3 Tonner 



3 Tonner


Ex- Tango Two. Recovered from Wood bridge by Paul Usher and now in Newbury where he welcomes visitors.  Detail's to follow.  Tango Two was built by a neighbour of mine, John Keene, back in the 1970's.  It was a distinctive boat and well used over to Holland and around the east coast.. It is good to see it being cared for again.  It just shows that these craft might be 'Dinosaurs', but unlike the originals, these can be resurrected by man!


The boat (originally named Tango Two) was transported from Woodbridge by Dave Wolff transport (PBO advert, good service & pleasant chap), using his hoists and bars to get the boat on and off the trailer.

It had been on the hard for several years awaiting attention after it had hit the groins of Felixstowe and was beached before being towed up the Deben to Woodbridge. The hull is solid below the water line but the sides have some serious areas of decay and have been badly patched. This has let the fresh water in to rot the stringers, some frames and localised ply.

I am stripping the ply off the sides and replacing as it will be quicker and far more secure than patching. I will also be replacing the couple of rotten frames and stringers. All joins will be taped with epoxy.

Most of the decking seems OK but will be replaced where required. Some of the deck beams have become delaminated so will be applying epoxy treatment to these and sealing the deck with epoxy and cloth (SP).

The bottom will be having 3 coats of coal tar epoxy, followed by barrier coat and antifouled. The sides, decks and cabin will have several coats 2 part epoxy paint (plus anti slip sand where needed). The wooden mast is beautiful (but maybe not practical) so will be restoring with epoxy adhesives and deks olje d1 for easy maintenance until persuaded to upgrade to an Ali mast. 

The Stuart Turner P55ME looks in reasonable condition but is missing the magneto! So will be looking to one of these or a second hand diesel to replace it.

The boat is now in a farmer's yard near Newbury so I have built a mini barn over it, the frame of it is just visible in the some of the pics. It is now all covered and has ratchet straps to anchor it to the floor via 4 ft stakes (that took me a day to knock in) to stop it blowing away in the wind.

I am aiming to get the hull sound and floating again by next season and tackle other big jobs during following years.

Will try and keep a photo diary of progress and pray the weather is kind over the winter.

Any advice from Eventide owners will be gratefully received. The cooker is already fixed up so there is always a cup of tea/coffee available for visitors, although you will have to bring your own sugar and milk. 

Contact me on 07790 492089





Above are a selection of photos sent January 2004 of Paul and Jenni's handiwork on 'Fram' They are making great in roads, doing it correctly, removing large quantities of suspect ply, laminating in new timbers in preparation for replanking.  Note the poly shelter.  It is just like the one I and many others have  built.  It should keep the weather off. Roll on the warm weather for the epoxy.  We hope to keep you posted on their progress. J.W.


June 2005     FRAM is slowly progressing and I spent last Saturday upside down with my trusty angle grinder (with 36 sandpaper) removing old anti- fouling and paint. Not a pleasant task in the heat.  So far I have only managed 3/4 of the stbd side! When this task is complete I will be wrapping FRAM up in fibreglass and epoxy. Will send you some more pictures soon.
Rgds Paul Usher 


Now just look what I have turned up here.  The builder, John was well known to me, he lived but a few hundred yards away!  I remembered I still had a copy of this and thought Paul, and a few others might like to see it. J.W.

BUILDING Tango Two 26ft. E1012

 February, a couple of weeks after the boat was turned over,  the weather was bitterly cold and the only work we could do was to remove the building moulds and replace them with struts at raised gunwhale level. This enabled us to see the interior as a whole and to transfer planned measurements to actual locations.  From there we went on to prefabricate the various internal joinery that we had decided to put in next. Before proceeding too far, however, we painted the inside to chine level with P.C.P. penetrating wood preservative, metallic pink primer and Danboline.  As this will undoubtedly be worn in places before we finish the interior fitting it would seem extra work but should the building shelter leak the paint will prevent the planking getting sodden. And the shelter does now leak.

I decided upon the major points with my partner, Les Gilby. We had drawn this layout into our own set of plans for at this stage the official plans have a very  limited use. We only referred to the bought plans for details of fastenings, the occasional measurement and hoped for guidance. However a separate article will be needed to cover the shortcomings of the official plans and that most frustrating piece of literature " Building Chine Boats ".

The frames, futtocks and bilge stringers were all cut and fixed prior to planking when one can see what and where to cut and fit much more easily. A suggestion here is that the bulkheads too be fitted if one has sufficient confidence and certainty in his interior layout. In this manner a much closer fit can be obtained with the framing and they are really built into the boat due to the fairing off and tighter fastening. With the bulkheads also faired off to the planking the glue will seal the end laminates and obviate the tedious job of getting paint into inaccessible places next to the skin. I would watch out that if one is going to sheath it is almost essential to build in the frames, futtocks and bilge stringers in this manner to avoid putting screws or nails through the sheathing ; this job being best done when the boat is inverted and the weight of resin and fibreglass working for you. The alternative of sheathing the right way up is messy and uncertain with resin and mat.

An obvious point from the photograph is that we have rather more than the usual frames and futtocks. Some of these were installed due to the rather uncertain attitude of the plans as to where they should be positioned, the plan and profile of the 26' version being somewhat inconsistent, and some of them built in by our own desire to strengthen what we considered vast areas 0of planking between '0', '2' and '3'  bottom frames, that lacked support. One could understandably mistake the resultant framing as belonging to a Water Witch ! Similarly the breast hooks were our own additions to the construction. Funny maybe, but we prefer it. A point of possible interest is that when fashioning the raised deck futtocks we took the side frame through from chine to main g'n'l and through the side. That part of the frame which protruded past the side was then sawn off and replaced upon the inside.

This provides a much stronger union than butting the ends at mid main g'n'l. Similarly, where side and bottom frames butted due to bulkheads or other interior members, we screwed and glued knees. On top of the chine we glued fillets to prevent the collection of water from bilge or condensation. This was in preference to fairing the chine away on the inside to allow a free run off of moisture.

The constructional members in place, are the four mast supports and their cross braces at raised gunwale level. (Loo to starboard and wardrobe or sail bin to port). Aft, the main bulkhead framing is taking shape, the posts being angled to take wash boards in preference to doors. The change in sheer has been carried aft to the main bulkhead, the resultant space gained below being of great benefit. The drawback of water rushing along the side deck to empty into the cockpit will be overcome by carrying the cockpit coaming past the main bulkhead and forming a deflecting knuckle on the cabin sides.

The bilge stringers were copper nailed through the frames, two nails per frame, round on the inside. We had quite a time getting copper nails of the necessary size and length, 3~ to 4 inches. The odd nail seen protruding at a drunken angle from the bilge stringer was to prevent a pilot hole from being blocked with paint, we bored these pilot holes at the fore and aft ends of the bilge plates, using the bilge plate template when the boat was inverted. Thus the bilge keels will be readily located and only the intermediate holes will need boring.

Incidentally, the cramps in use were made by bending mild steel bar to shape and drilling for a set bolt. With jaws of 4 to 4-2~ inches they make simple and strong cramps. The other cramps5. 5", 6" and 12" were similarly constructed by a blacksmith friend utilising 8" x1" m/s bar curved in the flat, the screw being just studding through suitable nuts welded to the upper end of the jaws whilst the lower end had a simple pressure pad welded on. Crude but cheap and effective.


We have come a long way although not afloat as we had hoped to be. This would have meant launching with only the bare necessities of interior fittings and the prospect of finishing off far from home and its building facilities. Couple with that two wives with long lists of jobs to be done" and understandably we decided to carry straight on. Of course, this also helps to keep down insurance costs and mooring fees, to say nothing of travelling time. However, roll on next SPRING !

We have completely decked, including cabin and coach roof. The deck has been sheathed with resin and fibreglass, 50 % of the interior work has been done including, cooker, galley layout, oilskin locker and engine.

Tango Two " has several modifications from the original plans, mostly with M.G.s knowledge. I list the main modifications below.

1.extended deadwood as per plans.

2.transom hung rudder as per plans.

3.enlarged cockpit to 'accommodate helmsman in separate cockpit aft of "crews"


4.extended coach roof forward to give much better headroom below.

We had a builders meet at the end of September, a highly successful one, despite several heavy downpours of rain. About 35 attended and at one time we had 15 people in the boat. I had visions of the boat on its cradle sliding rapidly downhill due to the mud underfoot, taking with it trellis, rose gardens and cherished dahlia beds finally coming to rest in a small swimming pool in a neighbours garden 100 yards away.

The first guest 'arrived at 2.15 p.m. and the last departed at 7.45 p.m. Unfortunately due to the weather and the continual preoccupation with building discussions we did not obtain any photographs. However I hope that by next March we will have the boat out ready for launching.

John P. KEENE.

August 2005, 'Fram' update.


The above two pictures sent in by Paul, show Fram with the new planking epoxied into place and sanded off ready for coating.  the second picture shows the epoxy and glass cloth in place, more work to do but the back of it certainly broken!  He has covered all of FRAM in cloth and epoxy, not just up to the water line and the ply around the hatch is 3 x 6mm WBP ply

Left.  the bilge keel holes lined up ready for redrilling and refitting keels.

           Left, a new double coaming M.G. hatch under construction, focsle marked out, then hatch glued in place...

Keep at it Paul, it looks good.



August 2005


At the Trafalgar night Celebrations, October 21st 2005,  Paul pressed a CD into my hand, 'progress to date' he said.  Wow.  He has been busy!  Browse through all the great pics below to get a taste of his handiwork.  I am certain John Keene, the original builder would be pleased to know she was being so well looked after.

     Here the stern deck area comes under repair, a new central beam going in.

     Real timber being marked and cut!

     the new ply panels seen against the old beams and frames that were still OK.

   Hull panels going on.


      Braced and clamped, new panels round the cabin, cockpit and on deck.

    The cabintop and using weights to hold down the ply.  Is this two layers of thin ply I wonder?

   Repairs to the forefoot and keel area.

Bilge keels.  these were salvaged from 'Francharlie' cleaned up and galvanised? Or are they just painted with 'Zinga' This magic coating is a zinc rich goop that you are supposed to be able to paint over...

          The new panels being filled with epoxy and faired off.

        Now the cloth goes on.  not easy to do upside down....

    But many hands get the job done.  Epoxy and glass to the WL.  Epoxy all over.

    Now what looks like a black epoxy tar, for beneath the WL.

      Cabintop faired off, MG double coaming hatch rebuilt...

      The effect is great, all one colour!

      Timbers sawn, scarf joints made and glued together.

  Finally for now, the  cockpit/cabin bulkhead, showing the high standard of finish to date.


Well done Paul, she will be a credit to you....  Next instalment soon.

October 2005,


November 2006

Jenny has just sent in these pics of 'Fram' and Paul.  You can tell by the grin that it has all been worth it!

Dear John,

Paul Usher and I launched Fram at Buckler's Hard on the Beaulieu River on 1st Sept 06. We've been too busy since then to down load all the photos onto a disc and send them to you.  Here's a few to be going on with.. We'll be pulling her out of the water soon (she's moored in Portsmouth Harbour for the moment, awaiting our club berth at Fareham Yacht Club on Fareham Creek).  The old Stuart Turner engine (reconditioned) is doing great, though we've  had a small problem with water ingress into the bilges through the few mid-keel bolts we didn't replace, so we'll do them soon.  Otherwise, she sails like a dream.
Promise to get you the full CD of pictures soonest.
kind regards


They will be hauling her out shortly, with just the keel bolts needing attention now. 



In the pics you can see the Stuart Turner inboard, love them or hate them....  I had two and they were great, just not enough poke for me, bet that one will eventually be swopped for a 15hp diesel! She is on her mooring here at Portsmouth looking very smart!


October 2007.  The builder of Tango Two had a daughter, Debbie, who whilst browsing the web found this site and the references to her father's boat.  She was so impressed that it was still sailing and being enjoyed that she asked to be put in touch with the new owner, we were able to oblige.  Debbie has now rummaged the family photo album and sent in these pics of Tango Two in the building in that back garden in Cranham, Upminster...


Here TT has been planked, upside down,

then subsequently turned up the correct way.

Casting the keel, in lead!?


All the galvanised parts, taken in one hit to be galvanised.

Here is John with his wife Audrey in a

rather posed picture planning the interior.


TT under her garden cover.

The mast being made, dozens of home made clamps to ensure the timber and  glue  is clamped tightly together. it would have been resorcinol glue I expect.

TT is now looking more like an Eventide.

main bulkhead and cabin in.

A good cover worth it's weight in gold!

A very tight squeeze past the house...

TT on the timber supports laid across the garden

To emerge in the front garden.


Last minute touches are added

TT eventually loaded onto a trailer,

ready for her trip to the Sea.

Here is the Keene family, John, Audrey, Debbie and her brother....?  sorry did not get your name...

The interior, port side aft.

Stbd side aft.



Close up of the Galley

The forward cabin

After one of her first outings,

in Calais Harbour!

This is pic of John, though not on the helm of TT.

Many thanks to Debbie for sending in all these photos.  now we are looking forward to seeing the next chapter, as 'Fram', as she is now known, gets sailing next season.


 October 2007.

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