Blog — Tuesday , 30 April, 2019

Blog — Tuesday , 30 April, 2019

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

It’s only April, but inside the tent it is hot enough to feel like summer.


Lewis and Richard are continuing work on the deck beams.


Checking out the keel before bringing the ballast in for installation. Ben had removed the end of the strongback when he fitted the false keel, a piece of wood that fits behind the lead and fills the gap between the lead ballast and the rudder.


The top of the frame holding the ballast will be removed in preparation for being transported into the tent tomorrow. The ballast alone weighs some 25 tons, so moving it several hundred feet into place under the boat is not an easy thing to do.



Wednesday, April 24, 2019

We had to lay down steel plates in the direction of travel and have placed 8 machine skates, two on each corner, under the frame. The skates are meant to carry 6 tons each, so they should be enough for the heavy ballast. The whole contraption was dragged inch by inch into the shed using cable winches.


When set up correctly, the 26-ton ballast and frame rolls very easily, but changes of direction take time and effort (above). The steel plates have to be set in the correct position, and all 8 sets of skates have to be aligned each time. If they’re not aligned right, there is a lot of resistance. Tight turns are the most difficult.



Thursday, April 25, 2019

Today the ballast was wrestled into place under the keel. Staff who weren’t involved were given the day off. As the ballast is being fitted, the ship is only supported on the centerline at the fore and aft extremes, while the shores on each side are keeping the boat vertical. Without the centerline support, the boat is unstable and any work inside her might create unwanted vibrations or imbalance. Until the ballast is in place and the centerline is once again supported, it’s best to keep everyone not needed away from the site.



Friday, April 26, 2019

We started today with the restoration of the scaffold that was removed to move the ballast yesterday.


A lot of care is being put into the fitting of the ballast. Originally, the flat end of the ballast (above) was a scarf joint between the false keel and the ballast. We found documents dating back to the early 1930s showing the scarf was cut off and the ballast shortened. This may have been due to a miscalculation, when weight needed to be removed. We decided early on that rather than recast the ballast we would fit a vertical mortice in the ballast and a tenon in the false keel to create a joint between the two. Later, we’ll back it up with bronze plates riveted through both pieces/


“Golden Week,” a stretch of 10 consecutive holidays, starts tomorrow, and there will be no deliveries during that time. We’ve arranged to get the bolts and washers for the keel installation all ready, so we can work throughout the holidays.


Monday, April 29, 2019

Today, the ballast fitting, beam installation, and deck structure repair are continuing. Paul, Ben, Daniel and Demitri have been carefully operating the four jacks at each corner of the frame to raise the ballast and get the bolt holes to line up perfectly.


The hardware to secure the keel from the inside of the ship has been painted, and the keel bolts are starting to be installed.


Lewis and Richard have continued installing the beams.


We had a meeting today regarding the interior walls, furniture, etc. materials. As much as possible we’ll repair, restore and reuse the old materials, but we need to select new material—the same kinds of lumber to match with the old material.



Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The installation of lead keels has reached the climax. Paul is directing.


The exact position was determined in the afternoon, and red lead putty was put on the top surface of the ballast and the underside of the wood keel. This created a seal and helped fill any voids or hollows. That wraps up the job of transporting the ballast to its proper place under the keel.


Follow Us

Restoration by RIVIERA GROUP

Restoration photos by Yoichi Yabe & RIVIERA GROUP

Text and photographs copyright © 2019
RIVIERA CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Email :

Blog — Monday , 22 April, 2019

Blog — Monday , 22 April, 2019

Monday, April 15, 2019

It is time to start preparing for reattaching the ballast to the keel. Above, some of the blocking that elevated the keel over the H-beam strong back is being removed to allow access to the underside of the keel.


Paul, Daniel and Demetri removed the strongback from under the keel. It has been used to keep the keel straight and at the correct angle while we’ve been working on the planks and frames. We hope to install the ballast later this month.


The keel is being supported with blocks while repairs to the underside of the keel are carried out. With the planks and frames in place, now the boat has enough strength to support itself to some degree.


The bulkhead that goes in front of the engine was completed today by Sawamura Iron Works, and we tested to make sure it fits before we install it.



Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Richard and Lewis are using string and a spirit level to set out the deck beam positions.


Daniel is tightening some of bolts that hold down the iron floors. These were inaccessible with the strongback blocking in place.



Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The lead ballast is being cleaned with a high-pressure washer today to remove accumulated dirt before being moved into the tent and fixed to the keel.


Kawashima and Hashimoto continue working on the various deck structures.

The deck caulking for the teak deck arrived today from the American company, Teak Decking Systems. We also discussed air conditioner pumps with our domestic supplier, Marine Elec, and calculated the flow rates for two compressors.


Thursday, April 18, 2019

The deck beams have been placed near their final positions.


A Japanese team is working on painting the bolts of the engine compartment bulkhead.

This bulkhead is made of 9 parts, weighing over 300 kg in total.


Paul said he hoped to start moving the lead ballast into the tent by next Wednesday.



Friday, April 19, 2019

Today Lewis and Richard started to fit the beams starting from the near the bow, right on schedule.


Paul and Daniel are preparing for the ballast installation scheduled for next week. Today the bottom of the ship was being cleaned, and the wrought iron clips inside the bottom of the ship are being mounted. By connecting the keel bolts with these large iron straps over the floor, the whole assembly is strengthened.


Above: This is what the frames looked like in October 2017, before everything was taken part. Everything is new except for the hull planking and the wooden keel.


Ben did some trial work with the epoxy for the teak deck that arrived yesterday. He was working with a variety of shapes to examine the effectiveness of the adhesive.



Monday, April 22, 2019

Lewis and Richard are continuing to install the beams. They are concentrating on the main beams first—beams that go around the masts or hatch openings, and those that can’t be moved from the drawn positions. Once they finish these, they can set out the other beams and fill in the gaps.


Paul and Graham are installing the chain plates for the wires that support the masts. Paul has been waiting for these to arrive, and when they came in, he started putting them in right away.


The old paint and varnish has to be stripped from all the deck structures as well as the main staircase to find the location of screws, which are hidden by years of dirt and old varnish.


Follow Us

Restoration by RIVIERA GROUP

Restoration photos by Yoichi Yabe & RIVIERA GROUP

Text and photographs copyright © 2019
RIVIERA CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Email :