Stage 1 – The Keel

The first step is to reinstate the bottom of the boat. The picture shows the new keel temporarily fitted to the ballast keel. The floors are either missing or cut away and the ribs are past their prime.


We will lift the boat off the ballast keel, clean off the top face and locate the old keel bolt positions, such that the new ones avoid interference. The keel will either be sent off for grit blasting and coating, or scraped and painted in the shed.

We will make up plywood moulds to replicate the shape of the hull and then fit battens to replicate the bottom planks. Once we are happy that the shape of the bottom is right we can move onto making new floors, which will be secured to the keel with L brackets.

Once we have the floors in place the ballast keel can be fitted with new keel bolts drilled and tapped into the iron. These bolts also secure the L brackets for the floors. We can then reinstate the four missing bottom planks each side and the bottom of the boat will be complete.

Very briefly the next step is to take the complete deck off the boat and remove the shelf beam and stringers. This gives free access to the ribs at least 50% of which need replacing. Once that’s done we can think about reinstating the deck.

This may well turn out to be the biggest Gareloch restoration yet. When she is finished the only original structure will be the stem post, part of the stern, most of the hull planking and a few ribs.

When does a restoration become a new boat?