Restoration of a 1947 Alden 47

In case you’ve missed our recent Facebook posts about this project, here’s an update about the restoration work our team is doing aboard ALIANZA, a 1947, 47′ Alden ketch…and also a little about the guy leading the carpentry team in the charge.

First, in preparation for pulling 20 frames on the boat’s aft end, ten on each side, countless bungs and fasteners have been removed. The cockpit sole and stringers have also been pulled, along with the engine, providing the carpentry crew with unobstructed access to the inner hull.

This week, a shipment of white oak will be received. In anticipation, a good old-fashioned steam box has been built. Next week, the wood will be steamed in 7/8″ strips and bent in place, a few frames at a time. Each strip will be left to take shape overnight, before being removed, coated with 5200, and then permanently fastened in place. A total of three 7/8″ strips will make up each new frame.

Leading the GIBY carpentry team on this project is Steve C. Steve has been working on wooden boats for the last 30 years. He got his start reframing and rebuilding Concordia yawls “back-in-the-day”.

“I started my career working on the most difficult boats,” he says. “Concordias have a lot of shape and are difficult to work on, so starting out with them was great on-the-job training for me.”

Apparently Steve enjoys being challenged, because he stuck with his trade and has been working on boats, of all shapes and sizes, ever since.

ALIANZA is among the many boats Steve knows intimately. He was part of the crew that worked on the boat several years ago, when her owner first came to GIBY with the desire to invest in and maintain this historic vessel. 

At that time, Steve, and the GIBY team, repaired a leaky rudder post; built a new centerboard trunk; rebuilt the mast step area; and replaced 40 frames, all beyond repair due to extensive rot where each met the keel. During Phase I of her refit, ALIANZA was also painted, varnished inside and out, and fitted out with new standing rigging.

This winter’s work scope represents Phase II of the refit. Not only are the remaining failed frames being replaced, but a cracked engine bed is being replaced; the bilges, hull, and housetop are being painted; and the exterior brightwork is, again, being varnished.

Stay tuned…

 

 

 

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