The Unvarnished Truth



Moving house and maintaining an old wooden boat do not mix…fact!

The plan to keep Crunluath afloat last winter worked fine for the hull but the superstructure has not weathered well, indeed cracks have appeared in the cabin sides with a bit of warping. No doubt a combination of freezing and warm weather in close proximity plus a lack of revarnishing and general maintenance;have caused the problem.

Boring everyday activities such as packing, throwing stuff out, giving stuff away, throwing more stuff out; unpacking, sorting, throwing more stuff out, organising carpets, putting up curtain rails etc.etc.etc. all added to the neglect.  There is one thing you cannot do with wooden boats and that is neglect them.

Early spring weather did not favour maintenance and I succumbed to arranging a spot of shore leave for Crunluath at the end of June, hardly ideal but needs must…  A few days of scraping and sanding have put right most of the ravages of the weather but the decision was taken to cut down on the amount of varnished wood and to paint the cabin side white leaving varnish only on the capping pieces. The decision was made easier by looking first at a photo of a 75 year old Vertue owned by wooden boat guru and author of ,The Trouble With Old Boats, Adrian Morgan. His boat had painted cabin sides, if it’s good enough for him it’s good enough for me I thought. A look at a few other Vertue photos revealed several more with similar painted cabins.

A visit further up my pontoon to a fellow wooden boat owner showed me it could look good, Neal’s beautiful 10 ton Hillyard sloop convinced me it could work.

So the deed is done or at least started, the undercoat is on and it looks…well ok, perhaps not quite right but it works.  It’s all white now!



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