outside but be badly corroded inside. If they're SS, then renew them even if they look good. If they're monel or bronze, then check very carefully to see if any moisture is getting in around them.

    NZ has arguably the best wooden boat builders in the world and they're not reluctant to incorporate new approaches and materials to achieve a great boat. I'm sure if you were to PM John B above, he'd be able to recommend a reputable yard to give you a hand if you need it.

    Rick

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    Default Re: Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

    Floors.
    Many great boats have metal floors but the only ones I'd want are bronze. In any case, if you have rusted floors, I'd replace them with laminated, wooden ones. Strong boats have laminated floors or partly laminated floors that are integrated into frames, especially around the mast (area). You can `wing' the floors by laminating them onto frames in extended scarf fashion. Hard joins or any kind of dovetail won't work. You need the frames and floor to be scarfed/laminated together so that you create a continuous piece, like a ring frame. Some old boats have the floors lined up to meet too few planks, or even one plank, so that, as the boat heels and the weight of the keel is borne unevenly, the relevant seams open up, especially if fastenings are tired. Extension of several floors around the mast (onto or in addition to frames) so that they spread the load across many planks, is a good way to strengthen an old boat.

    Rick

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    Default Re: Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

    Re the steel floors, it seems that Robb might have had a bit of a thing for them. My boat doesnt have steel floors as such, but every 6 feet or so she has a massive steel ring frame. Painted a bronze colour back in 1974 when she was built, but under the paint they are galvanised steel. As such your comments about maintaining the integrity of the design do make some sense.

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    Default Re: Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

    Galvanized steel floors would be great but I'd still want to see them extended up the planking in an old boat if they're aligned along just one or two planks, as they commonly are. that might not be the case in a Lion - they're certainly very well designed boats.

    Rick

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    Default Re: Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    Where is that , volodja? It almost looks as if it could be silo park ( but a reversed image).
    Top and bottom pics are at Hobsonville-nee-Westpark hardstand. Middle one might just be Marsden Cove?
    "The truth shall make ye fret" - Terry Pratchett

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    Default Re: Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

    That makes sense Cap, its that centre one that I can't pick either , I didn't think about MC. The only structure like that I've seen myself is at silo park, but its the other way around( as I said)

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    Default Re: Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

    I'm familiar with the Lion design, and like them well enough. If the decks are leaking, and the answer is plywood, that's a rational choice. But to do the job right will require unbolting and lifting the cabin trunk, toerails, and ALL the deck hardware. Every. Single. last. friggin'. piece of HARDWARE. The cabin trunk has to sit down on top of your plywood deck. There is no substitute. You may be able to make a rabbeted joint where the plywood deck/hull/toerail meet, so that the edge grain of the plywood is not exposed. Or you can seal it again and again with thinned out epoxy, and hope for the best. I've seen that approach taken on a boat built in 1942, still doing fine, no problems, but they made really nice plywood back then. I'd suggest that the project of taking off the teak deck, laying a ply subdeck, and then re-installing the old teak deck is a pipe dream. If you simply must have a teak deck, get a skin job from Teak Deck Systems, or a similar vendor. So teaky, yet so tacky!
    I think you also need to come to terms with the idea that you have got yourself a project that will require over a thousand hours of skilled labor and lots of expensive parts. Having worked as the supervising surveyor on jobs like this, and having watched with dismay as the bills mounted into six (U.S. dollars) figures, I'd offer this advice:
    A) Talk to whoever you trust to give you financial advice. Tell them you're looking at spending a quarter million US$ on a boat that will be worth half that when you're finished. Can I afford to throw this money down a rathole?
    B) You're in for a long haul. She's going to be out of the water for at least a year, and needs to be inside a shed/workshop where the work can be done efficiently. Don't fool yourself that you'll do this in a month or so under a tarp in a boatyard.
    C) Are you planning to retire for a a couple years and become a boatbuilder? It can be done. If not, find yourself a builder who has done jobs like this before, and can show you the job list, the billing, and then you both can go look at the finished product. While you're at it, talk to the owners/bill payer, and see if his story agrees with the builder's story.
    D) By all means talk to a surveyor. Good ones know a lot, and they're working for you.
    And as one of our senior members often ends his posts:
    g'luck

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    Default Re: Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

    Vlad,

    I saw your boat in the Auckland when i was there just after Christmas and took lots of photos. And I saw Leonita for sale on Trade-me some time ago. I am back in the UK now and I am also working on my Lion. She is not as well built as your Moodys one and has an iron keel. I got her drawings from http://library.mysticseaport.org/man...ll/coll191.cfm.

    I also have an original Robb build specification which is very interesting and useful.

    The problems I have with my boat are very similar to yours and I know that the structure will be very similar to mine as Robb exercised control and gave a lot of detail in his drawings.

    It takes time to get a plan together for what a boat really needs and matching it with your own time, resources and capability. You should talk to as many professionals and experienced people as you can. And you know that some times if you talk to a professional they will paint a very bad picture and show up all the little problems that seem impossible to put right, But if you spend some time to really understand the problem and what the boat needs, in technical detail you can be far more in control and more confident in your plan. Don't rush it and start till you are confident you know the right path, before spending money or picking up a tool! look at what is really important to make the boat sea worthy and what can be filled, plugged or painted to keep going till you have time and resources to put it right. Use the boat as much as you can it is the best way to find out what is really wrong and is also good for a boat to be used.

    From what I have read in your story it looks like the hull frames in the middle part of the boat are most important to do first plus a good paint all round. You can live with a leaky deck as long as you don't put your foot through it.

    American boats tend to have bigger frames that are more widely spaced than the British boats and the floors are usually bolted through the side of the frame in the US but are on top of the frame and bolted right through the planking in the UK. NZ boats are mostly quite different!

    I have removed my ballast keel and all her 40+ steel keel floors from transom to upper stem. I have repaired some of the floors and had them hot dip galvanised ready to go back. In the bilge area I also found rotten frame ends. The reason for this is the copper rivets make contact with the steel strap floors and the electrical reaction makes chemicals that kill the wood. This is very destructive and for me is very bad where the frames have been wet from bilge water (rotten Rhubarb). I will scarf in new ends to the frames, with a scarf length of 26cm or 1foot. Normally i would not do this because glue scarfs cannot be trusted in a wet/dry bilge environment (with oak) but almost all of the scarfs will be under the steel strap floors so there in minimum danger of problems with glue under critical loads because the steel carries the load. I have photos of another Lion in the US where this was done but some of the scarfs are higher than the end of the floors, not good but they have made hook scarfs. The best fix is to put in complete new frames but I cannot justify the time and expense of doing this and I don't think it necessary if I can keep the scarfs under the strap floors and make a good job of it. For whole new frames you need access for riveting and this means removing ALL the interior, re-framing is not practical in this case. My frames are all dry as a bone so should glue fairly well.

    In your case you have what sounds like a non urgent deck problem, I don't, mine is canvas on ceder and is in good condition. Do you have plywood under the teak, if yes then the plywood is most probably rotten and you will need a new deck, there is no alternative if the ply is rotten. If you do not have a ply underlay and it is Ceder as many of the British boats did have then you only need to worry about recaulking and paying the teak deck assuming there is still enough thickness in the teak (they wear down in time).
    If you do not have any underlay for the teak deck then again you should just need to strip out the old cotton re-caulk and pay (sikaflex) the teak seams and you should be able to make the deck reasonably tight (waterproof). However teak decks almost always leak somewhere and is a fact of life particularly in the summer. The teak leaks and the ply under rots, very common. But if its ceder under the teak it should not rot. If the rain water has got into the deck beams and they have rotted it is not easy to see because they may look OK from the inside. You can test this by drilling a small hole into the side of the beams near where you get leaks and see if the drill hits a soft patch, use an angled drill machine for this.

    If you do want to reframe the hull you can remove the covering board from the deck edge and "post" the new frames down through the deck dege but you will have to refasten the frames with bronze screws if the interior is still in and this many screws will be expensive. You cant rivet with the interior still in. But it may be worth it if you are going deck off work anyway. If you are doing frame work do remove and replace every second frame and work back doing the others, also alternate port and starboard - this is to avoid the shape being distorted.

    The Lions suffer from problems under the mast area, mine is and most are deck stepped masts with a steel pillar goal post down to the keel. The floors and wood keel assembly is not rigid enough to stop the boats from moving and leaking in this area, this is when the structure moves and the planks open, it is a common problem. My plan is to use big laminated wood floors here as deep and as wide as possible to stiffen up the area about 1m forward and aft of the mast position. If you do the frame work it is a good opportunity to do the same.

    I would be interested to hear what your plans are as they come together.
    John

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Port Stephens
    Posts
    19,238

    Default Re: Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

    Well, I haven't lived long enough yet to see a plywood deck with the cabin built over it! It's certainly not the way I'd do it! Laying the plywood deck up to the cabinsides and coaming is pretty typical. The joint is easily sealed by sheathing so that the glass goes up from the deck to at least an inch up the cabinsides and coaming. Teak strips or (preferably) paint go over that. If the cabin is built onto the ply - I just can't imagine why you'd want to do it that way - I'd still seal the joint in the same way.

    Rick

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Bay of Islands,N.Z.
    Posts
    25,688

    Default Re: Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

    I've seen the boat since the original posts, its where I thought it was ( but a reversed photo). Can't tell anything from the dock really.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stottex View Post
    Vlad,

    I saw your boat in the Auckland when i was there just after Christmas and took lots of photos. And I saw Leonita for sale on Trade-me some time ago. I am back in the UK now and I am also working on my Lion. She is not as well built as your Moodys one and has an iron keel. I got her drawings from http://library.mysticseaport.org/man...ll/coll191.cfm.

    I also have an original Robb build specification which is very interesting and useful.

    The problems I have with my boat are very similar to yours and I know that the structure will be very similar to mine as Robb exercised control and gave a lot of detail in his drawings.

    It takes time to get a plan together for what a boat really needs and matching it with your own time, resources and capability. You should talk to as many professionals and experienced people as you can. And you know that some times if you talk to a professional they will paint a very bad picture and show up all the little problems that seem impossible to put right, But if you spend some time to really understand the problem and what the boat needs, in technical detail you can be far more in control and more confident in your plan. Don't rush it and start till you are confident you know the right path, before spending money or picking up a tool! look at what is really important to make the boat sea worthy and what can be filled, plugged or painted to keep going till you have time and resources to put it right. Use the boat as much as you can it is the best way to find out what is really wrong and is also good for a boat to be used.

    From what I have read in your story it looks like the hull frames in the middle part of the boat are most important to do first plus a good paint all round. You can live with a leaky deck as long as you don't put your foot through it.

    American boats tend to have bigger frames that are more widely spaced than the British boats and the floors are usually bolted through the side of the frame in the US but are on top of the frame and bolted right through the planking in the UK. NZ boats are mostly quite different!

    I have removed my ballast keel and all her 40+ steel keel floors from transom to upper stem. I have repaired some of the floors and had them hot dip galvanised ready to go back. In the bilge area I also found rotten frame ends. The reason for this is the copper rivets make contact with the steel strap floors and the electrical reaction makes chemicals that kill the wood. This is very destructive and for me is very bad where the frames have been wet from bilge water (rotten Rhubarb). I will scarf in new ends to the frames, with a scarf length of 26cm or 1foot. Normally i would not do this because glue scarfs cannot be trusted in a wet/dry bilge environment (with oak) but almost all of the scarfs will be under the steel strap floors so there in minimum danger of problems with glue under critical loads because the steel carries the load. I have photos of another Lion in the US where this was done but some of the scarfs are higher than the end of the floors, not good but they have made hook scarfs. The best fix is to put in complete new frames but I cannot justify the time and expense of doing this and I don't think it necessary if I can keep the scarfs under the strap floors and make a good job of it. For whole new frames you need access for riveting and this means removing ALL the interior, re-framing is not practical in this case. My frames are all dry as a bone so should glue fairly well.

    In your case you have what sounds like a non urgent deck problem, I don't, mine is canvas on ceder and is in good condition. Do you have plywood under the teak, if yes then the plywood is most probably rotten and you will need a new deck, there is no alternative if the ply is rotten. If you do not have a ply underlay and it is Ceder as many of the British boats did have then you only need to worry about recaulking and paying the teak deck assuming there is still enough thickness in the teak (they wear down in time).
    If you do not have any underlay for the teak deck then again you should just need to strip out the old cotton re-caulk and pay (sikaflex) the teak seams and you should be able to make the deck reasonably tight (waterproof). However teak decks almost always leak somewhere and is a fact of life particularly in the summer. The teak leaks and the ply under rots, very common. But if its ceder under the teak it should not rot. If the rain water has got into the deck beams and they have rotted it is not easy to see because they may look OK from the inside. You can test this by drilling a small hole into the side of the beams near where you get leaks and see if the drill hits a soft patch, use an angled drill machine for this.

    If you do want to reframe the hull you can remove the covering board from the deck edge and "post" the new frames down through the deck dege but you will have to refasten the frames with bronze screws if the interior is still in and this many screws will be expensive. You cant rivet with the interior still in. But it may be worth it if you are going deck off work anyway. If you are doing frame work do remove and replace every second frame and work back doing the others, also alternate port and starboard - this is to avoid the shape being distorted.

    The Lions suffer from problems under the mast area, mine is and most are deck stepped masts with a steel pillar goal post down to the keel. The floors and wood keel assembly is not rigid enough to stop the boats from moving and leaking in this area, this is when the structure moves and the planks open, it is a common problem. My plan is to use big laminated wood floors here as deep and as wide as possible to stiffen up the area about 1m forward and aft of the mast position. If you do the frame work it is a good opportunity to do the same.

    I would be interested to hear what your plans are as they come together.
    John
    Thanks John for your concern and time.
    It is nice to hear from somebody with similar problem.
    I put on hold any work till I sort out the legal part till middle of May. Who knows, if I win, the previous owner might not except my offer for the project boat. So at this stage I just keep the battery charged for the bilge pump.

    You absolutely right: I have to get as many professional opinions about the project as I can. I already spoke with several boaties and shipwrights and going to speak with more. Also I found a couple good advices in this thread.

    Extend of rot in frames goes a bit further the edge of steel braces. I think really sharp angle scarfing might be only the option as like you I don't want to remove all the interior and replace entire damaged frames. As I wrote before, I'm going to laminate the frame parts directly on the planks. (at this stage at least).
    There is another problem which mine and your boat might have as well. Electrolysis most likely damage not only frames but planks around copper rivets. So refastening will be a problem. Some drill out the damaged areas around rivet halls and put wooden dowels on epoxy then drill the halls again for rivets or screws. I have a crazy idea to laminate frames from thick unidirectional S-glass fibre and make dowels in planks from rolled in epoxy fibre cloth as well. Sounds like a joke, but regarding tensile strength it will be stronger then steel bracing. Just an idea, I am not going to do it

    I think to keep the teak deck now. There is nothing underneath 1 inch teak planks so plenty thickness for caulking. Some areas show screws so I think about 5-8mm is gone in those places. I think proper cotton caulking with sikka as the final sealer might do the trick.

    One of previous owners laminated top of the cabin trunk. It doesn't leak but it sounds soft around the mast. I would put this job at the bottom of list.

    Thanks again for your thoughts and support.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

    Quote Originally Posted by seo View Post
    I'm familiar with the Lion design, and like them well enough. If the decks are leaking, and the answer is plywood, that's a rational choice. But to do the job right will require unbolting and lifting the cabin trunk, toerails, and ALL the deck hardware. Every. Single. last. friggin'. piece of HARDWARE. The cabin trunk has to sit down on top of your plywood deck. There is no substitute. You may be able to make a rabbeted joint where the plywood deck/hull/toerail meet, so that the edge grain of the plywood is not exposed. Or you can seal it again and again with thinned out epoxy, and hope for the best. I've seen that approach taken on a boat built in 1942, still doing fine, no problems, but they made really nice plywood back then. I'd suggest that the project of taking off the teak deck, laying a ply subdeck, and then re-installing the old teak deck is a pipe dream. If you simply must have a teak deck, get a skin job from Teak Deck Systems, or a similar vendor. So teaky, yet so tacky!
    I think you also need to come to terms with the idea that you have got yourself a project that will require over a thousand hours of skilled labor and lots of expensive parts. Having worked as the supervising surveyor on jobs like this, and having watched with dismay as the bills mounted into six (U.S. dollars) figures, I'd offer this advice:
    A) Talk to whoever you trust to give you financial advice. Tell them you're looking at spending a quarter million US$ on a boat that will be worth half that when you're finished. Can I afford to throw this money down a rathole?
    B) You're in for a long haul. She's going to be out of the water for at least a year, and needs to be inside a shed/workshop where the work can be done efficiently. Don't fool yourself that you'll do this in a month or so under a tarp in a boatyard.
    C) Are you planning to retire for a a couple years and become a boatbuilder? It can be done. If not, find yourself a builder who has done jobs like this before, and can show you the job list, the billing, and then you both can go look at the finished product. While you're at it, talk to the owners/bill payer, and see if his story agrees with the builder's story.
    D) By all means talk to a surveyor. Good ones know a lot, and they're working for you.
    And as one of our senior members often ends his posts:
    g'luck
    Seo, I absolutely agree with all you say. But people restored the boats with very little initial experience and without quoter of million in the pocket. If the boat still will be mine after the legal dispute I will give it a shot. There is an option to create a trust and/or fund rising
    I worst come to worst the is always an option to cover her in fibreglass following Allen Vaitses method. Otherwise nobody would buy her - she will be a landfill.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Arthur Robb’s Lion Class restoration.

    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    I've seen the boat since the original posts, its where I thought it was ( but a reversed photo). Can't tell anything from the dock really.
    John, you (or anybody else) most welcome to see her inside. Send me you contact details and I let you know when I around.

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