The Slipping

On the Slipway

Blasting the hull

I remember the last slipping a couple of years ago, about 2008 courtesy of Sydney Ship Repairs on Goat Island. Orion Alderton and myself wanted to ascertain the hull integrity.  Orion had commented on the very good timber and fastenings used for the build and so we needed to check the bottom. Great sight to see the underwater hull shape. The vessel had not been slipped for many years and had a lot of long seaweed and large clumps of mussel growth. While blast cleaning we found one small, about 30cm, of a plank deteriorated and Orion scarfed/fitted a patch. Only being two of us and a 23 m hull for a weekend, we only had time to prime bare patches and antifoul. The vessel has not leaked since and 90% of frames are in good condition. This experience gave us confidence that the hull would be a worthwhile resto project. The club volunteers that include local school students and work experience participants have kept oil on the top side of the gunwhales.  The makeshift roof has actually protected the vessel for many years from sun and rain. We have recently re-covered the deteriorating roof in patches and installed covers along the sides and ends to further protect from sun and rain until new coatings can be applied.

I anticipate the next slipping in February with a date soon to be confirmed by Sydney Ship Repairs at Goat Island will be a longer stay of a week that will give us the time to do a really good scrape back, prime and two coats of antifoul of the hull. Our Viking partners will make this light work with blow torches and scrapers. We will also have a couple of shipwrights look at the frames that need attention. Once on the water again with a sigh of relief, we can attend to the topsides and bilges of the vessel. The interior of the vessel is full of plumbing and electrical components that need removing so that the bilges can be completely exposed. Next we replace the ugly but useful roof with a large boom tent covering the vessel.

Our Viking friends want to take the ship to Parramatta to participate in a Medieval festival held in June. We hope to have a sufficient number of oars and people to row the distance.

Posted by Michael Bolton-Hall


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