Garboards off

Let’s get one think straight.  This blog is not a chronological account of work as it gets done.  It is selective, irregular and completely biased in favour of the colourful aspects of what I do.

When Katydid’s garboards came off yesterday I just had to take (and post) this photo of the warm rich colours exposed.

Katydid's garboards come off

The fastening marks on the keel suggest that this (port side) plank has never been (completely) off before – unlike the starboard garboard which seems to have been on and off several times.

Taking off the garboards is part of the investigative process that I am going through in order to prepare for restoration.  I need to inspect the condition of the keel to establish if it can be saved (perhaps..) and confirm details of how the backbone is held together.

The planks were originally fastened with cut boat nails.  The frames and timbers were notched into the keel with the frames held by dovetail joints and the steamed timbers simply notched.

frames are notched with dovetails

The port side garboard comes off in a few minutes. A peppering of cut boat nails in the hood end has been supplemented with numerous #12 copper boat nails. Once these are removed the whole of the plank just pulls away from the rabbet by hand – the holes from which the cut nails are pulled are clean and crisp suggesting that the plank, as a whole, has never been off the boat. The starboard side plank is a different story with supplemental nails, screws and several graving pieces set into the rabbet.

garboards are off

Once both garboards have been removed the skeletal structure of the boat starts to emerge more clearly.

the skeleton emerges

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