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Chance: the reborn of a classic James Silver Motor Sailer

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  • Chance: the reborn of a classic James Silver Motor Sailer

    This going to be the blog about restoration of our James Silver "Western Isles" motor sailer which has had a long time until it was left in a derelict condition by her last two owners, who run out of money and the time to put her back in a sea worthy condition and get her back afloat once more.

  • #2
    Re: Chance: the reborn of a classic James Silver Motor Sailebr />
    Its cold outside, so it is time to go indoors and get a number of smaller projects underway and ones that can be done in the workshop.


    Two projects that spring to mind are the diesel cooker, the Baby Blake Toilet which both need a lot of work done to them to get them both back into working order.
    Then they will be able to put back into Chance later on in the restoration project. The diesel cooker is a Dickinson Bristol cooker which as been neglected and the electrical parts have not survived the years of neglect and water damage. The parts will have to be removed from the cooker and recycled at my local recycling business. So not in land fill. Inside the firebox there is a small area of missing fire cement which can be easily sorted by making up some more fire cement and replacing the missing area and letting dry off. the other item that is missing in the firebox is the part that makes the diesel cooker work. I have been informed by Dickinson's the cooker manufacturers that as long as I fit the new parts the cooker will be back in working order and give many more years of service.

    The Baby Blake Toilet is going to need stripping down to its individual items which will need to be cleaned and any of the parts which are worn out or otherwise not working will be replaced so that the toilet is back in working order and be able to be used once more.

    Other jobs that can be done in the workshop are to get down off the shelves all the drawers which were removed from Chance while we removed all the interior furniture before Chance was transported back to Walton on the Naze from Woodplumpton. Some of the drawers are in a bad condition with only the drawer front being able to be used as the rest is either missing or rotten from being laid around in the boat and getting water damaged and not being stored so them could be kept dry. So over the next few months it is a matter of getting out the dovetail cutter and router and making up new drawers of different sizes and shapes to fit in different parts of the interior from which they were originally fitted.

    Last edited by jstarboats; 12-13-2022, 02:48 AM.


    • #3
      Re: Chance: the reborn of a classic James Silver Motor Sailebr />
      An overview of what we achieved in 2022 and what we hope to achieve in 2023.

      Over the past year, we have achieved a great deal of work on Chance while working with the restrictions of the Covid pandemic and working as a full time traditional boat builder work on my clients boats and their projects.
      Now it is time to take stock of what we have achieved in the way of dismantling Chances' interior and doing some of the smaller jobs on Chance, such as dismantle the Blakes sea toilet which is in need of a full restoration as it as not been restored for a long time. So many of the moving parts are either corroded (bolts and nuts holding the parts of the toilet together) or harden up due to not being used and lubricated and so the rubber parts will have to be replaced as part of the toilet restoration. Another smaller project is the diesel cooker restoration ( the fire brick will need refixing and cracks filling and the burner parts which have corroded from use and age will have to be ordered from Canada after Christmas.
      After the Christmas break and when the dust as settled after the New Year. Then it will be time to make a start on sorting out the Transom and starboard aft cabin beam shelf and deck repairs and the planking and rib replacements and the frames in the aft cabin that need renewing.
      While all this is going on we will try and sort out covering Chance over with some good covers to keep the worse of the weather and start to get Chance dried out and be able to work on her at anytime.
      So it is time to chill out and have a peaceful Christmas and look forward to the New Year with recharged bodies and minds.


      • #4
        Re: Chance: the reborn of a classic James Silver Motor Sailebr />
        [COLOR=var(--primary-text)]Plans for the New Year and beyond,

        This last year as been a busy year in lots of ways, Especially with regards to Chance and her moving down from Woodplumpton in Lancashire to Walton on the Naze. This was a logistical merry-go-round to say the least. Getting the timing correct so that the jobs that were needed to be done to Chance before she was transported down from Lancashire to Essex. Picking the right time and having the funds available to move her when we did.

        Over the course of the spring and summer, when we both had some spare time together between my work as a boat builder and my wife Tricia as a Nurse we spent the time driving up to Woodplumpton and worked on Chance. Removing as much of the interior furniture and other items such as her old engines, fuel tanks,water tanks, black water tank, ballast and many other items in order to make her as light as possible to give her a chance to make it possible to move her without stressing her already weakened hull a chance to survive the transport from Lancashire to Essex.

        Thankfully the lifting and transporting by road, when well and Chance arrived in Walton on the Naze in good shape and was able to be lifted off her transport and laid up in Titchmarsh marina, her new home for the duration of her restoration.

        Since Chance as been back in Essex, Simon and his family have continued to get on with the restoration of Chance. One of the jobs, Simon and his Son Michael have been doing is to get the deck hatches off the deck. So far Simon and Michael have been able to remove the tops off two butterfly hatches and the top off the aft hatch and have made a start on removing the bases of these hatches and when they have done these hatches will tackle the foredeck hatch which is in a every poor condition and may well just fall apart when trying to dismantling the hatch. Time will tell when we start to work on this hatch. Either way Simon and Michael will be spending time restoring these hatches so they can go back on later on in the restoration of the deck.

        Once these hatches are done, Simon & Michael will start on sorting out the transom and aft end planking and starboard deck and beam shelf repair work to get done before moving on to the rest of the hull and rib repairs. So over the coming spring and summer Simon, Michael & Tricia will get on with as much of the hull and deck work to get Chance in a better shape than she has been for many a year.



        • #5
          Re: Chance: the reborn of a classic James Silver Motor Sailebr />
          Having stripped down the parts of the sea toilet it was then time to vape blast the painted parts and remove all the old toxic paint from 70 years ago and apply a fresh coat of non toxic paint to the surfaces of these parts

          The same goes for the "A" brackets for the propeller shafts, these will need to have the cutlass bearing removed and have new cutlass bearing inserted at a later date.

          They have come up well and it is a pity they are going to be underwater and out of sight. However, any toxic paint as now been removed.

          THe parts will just need a good cleaning to get rid of any blast material left on the parts before they are dried and repainted again.


          • #6
            Re: Chance: the reborn of a classic James Silver Motor Sailebr />
            The old and new parts of the doors with the mortises cut on the new door

            Marking off the new tenon half of the door frame

            The new longer of the two parts that having to be replaced

            Fitting well with just a little bit of adjustment on the centre panel to let the longer frame piece fit

            Well fitting joint, just needs a bit of glue to make sure it stays in place

            The shaped tenon part of the joint now just needs a pair of wedges made to fit down both sides of the joint against the walls of the mortise to lock the joint in position with a little bit of glue to help the joint stay in position


            • #7
              Re: Chance: the reborn of a classic James Silver Motor Sailebr />
              Unfortunately, had a little slip up cutting the slot in this part, now I have to make a new piece, However, I need the practice, ha,ha


              • #8
                Re: Chance: the reborn of a classic James Silver Motor Sailebr />
                Now the bronze parts have been cleaned of all the old paint and are now washed with clean water and dried, We have to make up a list of the parts we need to restore the Toilet back into work order.

                The toilet seat is in need of a bit of attention, some of the old screws are rotten away and need to be drilled out and replace with new screws

                The seat and lid will need to have the old varnish removed and the brass hinge will need polishing and lacquering and there are a few bits which will need lacquering as well.


                • #9
                  Re: Chance: the reborn of a classic James Silver Motor Sailebr />
                  The inside of the hatch in need of sanding back to bare wood and to get rid of the greying of the bare teak. When the hatch is repaired it will all varnished all over to stop this happening again.

                  One piece of damage which will need careful cutting out and grading in a new piece of teak to make this good again

                  The top will a good sanding and then sealing the area where the glass sits in the rebate

                  A old method of keeping the hatch open for ventilation

                  The cover panels to keep the glass in position. the only item which is missing from this hatch like the hatch on the above the crew cabin in the forward end of the boat. Is the stainless rods to go over the glass so it will help stop someone putting their foot through the glass
                  These panels will like the rest of the hatch be sanded back to get rid of the greying and the panel will be varnished to match the the rest of the varnished woodwork on the other hatches and the aft cabin sides and wheelhouse which should be varnished.


                  • #10
                    Re: Chance: the reborn of a classic James Silver Motor Sailebr />
                    This is the only original end fitting on the main boom that as not been removed when the boat was dismantled over the years before we took over ownership of Chance

                    The outboard ends of the booms are missing their end fittings, so we can on the lookout for replacement fittings to replace the original fittings

                    The end of the main appears to missing any sign of an end fittings ever been fitted to this boom?

                    It appears that who ever fitted the gooseneck fitting to the mizzen boom did not measure where the centre of the boom was

                    The metal band which is needed on the forward end of the main boom is missing, something we have to source from some where

                    The first delivery of Green Oak for Chance's restoration, a lot of this will go into her transom framework and her ribs and frames and been shelf which need replacing on the starboard side.


                    • #11
                      Re: Chance: the reborn of a classic James Silver Motor Sailebr />
                      Having got the booms back from Chance a while ago, they have dried out in the workshop for a few weeks it is time to begin to sand off the old varnish

                      Making a start on the mizzen boom first as it is a bit shorter and lighter than the main boom. I am now on the lookout for some original boom fittings to replace the missing fittings that have been lost over the years.

                      One of the original gooseneck fittings that is still in place, it must have been hard to remove so it was left in position.


                      • #12
                        Re: Chance: the reborn of a classic James Silver Motor Sailebr />
                        I would love to see some pictures of what the boat looks like as a whole.
                        On the trailing edge of technology.





                        • #13
                          Re: Chance: the reborn of a classic James Silver Motor Sailebr />
                          With the aid of my former apprentice boat builder who is now finished his boat building course and is now spreading his wings. He was able to spare a few hours helping me get on with making a start on the transom repairs.
                          We made a rough pattern of the port side which is in the correct shape, as this side of the boat as never had any major work done to it over the years.

                          However, the same can be said of the starboard side which as been messed about a lot over the years and as lost a lot of shape, so much so that it is a completely different shape to the port side, as can be seen from placing the pattern in the same position as it was on the port side.

                          The starboard side deck falls away towards the transom

                          The port side is curving up at the transom end, showing that the starboard side as dropped over the years.

                          In the photo there are measurements of the port side plank widths and the ones measured on the starboard side, There are marked differences between the measurements on some of them 11mm on another 16mm and a couple more planks 2 or 3 mm differences, Some in order to sort out the transom misshape these planks will have to be removed in order to being back the shape back to the originalk shape and size.

                          One job we have started to do is to prop the hull up to stop it from dropping anymore while will remove the planks and frames which are holding the hull out of shape.


                          • #14
                            Re: Chance: the reborn of a classic James Silver Motor Sailebr />
                            A pile of freshly milled green oak for the major repairs for the transom work, the frames and ribs and the beam shelf and deck beams, a lot of the oak will be made into steamed parts as this will make for stronger parts and with modern glues and fixings will make the new parts better and last longer.

                            The aft hatch upper part being glued back together before a few minor repairs are done to other parts of the hatch and then rebuild and refitted to the boat after it as been varnished and new glass is fitted and new step rails are fitted over the glass.

                            Some of the old electrical items out of the Engineering room which controlled the power coming for the engine dynamos. These are now not more than museum pieces of an old way of controlling engine dynamos.

                            A few old amp meters and control boxes.


                            • #15
                              Re: Chance: the reborn of a classic James Silver Motor Sailebr />
                              A view down the starboard side of Chance looking aft towards the transom, it is in a poor condition however this is not just a small problem, but a major problem which has been years in the making.

                              The more of the deck planking that is removed the larger the problem comes to light

                              The first major problem being the tie rods that should be in place between the beam shelf and the carlin have been cut through and never replaced when the beam shelf was renewed at sometime in the past. This is a major problem in the making, as without these tie rods in place there is nothing to keep the boat deck from spreading open and the hull moving out of shape and the sheerline falling off as this as happier in this case.

                              It was not just one tie rod but all the tie rods from the cockpit to the transom that had been cut through, so the whole of the starboard side between the cockpit and the transom could move without any support between the cabin side and the hull, so as in the case of the starboard side deck it could open and close and fall in on itself as this has happen in the case of this deck

                              it is not known why these tie rods were not removed and replaced at the time the beam shelf was renew. The only reason was who ever cut the tie rods through had know understanding of the reason they were there in the first place.

                              So now we have to remove the whole of the deck remove the tie rods and the rotten beam shelf also renew the carlin which is very likely and prop up the hull back into position with the aid of a number of props and wedges and also pulling the hull back into shape using a Spanish windlass or other methods to bring back the starboard side back into its correct position to mirror the correct shaped portside and once that is done put back the carlin beam shelf and the tie rods so that this does not happen again