For the Sailors and Boat Lovers #9: Repairing Belle Starr

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 10-14-2015 06:11 AM 2312 reads 0 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: Shipwreck Part 9 of For the Sailors and Boat Lovers series Part 10: Belle Starr Update, Progress on the Repairs »

When Belle Starr was driven onto the beach in a fierce storm last month many would have written her off and in the current used boat market they should have been right. Repairs as extensive as these could easily run far beyond the sale value of the boat. ...... but her owner, my good friend Michael, is a clever boat builder and with a little help from his friends has her well on her way to a full recovery.

This is where we left her after I helped him for a couple of days last month.

Since then Michael and Heather have cleaned her up substantially and Michael has repaired the broken corners of the bulkheads. I went home and ran my first marquetry school class. With these distractions out of the way and a small break in the weather I went back down to Port Townsend last weekend to get her “boarded up”.

We started by screwing one of the scarfed pieces that Michael had prepared over the opening in the topside. While it was so fastened we marked out the required piece from inside the boat.

..... and cut it out at 45 degrees with a skilsaw.

We fastened it in place and checked for fit. Then we unscrewed one half at a time, applied epoxy, and re-fastened.

Another boat builder friend, Lynn showed up to help with the awkward parts.

I arrived at about one thirty and by four thirty we had the topside piece glued on and cleaned up. We called it a day to let the glue cure before trimming the bottom of the new piece the next morning.

Here it is trimmed and ready for the same process on the bottom plank.

The bottom plank was a little trickier as we had to fit the chine angle “in situ”. We did that by cutting the piece a little oversize and then running the skilsaw through the assembled joint a few times, splitting the angle. It worked pretty well.

Yet another boat builder friend, Martin dropped by Sunday afternoon to help with the bottom plank. (We tend to swarm a little when one of us needs help).

That’s about as far as we got before I had to leave to catch my ferry back to Vancouver Island but I felt she was well on her way to good health and knew that the remaining repairs were well within Michael’s abilities without further help. I fully expect to be cruising along side Belle Star again next summer and no one will ever guess that she was almost a write off a few short months before.

Thanks for looking in.


-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

29 comments so far

View DocSavage45's profile


7656 posts in 2265 days

#1 posted 10-14-2015 06:21 AM


Nice to have friends who can work together for a great cause! Thanks for sharing the journey!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

9330 posts in 3475 days

#2 posted 10-14-2015 06:30 AM



She LIVES! She LIVES! She Lives!


COOL work when everyone joins-in to do the impossible using all of their individual skills to get the job done!

C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S to the whole TEAM that did it!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View GUR's profile


37 posts in 1807 days

#3 posted 10-14-2015 06:51 AM

Good friends, good work!!

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1698 posts in 486 days

#4 posted 10-14-2015 07:11 AM

Yay. Now, what will Michael do in future to keep that from happening again? (I hope that doesn’t sound rude. I certainly don’t mean it to.)

-- Mark

View Dutchy's profile


1976 posts in 1591 days

#5 posted 10-14-2015 07:23 AM

The first foto looks as insoluble, but you and your friends did it. Hat off. BTW: You’ve been very busy lately.

-- My englisch is bad but how is your dutch?

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

16814 posts in 2528 days

#6 posted 10-14-2015 10:24 AM

Nice resurrection for a good boat!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Sodabowski's profile


2308 posts in 2256 days

#7 posted 10-14-2015 11:07 AM

What friendship and dedication can accomplish :) Good job gentlemen!

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View English's profile


512 posts in 900 days

#8 posted 10-14-2015 12:11 PM


Great work, looks like your friend had done an excellent prep job, it’s great to have good friends.

Thanks for sharing this with us!!!

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

View Ocelot's profile


1459 posts in 2061 days

#9 posted 10-14-2015 01:32 PM


Had she not been wrecked, you all would not have had the opportunity to do this.

I imagine y’all will fondly remember these repair parties the rest of your lives.

Maybe in one view the boat was built so that it could be sailed… and wrecked… and repaired with friends… and sailed again.


View dclark1943's profile


245 posts in 1610 days

#10 posted 10-14-2015 02:20 PM

Well done boys! must now rename her “Lazurus”

-- Dave, Kansas City

View gbear's profile


492 posts in 3522 days

#11 posted 10-14-2015 02:31 PM

Great job, great story and, or course, great friends!!

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 3000 days

#12 posted 10-14-2015 02:35 PM

Great story and repair ,boat building is an art unto itself and boat repairing looks even more challenging.
You all do great work.

-- Custom furniture

View madts's profile


1663 posts in 1763 days

#13 posted 10-14-2015 04:00 PM

Well done you guys.


-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View Texcaster's profile


1103 posts in 1097 days

#14 posted 10-14-2015 04:05 PM

Well done boys! must now rename her “Lazurus”

- dclark1943

Thanks for the update Paul. When the going gets tough the craftsmen dig in!

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View dbray45's profile


3147 posts in 2200 days

#15 posted 10-14-2015 04:20 PM

Thanks Paul, brings to mind a wood boat that I had when I was a kid and the previous owner screwed it up by using a skilsaw to clean out the oakum and caulk. Unfortunately, I didn’t know what I do now and could not fix it. It was actually a nice little boat that needed a couple of new boards.

Thanks for posting this, hopefully it will help people to realize that things can be fixed.

-- David in Damascus, MD

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