Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wianno Senior Restoration Part Two

In my last post, I wrote that I hoped that we'd have the hull replanked in a week. With restoration, things don't always work out as planned. 
The Wianno Seniors were originally planked upside down, starting with the garboard. Now Seth had the awkward task of spiling, fitting and fairing upside down. Except that this time he'd be on the bottom. 

The first step we took was to ask Dan Gould, a seasoned boat builder and friend, to give us a lesson in the Ring Anderson spiling method. It's a remarkably straightforward and common sense method that trumps the way most of us learned to spile. Seth had to be accurate because we were going to try to squeeze two planks out of one piece of Wana.

Wana, or ocotea rubra is known by many names such as Determa or Grignon rouge and originates in Suriname. I had mistakenly thought it was Guanacaste from Costa Rica. They look similar but in fact are not. Wana is a wonderful planking wood, which works well in our situation since the original planks were mahogany. 

 Seth was able to get the two planks out of one piece of Wana. That gave us the extra piece we'd need to replace the second plank on the port side. The challenge of fitting the garboard was compounded by the squirrelly shape of that adjacent plank. The choice was to fight it or remove it. There were several rotten patches along it's length so it made the decision a bit easier. 
The rabbet needed to be faired, and holes filled before the garboard could be installed, and stop waters replaced with new wood. It seemed like every day brought a new problem to deal with. Three of the frames near the transom on the starboard side were cracked, so patterns were made, oak frames were cut and steamed, then fastened in place. So much to do before we closed her up.

We also had the opportunity to caulk the centerboard bed logs before the hull was closed up. The boat has dried out even more during the stay in the shop, making it even more critical to get this work completed so she can be moved outside, and closer to her watery world. 
On Thursday of Week Two the whole crew got to work helping Seth get things ready for the permanent installation the following day. Doug made and installed butt blocks. Brian, Jim and Seth prepped planks and hull.

The photos show the work sequence: the planks were dry fitted, caulking bevels planed to the correct angle, then sanded and primed with red lead. Once all the prep was completed the plank was screwed in place. 
On Friday morning, the crew got to work, each focused on their respective tasks, ready to pitch in when needed, while Seth orchestrated the complex procedure. I was so impressed by their craftsmanship and composure. Seth was leaving for his vacation in a matter of hours and had to make sure it all went together correctly!
By 12:30, Bettawin was back together, stronger than she'd been in years, good as new.
There's still so much work to do but it's different. It's not so gut-wrenchingly exposed. 
Next phase: fair the new planks and caulk the seams, fair the whole hull, refasten where possible and prime, paint and launch.

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