It’s nice to see Simon making good progress and he certainly works hard enough in his ‘spare’ time. The story so far has shown the good bits and the bits that he has made good, but, even leaving aside the complete refurbishment of the cavernous areas below deck, there are a lot of bad bits which need to be addressed. These include the hull itself where the 136-year-old teak is showing its age. The massive beam which goes right round the edge of the ship (technical term please someone) has crumbled away in places – especially at the stern – and a previous owner has back filled it with concrete. This concrete is itself crumbling in places. I don’t know whether concrete is a recognised repair material, but I cannot think of any other way to fill a jagged hole easily. (Photo)
The ‘repairs’ go right around the stern and look quite fresh on the port side. (Photo)
Most of the sides of the hull look sound, but there are areas where close inspection and perhaps repairs are needed. The forward starboard area is a case in point (Photo)
As the vessel is floating higher than she was in her working days and will not (hopefully) be subjected to anything more than a gentle lifting and lowering on the tide, this may not be a problem. A good scrape and paint is indicated!
Wood rots and metal corrodes – especially when exposed to salty sea air and moisture. A temporary repair has been done on the lifeboat platform supports. Although the lifeboat and its davits have long since gone, the platform was definitely at risk. A more permanent repair will be effected. (Photo)
Finally, the old mizzen mast is doing a reasonable job keeping the ship off the mooring posts, but a gentler medium is needed. We found a neighbouring contractor about to dispose of some big dumper truck tyres, which will be ideal fenders. (Photo)
The only problem now is how to get them from N Wales to Kent‼