Restoration Blog

Below is a live feed of my restoration blog, click on the title to see the complete blog.


Alternatively click on the before and after tab on the left for a breif overview.

Australian Boat Restoration

Evening On The River (Sun, 04 Jun 2017)
"'Evening On The River,' Oil on Birch, by Mandy Dargin, 2017." Six months ago I was contacted by Australian fine artist, Mandy Dargin, who offered to produce an artists impression of my boat Gollywog finished and happily floating on the water. I was delighted to work with her and my briefing was as follows- My vision is of a peaceful and happy boat moored up in a secluded picturesque river side location with warm and gentle dusk lighting. Most importantly depicting a scene in which the boat is being used and cared for, nothing over the top with people on show, but I’m thinking more along the lines of having a few or all of the cabin lights on, perhaps some items left on deck after a busy day's navigating, an item of clothing or a picnic basket.. just some clues as to what kind of pleasures have been enjoyed throughout the day to compose and culminate in such a beautiful and desperately perfect night. A briefing which Amanda has really taken to heart and transformed 70 x 40cm of blank canvas in to this gentle, dreamy scene. Titled 'Evening On The River' I'm really happy with the end result, the composition and use of colours is a testament to the talent and labour poured into it's creation. To see more of Amanda's work please visit
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On The Move (Mon, 08 Jun 2015)
With the exterior pretty much complete it was time for Gollywog to say goodbye to the big shed and hello the outside world. With a small amount of winching she was lifted up approximately 4 feet in the air and then extracted by our friendly driver from Sealand Boat Deliveries. Where to? Derbyshire of course. Why? The rent and council tax were frankly crippling the budget. despite Chehire council quoting us a discounted rate because we weren't operating a business, after 6 months they changed their mind and began charging us over 7000 pounds a year for the pleasure of occupying a grotty shed, and whilst the rent was reasonable the landlord was utterly obnoxious. So all in all the price we paid not to get rained on afforded us the luxury of being defecated on instead. What's next? Now it's time to tackle the interior fit out. In the pleasant surroundings of Roger's yard (where he likes to build steam locomotives and things) and starting with the mechanical side of things, steering, exhaust, electrics etc and with increasing interest from advertising on Apollo Duck it's only a matter of time till she is steaming into the sunset!
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Before and After (Wed, 15 Apr 2015)
As the title suggests, this post contains mostly contains before and after photos of the restoration so far. Enjoy! And as special treat here is a photo of the intrepid photographer himself.
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Cockpit's Edge (Sat, 04 Apr 2015)
Laser cut from my old friend 316 stainless steel I laid out the pieces needed to re-trim the edges in something more classy and more Halvorsen than the 70's composite edging it was originally fitted with.  I trimmed, bent and screwed all 5 pieces to perfectly follow the shape of the boat. Chamfering the joining edges ready for welding. To maintain a perfect fit I tack welded all the pieces while they were held in place. Using short bursts of high amperage I was able to fuse the steel cold enough not to discolour the wood. Then with the magic of two days blending the welds, machining the rounded edges, grinding the machining marks, and linishing the grinding marks, only then was I able to begin buffing to a mirror finish. However despite all the tedious polishing the results are quite satisfying, using matching 316 filler wire allowed me to create invisible joints forming one single ribbon of shininess round the Cockpit's edge.
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