We are making great headway on the transom project we began several weeks back. The original scope of work was to replace the transom on a 56’ stays’l schooner. Upon surveying the boat before work began, we found a massive section of rot in the horn timber at the top of the rudder trunk. So the scope of work increased a bit, but we managed to take out the damaged section and put in a repair that should last for a year or two until the owners can raise the money to do some major work on the boat.
Here’s some details about the boat.
The boat is owned and sailed by the La Conner Sea Scouts, La Conner, Washington
Name – Rejoice
Rig – 1931 Classis Stays’l Schooner
Length over all – 56 feet
Mast Height – 75 feet
Draft – 9’ 6”
Beam – 13’ 9”
Sail area – 1,480 Square Feet
Plank – Fir
Tons – 32 tons
Decks – Teak
So, let’s show you what we had in store with the transom.
Here we are looking at the transom after a good chunk of the day. Prior to this shot, the guys cut a hole into the transom so they could see what was behind it. Once the hole was made, we discovered that there was a 1 inch thick veneer of teak applied to the outside face of the transom. Our theory was this new facade was put on when the boat was renamed, and the new name was carved into the wood. What you are looking at in this picture is after that veneer was removed. We are calling this the inner transom.
In this shot we’ve made a door skin spiling pattern. This is going to allow us to pick up the curves and shape of the transom. Once we obtained this info, we can lay it on the lifts we laminated previously, and lay out the shape on the new stock.
Ok, the old transom has been completely removed in this shot. You can see that there is no internal framing for this transom. The new purple heart pieces we added because some of the decking and covering board had to be cut away. These new pieces will provide a landing spot for the upper sections of the transom. After removing the outer transom, revealed the plank had a rabbet cut into them where the outer transom would lay against the inner transom.
The plywood wall surrounding the transom was erected in order to keep the shape of the boat once the transom had been removed.
Here’s another look into the end of the boat, you can see the rabbet in the plank ends better here and where we had to scarf a new piece of fir into the aft most portion of the horn timber.
Here’s a shot of the transom from up on deck. This shot was taken before work began on the boat. The decking actually ran into a dado that was hand cut into the inner face of the transom. Under each piece of hardware (to the extreme left and right) on the cap rail, are massive hand carved pieces of wood called fashion pieces. These massive timbers were also badly deteriorated and are being replaced as well.
As it stands now, we’ve got most of the new transom in place and the fashion pieces are just about finished and a re ready to install. We’re also replacing the cockpit decking where we tore some out to make the repair to the horn timber. Ah, it’s great to work on boats!
-- Brian S. --- "If you’ve worked on the building of a boat, it belongs to you the rest of your life." -Bob Prothero