Steel boat fix up...

  1. Wightsparks

    Wightsparks Forum Supporter

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    This is Sunfleet, a 63ft Port of London Authority Launch/Tug/Pilot/Customs boat, we bought her about 12 years ago, lived on her for 3 on the South Coast and the Island, then moved ashore. Apart from a haul out, hull paint and over plate of any dubious bits of hull in 2012 she has been sadly neglected.
    Between a lack of time and an emotional attachment she is long overdue for sale.

    This is her when we lived on her.

    sunfleet.jpg

    She has Twin C6TFLM 6 cyl Rolls Royce engines driving two Schottel drives - which are a 360deg rotating legs with pulling props on the end. This means she has two wheels and is highly manoeuvrable.

    However after so long unloved the first job was to giver her several hours of pressure washing....
     
  2. Wightsparks

    Wightsparks Forum Supporter

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    yuk !

    2019-09-10 11.16.44.jpg


    2019-09-10 11.17.15.jpg

    A good few hours later

    2019-10-02 16.07.04.jpg

    2019-09-26 11.13.38.jpg


    Very little rust on her due to the no expense spared construction. The top half of the pilot house is aluminium the rest is steel of varying thickness. She was designed to do 23knts.

    The bow section had taken a bit of a beating at some stage and the rust had set in so I set about repairing that.

    2019-09-13 09.19.12.jpg


    2019-09-13 09.19.15.jpg

    Replaced the flat section then sliced some tube to give an approximation of the original. Blowing through was a bit of an issue to say the least. As was not falling in whilst "welding"

    2019-09-13 13.38.07.jpg


    2019-09-13 13.38.17.jpg

    Got there eventually

    2019-09-19 11.27.02.jpg

    Next up history..
     
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  3. Wightsparks

    Wightsparks Forum Supporter

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    Found an old photo (1964 I think) of her in service - note she was called "Gunfleet" - her twin was called "Benfleet" . The PLA retains those names to the day so, bad luck not withstanding, she was re-named "Sunfleet" upon decommissioning and sale. - the wooden name plaques on her sides are the originals with the G changed to look like an S!

    2019-11-02 21.36.32.jpg

    Graving plans

    2019-11-02 21.36.43.jpg
     
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  4. Wightsparks

    Wightsparks Forum Supporter

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    Inside she was a bit mouldy and some of the paint had started too peel. I'll post some better pictures later but the male half of the previous owners was a master woodworker and the galley area they installed along with a lot of the rest of the fittings was solid oak or beech and all beautifully made, the lady was a ceramicist and made all of the tiles.

    Saloon after about a week of cleaning

    2019-09-11 16.35.42.jpg

    Broken stove
    2019-10-17 12.19.45.jpg

    I mould treated, primed and painted everything - twice
    Not quite finished but well on it's way

    2019-10-17 12.19.56.jpg

    Fixed the Morso stove up - just in time - though the boat is very well insulated. New carpet is last of course!

    2019-10-23 10.45.03.jpg

    More progress pics as I make it...
     
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  5. waddycall

    waddycall Member

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    867
    United Kingdom
    That is a beautiful boat.
     
  6. Keith 66 Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    Essex UK
    Im feeling old, I remember her when she was in service with the PLA, seem to remember she was based at Tilbury or Gravesend. Back in late 60's early 70's.
     
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  7. addjunkie

    addjunkie Member

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    Northumberland. Reet oot in the sticks
    Sure your not the only one who feels old, I have hazy memories, as an apprentice making my way back to a little coaster, in Gravesend a little worse for wear in the late 70s.
     
  8. Tangledfeet

    Tangledfeet Forum Supporter

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    I'm really enjoying seeing these photos, thanks for sharing @Wightsparks - do you have any of what she was like inside when you did live on her?
     
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  9. Wightsparks

    Wightsparks Forum Supporter

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    A few from when we first bought her - but that would be a bit of a spoiler!

    Meantime have some crusty engine shots

    Garage for the two Rollers...

    2019-09-10 11.16.32.jpg

    Those steel hatches are about 100kg each!

    2019-09-10 11.50.59.jpg

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    Engine room controls

    2019-09-10 11.41.01.jpg

    She is keel cooled and there are a couple of big fire/bilge pumps on the engines

    The plan is not to do a full restoration but cosmetics in and out, fix any bits needing fixing, overhaul the systems - shore power, battery systems, water, fuel etc and get her started. Then sell her as a mostly finished project. To do the engines/engine rooms properly the engines should be lifted out and not sure I am up for that sort of work and expense especially if the buyer might just use her just as a houseboat.
     
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  10. Ashley Burton

    Ashley Burton Member

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    @Wightsparks looks a great boat!

    Can't wait to join in on the action
     
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  11. sardine

    sardine Member

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    2,908
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    Buckinghamshire
    Ref the stove , a Morso Squirrel , I fabricated a new back plate from sheet and sections of tube cut longitudinally for the radiused edges, its been on my stove for a few years now with no problems. Saved a very expensive new part.
    DSCF8058_zpsca0de4e6.jpg
    DSCF8053_zps322db3eb.jpg
     
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  12. Wightsparks

    Wightsparks Forum Supporter

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    Very nice! I considered making or fixing it then just spent £100 on a new bit as have quite a lot on with the rest :laughing:

    Glad everyone seems to be enjoying the write up, I'll get into more detail as it goes along..
     
  13. sardine

    sardine Member

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    2,908
    Location:
    Buckinghamshire
    If your rebuilding the stove change all the screws to stainless , it will save big trouble next time you need to get it apart.
     
  14. Wightsparks

    Wightsparks Forum Supporter

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    Wight
    Good idea but no screws in it. All slots together then fire grout in a tube!
     
  15. winchman

    winchman Member

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    Merseyside
    Winchboy would love to live on that
     
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  16. Wightsparks

    Wightsparks Forum Supporter

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    The mast lovely as it was, was aluminium and a lot of the paint was flaking off, so either spend days stripping back to bare metal and leave it or spend more days and much money painting it. Since it was serving no purpose I cut it into little bits instead!

    2019-11-05 09.04.29.jpg

    Got on with some prep, prime and paint though

    2019-11-05 09.04.50.jpg

    Used an aluminium composite board and fibreglass to repair all of the vent holes - like the rest of the boat the only bits that have rust are where the original coating has been disturbed - the vents were nasty.
    I've got new vents to go in. Can't weld a lot of it as there is insulation and interior boarding behind it, it's not structural so FG works just fine
     
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  17. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

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    806
    USA-NY
    its really looking good!

    JP
     
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  18. Wightsparks

    Wightsparks Forum Supporter

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    One of the problems needing a solution was the very rusty and rotted box section grab/tie down rails on the aft house. These were welded on, unfortunately since they were welded the interior had been insulated and skinned with thick marine ply. To get to the back for fire prevention would mean mass destruction of the interior overhead.

    2017-09-13 16.00.42.jpg

    Having looked at various option I decided to use bolt on prefabricated galvanised handrail and stand-offs. Drilled though the steel deck and through the interior ceiling, then used a 25mm hole-saw from the inside to enable the addition of stainless backing washers and nylocks for the bolts along with lots of sealant. The 25mm hole inside is neatly filled with 26mm kitchen hinge covers.

    2019-11-13 14.12.19.jpg

    I'll paint the sealant when it stops raining!
     
  19. bricol Member

    Messages:
    780
    N.Yorks, UK
    And an SS1 in the background :)
     
  20. addjunkie

    addjunkie Member

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    Ah the car, scimitar, Ive just been wracking my brains trying to figure the blue yacht with letters SS in tbe name!
     
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