Raffles

Ergonomist

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After several months trying to rescue this lovely old boat from the mud of Poole Harbour she is finally on dry land, with only one broken plank and a few broken ribs. The fact that she survived more or less intact for so long, submerged, partly filled with mud and battered by gales, is a testament to her skillful consruction back in the 50s or 60s. Her 1/2 ton cast iron keel still lies in the mud but is bouyed and will be recovered soon.
 

Seajet

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She sounds fascinating, do please post some photo's if and when you get the chance; what is she ?

I know Poole moderately well, but naturally was unaware of hidden gems ! I expect there are a few...
 

Ergonomist

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I am reliably informed that Raffles is a Shelduck, designed and built by Christchurch boatbuilders Rossiters who still exist, but I have yet to check any record they may have of this particular boat.
The initial sinking was probably caused by rainwater as there is very little freeboard when she dries out at low tide. Then the heavy steel centre plate must have dropped into the mud, locked in it's slot in the cast iron keel. As the boat subsequently rolled, the whole iron keel was twisted from the hull, and then on rolling back the hull was holed by a broken keel bolt.
After sawing through two remaining keel bolts at the stern and bolting a large ply patch over the hole we were able to float her from her muddy grave. This involved three Whale electric bilge pumps, three car batteries and frantic baling ! Resting slightly on our laurels we were sadly hit by two days of gales and her "good" side suffered several broken ribs and lost caulking.
But several kilos of linseed putty, another electric bilge pump, more batteries and bigger buckets finally allowed us to tow her the couple of miles to the public slipway from where she was lifted this afternoon !!
Pictures should appear on my profile as I can't work out how to attach them to this post!
 

Ergonomist

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A visit to the Christchurch yard of Rossiters has confirmed that Raffles is indeed a Shelduck, probably built by them in the 1950s. They have a fine example afloat on one of their river moorings, and have agreed to search their records for original plans and specifications etc!!
Why do wooden boats bring out the best in people ??!!
 

Ergonomist

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Removed the Yanmar 1GM10 engine today and despite all the prophets of doom who told me it would be scrap after 3+ months under water it is in amazing condition. The fuel lines still contained diesel, the bore is near perfect, valve gear perfect, and after a quick jet wash and blow dry engine and gearbox are filled to the brim with used engine oil and easily turned by hand ! All I will need for reassembly is a head gasket. Even the starter motor still works and the alternator just needs the electronic module!
When restoring old boats, or cars for that matter, the last thing you need is advice and warnings from boring realists !!!
 

Ergonomist

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Raffles' 3/4 ton cast-iron keel at last lifted from the mud of Poole Harbour and soon to be re-attached !!
We hope to have her back in the water, albeit not in sailing mode, in time for the wonderful forthcoming summer !
 

sarabande

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got to admire you for tenacity ! And also for keeping posting on this very encouraging restoration. Well done.


Piccies would be the cream on the cake :)
 
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