Build update, Zenith's History

Restoration resumes: ribs, ribs and more ribs

In 2016 we moved house and I am now using the double garage as a workshop. Even in the winter the internal temperature doesn’t fall below 16 degrees, it certainly makes a change to work in an environment that is warm, dry and rodent free! The past few years have been taken up with working on the house and garden, I also had the distraction of buying an old Phantom Dinghy before realising I don’t like Phantoms then buying a Harrier Plus (I’ll have to get around to documenting these on the other blog one day).

Zenith was moved into the new workshop as soon as we moved in, in May 2016. In the last 3 years I did manage to do some work, such as sorting out the steering (I’ll write a separate post about this later), but most of the work on her involved drinking mugs of tea and lots of thinking about deck construction, deck layout, sails control etc. Unfortunately Zenith made the perfect storage shelf for whatever house project I was working on and continuing her restoration never made it to the top of the list.

Last month, December 2019, I finally cleared the accumulated rubbish out of Zenith, found all my boat building tools and fired up the home made steamer. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Zenith has a large number of broken ribs. and several holes in the hull. In total she has 204 ribs, and to date I’ve found 95 broken ribs. I’d already replaced about 30 ribs in the stern and bow tanks, but the larger central, cockpit section needed the most work, there were 65 broken ribs.

The first thing is to get the steamer going again

The broken ribs are identified with tape on the gunwhale

One rib out, ready to put a new one in

Looks like there’s a few in now, you can see the ends sticking up at the gunwhale

As time goes on the number of masking tape markers decreases.

Work resumed on the 14th December with 65 ribs identified as being broken, three weeks later and there are only 25 left to do.

I’ll sort another post out later showing the detail of how the old ribs are removed and the technique for fitting the new ribs.

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