This very distinctive 34ft motor cruiser was donated to us. We in turn offered it for $1 to any person able to see the beauty within, provided they commissioned us to return her to her former state.
Bruce and Janet from Brisbane accepted this challenge and work has begun. Despite looking a bit untidy Leshelen has beautiful proportions and will soon, once again, be an envied pleasure boat, though this time on the Brisbane river not the Tamar.
At present we are concentrating on removing and preserving everything from the hull. All fitout, bulkheads, cabinetry, engine, plumbing and electrical are removed and assessed. Some going to the skip, some going for preservation.
Update 20 May 2015: Removing the rotten stem to reveal sound wood beneath. All of the upper stem was removed and a new one fashioned from our store of seasoned Blue Gum. With up to half of the ribs needing replacement, a trial to replace a couple of the worst confirmed a satisfactory method of replacement. We will sister some (place new ribs adjacent to damaged ones) and replace others.
Update 1st July: All of the damaged ribs have been replaced or ‘sistered’. The Beam shelf is a laminated affair and this has been undone to remove any localised rot. Some sections of the main stringer which runs parallel to the waterline has also been replaced. Damaged sections of planking have been removed and will be replaced by good Huon Pine. These have mostly been limited to short sections near the rotten stem. Even Huon Pine will suffer if left next to deteriorating timbers. A small section of the laminated ‘horn’ timber has also been successfully repaired. We are almost to the stage of having a completely sound hull ready for bulkheads and basic fit-out to start. We are leaving the old paint in place to prevent the old timber drying out too rapidly as much as we would like to see a shiny neat looking hull in the shed.
Update July 27th: Most of the planking is now complete. The forward bulkheads are in and deck beams are in place. We will hold off on replacing the deck until the heads compartment (just forward of the larger bulkhead) is complete but the layout will be a bit of a change on original with a pair of bunks right forward of the heads to port and a double berth to starboard.
Update October With the layout of the accommodation in the forward cabin now complete the new Beta 60 h.p. engine was lifted on to the new engine beds. A new Stb. aft knee was needed and a modified sheer clamp was created to provide minimal walk-around space on the side decks. Considerable work on copying the damaged wheelhouse and saloon sections means that the cabin superstructure can be erected in a fairly rapid process. Given the client is perhaps a bit taller than the previous owners means we have striven to ensure the floors can be lowered to provide him with full standing headroom. We want to retain the sleek appearance of the original vessel with out resorting to disturbing the roof profile.
All the upper planks have had a spline inserted to stiffen the boat and to ensure it will retain a perfect appearance in the hot Queensland sun.