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NY48 CHINOOK
Getting up close and personal with a 96 year old. (now 97!)
 
 
Day 15
27/01/2012

Week 3 is behind us and progress is good. As can be seen from the photos, the poor girl was not in very good shape at all. It is interesting that she and a handfull of her sisters made it this far, as during the dismantling process we found evidence that these boats were not built with longevity in mind. On removal of the pine cladding that covered almost all of the interior of the hull to just forward of the mast, not one drip of paint was found! The frames and planking were completly unprotected from the salt air and any water ingress so it is amazing that after 96 years the whole structure held together. The steel cross bracing both on the hull and under the deck had all but disappeared so small wonder that when we delivered her 120 miles under her own power, she seemed to change shape under our very eyes! That is a story worth telling!
All the photos from week 3 are online at the week 3 link to the right of this text. Keep the comments coming and look out for upcoming posts soon.

Jono.

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Days 13 and 14
Winter???
26/01/2012, I'm still in France!

As you can see from the photos on Picasa, work continues with a certain pace. This is comforting in a way but then it is always easier to take something apart than to put it back together again! That said, the guys are making good progress removing the deck and that should be finished tomorrow. A few more planks below the waterline have come off and they have started stripping the paint off the topsides. At the end of the 3rd week, we are not that far away from starting to repare and replace the ribs. My aim is to save as much as is feasibly possible of the timbers, but by the same token, we must think ahead and be fairly ruthless with those parts that we don't think will go the distance. I really hate wasting wood but we must draw the line somewhere. We will try to re use the waste timber where we can.

I have a couple of other things to say so I will address them in other posts over the next few days.

Cheers,

Jono

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Day 11
Unseasonably springlike
23/01/2012, France

Just got off the phone with the yard. Work is continuing removing the deck and they also began removing a couple of planks. Apparently they were remaining in place out of pure habit! The bronze fasteners are all but gone and there is much rot behind. I really think we got to this yacht just in time. I should get some photos tomorrow so I will post them then. Meanwhile I have been working on drawings for the new interior layout which in actual fact will be closer to the original than she was and using 100% of the interior that we removed. It is an interesting process as I must incorporate modern cruising comforts into an interior that was conceived for what we call nowadays "camping" and maintain the look and feel of a classic yacht. The main areas of difficulty lie in the plumbing and wiring of which there will be much more. I am also looking into ways in which to save weight in order to offset these additions and all this in an already lightly built yacht. Great fun!
And just to make things really interesting, I threw the tape measure at "Rowdy" this morning. I think I going to develop a bald patch this year!

More tomorrow,

Jono.

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Day 10
Sunny and windy
20/01/2012, Tunisia

At the end of the second week, I am very happy with the progress so far. We started removing the deck today and we should have it all off next week. The baseline has been laid down, the first station marked, and a new floor has been laid on the cradle base to help with safety and cleaning up every day. Tomorrow I head home to France to spend a little time on "Rowdy" and catch up with stuff over there. I will continue to update the blog as the information and pictures come through but bear with me if there are some slight lapses between posts.

Bon Weekend.

Jono

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21/01/2012 | Paul Ó Riain
Nice one Jono, will await with eager anticipation..
Day 9
Sunny
19/01/2012, Tunisia

Setting up an old broken boat level in every respect is not an easy job. But I thought I had it cracked when I received a CAD lines plan, drawn with the original offset book in Cap'n Nat's own hand and purchased from the MIT, but not so. It only served to confuse and frustrate me. Almost nothing is as it was drawn, not even close! Have any of you had this experience? Were old boats from this era so loosely built to their plans? Maybe I'm being too much of a perfectionist. Anyway, I am confident that she is now level and very close to her original waterline. Have a good look at the photo and you will see just how far out it was.
More head scratching tomorrow and hopefully some enlightenment!

Jono

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Day 8
Sunny spells and dry
18/01/2012, Tunisia

Today was a big day, and for everybody concerned. Today was the day when Chinook was going inside the shed and the guys were going to be able to close the doors for the first time in over a year! Yes, it has been that long. That said, we are now making up for lost time and the grand old lady was pampered and gently coaxed into the operating theater for the plastic surgery she has needed for some time now. Forgive the word "plastic", we won't be using any of that! As you can gather, it was a successful day, and I have to say that I was impressed with the technical knowledge and general investment of all the Tunisians involved of which there were many. And then I started thinking about pyramids and all that Egyptian stuff. So while giggling to myself, I told the lads that we didn't need the tractor, and that we should just push her inside like in the good old days! Have a look at the pictures and you will see what I mean. (Link is under "Favourites")
Tomorrow I plan to spend the day fine tuning the levelling of Chinook and the setting up of the baseline as accurately as possible. A very challenging task as finding valid reference points on the structure is not easy considering her age and hard life.

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Days 6 and 7
Raining
17/01/2012, Tunisia

Week 2 began well, with the last few bits and pieces removed from the deck. The hatch surrounds came off and more internal stiffening was added. Work also continued on the preparations to the cradle. It has four 12 ton jacks, one at each corner, which will allow us to work with great precision when we set the boat up level. This step will probably be the most important of the restoration as all the repairs will be dimensioned from the original construction baseline and the hull needs to sit on it as designed otherwise we introduce errors. The lift is scheduled for 1400hrs tomorrow.
Some new timber for general use arrived in an unexpected fashion. We are, after all, in Africa !

More tomorrow.

Jono

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Days 4 and 5
Cool, cloudy
14/01/2012, Tunisia

And so draws to a close the first week of the Chinook restoration. It has been a busy week that has seen the boat completely emptied of all internal fixtures. Yesterday the last items were removed including the engine, the floorboards, the water tank, and all of the battens cladding the inside of the hull.
Some interesting discoveries were made. We found a pair of child's glasses that look to be quite old, maybe from the 50s and a "Bon Voyage " card written in 1982. Also a pretty rotten bag containing individually wrapped Gilette razor blades, a bottle of Agarol, and a bottle of suppositories, the latter two being laxatives . Poor fellah!
So we have removed several tons of weight from the structure which will help a lot to maintaining the boat in shape. We have a bit more internal stiffening to add on Monday and the lift should happen on Wednesday or Thursday.
I have posted all the photos on Picasa and I will put the link on the Blog so have a look.
More next week. Bon Weekend
Jono

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Days 2 and 3
Sunny
11/01/2012, Tunisia

Well, I've been here three days now and I get the impression that we have achieved a lot already. Yesterday the team continued with the dismantling of the interior and the deck hardware. Meanwhile Salva and I discussed the build cradle modifications and the manoeurvring of the boat into her spot in the shed. I then finished prepping the engine to come out. The fuel tanks came out and some of the bulkheads in the aft section.
Today, by lunchtime the inside of the boat began to look very empty, and this evening all that remains is the small cabin and the port side of the galley. The rudder and the bowsprit were also taken off and new supports were welded to the cradle. Some time was also spent poring over drawings trying to figure out where the differences are in what we have, compared to what we want at the end. Oh and a few heads were scratched.
I will post more pics on Flickr probably this weekend so look out for the link. If anyone has a suggestion or just would like to say hello, please post a comment.

Next update should be this weekend. Bye for now.

Jono

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Day 1
Cool, windy and a bit damp
09/01/2012, Tunisia

And so it began.
We all set to, to lighten the boat in order to transfer to her new cradle which we will hopefully manage next week. This entailed removing the doghouse to facilitate the removal of the engine. The diesel tanks were emptied, batteries removed and the first steps towards lifting out the engine were taken. Meanwhile the original waterline was discovered under many layers of paint which will help with setting her up level in the cradle. All the frames were numbered and a multitude of photos taken or reference later on and the boat was emptied of doors, bunks and any other loose or easily removeable parts. She has been stiffened inside at several crucial places to help her remain in shape when we lift her and tomorrow we will continue to remove excess weight. She is a very tired old lady.

It was a good day for all and there was a palpable cheerfulness around the yard today. I think I'm going to enjoy this one!

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Chinook NY48
Who: Graham Walker, Jono Greenwood, Sandra Ugolini, Andrew Bates, Manu Fontaine, Phil Crebbin
Port: London
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