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Posted By Discussion Topic: Ripplecraft Broadland Swan

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Jaywickrob
Jun-20-2010 @ 10:32 PM                           Permalink
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Hi,

I'm new, so please take it easy on me..lol

I have just aquired a Ripplecraft Broadland Swan in a very sorry state. She is currently on a mooring, sitting in the mud, in South Benfleet, Essex. It is my intention to carry out repairs to make her fit for sailing & then continue with interior and cosmetics once I know the hull & mechanics are sound. I wish to keep her as close to original as possible on the outside & to the horror of purists, update the interior with a virtually complete refit whilst retaining some original features.
She has no visible name or number, if possible I would like to identify her. The previous owner said her name is "Lazy Days", but I think this is unlikely. I understand she is one of just ten boats built of her class, a few of which have no doubt disappeared over the years.
She has a little rot & several planks need replacing above the waterline, her rudder is virtually rusted away. I am going to arrange for her to be lifted out of the water ina few weeks so as I can have her surveyed and then make a start on repairs.

Any help, advise or suggestions are most welcome.

Rob


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BroadAmbition
Jun-21-2010 @ 7:20 AM                           Permalink
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First off welcome to the NBF.

Secondly, well done you for being brave enough to take on a project of this magnitude and I do hope you are aware of just how long this is going to take / cost?

Ripplecraft, now let me see.  You are a lucky chap as there is a member on here who goes by the name 'Expilot' he lives on the Broads and currently owns what must be the best example afloat of the same class of boat as you have just aquired.  His boat is also on the Broads.  No doubt when he see's this post of yours he will start supplying you with the information you seek and will have a huge amount of advice for you and a few questions methinks too.

Nice boat, I do hope you get her done and done right.


Griff

'Broad Ambition' - 'Dreams do come true' - Afloat at last 06-10-07

www.grifftile.co.uk

expilot
Jun-21-2010 @ 9:23 AM                           Permalink
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First of all congratulations on acquiring Broadland Swan, if, indeed, it is “Swan” that you have managed to buy. The reason for the doubt is that many of this class of Ripplecraft boats were re-named even when in the hire fleet.  My own boat started life in 1961 as “Broadland Kittiwake” before being re-fitted by the yard just seven years later and renamed “Broadland Swift.”
If, indeed, you do have “Broadland Swan,” she’ll be the first in her class and built at Somerleyton in 1956.  “Swan” was Broads Reg No W891.  She remained “Broadland Swan until 1982.  The rest of the fleet of thirteen (three longer boats were built) consisted of in year of manufacture order:

Broadland Heron  W70 1957, which became Broadland Curlew in ’62 and ’63 before reverting to Broadland Heron ’64 – ’67  From 1968 until 1977 Broadland Heron became “Miss Merryment” and in 1982 she was “Swan Ruler.”

Broadland Falcon W209 1958became “Broadland Kingfisher” in 1962 “Gay Brigand” in 1967 and “Broadland Heron” in 1972

Broadland Bittern W380 1959/60 has remained “Broadland Bittern” until the present day and is currently at Martham being restored.

Broadland Grebe W565 1960 has remained “Broadland Grebe” until the present day and is moored at Brundall.

Broadland Goosander W615 1961 became in 1968 “Broadland Snipe.”

Broadland Kittiwake W945 1961 became in 1968 “Broadland Swift.”  She retained this name until she was sold out of the hire fleet to a dustman who called her “Dusty.”  I bought her twelve years ago as Star Norfolk (on the starboard side) and Norfolk Star (on the port side)!  I renamed her Broadland Swift and she is undergoing continuous restoration at our riverside property in Potter Heigham.

Broadland Tern S842 1963 remained “Broadland Tern” throughout her hire days.

Broadland Falcon W452 1963 retained her name whilst in the hire fleet.

Broadland Kestrel W27 1965 retained her name whilst in the hire fleet.

The above, ten boats are all thirty-two feet six inches in length with a ten foot beam.  

Broadland Plover R719 1968 and Broadland Curlew D250 1969 are thirty-five feet long with a ten foot beam, and Broadland Lapwing D734 1969 is thirty-five feet six inches long with a ten feet six inch beam.  Lapwing has just been fully restored with a major internal refit at Belaugh.  

You probably already know that these boats were designed by Sir Christopher Cockerell, the man who invented the hovercraft and who launched his first hovering dustbin lid on Oulton Broad!

Given the name changes as listed, you would be well advised to try to pinpoint precisely which of her class she actually was.  Drawer linings and the underside of bunks is a good place to start looking for original names, but these are notoriously unreliable.  Hire yard staff transposed these items regularly – because they could!  My boat, Broadland Kittiwake/Broadland Swift has drawers marked “Swan!”  A more reliable bit of detective work is to find the original screw holes on the hull bows or the transom when you strip her back to bare timber.  The toll numbers were cast alloy and screwed on and, because the fleet was originally varnished stem to stern and top to bottom all over, there are sometimes faint dark shadows where the letter and numbers once were.

You mention that your rudder has all but rotted away.  These boats were fitted with hydrofoil-like rudder blades and not the more usual single blade of steel.  These boats are fitted with a number of features you’re unlikely to find on boats of a similar age -  Landrover steering wheels, Landrover steering box, solid rod connection between tiller and steering box, and similar between gear stick and gearbox, a push button start (no pre-heats) full Lister Freedom Four Marine diesel engine with keel cooling and no external moving parts, a Blackstone gearbox etc.

I’m sure you appreciate the challenge you’ve taken on.  Please do not hesitate to contact me via private message if you need advice or further information.

Good luck with the project and well done for saving another Broads classic.


"There are old pilots.  There are bold pilots............."

This message was edited by expilot on Jun-21-10 @ 9:37 AM


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Marshman
Jun-21-2010 @ 9:39 AM                           Permalink
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Hi expilot - she looked wonderful up the Thurne the other
day. Although many restorations look really good, I am
just so pleased there is a very beautiful reminder of
those stunningly beautiful Ripplecraft cruisers around!!!

expilot
Jun-21-2010 @ 9:49 AM                           Permalink
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Why, thank you Mr.Marshman!  One is doing one's best to get her right - time and ever-diminishing bank balance permitting. Smile   Loo, shower and heating still to do, plus ever such a lot of tittivating.  I'm not sure that restorations are ever finished.  I'm going to try to keep her in the water until at least next year.  That damned bridge restricts our movements somewhat.  Brought her back through from Ludham Bridge Boatyard last Thursday.  Just as well.  The tides this last three days would have scuppered her home-coming.

LBBY did a fantastic repair job after she was savagely attacked by "Lucent."  Just wish I had the filthy lucre to have a hundred and one other jobs completed by the yard.  

Note to self: must learn how to do the lottery.

"There are old pilots.  There are bold pilots............."

This message was edited by expilot on Jun-21-10 @ 9:50 AM

Jaywickrob
Jun-21-2010 @ 8:06 PM                           Permalink
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Hi,

I've been to visit her for only the second time today & had a quick look around.
I understood that she is of the Broadland Swan class, but not necessarily named "Broadland Swan".

The engine was replaced last year with a BMC Diesel, I've no idea what happened to the original Lister, but it may be around the moorings somewhere, I will have to enquire.

She was sold to me & is moored as 32.5 feet in length, although I've not actually measured her.
She has "Swan" written in on the bottom of four drawers, which as you say, may mean nothing at all.
The previous owner told me she was built around 1969, although he seemed to know even less about her than me.

All of the glass has been removed & replaced with ill fitting, very scratched "Plexiglass". I will be removing it all and probably install laminated glass.

I have discovered that one of her previous owners, who apparently sailed her from the Broads to Canvey Island, still lives near the mooring and would be fairly easy to contact. Today I was told that when she first arrived she was beautiful & appeared to be in good condition.
She's had a number of owners over the last few years and has not been regularly maintained.

All roof surfaces have been covered in what looks like zinc sheeting, this will eventually be removed with a view to replanking as I suspect they were covered up due to leaks, there's bound to be problems under there.

In fact most of the work that has been done on her is less than satifactory, covering up rather than repairing, replacing or restoring.

Why do people own boats just to let them rot away?

Thanks for the information on possible identity marks, I will indeed be looking for any signs of them when I sand the hull.
Is there anywhere I could obtain copies of the original specifications & plans?

This message was edited by Jaywickrob on Jun-21-10 @ 8:08 PM


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Jaywickrob
Jun-22-2010 @ 8:14 PM                           Permalink
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Hi David,

Please excuse the contradictory previous posts as the information was as supplied by the previous owner.

Following your advise I have been to my boat again today and lifted all the floor panels & checked the bottoms of all the drawers & bunks. She has "Swan" written on the underside of a floor panel, but W891 is just about everywhere I looked.

This message was edited by Jaywickrob on Jun-22-10 @ 8:21 PM


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Jaywickrob
Jun-22-2010 @ 8:15 PM                           Permalink
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Interestingly "Bittern" is written on the bottom of one drawer. Maybe the boatyard at Marsham would like it back in exchange for mine if they have it.

This message was edited by Jaywickrob on Jun-22-10 @ 8:17 PM


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andy2
Jun-22-2010 @ 10:05 PM                           Permalink
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hi rob, i live just down the road from your moorings and have seen your boat many a time. expilots boat is a fantastic example of this class and have seen her many times up at potter.i like many others on this site wish you well with your massive project... keep us posted with your progress.andy

SOS247
Jun-22-2010 @ 10:10 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Rob

Its good to see that there are still some brave men around!
However, after recently seeing first hand the quality of Broadland Swift
this will be a great boat to restore. They are so solid compared to
similar boats built during the same era. Also they just glide through
the water, and would give the latest GRP 'low wash hull' a run for its
money!  

If you did ever consider a boatyard carrying out a 'full restoration' we
would be very interested in quoting however, looking at the photo i
guess some lottery funding may be needed! Unfortunately I also don't
think we can book any major jobs in until Oct 2011!

My main boatbuilder enjoyed every second working on Broadland Swift
because these are the types of boats he built...... many, many years
ago! He also gets very bored & grumpy if he has to work on modern
boats!!! So I have to keep feeding him old boats, latest one to arrive
yesterday was built in 1906!! The Horace & Hannah, we also have
Harrier which is 1900's (we think)

Good luck



  



  

      

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