Royal Falcon Restoration Update June 2020
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YOUR OWN COPY OF WOODENBOAT MAGAZINE
In response to the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic, and to help ease your time while practicing social distancing, the publishers of WoodenBoat have very generously decided to make the digital edition of WoodenBoat No. 274 (May/June 2020) free for all to read and enjoy. Please share this digital edition with all friends and family you think might enjoy, or need, a fun distraction. With the forecast for long overdue rain for most of NZ later today – this is perfect timing for a lazy afternoon on the couch 🙂 Enjoy
A few weeks ago I was tipped off by Adrian Pawson that one of his buddies – James Ledingham, had ‘acquired’ a very special Frostbite named Classico, one of things that makes her special is that she was built but never launched, so effectively is a new boat. Adrian is the owner of – Kiteroa, the ex Brooke family boat, which Adrian has restored and ’tweaked’ a little, thats her in the photos with the orange hull.
I was onto James quick smart to get more details. But before that I have to say how cool it is to see these ‘young’ sailors getting into the classic wooden dinghy sailing scene. The guys sail out of Taikata Sailing Club in West Auckland (Te Atatu), on a good Sunday there are upwards of 15 Frostbites racing. Both Adrian and James would be too modest to say this – but both work at the very pointy (high tech) end of world sailing, which makes their passion for these woodys even more special 🙂
Adrian also supplied for our review (see below) a copy of Doug Sharp’s secret copy of the ‘Frostbite Go Fast Tips’ by Kevin Lidgard.
I’ll let James tell the story –
“Recently I was fortunate enough to purchase ‘Classico’ a wooden frostbite dinghy.
What made this boat unique, aside from her immaculate timber detailing, was that she was brand new and had never been sailed. Something of a rarity in the frostbite class these days.
‘Classico’ is the result of a labour of love by her builder and previous owner David Strickett (Brother in law of Rex Maddren – a well-known Frostbite sailor and champion in his day). Looking for a wooden boat project and with a love of the clinker style, the Frostbite dinghy was a natural choice for David to get stuck into. Having picked up his wooden boat building skills at Carrington Tech under the guidance of Robert Brooke (son of Jack Brooke, who designed the original frostbite back in 1937) he was certainly well equipped to tackle such a build. Robert helped him source some temporary frames from Wakatere Boating Club and he got stuck in.
The boat is built in kauri, the majority of which was sourced from a farmer in Mangamuka, just south of Kaitia. The exception was the single piece transom, which came from a kauri slab that David already had in his garage.
Many hands make light work and during the build David sought help with the planking and ribbing from Robin Dew, who had built several wooden Frostbites himself. Whangarei boat builder Nick Rodokal also lent a hand in constructing the gunwhale, having previously built David a Lotus 9.2 (Pursuit).
David kitted the boat out with modern aluminum spars, a Quantum Mylar sail, and the latest Harken deck gear. Adding a touch of performance to the classic kauri hull.
It was a bittersweet moment to launch ‘Classico’ down at Taikata Sailing Club on the first Sunday of March 2020, ahead of the regular afternoon sailing. She would have been equally at home in a museum (or the lounge!) and once wet and raced, unlikely to ever be quite be as immaculate again. However, they are such great boats to sail I was looking forward to getting out and seeing what she could do. She was appropriately blessed by another frostbite legend, Doug Sharp, and champagne was poured. A successful first sail ensued with minimal leaking.
While the quality of the boat couldn’t be faulted her performance was an unknown. However, she certainly seems to be fast (when the skipper sends her in the right direction) so far grabbing a 2nd in the first race of the Taikata Sailing Club winter series held earlier in March.
I plan to race her regularly down at Taikata Sailing Club, where the Frostbite fleet is thriving – with 12+ boats on the start line every fortnight. Wooden boat enthusiasts are welcome to come down to the club and have a yarn. There are a good number of well-kept and restored timber Frostbites amongst the fleet, and no shortage of stories!
The name ‘Classico’ stems from a holiday dinner in Tuscany where David and his wife were enjoying a bottle of traditional Chanti wine – Chianti ‘Classico’.”
Marlin 17 Rescued
Have been contacted recently by Keith Bradley concerning a Marlin 17 that he rescued from the chainsaw. The previous owner was about to cut the hull in half and mount it on the wall of the fish and chip shop in Nelson……… 😦
The Folly of Buying A Fixer-Upper With Mates
LADY ELLEN RESTORATION – OCTOBER UPDATE
“Started painting the interior last Thursday.
Bronze castings in the system and should be ready in a couple of weeks time.
Youtube video of the model –https://youtu.be/VqUNmWlKdGw
Previous WW story on Jaguar. https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/08/16/looking-for-jaguar/
SKIPJACK (SEA DEVIL)
Woody Greg Bilington contacted me recently re his launch – Skipjack, formerly named Sea Devil, when owned by Brent Gribble.
In Greg’s words, Shipjack is a 100-year-old, unpretentious 33′ Bailey. Greg has sent in an update on the recent maintenance / restoration that he has undertaken on the woody. I’ll let Greg tell the story (with a wee bit of editing)
“I knew that Skipjack took on some water, but since the hull was sound, I wasn’t overly concerned and focused initially on mechanicals, which included replacing the prop, shaft, cutlass bearing, universal etc. In time, I decided we needed to stifle the ingress of water – and as anyone who has ever had a leaky anything will know, this can be a challenging task. Skin fittings, which were the first suspects had all been replaced and properly backed, but whilst necessary, did not made a beakerful of a difference. The stuffing box seemed a likely candidate, and though it was due for re-packing, this too, could not account for the increasing amount of work being done by the bilge pump.
So, we hauled out at the Landing to pressure test the shaft log, and again drew a blank. It was at that point that Grant Hendry – then working at Orakei Marina, seized hold of the keel behind the rudder and discovered to my great alarm that he could move it centimetres either way! This gave rise to a nightmare or two about soft timber the length of the boat – but in any event, was almost certainly the source of the problem.
Nevertheless, if the timber was sound and further inspection indicated that it was, then that left the keel bolts. For me this was an unexpected discovery, but I daresay it shouldn’t have been. Manganese bronze bolts subject to galvanic action for a century, and with ball-peened fastenings on the bottom of the keel, might be expected to be well past their use-by date. The problem about this of course, was that there was a Ford Dover sitting over several of them.
With an elderly woody, as we know, once started, one must persevere. So, in due course, Moon Engines removed the motor – at which time I should add, James and his team did a sterling job replacing all seals (which had begun to leak) and generally gave it a proper birthday.
Meanwhile, boat builder Glenn Burnnand knocked out the old bolts, and confirmed that they were very much the sorrier for wear. Thinned and with numerous hair-line fractures, they were hanging on by the skin of their teeth. Don Burnnand made new bolts, each with a damned big washer and nut, and when Glenn cranked these up, the mission was accomplished. The keel locked up as tight as the day she was built – and possibly tighter. I’ve included a pic to show the difference between the two…
Burnnand Marine also removed the old glass from the deck-planking, over-laid these with marine ply, re-glassed and painted. A superb job. In my view it’s worthwhile giving a plug to those tradesmen you can rely on completely – and he is one of them. Providing you can drop your mast – since you must pass under the Tamaki Bridge (entry to the Outdoor Boating Club) – access to Shed 10 on Ngapipi Road is very easy.
Long story short, the bilge pump is having a well-earned rest, bolts are good for another century, and I sleep even more soundly on the water.”
You can read / see more on Skipjack at the WW links below
“Faith was built for an English Lord I believe his name was Shalcroft ( I can be corrected on the spelling of this).. Faith was purchased in England by a Roy Ryan who was employed by me at the time of his arrival in NZ having motor sailed all the way from the UK with all their household furniture & belongings. The crew consisted of his wife & young daughter.
Engine power at that time was from twin screw P6 Perkins Diesel engines. Faith was next purchased by Peter McDonald & berthed in Whangarei, he then commenced a major refurbishment
wherein the 2 Perkins were taken out & a rebuilt 6L3 Gardner was installed. At the same time the wheelhouse was rebuilt along with much other woodwork most of which was done by Nick Rodokal
The Gardner engine was from an ex fishing vessel purchased from Happy Yovich in Hikurangi.
The teak single skin planking is fastened with bronze bolts.
I have seen Faith hard at work on Lake Te Anau where my step-son now lives .
Hope this fills in some gaps for you.”
Lady Ellen Restoration Update – March 2019
Owner Bruce Mitchinson sent in the photos above & report below:
Building Fritha – Sailing Sunday
Australian Wooden Boat Festival 2019 – Photo Parade – Part 2 – 337 photos