September brings sunshine, to finish the planking!

martins-van-1Round trip to Woodbridge and St. Osyths, 21 June 2012
Andy had cut the larch boards, and they needed collecting, but the weather was still too unsettled for a return to Woodbridge. Steve drove the car to St Osyths, to save on fuel, taking advantage of Martin’s kind offer of a loaned van to transport the larch to Woodbridge, returned the van to Martin and drove back to Derbyshire.

He did the 500-mile journey in the one rare day when it wasn’t forecast to rain! By all accounts, the trip was quite an epic, with the long boards tied to the roof, but the larch is now safely ‘sticked up’ and ready for the next trip to Woodbridge, when it stops raining!

IMG_1545Another wet month in July
It was another two months before we were in Woodbridge again, and the ‘summer’ continues cold and wet, with weather forecasters providing little optimism for change. Steve’s fortunes on the work ‘front’ changed though, resulting in five weeks gainful employment in Chesterfield during July and early August. Determined to get down to Suffolk for the OGA August Classics, we eventually made it, towing ‘Cachalette’ with both bikes on the back! A phonecall from Paul, saying he’s available for work, money in the bank from Steve’s Chesterfield job, so we can say ‘yes’, and there’s plenty of Old Gaffer friends dropping by to see how we’re getting on. There’s better weather forecasts than we’ve had all year, things are looking up!

IMG_1631Dropping the keelbolts!
We’ve been thinking about this for a while, so let’s do it today! Paul and Steve drop two of the bolts, and check them out carefully.

They came out clean, but will need replacing. This prompted us to call Adrian, the surveyor, and he popped round to take a look while there’s still some missing planks to peer through into the hull. We’ll be off to see Moray MacPhail at Classic Marine for the new ones in due course.

IMG_1585Final few frames
We’ve said it before, but these really ARE the last frames, and if the weather stays fine, we should get all the planks in, with Paul working as well. There’s four planks to do on each side, just hope we don’t run out of wood again!

With the return of torrential rain, we had to resort to working inside the tent, watching the puddles grow and closing up the van. Its passes over, and at least not too cold, so planking continues, ready for Paul to join us on the final haul. The boards from Andy at St Osyths vary quite dramatically in thickness, apparently he had problems with his saw. The rain has stopped though, and Steve’s getting on well with sorting out sufficient boards for the last few planks.

IMG_1680September sunshine
The weather brightens up and Paul starts work, there’s some careful planning about how to deal with the last few planks. With nailing up to be done as well, we need to get more nails, roves and screws.

Beverley’s set the task of working out how many more we’ll need, and converting the number of nails into kilograms for the order from Anglia Stainless! How many times did she revise her calculations before calling?

Steve and Paul get started in earnest, just two full lengths to do on port and starboard. Ben from Anglia Stainless arrives with the order, and getting the bill reminds us just how important it is to keep the scraps of copper and bronze. The screws are coming up at £1 each. The nails aren’t cheap either, especially when you think about the bit you nip off every time you put on a rove!

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