A Recount Of Our Classic Wooden Craft DNA 

CLICK The Headline – Grace Under Sail to view

A Recount Of Our Classic Wooden Craft DNA 

Recently I was sent a link to an article that appeared in the New Zealand Geographic magazine back in 2000 – in fact issue 45 , Jan-March. The article was headlined – GRACE UNDER FIRE, written by Vaughan Yarwood with supporting photos from the late Henry Winkelmann and more recent photos ex Hamish Ross and Paul Gillbert.

The stars of the article is the 42’ 1908 Logan built gaff rigged cutter – Rawene, and her then skipper Russell Brooke.

This is a brilliant insight into the early days of boating in and around Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour, I’m sure there will be some mix ups re dates, skipper/craft names but overall we get to see and read the history of these magnificent craft, a lot of which are still sailing today.

Have a read, its only 10>15 minutes, longer if if you linger over the photos 🙂  – even a die-hard motorboat owner like myself found it a fascinating read.

Janet – Sailing Sunday

JANE – Sailing Sunday
photos & details ex Mike O’Dwyer

Janet was designed by Chas. Bailey Jr. in 1902 & built by the Sutherland brothers in Domain Street, Devonport*. She is now owned by Andrew Wares, Bruce Isles and Michael O’Dwyer of Hawkes Bay. All friends since childhood with a common interest in sailing who decided to obtain a classic yacht – a day sailer, not too big, something with a bit of provenance that had to look nice. After a year of looking Janet came up and fitted the bill.

Janet was purchased in June 2013, shipped to Napier in April 2014 and relaunched in April 2015 after an eighteen month makeover. Almost all of the work being done by Mike O’Dwyer & with limited spare time saw the project sixteen months longer than expected. A brief overview of the project goes like this – she had six planks replaced, three each side in the garboard area, a certain amount of repair completed on the inner skin, and was fully re-caulked, puttied and painted. The keel and rudder were fared and the floors refastened. The rig was also spruced up with the mast being painted, the boom varnished/painted, fittings newly galvanized and the roller reefing system rebuilt. The owners report she sails beautifully and with improvements and tweaks continuing will only get better. In the first photo above she is seen enjoying her first sail in Napier waters.

The restoration goes like this – Janet was stored at the sailing club hardstand with scaffolding around her, the tarp covering the scaffold was originally rented because  they thought they would only be there two months to do a spruce up. Well the best laid plans…. After removing the paint with hand scrapers it was discovered that the wide seams were full of sika around the garboard area, a copper strip covered a dodgy seam, planks that looked like they had lost some fastenings. Further raking of seams revealed very old caulking and putty.

In one of the photos you can see below the dark water stained areas that there was a 10mm gap between the garboard plank and the inner skin. Only one thing for it, full re-caulk, putty and new planks. The bottom three on each side had to be replaced.

In another photo you can see a copper strip covering the seam just above the forward edge of the lead keel, the seam behind this was about 10mm wide and full of gunk. The wooden filler block on the leading edge of the keel also needed to be replaced.  When raking out a small section of a seam it started with newer cotton on the outer, as you went deeper the cotton got older until finally the last cotton to come out  was like a ribbon. The plank edges were parallel to each other back to the inner skin which made for a narrow deep seam. The seams were paid with a variety of products e.g there was black sika,white sika and putty. Up to five layers of caulking( the stranded type) were removed from some seams.

You can also see the scored waterlines in the hull planks. They counted about six of these either side. Janet had an inboard engine at some stage which could account for some of them.

The varnish product on Janet is Hempel diamond varnish & is a two pot varnish. There are five coats on everything that needed varnishing. The wind vane is home made & works a treat.

Below is an index to some of the photos & her owner talks you thru some of the work. Scroll over the photo to view the number. Also remember you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them 😉

Andrew, Bruce & Michael have done a wonderful job in restoring Janet & hopefully we will see her back on the Waitemata for some of the classic yacht regattas.

Mike will be posting some updates & photos on the CYA Forum – link below http://classicyacht.org.nz/cyaforum/topic/janet-back-in-action/

Photo 1 – shows the hull primed and caulked. You can see the lowest three planks that are to be replaced and a rough area where a copper strip was used to cover a wide seam.
Photo 2 – the hull above the waterline puttied. Below the waterline redlead paint was added to the putty.
Photo 3 – planks removed portside. A couple of the planks literally fell off when the end screws were removed. It must have been the corrosive entities handing hands that kept them on.
The inner skin though black from years of bilge water,oil and god knows what else was still sound. Gotta  love that kauri. A few kauri shims also fell out,used as packers to take up a few gaps between the skins.
I remedied this with lightweight filler mixed in epoxy. Kauri locks also fitted at fore upper end of the lead keel ready for shaping.
Photo 4 – Inner skin repaired and first plank fitted. The floor fastenings were replaced also.
Photo 5 – Planks awaiting faring. Lots of red lead paste between the skins. Kauri blocks shaped and primed.
Photo 6 – Starboard planking underway. Eight new inner skin plank ends were scarfed in place.
Photo 7 – Bit of bling – I’m letting this oxidize however as I like the vert de gris look. Aging gracefully.
Photo 8 – Just about ready for the water. Still work to do on the rig.
Photo 9 – Not a bad looking rear.
Photo 10 – Happy boat back in the water after 15 months.
Photo 11 – Mast painted by brush. To many scarfs of different coloured timbers so went with the paint option.

*Harold Kidd Input

Angus and William Sutherland lived in Domain Street, Devonport. Angus was a shipwright with Chas. Bailey Jr and had Bailey design two yachts for himself and his sons. The first was JANET in 1902, a 24ft linear rater. The second was the 40 footer WAIONE, built to replace JANET in 1907. She was a 9 metre under the recently-adopted International Rating Rules.
Both yachts were built privately by the Sutherlands at their home in Domain Street, not at Bailey’s yard which, until 1912, was at 43 Customs Street West at the foot of Hobson Street. In November 1912 he moved his yard to the new reclamation at Beaumont Street, Freeman’s Bay.
Confusion arises sometimes because Chas. Bailey Jr DID design and build a JANET about this time, but it was a 30ft linear rater for J. McMurtrie of Sydney. Even then, some sources say she was a Sibbick design.
Your yacht was probably named after the Sydney yacht which was launched in 1901.

03-04-2016 Update – 2016 Art Deco Parade of Sail –  A Mark Foy start, Janet claimed line honours.

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