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Thread: Desiree-Jacqueline

  1. #1
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    Default Desiree-Jacqueline

    Hi WoodenBoaters,



    I'm a volunteer at the Jersey Maritime Museum in the Channel Islands and slowly starting a restoration of Desiťe-Jacqueline ON 165746 (known to all as Desiree).







    This is how she sits now. Desiree was built in 1934 by Kris Cruisers Ltd of Isleworth on the Thames and has quite an interesting history.



    This is the only original photo I know of which was sent to me by a relative of the original owner. The waterfront in the background was heavily modified by the occupying German forces so I know this was taken pre-1940:







    On the 16th June 1940 the British Admiralty contacted the yacht club in Jersey to request assistance from local vessels with evacuating troops and civilians from Saint Malo. Desiree was one of 4 boats in the museum's collection that went to Saint Malo and is recorded as bringing back a group of Belgian nurses.



    I know little of what happened to her during and after the war but over time she was converted to a liveaboard, with the addition of a pilothouse, and owned by a well known local character until Christmas Eve 2014 when she was found adrift with the engine running a mile offshore. The owner's estate very kindly donated her to the Museum. She was kept afloat for a few years but has now been dried out for the last 3-4 years.







    The Museum has limited resources and I work full time so can only spend a few hours a week, meaning this will be a long process. I believe she is built of oak on oak frames with some of her original mahogany interior still remaining. As the only enclosed boat in the fleet the intention is that she will act as 'base of operations' for the museum volunteers on the water when taking the fleet away to events such as the St Malo evacuation anniversary celebrations which (pre-covid) happened every year.



    We are considering a few options for the restoration, I'd like to keep her appearance as close to original 1934/40 as possible but with some nods to practicality such as a more modern engine (her current Ford Mermaid may be salvageable, which replaced the original Thornycroft 4-cylinder petrol). My preference at the moment, given she is so dry and there are 5mm+ gaps between hull planks, is to bond in splines with epoxy as per the West System guide but cold moulding is also an option. I'm hoping for a steer from the forum wisdom!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Desiree-Jacqueline

    Now for the image spam...





    View of the port side after a few days of sanding to inspect the condition of the hull, which is generally good under the 20+ coats of old antifoul. The pilothouse and pulpit will be removed:







    Stern view with a hint of how thick the old paint is!







    At some point the transom was replaced with ply that has seen better days:





    Cockpit looking aft. We have most of her original sole boards for the saloon but the cockpit has been replaced with ply so will need replacing:





    Cockpit looking forward, engine cover and companionway. I don't know if this layout is close to original or not:





    Bilges. The keel appears sound but the keelson has heavy checking forward of the engine beds:


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Desiree-Jacqueline

    Saloon:





    Coachroof with portlights:





    Companionway storage and 'galley':





    Heads are opposite but I forgot to take a picture.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Desiree-Jacqueline

    Forepeak with hatch above and hanging locker to starboard:







    Saloon looking aft showing engine and heads:







    She is temporarily covered so I couldn't get many pictures of the exterior but hopefully it's interesting enough to warrant sharing. If anyone has images of similar boats from the era I'd be very grateful to see them so I can develop a more detailed plan for the layout and general style.



    -Paul

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Desiree-Jacqueline

    Welcome aboard! Unless she leaked badly when last in use, I wouldn't spline or sheath her, just swell her tight. I'm sure you'll get plenty of opinion here.
    I've been to Guernsey, my wife's family comes from there.
    Good luck, keep us posted.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Desiree-Jacqueline

    I see nothing wrong with this ply

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Desiree-Jacqueline

    One cannot survey the whole of an 80 year old boat by sanding a few square feet of forward planking.


    If this took several days of sanding, you are in for a long slog. She is definately paint sick. Stripping the hull should take a day per side, bottom included, with the correct kit .

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Desiree-Jacqueline

    THIS ,is what needs grinding and inspecting.
    THIS is where thebig trouble will /or won't be

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Desiree-Jacqueline

    Looks like you have very worthy project, both from a work standpoint and a historic research perspective. I'm looking forward to seeing both. Thanks for sharing!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Desiree-Jacqueline

    She does look like a nice project, and manageable in size.

    I would agree with the previous comment about being hesitant to spline her. If she was good when last in the water she should be good again.
    If she is truly planked in oak, ...... keep in mind that oak is very dimensionally unstable (it swells and shrinks a lot with changes in moisture content). If she is very dry now and the seams are splined, the oak will need someplace to be able to expand to when it gets wet. If the seams are all closed tight with splines, then the expanding oak may end up doing a lot of damage if it has no place to go.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Desiree-Jacqueline

    Quote Originally Posted by johngsandusky View Post
    Welcome aboard! Unless she leaked badly when last in use, I wouldn't spline or sheath her, just swell her tight. I'm sure you'll get plenty of opinion here.
    I've been to Guernsey, my wife's family comes from there.
    Good luck, keep us posted.
    Thanks John, Guernsey is beautiful but obviously nowhere near as good as Jersey

    I remember her being dry when she first came to the museum but after a period on the hard she leaked badly when back in. It looks like she was badly caulked judging by what I saw when removing the paint so you may be right.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Desiree-Jacqueline

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    I see nothing wrong with this ply
    It looks to be delaminating on the inside but will need to get the diesel tank out to have a proper look.

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    One cannot survey the whole of an 80 year old boat by sanding a few square feet of forward planking.

    If this took several days of sanding, you are in for a long slog. She is definately paint sick. Stripping the hull should take a day per side, bottom included, with the correct kit .
    No, of course. I started in the autumn so wanted to get an idea before the weather forced me inside. That was about 10 hours of scraping and 10 hours using a 4Ē belt sander with a 40G belt. Absolute nightmare of a job! Tips very welcome!

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    THIS ,is what needs grinding and inspecting.
    THIS is where thebig trouble will /or won't be
    I was going to start in the forepeak and work back, clearing out as I go, but Iíll do some work there to begin with, thanks.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Desiree-Jacqueline

    Terrible weather this weekend so just spent a few hours. We managed to salvage a load of construction timber and ply from one of our sister museums which will be used to build a shelter to keep her (and me) dry. Unfortunately the local marina is closed
    for refurbishment so the boat park is packed to the gunwhales quite literally meaning we are very limited on space, at least until spring.



    I spent the time setting up power and work light and went round with a shop vac to get the worst of the dirt up after lifting the sole boards. In places the paint came off just with the vacuum with the wood damp under the loose paint. Quite a few sistered frames with very loose fastenings.



    Hard not to love a boat that provides you with lunch:


    Feeling a bit disheartened by all the problems I’m finding but expected that and will take it a job at a time. Think the next thing will be to take out the lead ballast and start taking the paint out of the bilge.

    Some good news is I identified the engine as a Ford Mermaid 2701 and although cosmetically rough it turns over nicely and seems to be in decent mechanical shape.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Desiree-Jacqueline

    steamed oak frames ..that's never good.


    The lead may not nessessarily need to come out, but moving it would be a good thing. There may be a piece of eight under there!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Desiree-Jacqueline

    Moved the ballast aside and started removing the paint today. Strip discs on the grinder wore away extremely fast and the 6Ē DA sander was pretty ineffective and clogged quickly so Iíll change tack and go with a scraper and heat gun I think.

    This is the lowest point where the bilge pump sat


    and further forward where the bulk of the ballast was sitting. The ballast is lead but it was full of unidentified chunks of rust before I cleaned it out. The pieces running at an angle fore and aft are just screwed down to keep the ballast from shifting.




    Approx 75% of the intermediate floors Iíve been able to get to so far are completely rotten through where they sit against the keel. The main floors look much better aside from one nearest the engine which is slightly loose.



    the original fasteners are copper but the new additions are ferrous so Iím expecting some horrors when I locate the soirce
    of all the rust!



    Slow progress but getting to know her better now and hopeful Iíll have more luck next weekend with the heat gun, it couldnít be much worse than the sander thatís for sure!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Desiree-Jacqueline

    this is a difficult pita job
    As much as you could reach with a small disc or a custom cut down soft pad on a polisher. a polisher looks just like a grinder, but turns much slower .
    A Rotex type sander would also be faster than a DA , but they are not common or cheap
    One can hook up a varity of custom sanders on an oscilating tool. An old blade with teeth ground off , contac cement pieces of very coarse (24 grit) paper...lethel and effective .
    The gold spade shaped thing is for grinding grout...flys through old paint,clean it with a brass brush, a steel one will dull it.
    3 inch "Spiral cool " backer, this is an aftermarket backer. A 3 inch 16 or 24 grit disc turning 800 rather than 5000 is effective and safe.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Desiree-Jacqueline

    Great tips thank you. Iím pretty sure Iíve got a knackered blade with my osc tool so Iíll try some of the nastiest sandpaper I can find.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Desiree-Jacqueline

    Quick update on progress. Haven’t had much time lately due to illness but got back to it in March and making decent progress with the combo of heat gun and also a Bahco carbide scraper which does a great job two handed on flat surfaces without needing heat.

    I’ve done most of the bilge in the saloon so began carefully removing the starboard bunk. The original bronze screws slipped out a treat with the hand brace but the newer zinc plated screws have seized in solid and need drilling out.



    Unfortunately it’s getting uglier the more paint I remove. Every steamed frame/rib I’ve scraped down so far is cracked and rotten around the turn of the bilge.



    I’ll keep on scraping for now but will need to have a conversation with the museum shipwright about the future plan for replacing the frames. It’s a big job especially as she’s currently sitting at the back of a boat park a 10 minute drive away from the workshop.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Desiree-Jacqueline

    Those don't look good!

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Desiree-Jacqueline

    Steamed oak frames.....ggrrrrrrrrrr!
    its a frustration as the buggered frame is attached to a usually buggered fastening which is attached to a usually beautiful but damaged plank. Ya can’t just replace it without all the tentacles of rot rust and heartache that come with it.
    Sistering is the most overrated thing that ever made it into a book... it is more wasted time and material... don’t kid herself.
    Oh god a museum Vessel? Yer double screwed as a modern effective cure for the boat ( epoxy lamination with NOT oak )will be poopooed by all the folks who ever read a book and have not died at sea yet.
    Bruce

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Desiree-Jacqueline

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    Steamed oak frames.....ggrrrrrrrrrr!
    its a frustration as the buggered frame is attached to a usually buggered fastening which is attached to a usually beautiful but damaged plank. Ya can’t just replace it without all the tentacles of rot rust and heartache that come with it.
    Sistering is the most overrated thing that ever made it into a book... it is more wasted time and material... don’t kid herself.
    Oh god a museum Vessel? Yer double screwed as a modern effective cure for the boat ( epoxy lamination with NOT oak )will be poopooed by all the folks who ever read a book and have not died at sea yet.
    Bruce
    This is Jersey, Channel Islands, not New Jersey.
    Now that Canadian Rock Elm is no longer available in Europe, the best timbers for steaming are locally grown oak or ash.

    If it is not possible to remove those stringers and other longitudinal timbers, it may be best to scarf in new sections of frame timber, having cut long scarfs in sound timber well away from the rotten bits, freeing off the fastenings in the longitudinals enough to wriggle the new bits in between the plank and stringers.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Desiree-Jacqueline

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    Steamed oak frames.....ggrrrrrrrrrr!
    its a frustration as the buggered frame is attached to a usually buggered fastening which is attached to a usually beautiful but damaged plank. Ya can’t just replace it without all the tentacles of rot rust and heartache that come with it.
    Sistering is the most overrated thing that ever made it into a book... it is more wasted time and material... don’t kid herself.
    Oh god a museum Vessel? Yer double screwed as a modern effective cure for the boat ( epoxy lamination with NOT oak )will be poopooed by all the folks who ever read a book and have not died at sea yet.
    Bruce

    I don't know, they have lasted the best part of 80 years .... which isn't so bad. And as Nick says, we don't have many alternatives nowadays (though Iroko steams well surprisingly enough). Laminating is an alternative of course and should be considered, but steaming might be quicker and equally as effective. Once you get prepared for steaming in new timbers it goes surprisingly quickly.

    The longitudinals in the bilge area need to be removed - the riser (supporting a bunk base??) is not important. The other looks like a bilge stringer – perhaps cut that out in as long a sections as possible and scarph new lengths after the timbers have been removed.

    And again, as Nick says, scarph the new timbers to sound parts of the old timbers in a straight section up nearer to the beamshelf. If new oak lasts, say, another 50 years, that's pretty good.


    But, before doing any repair work it's best to get the whole hull cleaned out and the exterior paintwork stripped off to establish as best as possible the totality of what needs doing and if it's feasible with the resources available.

    Nice old boat though ...

    Cheers -- George
    Last edited by debenriver; 03-22-2022 at 11:43 AM.
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Desiree-Jacqueline

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    Oh god a museum Vessel? Yer double screwed as a modern effective cure for the boat ( epoxy lamination with NOT oak )will be poopooed by all the folks who ever read a book and have not died at sea yet.
    Bruce
    As much as I would love to do a true restoration, I think myself and the museum are pretty pragmatic and acknowledge that funds and volunteer labour are in short supply. I believe I could make the case to deviate from the original construction for longevity within reason. I think painted laminated frames would be acceptable given that the museum didn’t scoff at the idea of sheathing or splining the hull when given the option.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Desiree-Jacqueline

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    This is Jersey, Channel Islands, not New Jersey.
    Now that Canadian Rock Elm is no longer available in Europe, the best timbers for steaming are locally grown oak or ash.
    The local mill has a pretty limited selection. For the last year or so it’s been Euro and AW Oak, Iroko, Sapele and Tulipwood. Everything else including Ash and WR Cedar would be special order with minimum quantities.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Desiree-Jacqueline

    Quote Originally Posted by debenriver View Post
    I don't know, they have lasted the best part of 80 years .... which isn't so bad. And as Nick says, we don't have many alternatives nowadays (though Iroko steams well surprisingly enough). Laminating is an alternative of course and should be considered, but steaming might be quicker and equally as effective. Once you get prepared for steaming in new timbers it goes surprisingly quickly.

    The longitudinals in the bilge area need to be removed - the riser (supporting a bunk base??) is not important. The other looks like a bilge stringer – perhaps cut that out in as long a sections as possible and scarph new lengths after the timbers have been removed.

    And again, as Nick says, scarph the new timbers to sound parts of the old timbers in a straight section up nearer to the beamshelf. If new oak lasts, say, another 50 years, that's pretty good.


    But, before doing any repair work it's best to get the whole hull cleaned out and the exterior paintwork stripped off to establish as best as possible the totality of what needs doing and if it's feasible with the resources available.

    Nice old boat though ...

    Cheers -- George
    Cheers George but if you had a suggestion that didn’t involve me spending a couple hundred hours stripping paint that would be great!!

    The upper piece is indeed supporting the bunk, I’m not even sure what the technical term would be. My nose tells me that everything from stringer down was coated in tar originally but then painted over in later years.

    Unfortunately I don’t know how practical scarfing would be as there is very little good wood left on any of the frames I’ve uncovered so far, from stringer down.

    There is a longitudinal mahogany piece at the base of the bunks each side that are (were) solidly fixed to the frames and floors with blocking (which has mostly rotten out around the fixings) so seems to have a structural purpose. All my previous experience is working on our two 20ft long keel day boats so this round bottom construction is new to me aside from reading Chapelle. I’ll share some pictures and info about our 1913 Hamble One Designs if there’s interest. They are lovely little boats.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Desiree-Jacqueline

    For your comfort and convenience, as well as her continuing health, get her under cover. Build a bow shed over her if you cannot move her into a big shed or warehouse.

    By freeing off the fastenings through the stringer for several feet on either side of the timber to be changed, you should create enough slack to be able to slip a new section of timber in behind it.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Desiree-Jacqueline

    Quote Originally Posted by NBJersey View Post
    Cheers George but if you had a suggestion that didn’t involve me spending a couple hundred hours stripping paint that would be great!

    The upper piece is indeed supporting the bunk, I’m not even sure what the technical term would be. My nose tells me that everything from stringer down was coated in tar originally but then painted over in later years.

    Unfortunately I don’t know how practical scarfing would be as there is very little good wood left on any of the frames I’ve uncovered so far, from stringer down.

    There is a longitudinal mahogany piece at the base of the bunks each side that are (were) solidly fixed to the frames and floors with blocking (which has mostly rotten out around the fixings) so seems to have a structural purpose. All my previous experience is working on our two 20ft long keel day boats so this round bottom construction is new to me aside from reading Chapelle. I’ll share some pictures and info about our 1913 Hamble One Designs if there’s interest. They are lovely little boats.
    The longitudinal supporting the bunk top is simply a "riser" or "cleat" – no structural significance and it can be removed permanently – or a new piece fitted if the bunk is replaced.

    The lower longitudinal is the "bilge stringer" and is of structural significance. It, or a section of it, can be removed – or as Nick suggests the fastenings removed so it can be wedged off the hull planking a bit. I would probably remove a section as it will make timbering quicker and easier – but either way is good.

    It looks as if you need to renew the timbers from somewhere under the beamshelf, in the straight part of the hull up towards the deck, all the way to the centreline. So the scarphs would be in the good timber nearer the tops – assuming they're not rotten up there too.

    Sorry about having no quick fixes but that's basically how it is. The worst scenario is if you fix some things and then go on to discover that there are yet more problems. That's why I'm saying establish the whole of the work to be done as best you can and then decide if it can be done. If it can't be done because of lack of time and/or resources – then sadly it's better to walk away now.

    George

    And Yes to getting her cover
    Last edited by debenriver; 03-22-2022 at 07:08 PM.
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    Default Re: Desiree-Jacqueline

    Scarfing in new sections of ribs is quite doable, and not too terrible a job. What concerns me more is that split apron along the rivet line.. That will be problematic to deal with.

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