Lady Ellen Restoration – Report 1



Lady Ellen’ Restoration – Report 1

I have just received an update from Bruce Mitchinson that details the amazing work being undertaken on Lady Ellen – My comment to Bruce was the she was a very lucky lady – not many launches get this amount to TLC – I’ll let Bruce tell you about the work. Photos below:

“Bilge cleanup done and engine beds re-built to remove rotten sections. New laminated floor at the back to help spread the load of the engine and gearbox, where there was very little support previously. Damaged frame ends removed and new laminated sections spliced in, to run continuous across the keelson. Foredeck re-fastened and fibreglassed to make watertight and to take out the springiness. Bulkhead linings all stripped and new plywood lining has been pre-primed and undercoated ready for installation next week. Rod steering system has been modified, using all the existing components, so that all the workings now sit below the floor, and the wheel lowered to suit the new steering position. New fuel tank beds are being fitted to support the new tanks. Only another 250 copper nails and rooves to replace and we can start painting the inside of the hull.”

You can see & read details on the past work here

13-06-2018 Update from Bruce Mitchinson – Report 2

One year pretty much full time and we have now started on the bits you look at.

Cabin sole framing and floorboards all fitted, and the makings of the new cockpit seating and aft storage. Up to the engine bay, working forward, painting the inside of the hull.

Second coat of epoxy wood primer on over the weekend, should be all white in two weeks’ time, and ready for the engine. Everything that makes it go has been reconditioned or replaced including new shaft bearings, new propeller shaft, and new rudder bearings. Even the windlass has had a complete overhaul, along with the starter motor and the alternators.

Two weeks ago we finished off the last of the hull fastenings and fibreglass so we are all locked up for winter and ready for fairing.

Set up the helm again so we can practice driving when we knock off for a beer at the end of the day.




12 thoughts on “Lady Ellen Restoration – Report 1

  1. Pingback: The Launching of Lady Ellen | #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news – updated daily

  2. I wouldn’t worry about going to the dark side, Lots of successful spline and glass jobs, and sheath and glass jobs around these days, best leave the carvel boats to the purists like Cam that appreciate a wet bilge and bunk 😛


  3. In the first 6 months we uncovered a lot of stuff and unfortunately LE was well beyond her use by date.
    Had to make a decision whether to carry on, or donate her to the local school for the kids to use as a playground or a firewood fundraiser.
    A lot of structural repair was done insitu, using epoxy resin, and modern lamination techniques so we had already moved to the dark side well before the deliberations on the planking [we had also used power tools and a hot water jug to make coffee, all running off the electric].
    Splining and glassing the hull wasn’t the original intention, but it came apparent that this was the only viable way to get LE back in the water.
    Carvel is cool, but we now place our trust in resin and dust.
    A friend of mine has a 30 Square Metre that was splined and fibreglassed 20 years ago she still looks like new and remains dry in the bilge.
    This boat doesn’t sit around either, raced hard most weeks, and loaded up with rig tension and keel and rudder torsional stress.
    If I don’t have to do anything major for 10 years I will be happy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good thickness of dry planking refastened to strong floor timbers etc and splined then glassed has worked dozens and dozens of times in past here and overseas with great results. Secret is to keep bilges dry inside as planks will absorb water wether splined or sheathed in ply. Thrs always going to be the occasional failure on a boat rebuild due to dozens of reasons. Hey it’s a boat end of day. Always something to go wrong. I doubt this one will give any issues at all. Bruce is to be commended!!!!
    Always going to be the doomsday types out thr trying to pour buckets of water on the fire tho eh ?


  5. Thanks Ken
    The engine beds are about 1.8m long and sit across about 9 frames to spread the load. They lock into the bulkhead forward and were checked into a floor at the back, where they tapered off to only 120mm high. I guess that the original engine sat in there OK and was much lighter than the 6 cyl Ford, with hydraulic box and Lees 2:1 gear hanging off the back, that has been in the boat since the 80’s. Yep, it never fell out the bottom but the boat did feel a bit soft, and there was a bit of vibration with a some load on. My boat builder is a lot happier with the set up now, and I wont be so anxious when I go past 1200rpm. Bruce


  6. How wonderful to see her getting what she so richly deserves — FANTASITIC JOB BRUCE!!– She is certainly one of Mac’s really good boats & as I knew her & her early owners so very well, they will be looking down & smiling I’m sure.
    Am a little surprised at the shortness of her engine beds — Mac usually made them longer than that, however the engine did not fall out the bottom, so must be all ok. — KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK BRUCE. — ken r


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