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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It is easy to say that in our haste today fiberglass and other artificial materials are so much better. Sure ive had fiberglass boats - just park and foreget.
But theres something missing. Perhaps its connection -.the way the boat moves, the way its connected to the water, the way it was born not in a chemical vat but from the land.
So bit about the boat - shees a traditional 23 foot Ulset boat from near Aspøy in mid norway.
The story goes that farmers would buy a hull - then put in a motor - later as income and time permitted they would build a hut on the front(this one anyway) then they would perhaps make the boat higher - sometimes even longer. This is bourne out by the fact that most of the hull is clinker built whilst the overbuild is carvel.
When i take off the side plates above the deck i can see the original hand rail.
It has 2 masts mostly used for lifting or as part of trolling equipment - the rear has a small sail used to point the boat the right way when fishing.
The engine is a 30hp sabb (not saab) made in Norway - very reliable and very tough (something like 800lbs i believe) Diesel using something like 3 liters/hour.
The steer house is smallish with not enough room for a pilots seat so ive had to improvise - the cabin though has just enough room for 2 benches just wide enough to sleep on.
I paid way over the odds for the boat - i just took one look and felt this was it.
But ooh my did i have to do some work .

The seller was a bit cagy - wouldnt allow me to inspect the boat on land - i noticed water marks inside the hull way above the current levels but ----- sooo many goodies.
Boat Vehicle Car Sky Automotive tail & brake light

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These boats were mostly made with iron klinker nails - they rust - they did - the boat leaked like a sieve.
Against all the advice "from people who should have known better" i replaced most with stainless steel coach bolts and nyloc nuts.
The engine i got a friend in desperate need of a holliday to rebuild - since then ive had to rebuild a good few bits but shees funnnnnn - i go for 3/4 day trips up the fjords - 8 or more k out to sea - all kinds of adventures.
Because very few seem to want wooden boats i now have 3 in the garden .

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The boat needed a great deal of work such as the back wall of the steerhouse replacing - it was made of 1/4 ply - now mostly rotten - replaced with 15mm ply - the deck where it met the steerhouse was rotten - in some places it didnt even meet the wall so the former owner had installed a metal ledge - took all the rot out and replaced the deck with some very nice decking made on my spindle - just slotted together-
The feinn tool was indispensable for this.

Wood Motor vehicle Gas Tints and shades Automotive exterior

The steer house had no storage - everything just piled on top of itself - so i decided on a cupboard doubling as a seat/bench support.
This was funn as the seat had to have minimum legs and be strong enough to take the weight of 2 people.
The cupboard had to have wooden hinges on the flaps as there was so little room
Very lucky to find some wormy elm and made the cupboard out of that. Woodworm dont like movement so i reconed if they tried eating the boat theyd get sick pretty soon - so far no problems.
The ultimate was of course a door - luckily i had some sapele and parts of an old butchers counter which included 15mm perspex - ideal for a window - a little special - perspex is interesting to turn.

The motor had all kinds of very special gear attached.
This kind of boat there is no reverse on the motor.
Instead you change the propellor pitch - this boat was equipped with as hydraulic clutch but it was massive and i never used it so that was out - massive thing on deck anyway.
The pitch changing mechanism was controlled by a flexi cable - steel wire with a spiral welded on the outside. This went round a cog attached to a arm - by rotating the arm the cable was moved back or forth - unfortunately when in full reverse the mechanism locked, the the mechanism was not strong enough to jump out so you tended to suddenly find the boat in full reverse in the harbour with only the throttle for control.
Because the rudder is slightly beyond the end of the boat she is fiendishly difficult to steer in reverse - sooo

I reasoned that it you attach a rope to the far end of the boat - push the boat out with the rope attached - then the rope tightens the rest of the boat swings round till it points away from the rope.
Thus you can swing the boat around completely within pretty much its own axis.
Coming in - just needs to be judged carefully - wind against,wind to the side - no wind - how much steerage has the boat at this speed and so on.
Putting the boat out has led to some amusing situations - quite often im asked if "i would like them to fetch the boat" I guess i really should wear a 3 piece suit more often. The last time (they were on the other side and could not see the rope) i said no worries - shees very well trained - just watch - i whistled and the boast swung round and began coming back - hoho.
This year its bottom anti fouling year - got to do the motor pumps, replace all the filters - paint the engine - hmm one of the engine bolts is loose so that needs to be sorted - impossible to do up the nut as the rod just rotates so it needs one person each end.
Build a bunk bed - sort out the stove as it has diesel animal - finish the cupboards - new tarpaulin - oooh my

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Wheel Wood Automotive tire Automotive lighting Rim

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642 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There is just something about traditional wooden boats and their reflection of the skills of the builders to design a vessel for the local sea conditions that draws the eye.

Good luck with the project.
they are quite incredible really - planks finally shaped by hand well enough to keep water out - knowing your materials well enough to know how they behave, year in year out -----
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