February 2011

Henry Frederick Swan Restoration on- Full Ahead!


It is great to report that tremendous enthusiasm is maintaining the schedule of the restoration of the Henry Frederick Swan.Progress has been very encouraging for 2011 thanks to all of the hard work from a dedicated team of volunteers. Such tasks as the removal of the drop keel and drop keel casing ( away for shot blasting at the moment) have tested our ingenuity but where there’s a will there’s a way.( reference: Dec 2010 News Letter) Most of the internal deck bearers have been removed along with the aft whale back and aft bulkhead. These are now on the joiner’s bench awaiting reconstruction. The dismantling of this class of vessel is very different to conventional boats. There are no glued sections, no steel spikes or nails ; just beautifully made close fitting interlocking joints all fastened with bronze csk screws. It is more like taking apart a piece of furniture than an old boat! Amazingly so after nearly 100 years, the majority of screws come out with very little problem at all.

Stem and Stern post timbers have been removed ready for renewal. New, large radius, oak crooks have been obtained along with sufficient oak planking for gunwales, stringers, frames etc. Sincere thanks must go to A&J Scott Timber supplies (www.ajscott.co.uk) for their superb co-operation and professional help in the choice of timber, slicing and transportation to our workshops in Wapping Street.



One major challenge underway is the removal of the 15inch wrought iron Keel Bolts. As to be expected, these have been found to be severely corroded by way of the oak keel. The top and bottom section where they sit in contact with the steel is of reasonable condition but the acid from the oak, has made a short meal of them. However, with the use of a specially made sliding hammer puller, the bolts were drilled and tapped into their heads and with a carefully applied hammer inside the boat along with plenty of grunting and groaning from underneath! we are managing to extract them!

A purpose built work platform has been erected to facilitate the rebuild of the aft bulk head. Precise (well, as close as possible!) templates have been taken from the badly rotted frame followed by the careful separation of the the frame from the double planked in filled section.

East Coast Fibre Glass Supplies Visit Workshop

We are very grateful to East Coast Fibre Glass Supplies for their enthusiasm and support shown towards the North East Maritime Trust.

Visit their splendid web site www.ecfibreglasssupplies.co.uk

Take a look at the “Articles” and the NEMT video!
Thanks to Gary and Nick.


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