Name of boat: " Veterata"
Boat designed by MG. of the Tamaris design. Loa. 28.6 ft
Lwl 24 ft
Dispt 5.1 tons
Lead keel 2.05 tons
Wgg sail area 494 sq.ft.
Built 1953 Whitstable.
She is technically a Ketch rig with the mast set before the rudder but as MG himself states in his book " Sixty years a Yacht Designer" she was always considered a Yawl. Construction is double diagonal Mahogany on Oak . Inner skin at 45 deg, outer skin fore and aft.
Personal details: I am 63 years of age. Born in Windsor , Berks. Son of a carpenter and learned the trade from childhood. Spent many happy years on the Thames tourist boats where I learned some of the boat builders craft. Had a varied working life working with Fibre glass , steel and wood. Worked as a professional skipper for a few years. Spent a couple of decades touring Europe as a musician and finally married a German woman and settled in Germany in a sort of retirement, but work as hard as anyone I know with my hobbies of car and boat restoration.
Recently completed the restoration of a James Taylor Thames river launch built 1953 , and converted it to electric propulsion. Will be taking delivery this year of a steel barge/houseboat built to my own design featuring a catamaran hull and all electric propulsion with twin screws. 3 tons of battery and a large solar panel array. To be moored at Maidenhead on the Thames where I will begin the restoration of Veterata in the Autumn.
well here we are, your own page and we look forward to all your updates as you restore this fine vessel. we wish you a hearty welcome to the group!
John on behalf of the Eventiders!
I have recently acquired the ownership of the Maurice Griffiths " Tamaris" design called " Veterata", which was last owned by Peter Knott. Peter has been forced to give up on the restoration he started ten years ago and I have taken on the challenge. Peter informed me that this group was particularly interested in Veterata's restoration and asked me to keep in touch with you. This I will do.
Veterata is actually mentioned in Maurice Griffiths book " Sixty Years a Yacht Designer" and drawings are also displayed along with dimensions. She is currently ashore in Cornwall and will be transported by road to Maidenhead in Berkshire around the end of August. There I will commence work in September and October. I live in Germany but have a boat on the Thames where I spend my time when in England.
Here she is as Peter found her and started to save her. There is no doubt that without his intervention she might have perished. sad that he has had to hand the project on, but better to do that than let her decline again, thankyou Peter.
Veterata had been out of water for about ten years in which time Peter had replaced rotten wood above the rubbing strake which had been caused by water ingress where the deck joined the sides. The hull is double skinned mahogany on oak with the inner skin diagonal and the outer skin fore and aft. Peter had also replaced all the decks with plywood using epoxy resin . Having satisfied myself that it would be a worthwhile project I contacted Peter by phone and despatched a cheque for the asking price. I then made tentative arrangements to have the boat transported to Maidenhead , Berkshire , where I am based when in England ( My permanent address is in Germany.) With the summer before me I was keen to enjoy the fruits of previous labour and cruise the Thames with my electric powered cabin cruiser, so delivery date was arranged for the end of August.
My first jobs will be to completely remove all interior fittings for refurbishment or replacement in my workshop at my home in Germany over the winter months. With a empty hull this will allow good access to remove all old paint and varnish, inspection of the timbers and, in due course, refinishing.
From the single visit I made to view and from a survey made in 2004 I have a clear idea of what I have to do. The stern post shows signs of severe shrinkage due to being ashore for the past ten years, and that will need addressing. While I am there I will need to make up a stainless steel lower rudder pintle bearing. Cockpit requires a complete new deck and the engine bearers will need renewing which will be made to suit the 10 HP single cylinder Bukh diesel engine I recently acquired on E-bay.
I revisited the yard mid August in order to prepare the boat for transportation. First job was to remove the heavy canvas cover which exposed the complete hull and her pleasing lines. Even the yard owner was pleasantly surprised and commented what a pretty boat she was. I spent a few hours in the hot sun sorting out the bits and pieces stored beneath the boat and loading what I wanted to keep into the hull. Before leaving I settled yard costs including the craning on to the transporter. The yard owner then gave me a quizzical look, " I believe there is a new mast stored somewhere over there by the sheds..." Together we clambered over yard debris to discover a long hollow wooden mast covered with plastic bags to protect it from the elements. Clearly it had been lying there some time for the plastic bags were showing serious UV degradation and were probably doing more harm than good. ( I later discovered that there was some serious rot on one side near the base.) We left the mast where it was to be craned onto the boat after loading.
With any luck a couple of hard year work and an injection of capital, she will be back to her former glory. You have only to look at the work of other restorers like Bill Booth on Coronette, to see the love that can be lavished on these craft, and the return at the end of the project, as she will turn heads, where ever she sails...
Veterata was duly delivered the day after Bank holiday Monday and craned from the lorry and chocked alongside a corrugated metal container. She looked somewhat out of place here, with her deep keel, among hard chined river boats. The first job was to build a substantial shelter under which it would be possible to work without being affected by the weather. This took a couple of days hard work but earned me lots of yard cred with the staff. Then it was a case of removing all items that had been stored inside the boat for transport. It was also a good opportunity to work out where various pieces of wood should be fitted. The dog house had been disassembled and it was reassuring to find all the pieces and mock it up again with all joints fitting perfectly. I noticed that two new sides for the doghouse were available in teak, but the originals look good enough to use again after a complete strip down. The rudder was looking the worse for wear after ten years drying out. It was made of teak in two pieces reinforced with 10 mm bronze rods. I cut through these were they were exposed by the cracks in the joint due to shrinkage and then drove them out with a punch and heavy hammer. After cleaning up the joints the rudder was reassembled using epoxy resin in the joints and stainless steel studding driven through the original holes and tightened up with nuts, countersunk, at each end. After curing it was sanded smooth and then a couple of coats of epoxy to seal the wood.
Hopefully I will begin to install refurbished cabin fittings in the spring of 2007.
Regards, Chris Evans.
Looking forward to the pictures coming in as Chris starts his work on her..... So this one is from June 2006. We wait with much interest....
There is no engine with Veterata but the original engine beds remain. I have already purchased a 10 h.p. Bukh single cylinder diesel motor on Ebay, and measurements indicate that installation should not be a problem. The old mountings were welded to a heavy steel plate that was bolted to the sides of the wooden beds. This looks like a good method and I will make a similar arrangement for the Bukh.
I spent a couple of uncomfortable hours down in the bilge with a small angle grinder cutting through the numerous bolts fixing the old engine mounting plates. In the process it was noticed the some supporting knees were loose and need to be re fastened.
The cockpit deck is incomplete and I plan to buy some teak boards to complete a new deck which will give me a descent working platform and reduce the risk of stumbling and falling into the bilge. In the meantime there is plenty of scope for paint scraping and a few oak ribs to sister. I am still finding my way around the boat doing what I can as I go. The main thing is to strip out the furniture which is very securely fixed and is rather tedious slow work. The plan is to remove all furniture and take back to my warm workshop in southern Germany where I can refurbish or replace at my leisure through the winter months. Hopefully returning in the springtime to start the refitting.
November 21st 2006.
Other projects have demanded more attention than I had planned and work on Veterata has been minimal. However I have had time to formulate a schedule of jobs to do. Some internal fittings have been removed and packed for transport to my German workshop for sorting out over the winter. The Mizzen mast and boom as well as the bowsprit and main boom will be taken home for scrapping and checking over. There will be a new piece of wood needed to be let into the main boom, but cursory examination of the other spars looks very good. The end fitting for the Bowsprit is missing but I feel confident I can fabricate something suitable.
Regarding the rot in the mainmast: this could be repaired but I am thinking along the lines of mounting the main mast in a steel tabernacle. Obviously , supported by a suitable construction that will transmit rig loads to the keel. This will make it easier to raise and lower the main mast which will be an important factor considering I have not yet decided where I will keep Veterata when she is finished….
It has dawned on me that I should focus on installing the Bukh diesel engine when I return in the springtime. It is a very heavy ‘lump’ and will require the crane to get it on board. Thereafter I should be able to rig a gantry for final installation. Once that is in I will have a clearer idea of what I will do with the gangway entrance, and also press on with the cockpit rebuild.
The original cockpit design strikes me as being quite cramped and I feel inclined to move the side seats to the Gunwales , doing away with the 10 inch side decks. I must confess that I do have pangs of guilt about changing designs; especially as I know how passionate designers can be about unwanted changes to their design. This becomes even more important when dealing with a craft of Veterata’s calibre and vintage. I have no doubt that MG would not condone the idea on grounds of safety arguing that a pooping would fill the cockpit with so much water that it would founder. A valid point depending upon the conditions one expects to encounter. I am a definite fair weather sailor having had my share of hairy sailing in my younger years.
I am looking forward to set off at the weekend for my home in Germany and to commence work on the interior woodwork of Veterata.
Veterata chocked in position with yours truly in red shirt on board.
This one is Veterata being craned of the truck when she arrived at her new hard standing berth in Maidenhead, Berks. about the end of August 2006
|Veterata under cover.|
|Veterata : view of the engine bed and cockpit as it is now.|
|Veterata's rudder after repair.|
Here is my latest news of the ongoing restoration of Veterata. Pictures attached I think are self explanatory. The smiling face peering through the toilet seat is my nephew Andy who helped with prepping the wood for varnishing.
Happy New Year!
Regards , Chris.
Work on Veterata’s fittings and spars has progressed very well. My nephew has been staying with us for a month having some major dental treatment and was easily pressed ganged into helping with some of the rubbing down. It was a simple arrangement; no work, no food…. He worked hard and managed to wade through most of it leaving the few pieces that needed to go back to bare wood for me to do with a machine.
My first jobs were to tackle the mizzen mast and boom and the main boom. The mizzen boom was already back to bare wood and just needed a scrub to remove grime. I noticed that the gooseneck had a hairline crack and would probably fail. The problem was probably because there was no perpendicular movement at the gooseneck and any billowing of the sail would obviously strain the fitting. I have removed the original piece and made a new one which I have fitted to allow perpendicular movement.
I am not altogether sure if this boom is original because the gooseneck has a sliding arrangement where it is attached to the mast and this does not correspond to the fixed fitting on the mast. Nevertheless, I will assume this boom will do the job and have found a piece of stainless steel channel in my scrap bin that fits the gooseneck fitting and will provide some adjustment to the position of the boom.
The mizzen mast showed signs of glue failure with one scarf joint sprung with the traveling back to Germany. I have removed all the fittings and with a wedge the glue joint opened easily . The mast is made with four pieces of wood making two sides. Each side has a scarf joint which are staggered at either end. With the scarf joints re glued I set about hollowing out the centre with a router. Leaving wood where fittings would be placed. This has made a noticeable difference to the weight of the mast.
Original rigging was with a spliced eye slipped over the mast with wooden chocks below at the hounds. These blocks were attached with three bolts. I have glue dowelled the holes and will fit stainless steel vangs each side with one through bolt.
Peter provided me with a folder of papers related to Veterata and an excellent line drawing made by his son. It is clear that his son has paid great attention to detail and I am particularly grateful for the information regarding the rigging.
The main boom showed only partial failure of the glue line and was far more resistant to separation so I had to resort to using the table saw . Upon opening the joint it looked quite sound and I probably could have gotten away without separating it. But what the hell, it was not much work and the job is done now with peace of mind.
The roller reefing end fitting at the outhaul end was made of steel and had corroded away badly inside the boom, decaying the wood in the process. I scarfed new wood in place and once again rummaged through my scrap bin to find a fine hefty stainless steel 14mm machine screw which I modified with a welded on tang to sandwich between the two sides before regluing.
I consider myself most fortunate in having a wonderful scrap metal yard not too far away. It is the model of German efficiency with all the varied metals carefully sorted into their individual bays. This area has some substantial industry and consequently there are frequent store room clear outs of perfectly good material, which usually end up in racks at this yard. I usually find everything I need at this ‘wonderland’ though not always at the time I really need it. Consequently I visit on a weekly basis and pick up whatever I think I might need. I have a substantial scrap bin….
The bow sprit is solid pitch pine and sound enough though it does have some cracks along the grain “ Shakes”. These are not bad enough to affect its integrity but to stop any ingress of water I have filled the cracks with epoxy resin. There were a couple of holes through the sprit near the middle of which I have not worked their purpose because the sprit is secured at the stem head with a heavy metal band which allows the sprit to be shipped inboard when the pin is removed at the bits. These holes show signs of iron corrosion and scar the sprit so I have drilled them out and glue dowelled, and then scarfed new pine over the dowels.
I have been able to retain the mahogany sides and front of the doghouse. New wood was needed at the entrance end of the sides but this was a straight forward operation which allowed me to attach new wood with the grain running in the perpendicular direction which looks better and makes a stronger piece. All old joints were re glued.
That is the situation as we come up to the 2006 Christmas break. I’m off with my wife for a few days skiing in the Swiss Alps – well, someone’s got to do it. And it will be out with the varnish brush when I return .
The skiing was great and no bones broken. Work on 'Veterata's' interior has continued with varnishing and rubbing down and more varnish.... No pictures this time - it's very difficult making meaningful pictures of varnish drying. Suffice to say , though, that I am pleased with work done so far. Indeed I have achieved all that I set out to do. I have been loading up the trailer with all the bits and pieces and it is a tidy load. I will have to pay a visit to my friendly scrap metal merchant to check that I have not overloaded the trailer. The police are very hot on that sort of thing here in Germany. I plan to drive over to the UK in March .
I have bought a set of four flexible motor mounts and I am looking forward to preparing the engine beds to install the Buhk single cylinder diesel motor. I will first have to re-fix some knees that butt up to the engine beds and clean and paint the bilge in that area. My wife will accompany me and she will get stuck into preparing for painting and varnishing the interior.
Gary Hamilton , the owner of 'Safari' , which is a sister ship to Veterata, contacted me via email and we have been sharing information and finding out what things we have in common besides sister ships. He sent some great pictures which have been very inspiring and have me eager to get back to 'Veterata' and continue the good work.
Over the summer I hope to have the motor installed and the cockpit rebuilt . Hopefully the interior refitted and looking good. Would be nice to get some paint on the outside of the hull too.
Sadly September 2012 Chris has given up and advertised her for sale in Classic boat. The boat is ashore at Maidenhead Berkshire.
Advertised for £2,000 (for the lead keel and bronze fittings cost). The boat has a decent hull, almost all the fittings, but needs lots of TLC. If you wish to carry on the restoration, please contact Chris by e-mail:- firstname.lastname@example.org
or phone 07926362938.