The old stem was removed from the boat and used a template to make a new laminated stem. Used spotted gum cut into approximately 4 to 5mm thick veneers, steamed and then bent into shape.
Once the correct shape was formed the veneers could be released, coated with epoxy and clamped till set. The rabbet, ghost and bearding line we taken off the original stem and duplicated on the new.
The new stem fitted back into 1820 – now the final adjustments to ‘true’ 1820 could be made ready for the next step – repairing and replacing broken frames and removing all the old roved copper nails.
The process, now 1820 was in the correct shape, was to remove one by one each of the steamed timbers – repair or replace and reattach using screws and washers. I estimate that there were more than 3,500 roved nails that needed to be removed and most of these replaced with screws. The timbers had been replaced shortly after Tony had purchased the boat so they were generally in good condition, although as seen in the picture a number of them had broken on the sharp tuck of the keel in the bilge.
I decided to replace the broken timbers at the tuck with laminated sections, reasoning that trying to steam in new timbers would only break again and steaming in new timbers would likely distort the shape of the hull given the force required.
A pattern was made of the curve of each timber that was to be replaced and again using spotted gum steamed and laminated to fit. It was almost impossible to get the twist into the curves to enable them to lie completely flat to the planking however most of them sat reasonably fair.
For each plank there were at a minimum 4 holes per timber with quite a bit of damage to the planking around the copper nails. I used washers on the screws to prevent further damage and once all the nails had been replaced with screws into the repaired timbers 1820 became a much stiffer boat, holding her shape even better than before.
The steamed timbers had been cut along their length on the tight bends both at the keel and the tumblehome to help with the steaming in process. Part of the process of replacing each timber was to glue with epoxy along the length of each cut at the keel end, with plastic tape under each to prevent sticking to the planks. Once the timbers were glued they became very firm and ‘locked in’ their shape. The cut at the top sides wasn’t glued at this stage.