Guard rails are off. Next step: white oak sheer strakes (top plank all round) need to come off - to repair or replace them. Depends on whether they are rotted or not – salvageable or not. Fasteners are big - 4 ½” x ¼” galvanized nails and 3/8” carriage bolts at butt blocks (joints from plank to plank). Chris is drilling head off of a carriage bolt so we can drive it out.
Here are two nails with heads drilled off. Then Chris bores down around the nail shank with a custom tool which removes the nail. We’ll refasten with lag bolts one size bigger.
To access nuts on carriage bolts the ceiling has to come off. On a boat the “ceiling” isn’t over your head, it’s the internal planking, on the inside faces of the framing. Ours is nailed on, so removing it means destroying it.
When we reinstall, we’ll screw the new ceiling on for future access.
This photo shows ceiling on starboard side. You can see that top three strakes are screwed on. We did that last year to access replacement of a thru hull for a new bilge pump installation.
This shows port side where Chris has removed ceiling. You’re seeing white oak frames and inside face of cedar planking.
After all the fasteners are out, which included cutting nails through deck ply down into top edge of sheer strake, the first section of planking comes off.
With plank off we can inspect frame ends, deck half beams and deck edge. The plank itself has a little rot, but can be saved. The rest looks real good which makes us two happy people.
I’m proud of the old girl. She was built pretty rough by fishermen in 1983 and there wasn’t a lot of finesse involved in her original construction. I guess she was probably expected to work a decade or so – maybe two?
She served the fishermen till 1990, Riverkeeper since then.
I’ve been with her since 2000.