The Hard Stuff

This was my first view of Corio Vertue at Castlecrag Marina, Sydney. I could not believe how narrow she was, but I was smitten with her looks.


The galley.
Looking aft from the fore peak. Note the large porthole looking into the cockpit, just above the engine box.
Looking forward.
The 1976 Volvo MD1 7 hp diesel. It was pretty rough, but it did work to a degree!
The dreaded bilge. The rust comes from the steel floors  which I eventually re-treated. However, I may consider replacing the floors later on.
CV arriving at Westernport marina on her transport of delight!
My first job with CV was to strip everything out of the boat. This included all plumbing, wiring, loose furnishings and a whole lot of rubbish. There had been many 'modifications' made to the interior which included some shoddy carpentry. This all went into the skip.

This is a detail of one of the ring frames, and shows packing pieces use to create the forepeak bulkhead.

I was having all the rigging replaced so I decided to have the mast stripped and re-painted. It took me two full week-ends to strip the mast of paint, and prepare it for painting.

This was a really ugly job as I was working in 30+ C. temperatures with no shade.

Eventually the old Volvo went. I got a quote on having the engine renovated, and re-conditioned and it was nearly as much as a new engine. At the time Volvo were doing a minimum $2000 trade in deal with very reasonable finance, so I took the plunge. The new engine runs like a dream, and starts first time - a very comforting feeling when trying to get in and out of the marina.
Some bad rot in the dog house. I umm'd and ah'd about how to repair this, and the initial idea was to scarf in new planks..
... but it as a very awkward place to scarf the original planks, and I would have to cut a rebate for the window. I got a quote from the yard, and they wanted to charge me at least $1800 to do the work!

Both the screwdriver and pencil could be quite easily pushed through the rotted timber.

By now Corio Vertue is back in the water and it's October 2004.

Eventually I took the plunge and cut away all the rotten timber, and then mused about how I was going to fix this mess.

One of my neighbours on the mooring row came up with the suggestion of using two pieces of ply with one being rebated into the old timber, and the outer one bonded to it. The rebate for the window would easily be formed by off-setting the outer ply wood piece.

By pure chance the thickness of the original planks was 24mm, and therefore two 12mm bits of ply would have the same thickness.

Although the principle was quite simple the execution was quite involved, and I had to create a templates out of MDF before I cut the ply to shape.

Notice the bottom piece is cut into 3. This was the key to getting the inside bit of ply to slide behind the cabin top beam, and the corner upright. The top piece was inserted first, then the bottom, and the third piece keyed them together.

The pieces are all positioned, and checked before bonding with epoxy, and filler.
Detail of how the plywood slotted into place, and it's fit with the existing timbers.
Bonding the whole thing in place.

Instead of taking the ply edges right up to the face of the doghouse I have used a timber strip to ensure a flush, and square finish.

Once the bonding had cured I used epoxy filler to fill any gaps, and fair in the existing surfaces.

I must admit I was very pleased with the end result. Unless you know where to look it is very hard to discern any joins between the old and new timbers.

The whole job took 5 days over 5 week-ends, and I saved myself $1800.

This photo was taken after I sealed the deck.

Flushed with success I decided to tackle the deck, and try to waterproof it.

The first job was to scrape off the old paint and take it back to bare timber.

In this photo I've scraped and sealed the portside deck. A very back breaking job using a heat gut and  a 2" scraper.

Detail of the bow. The sealant is International Paints Everdure, and three coats were applied.

Work not show in photographs included:

  • Water blasting and de-greasing the bilge
  • Removing all through hull fittings, stop cocks, and replacing with new.
  • Repairing cockpit locker - new floor and drainage channels.
  • Replacing old manual bilge pump with new.
  • Replacing rotted timber on transom (temporary fix for time being).
  • Renovating, and painting stanchion bases.
  • Restoring manual windlass.
  • Installing new log and depth sounder.