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Thread: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

  1. #1
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    Default Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    Here are some pics of my recent purchase: (LIKE MANY OTHERS, I AM BEING HELD TO RANSOM BY PHOTOBUCKET, SO ALL PICS IN THIS THREAD MAY WELL VANISH SOON !)

    http://i209.photobucket.com/albums/b...psajdgfnbx.jpg

    http://i209.photobucket.com/albums/b...psgf73e1te.jpg

    http://i209.photobucket.com/albums/b...ps1jrbemkw.jpg

    Sold as 'probably a Deben 4 Tonner', but without any history or documentation to confirm this. She's certainly of the type and correct main dimensions, but a very helpful email exchange with George Whisstock ( www.whisstock.com ) about the details of keel rocker, shape of ballast keel casting and keel/sternpost construction of the Deben 4 Tonners (his father built them all) has convinced me that she is not a Deben 4 Tonner.

    It's possible, I think, that she is another Maxwell Blake design - possibly a Ranzo (a very similar precursor to the Deben 4T) - but as very little information remains about his designs I'll probably never know one way or the other. Anyway, she is a very pretty little 4 tonner and sound enough on a pre-purchse crawl all over her to persuade me to buy. I've yet to do a detailed survey of what needs to be done and no doubt there will be issues that appear. At some stage (1960s or '70's), she had been given a completely inappropriate set of alloy spars (tabernacle mounted mast) and bermudan rig, with modern winches and clutches on the coachroof, a stainless sheet horse and some really naff stainless bollards on the quarters.

    Thankfully, the deck is the most suspect part of the boat (the hull is basically sound - some re-fastening & re-caulking) so removal of the offending items can be justified. My aim is to re-rig her as a gaff cutter (using the Deben 4T sailplan) with a keel stepped wooden mast. Lurking in the bowels is an old Yanmar YSE8 .... but I haven't even thought about that yet !
    Last edited by Whameller; 07-07-2017 at 03:20 PM. Reason: Warning of immenent loss of pics due to Photobucket blackmail !
    Nick

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?



    Very similar to a Johnson & Jago. But you might also be correct with a Blake design. A lot of boats in that era were quite similar. Nice wee boat.

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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    yes, ... Very pretty little sailor. Quite comfortable below I would think.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    As Skaraborgcraft said, has more of a Johnson & Jago look about her, I worked there for a while, also looks rather like a Reg Freeman design. He designed several for J&J's.

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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    Good luck with your new project. Is the inboard engine shot, therefore the outboard engine bracket?
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    Quote Originally Posted by keith66 View Post
    As Skaraborgcraft said, has more of a Johnson & Jago look about her, I worked there for a while, also looks rather like a Reg Freeman design. He designed several for J&J's.
    Thanks to you both for the pointers; I'll follow them up.
    Nick

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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    Good luck with your new project. Is the inboard engine shot, therefore the outboard engine bracket?
    Many thanks. I think that I'm probably looking at at least 18 months of evenings and weekends work before she's back sailing !
    She hasn't been in the water for a couple of seasons, so I haven't seen the engine running (though apparently it was 'fine, if smoky', when last used) - but the coupling to the shaft has broken, so there's more work there ....
    She came with a lot of gear, including two Seagull outboards; a large Century for that bracket and a small 40 Featherweight for the tender.
    Nick

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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?



    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    I'm slowly working my way through a detailed survey to identify what needs to be done - more of that in another post, perhaps. Before getting to work in the interior, I removed all movable boards and the internal lead ballast:


    Or not quite all of it - one breeze block (cinder block in US English ?) sized pig remains:



    The mast compression post (which looks like it was made from scaffold pipe - now very corroded at the base) base plate is screwed directly into the lead, which rests, unsecured, on top of the keelson. No sign of any mast step partners, etc !

    Has anybody ever seen anything like this before ?
    Nick

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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Whameller View Post
    compression post (which looks like it was made from scaffold pipe - now very corroded at the base) base plate is screwed directly into the lead, which rests, unsecured, on top of the keelson. No sign of any mast step partners, etc !

    Has anybody ever seen anything like this before ?
    Funny, my old Escapade had the same scaffold tube set up with a screw flange top and bottom, screwed into the main deckbeam above, and the top of the Keel apron. Certainly worked fine as a compression post, and a vertical tube for a sliding table. Not seen it on any boats since though.....until now!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    Sounds very similar; here's the top flange, through bolted to the tabernacle:



    The builder must have had a lot of faith in the strength of this setup, because - other than some rather insubstantial partners on either side of this flange there are no lodging or hanging knees to the beams fore and aft of the compression strut:





    And this was all supporting a 30 foot alloy mast with bermudan main and cutter rigged fore triangle !
    Nick

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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    I expect there was a lot less stress on the original rig, my old Bawley didnt have much in the way of lodging knees or partners either...i think the use of a bulkhead stiffens up the area just as well, though not always succesfull. Nice double socket......have you a long extension lead?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    I will not rule out Blake yet.

    There are two Blake designs in this picture:



    "Mirelle" (1937) nearer the camera, "Cecilia" (started 1939, launched 1947 - a "Mrs Ranzo") astern.

    and another shot of Mirelle:



    That bow looks "Blake" to me.

    Does the iron ballast keel run the full length of the wood keel?

    Claude Whisstock had a characteristic cast builder's plate, which may well be missing. Eversons and Robertsons also built Blake designs. He's buried in the cemetery at the back of my house - I'll nip round and ask him, but in case he doesn't reply you will find almost all his designs in the pages of the Yachting Monthly between 1931 when he retired to the UK from Singapore where he was MD of the United Engineers shipyard and 1939 when he died.
    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 10-05-2016 at 06:21 AM.
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    The bow looks Blake to me as well (I've looked at a couple of Deben 4 Tonners and a Ranzo in my search for a boat) and she was sold as a Deben 4 Tonner. However, after sending George Whisstock several photos and discussing with him the detail of the stern construction and the non-full length ballast keel, I've come to the conclusion that, whatever she is, she's not a Deben 4 Tonner. If the full length ballast keel is a Blake signature, then she's possibly not by him ?





    Many thanks for the pointer to YM for his designs. Do you happen to know if there is an archive where one can find the 1930s editions ?
    Nick

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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    Quote Originally Posted by skaraborgcraft View Post
    Nice double socket......have you a long extension lead?
    I rather like the double socket too ! It comes with a 6' tail of cable and a very naff cheap alloy anchor cable hawsepipe on deck for running shore power in. The whole setup is a prime contender for the gash bucket when I start stripping her out.
    Nick

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    I spotted this on Ebay. Its called Ranzo and looks like a Ranzo, they look kind of similar though there are plenty of differences as well. The Ranzo that Gregson had on his brokerage might yield some more clues.


    Anyway good luck its a grand looking boat whatever it is

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    That's very interesting; many thanks. As you say, there are similarities and differences.

    I considered the Ranzo when it was on Gregson's list (to the extent of having a surveyor have a preliminary look at her to decide if it was worth travelling from Pembrokeshire to Essex to see her), but life intervened and I had to put boat purchase plans on hold. I never saw her out of the water as all Gregson's (and now MJ Lewis's) photos had her afloat.

    I'll get in touch with the seller on ebay and see if he has any more photos of the sternpost and interior and if he knows who built her.
    Nick

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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    Having - finally - achieved a pause in the domestic 'Honeydo' List and while experiencing a gap in the paying customer stream (pre-season work done and nobody's broken anything yet !), I've taken the opportunity to move the 4 Tonner into the workshop.

    Working on my own, it took about a week of evenings to get her from here:



    to here:



    Thanks to the following helpers, however:

    Landrover 110 V8
    Trolley jack
    Two bottle jacks
    Four axle stands
    Two chain hoists
    Scaffold pole
    1.5 metre timber joist
    Sundry slings and straps

    Getting her up off the trailer enough to pull it out and then on to the cradle was a sweat and didn't go a smoothly as planned. At one stage, she was heeled over to about 45 degrees (no pics - too busy !). Thanks to this arrangement (rigged as part of the lifting process:



    I was able to rig a chain hoist to recover her OK:



    Now the work can, hopefully, advance a bit faster !
    Nick

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    All that steel above the boat may prove to be a mixed blessing.Great when you need to lift something-not so great when you bang your head on it for the thirty seventh time.Good to see the boat progress.

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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    Quote Originally Posted by skaraborgcraft View Post


    Very similar to a Johnson & Jago. But you might also be correct with a Blake design. A lot of boats in that era were quite similar. Nice wee boat.
    This one has a makers plate

    The tuck at the foot of the transom is different, as is the draft at the sternpost.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Whameller View Post
    Sounds very similar; here's the top flange, through bolted to the tabernacle:



    The builder must have had a lot of faith in the strength of this setup, because - other than some rather insubstantial partners on either side of this flange there are no lodging or hanging knees to the beams fore and aft of the compression strut:





    And this was all supporting a 30 foot alloy mast with bermudan main and cutter rigged fore triangle !
    My NZ designer 28'er has a similar sort of arrangement, with a steel compression post and no framing on the underside of the deck. There is a laminated pad on top of the deck to spread the load, but there's never been any sign of movement in the ply cabin top, even with a 36' mast and a crew stacked on the rail as she pounds offshore under kevlar #3 and reefed main with the runners winched on hard.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris249 View Post
    My NZ designer 28'er has a similar sort of arrangement, with a steel compression post and no framing on the underside of the deck. There is a laminated pad on top of the deck to spread the load, but there's never been any sign of movement in the ply cabin top, even with a 36' mast and a crew stacked on the rail as she pounds offshore under kevlar #3 and reefed main with the runners winched on hard.
    I think that as the deck panel is sandwiched between the flange on top of the compression pillar and the mast step pad on top, the loads are smoothly distributed through the cabin top panel into the coachroof sides.
    With a keel stepped mast passing through a hole, the hole has to be beefier to accept and distribute the point load into the deck
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    I think you're right; when we play around with mast wedges in keel-stepped mast they seem to be under a lot more force than the components surround the decked step mast. Then again, the spar itself gets loaded more heavily with a deck stepped mast so it all goes in circles.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    In my boat's case there appears to be a panel between the compression strut flange, filling the space between the partners; there is also a panel on the deck:



    There is little sign on the floors of there ever having been a mast step. It may be, therefore, that she always had a deck stepped mast.

    The strut need to be replaced (badly rusted at the foot), so I'll have the opportunity to see what's under that ballast block on which it rests and also if there is any sign in the deckhead of an original mast having passed through it. The original deck is still there, but at some stage someone has done a good job of sheathing it with ply/glass/epoxy.

    I'm aware of the pros and cons of a deck stepped mast in a gaffer, so I'm slowly mulling over which way to go (deck or keel stepped); it's quite some time yet until I start building her a new mast !
    Nick

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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    As I remove fittings, I am coming across some hidden nasties - as I expected/feared that I might.

    Here's a typical one:



    The stemhead fitting (to which the inner forestay was secured was attached to this by one bolt. The outer (galvanised) stem plate was attached by two steel coachbolts (probably original) through the (oak) stem, which had both wasted away and nine brass screws. The latter had all de-zincified and I suppose that I was lucky that only 3 of them snapped off as I withdrew them ! A callous disregard for tannic and galvanic corrosion by whoever set that lot up ....

    The last owner was lucky that the forestay didn't carry away on his watch. On first inspection, only the top six inches or so seems to be affected by rot but I'll have to dig further to see just how much of the stem I'll need to replace. I already know that the bobstay ringbolt is loose ! The task list is not getting shorter ....
    Last edited by Whameller; 05-23-2017 at 04:42 PM. Reason: Spelling !
    Nick

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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    Rather than fight the Photobucket blackmail, the ongoing story of my restoration is on my FB page:

    https://www.facebook.com/atparkboats/

    I've just put up a bit more in the mast compression post tale.
    Nick

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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    It seems that the posting pictures challenge has been resolved, so this post is by way of an experiment .......

    I've made some slow progress, as this project takes lower priority than domestic taskings and paying jobs. The strip-out is complete, including the massive old Yanmar YSB8 engine:

    20170712_190129.jpg

    All the electrics:

    20170814_123933_resized.jpg

    The aforementioned compression post, which came out in two pieces:

    a20170814_171949_resized.jpg

    The lower block it had been screwed to (screws long since rusted away) was oak, not another piece of lead ballast, which was just resting on top of the keel wedged between two floors - or at least it would have been originally but wasn't now having forced the forward one loose.

    I then scribed in the waterline:

    20171016_152823_resized.jpg

    Before starting on the long and tedious job of getting all the hull paint off, which is where I now am:

    20171016_152803_resized.jpg

    As I do so, a lot of the caulking (most of it cotton and rotten) is coming out. There's a small amount of oakum in places (which is sound) and one or two patches where somebody has used a rubbery modern gloop, which is a s*d to rake out even after slicing along top and bottom with a Stanley knife.
    Nick

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    She's going to be a pleasure Nick!
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    This sort of stuff is great to read. Looking at the bow, the profile the low coachroof and shallow draught I would have thought its a Blake Ranzo, just not with the full length ballast keel. Yards always changed things and ownerisms often got brought into the mix as well. Its a lovely boat and I hope it keeps you busy. Keep posting when you can. The rig is not the same as some drawings but that doesnt mean to say it it was adapted during build or changed later in life. Who knows.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    Slow progress on the topsides with heat gun and scraper.

    This looks good:



    But there's still the other side to go:



    .... and that's before I have to mask up and get down below the waterline with scrapers and grinder/flapperdisc !

    Tedious stuff.
    Nick

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    She's cleaning up nicely ....enjoying following along.
    PeterW

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    Paint now all off the topsides and the rubbing strakes and toe rails removed (I'll explain why in the next post):



    20180104_152623_resized.jpg



    20180104_152644_resized.jpg

    20180104_152715_resized.jpg

    It took much longer than I expected (!). Now to mask and suit up and get going on the remains of antifoul, etc below the waterline. Just scraping now - no heat gun or dry sanding ....
    Nick

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    As I cleaned up around the chain plates, I discovered that whoever sheathed the deck (ply/GRP/epoxy over the original T&G) took a short cut and didn't remove the rubbing strake. The GRP just went over the top of the strake.

    Attachment 8781

    So, once I have tidied up a few issues with the edges of the original T&G decking:

    Attachment 8782

    and on the sheer strake. I'll need to grind back the edges of the GRP, round off and then run biax tape/epoxy along the sheer over the deck/strake join before reinstating the rubbing strake and toe rail over it. A pity, as otherwise the sheathing job was well done and the deck is very sound.
    Nick

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    The transom is made of elm; both top corners have suffered a bit of rot and will require graving pieces:

    Attachment 8783

    Attachment 8784

    and there is a split lower down on the port side, which will also need a piece graving in:

    Attachment 8785

    The question is: what wood to use ? Since Dutch Elm Disease in the '70s, elm is pretty much unobtanium. Any suggestions (European species preferably) ?
    Nick

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner ?

    Hi Nick,

    Looking at the interior photos the main difference between your yacht and my yacht is the lack of grown frames in the build as may yacht as grown frames very three ribs which your yacht does not have. Apart from that there are a number of similar bits about our two yachts the stem and transom are very similar and the sheer line are similar.

    Regards

    Simon
    Owner of Mai-Star II

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