Head rigger Chuck arrived at Seabornia last Friday from the south of France, together with Nat, a rigger from Maine. The riggers’ job is to prepare the deck, the mast, and its fittings for installation, which will take place soon after Cynara is put back in the water. The installation of other mast-related items on the deck is also nearing completion, and Chuck has been discussing issues that have arisen since he was last on site with Paul and Ben. This means we are entering the final stage of the restoration process.
The interior team led by Lewis was busy repairing the paneling as well as all the original furniture that has been stored in the cabinet-makers’ and joiners’ tents. They have been applying shellac, a natural resin, to the original flame mahogany saloon wall panels. Shellac has been used as a clear coating for over 3,000 years, but is very thin compared with modern coatings, and must be repeatedly applied to achieve the desired color and gloss. It’s time consuming work, but touchup of small scratches and minor damage to the wood finish can be done without redoing the whole piece.
Today, a test of the bilge pumps took place in the engine room and bilges, looking for hull leakage. The wood used for Cynara’s keel and deadwood are from trees hundreds of years old, and have worked well over the past 93 years. But the boat’s entire structure has been drying out on land for the past 3 years, so there’s been a lot of shrinkage in her hull. Some leaks were found, as expected, and are being dealt with. The water that was added to the bilges will soak in, swelling the timber, and speeding up the leak sealing process.
Varnishing on the deck, and the painting of the hull continues. Paul is always reminding the crew to keep the shipyard clean: it reduces dust and reduces the risk of the boat getting scratches, dents, and other damage.
Mattis is installing the roof beams of the main deck house.
Jesper is working on applying shellac to parts of the interior furniture.
Nico works on restoring the fife rail, which is like a pin rail, found at the deck edge, except it’s in the middle of the deck.