Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Heron 2397

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Otley, West Yorks UK
    Posts
    14

    Default Heron 2397

    I am a newbie sailor, having passed RYA level 1 & 2 in April 2018, never having sailed before. I soon became the owner of a Comet single hander fibreglass dinghy and spent a few weeks doing minor repairs.

    In September my sailing club listed a few abandoned dinghies for auction. I had been looking for a double hander so I can take others out with me. Consequently in October 2018 I became the owner of an abandoned Heron Dinghy. (In fact I "accidentally" bought two dinghies, but thats another story...)

    On initial inspection it seemed to be in reasonable condition, although requiring a few repairs and some TLC. One big plus that all spars, foils, rigging and a set of tired but useable sails were present.

    These photos are as she lay at the edge of the dinghy park. 25th September 2018

    [IMG][/IMG]
    I aslo own the white SigneT sitting behind.




    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]


    My first problem was to get it home. Not wishing to spend 800 on a new trailer for the short trip, I acquired a scrap Snipe trailer and restored it to road worthy condition.


    On November 15th 2018 I brought the boat home

    [IMG][/IMG]



    [IMG][/IMG]

    To be continued....
    Last edited by ChrisWeir; 03-10-2019 at 11:44 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Otley, West Yorks UK
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Heron 2397

    Having made it home, time to empty all the loose equipment and then photographically record the rigging and all the fitments to help when the time comes to put everything back on.

    My aim with this project is largely to preserve as much of the original structure and fittings as possible. I will change all the running rigging to modern materials, and may also replace the old paxolin blocks, where present. (I will keep them though).

    The spars are all in good condition, except for the gaff jaws which have become loose, and need reglueing. They could all do with rubbing down and re-finishing for cosmetic purposes, but for the time being they will do fine. The rudder needs re coating to seal the wood and i suspect the centre board will similarly need a little work.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]

    After removing the rigging, and most of the fittings I have a hull ready for inspection and paint stripping. In the next photo I have also removed the floor panels and begun to remove the thwarts.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Brass screws have a habit of breaking when trying to remove them. I used a heat gun to soften the varnish in the screw heads allowing it to be removed, but about a third of the thwart fixing screws still broke. Where there is a remaining piece of screw embedded in the wood I shall drill new fixing holes to avoid them. I also intend to use stainless steel screws when refitting, to reduce breakage if they have to be removed.

    You can also see where I have begun to remove some sort of resin impregnated sheets which are coating many of the bottom sections. Doesn't bode well.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    The deck coating has seen better days, it appears to be sikkens or similar rather than varnish, it is almost opaque.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    North East England
    Posts
    1,356

    Default Re: Heron 2397

    Looks like a fun project, thanks for posting

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Otley, West Yorks UK
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Heron 2397

    Quote Originally Posted by tink View Post
    Looks like a fun project
    Thanks, as you may have guessed, with a boat of this age, things have indeed got interesting!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Otley, West Yorks UK
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Heron 2397

    20th November 2018

    I was having difficulty removing the rear thwart due to the limited space between the carlins (I think that is the correct name) and the thwart, so I decided to do some more paint stripping inside.

    Up to this point I was unsure of the identity of the hull. The sail had a number on it (1715), but I had no idea whether it was correct. It seemed likely from the build that it is a fairly early boat, but I could not see a number in any of the prescribed places. I decided to investigate, happily, scraping away the varnish on the transom beam revealed the serial number.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    I continued with heat gun and scraper in the bottom of the boat, a rather slow and boring job so I was trying to do little and often.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    After some thought and experimentation I managed to remove the rear thwart using a screwdriver bit in a socket and a right angle ratchet drive and right angle bar.

    I All the thwart slats are in good condition. The centre support has split at the middle slat screw hole, so that needs fixing. I shall probably get all the floor board and seating slats dip stripped.

    It isn't easy to see in the photo above, but there appears to be epoxy around the join between the centre board case and the inside of the hog. That suggests that there has been a leak at some stage, but it is a poor way to seal the joint as it doesn't keep moisture out of the woodwork. I will decide whether to remove the centreboard case, or just seal with fibreglass tape and epoxy inside the centre board slot later.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    The epoxy can be seen as a yellow patch in the flaked paint just by the centreboard pivot.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Otley, West Yorks UK
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Heron 2397

    25th February 2019

    Due to various familly commitments poor weather, and the sheer tedium of paint stripping, progress has been slow. However most of the interior, the deck and the sides had by now been stripped and I turned the boat over (with help!) and started work on the bottom.

    Several areas of previous skin damage, particularly to the bottom, which had been repaired to varying standards were becoming evident. Also damage to some of the framework, including splits were now clear.


    Hole, port side forward of the centreboard case, repaired with filler and glass fibre. Other splits are present further astern in this panel.
    Edit: the rectangular patch is a decent repair that I am leaving alone, just fair over again.
    [IMG][/IMG]



    Hole in the starboard bow which had been repaired with filler and glass fibre
    [IMG][/IMG]



    Hole in the starboard beam which was repaired with filler backed by plywood.
    [IMG][/IMG]

    There was a similar repair at the stern in the bottom, on the port side.

    Once the bottom of the hull was completely stripped my plan was to replace the front bottom plywood panel on the starboard side as there was fairly widespread damage. There would probably have been more patch than original ply. The other damage was localised and scarfing in patches practical.
    Last edited by ChrisWeir; 03-12-2019 at 11:34 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Southern Maine
    Posts
    20,485

    Default Re: Heron 2397

    That round hole, might have had an early self bailer, they used to be round before the Elvstrom/Andersen ones came along.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    North East England
    Posts
    1,356

    Default Re: Heron 2397

    I don’t think you’d put a bailer in front of the centre board

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Southern Maine
    Posts
    20,485

    Default Re: Heron 2397

    My observational skills are lacking. Thanks.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Otley, West Yorks UK
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Heron 2397

    5th March 2019

    Oncethe paint scraping was complete I carefully sanded down with a belt sander to remove most of the remaining paint and provide a smooth surface.
    At this point I measured the existing panels, particularly the angles as I do not have panel measurements - they are not given on the original plans I have (From the Class Association).

    I then set to removing damaged plywood. There are many nails and pins fixing the plywood to the frame, so a router cannot be used. I cut the starboard bow section with a jig-saw and a hacksaw blade in a holder over the frames. As mentioned earlier, I planned to replace the port side front bottom panel. The Bilge strips are secured by screws and glue.I carefully cleared the heads of the screws and applied heat to ease them. Some came out succesfully, but about 1/3 of them broke in the process, new fixing holes will be needed in some places when re-fitting. I then levered up the strips, heating and using a flat paint scraper to ease the strips away from the hull.

    Despite care the glue holding the strips in place was still strong and resulted in damage to all the bottom plywood panels. You have to be prepared for setbacks with aproject like this however.

    I now needed to replace all four bottom panels. The panels are held by glue and pins. Most of the glue joints had in fact failed, so removing the panels was fairly easy, as I was not trying to preserve them for future use. Physically levering the panels away from the frame was effective, followed by pulling the nails and pins from the frame

    Port side removed

    [IMG][/IMG]


    All panels removed.
    [IMG][/IMG]

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Otley, West Yorks UK
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Heron 2397

    With the bottom panels off I could now better examine the condition of the frames. I am in fact quite glad I had to remove the panels, as it has revealed that most of the "midships" stretchers are either split, or loose, or both. There will be considerable benefit to properly repairing and strenghtening, where necessary.

    Rear frames and skeg
    [IMG][/IMG]

    Stretcher coming loose from keel by centre board case
    [IMG][/IMG]

    Stretcher split at gunwale fixing screw. Note paint inside the split - it has been like this for a while!
    [IMG][/IMG]

    Double bearer at panel join, loose.
    [IMG][/IMG]

    Another gunwale fixing screw split.
    [IMG][/IMG]

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Otley, West Yorks UK
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Heron 2397

    12th March 2019

    I have decided that having got this far I should remove the centreboard case in order to re-seal the join properly. Not doing it now would likely lead to problems in the future.

    The first operation is to remove the brass rubbing strip.
    A previous owner had added an extra piece of flat strip on the prow so that was the first to come off. Some of the screws were cross headed and full of paint, so I used a mole grip to remove them. These mostly came out successfully.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    The beading underneath was in fact broken due to colision damage.

    [IMG][/IMG]


    Several screws of course broke while I was attempting to remove them. Brass screws may not rust, but they do corrode, sieze up and are very soft. If the head doesn't crumble it deforms if the screw is stuck. Some were already broken.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Next I started removing the keel at the front end. It was held with copper boat nails and glue. Most of the glue was degraded, so the keel came away fairly easily by levering it away from the hog. The only real problem was where a previous repair had stronger glue. Unfortunately the keel broke at this point.

    [IMG][/IMG]
    More care would have avoided this, but it will glue together strongly.

    To avoid breaking them I ground the heads off the beading screws on the skeg...
    [IMG][/IMG]


    and removed them using molegrips.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    To be continued...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Otley, West Yorks UK
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Heron 2397

    The skeg is fastened by six screws through the hog and keel from inside, three on each side. To access these turned the boat on it's side.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    One of the front pair was already broken, and previous experience suggested the best course was to remove the screw heads

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Grinding the screw heads away with a dremel, in progress.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    I then turned the boat back upside down and gently levered the skeg off the keel. The glue gave way fairly easily due to its age.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Otley, West Yorks UK
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Heron 2397

    It isn't clear, but the hole is actually quite a lot bigger, once I had removed all the filler.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    victoria, australia. (1 address now)
    Posts
    53,606

    Default Re: Heron 2397

    I restored a ply boat built in 1961 last year. An International Cadet. I recognise the same problems, but I also had to install a new transom. I'm sailing in club races now, the oldest in it's class still racing albeit at club level. The class still exists and the Association is international.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Otley, West Yorks UK
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Heron 2397

    Quote Originally Posted by skuthorp View Post
    I restored a ply boat built in 1961 last year. An International Cadet. I recognise the same problems, but I also had to install a new transom. I'm sailing in club races now, the oldest in it's class still racing albeit at club level. The class still exists and the Association is international.
    The Heron Class association is also still active, and members can borrow Heron No 1 at some events. Class rules allow entrants to swap into No1 for part of a series of races.

    No 108 is also at the same club as me, but though older it has had quite a few modifications including built in bouyancy.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Mountain lakes of Vermont
    Posts
    11,892

    Default Re: Heron 2397

    Yikes! Lots of work on a boat that from a quick first glance looked really nice.
    You'll have a fine little vessel when done.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Otley, West Yorks UK
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Heron 2397

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    Yikes! Lots of work on a boat that from a quick first glance looked really nice.
    You'll have a fine little vessel when done.
    I suspected there might be more problems under the skin. Fortunately I am retired so time is not too much of a problem. Lots of other things to do of course, including volunteering with Sailability one day a week in the season, but I can choose how I want to spend my time.

    The dismantling is now almost complete. From now on it will be repairing and restoring and putting it back together again.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Otley, West Yorks UK
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Heron 2397

    This time I decided to drill out the screw heads securing the centreboard case, rather than grinding with a Dremel.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    A previous owner had added a fillet of epoxy around the centre board case on the inside, probably to stop leaks through the join.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    I removed the fillet all round using the heat gun and a shave hook to scrape it out. The heat softens the epoxy sufficiently to make the job reasonably easy.

    After the epoxy removed there were signs of the case coming free. With the hull upside down I gradually worked at the join with the sharp pallet scraper, and a wide chisel (used for levering), assisted by tapping on the screw shanks with a hammer and drift. By carefully working up and down the case it came away from the hog with little damage.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    All the screw hanks are still intact except for the one broken and one that had come out easily(!). The remains of the original sealing compound can be clearly seen. This is suppossed to be some sort of tape that remains sticky, but it has either dried out, or something different was used in this build. I will use epoxy when reassembling, as is usual in modern builds.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    The broken screw.

    [IMG][/IMG]

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Otley, West Yorks UK
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Heron 2397

    I removed the screws, as before, using mole grips clamped to the screw shank. All but two came out without breaking, so that leaves three that need to be drilled out.

    The state of the screws after 55-60 years is variable, as I said before brass does corrode.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    I have started removing the varnish from the case.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    I had planned to finish removing the varnish on Friday 15th March, but I was called away at short notice, so that brings this story fully up to date. I intend to add updates in "real time" from now on, as work progresses.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •