Replacing the stem and stern, 2009

By April, 2009 it was becoming apparent that the stem was not up to scratch and, after much discussion, it was removed.

The gaping hole at the front of the boat certainly looked frightening, had we taken on too big a project? Steve returned to his drawing board and after considerable research, sucking of teeth, discussions and visits to woodyards, the decision was made. The new stem would be laminated with 30 strips of idigbo sourced at the beginning of May 2009 and sawn for us by Gregory’s of Tansley, Derbyshire. The laminating was undertaken in the hilltop workshop high above the house. A month of hard work resulted in a new stem, made to measure for the trip down to Woodbridge in the Bongo. After much more cutting, trimming, heaving and hauling, the new stem was finally fitted in August, 2009.

Steve sourced an eight foot long piece of sawn opepe from Anderson Sawmills, Doddington Park Farm, Cheshire, destined to be the new stern post. With the engine removed, it was clear that lining up the sterntube would be quite a challenge. After a trip to Robertsons, just up the Deben, to enlist their help in drilling the hole, Steve started to measure up and fashion the stern post while Paul made a start on the planking. Once cut to size and aligned, the stern was taken to Robertsons in October, 2009 for drilling, and after a couple of days an excellent job was done! In place by the autumn, it fitted snugly up against the repaired (and new) planks and garboard, all painted with red oxide. November and December, 2009 found Steve in Woodbridge, still making excellent progress, despite the sub-zero temperatures!