Picton Clinker & Classic Boat Club
A non boating activity, we visited two local “workshops” to view some boats being built and restored. Our first visit was to the home workshop of the well known Sounds boat builder, Harold Saunders who has had to retire in Picton from his boat building business down Tory Channel, and now occupies his time building a range of clinker dinghies.
The dinghies are constructed by the more modern method of epoxy glued ply planks, but with laps in the planks, also screwed to ensure additional strength. He cuts off the screws inside the hull and files them flat with the timber surface which must be a lot of extra work. The boats are built over temporary frames to obtain the correct shape, then the frames are removed leaving the hull as a ply “monocoque” with thwarts giving additional strength across the hull. This makes for a very lightweight hull that can be easily manhandled.
Harold has six clinker dinghies in his workshop ranging in size from 10ft to 16ft and they are all for sale, so if you know of anyone needing a nice new clinker dinghy please let us know as I am sure he would like to see some of his boats sold.
Our second visit was to Harold Gratton’s workshop to view the “Moth” yacht that he is “reconstructing”. The deck is off the hull at this stage, so the lightweight construction is very interesting to look at. It reminded many of us of aircraft construction.
At present he is strengthening some of the frames and re-gluing parts of the hull where the glue-lines have failed. As you can see from the photos there is still quite a lot of work required to finish the boat, with a new transom and rudder fittings as well as adding the deck and rig fittings.
This would be quite a challenging little boat to sail and it seems like you can modify them with some go-faster gear such as foils, outriggers etc. We will just have to wait and see how far he takes this project.