Souvenier d'Antan - Boat RepairSouvenier due to launch
In January 2005 we received a phone call from Souvenier's owner to say she had been badlly damaged in the storms.
She had been in her boat house and due to the water level, had smashed into the building roof, waves had also pushed the 100 year old boat up on top of the jetty post and all 5 posts had driven holes along her under that water line.
We arrived to see her cabin roof smashed, combings splintered, doors broken, and the boat 6ft under the water.
We lifted the boat the next day and slipped her to have a look and work out what needed doing.
The insurers surveyor arrived and the on top of all the storm damage found that the double planked hull was also soft in may places, so the outlook did not look good,
It is a credit to the owner that he decided to go ahead with such a major restoration, perhaps many owners would have given up.
Upon arrival at our Hawkshead workshops, the boat was carefully measured and photographed. Every fitting was documented and removed, some put in to storage and others sent off to specialist metal workers for repair and polishing.
The engine and boiler were removed, cleaned, oiled and also put in to storage.
Drawings were done, and photographs taken of everything aboard the boat, and the interior was carefully labeled and removed piece by piece, as was all the plumbing, electrics, steering systems etc etc.
Now a full inspecion of the hull could be made, the result was not good... 87of the 94 frames needed replacing and 95% of the innerhull was rotten, deck beams aft were rotten, and the beams up fwd split and cracked from the storm. The stem was so soft we pulled it out with our hands.
The keel was sound, as was the stringer and thankfully the beam shelf.
The decision was made to go for it and the slow but steady process of taking frame patterns and then laminating up new oak frames began. This has resulted in the boat retaining her shape exactly as she was. After all the frames were in, the outer and inner planking was removed about 12ft at a time and double diagonal 6mm planking glued and roved in to position.
Cold moulded hull
This process took around 4 months, after which the hull was complete and the boat was epoxy sealed and faired with epoxy fillers where required.
After this the interior was to be replaced, but the owner wanted some changes both to the layout and to the systems aboard.
The cabin and decks went back, the boiler after a full strip down, clean, repaint, reinsulate was put back together.
The engine was inspected by our local Steam expert Rodger Mallinson, who also gave us our first lesson in silver soldering.
The oil fired boiler used to need an generator to supply the 240v blower, this system was replaced by a complex invertor/chargering sytem, silent and very efficient,
It has also meant that the boat has lots of power, so there are now fridges to keep the wine cool, carefully hidden away, better lighting systems, improved safety systems, and electronics for depth and speed etc.
The system does mean that the owner can arrive at the boat and get up steam in under 4 minutes at the flick of a switch.
With the structure back in and the systems in place the cosmetics were seen to. The boat was finished in Epifanes varnish and Awlgrip paints, the polished brass fittings replaced and a new brass rubbing strip applied.
Several very late nights were needed just prior to the launch date before she was ready to see day light for the first time in 14 months.Coming out after restoration
Shes is now the pride and joy of her owner who unlike so many had the courage to see the project through but also will be found at least 3 or 4 days a week steaming on Lake Windermere with his family.DSC00020