Author Topic: Lucky Pierre's #966 Structural Restoration  (Read 10484 times)


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Lucky Pierre's #966 Structural Restoration
« on: January 07, 2017, 09:23:12 PM »
Ahoy from Brian Lemmon

I met Thorpe Leeson at a party in Bermuda June 2016, after a few discussions about the s-boats, Herrshoff history and a few glasses of wine, it was ironic I met the owner of Lucky Pierre.  Looking at boat porn as a hobby, I've viewed Lucky Pierre several times on-line. It  wasn't long that night we shook hands per the purchase of Lucky Pierre. I've found the boat I always wanted.

Lucky Pierre is spending the winter at the Baltic Boat Works, Jens is doing a fine job on her structural refit. Lucky Pierre has been reviling several refit surprises   Now I'm thinking of changing the Name to "Lucky Bitch"  lol...

Here is an update on work progress on LUCKY PIERRE. #966

The framing has been finished, we ended up doing 17 frames which were all broken. The rest of the frames in the boat should be replaced soon as well to ensure longevity of the boat. The current deck planking has several issues which we are not addressing at this round of refit yet, but the proper way of replacing the remaining old frames would be at the time a new deck goes on as the hull is fully accessible then.

After all new frames were installed and fully fastened we went back to the splines, each side ended up getting eight full splines from stem to stern - all of this happened while LUCKY PIERRE was held into its original shape by a frame off the transom, heavy boat stands at the stern and a pull-up from the gantry. In parallel to the splining we dry-fitted the repaired broad 1 planks, marked their lower edge (which was cleaned of for later caulking), then took the broad 1s off again and spiled for new garboards.

The new garboards were de-spiled, cut from one continuous plank, fitted, backed out (outside) and shaped on the inside to conform to the curve of the frames. Both the garboards and the repaired broad 1s received an epoxy based barrier coat on the inside followed by a bilge paint. Once all of that was cured the new garboards were permanently installed, then followed by the broad 1s which now acted as shutter planks. Only then the final spline between the broad 1s and broad 2s was cut and installed - both plank seams of the garboard however will be traditionally caulked with cotton, for two reasons:

The hull needs some relief as it swells up in the water, the “live” plank seams of the garboards will provide this “breathing room”. Second: as the garboard seams are live this garboard can easily be removed at a later stage to gain access to the keel and floor timbers.

LUCKY PIERRE then went “undercover” as it was time to fair the bottom with all splines and planks back in place - this is a very dirty job as old toxic bottom paint is flying everywhere, we therefor built a temporary tent over LUCKY PIERRE to keep the rest of the shop protected from this dust. All areas which received new frames were then covered with a fairing filler to allow a fairing of the topsites - which are still heavily covered in old epoxy. At the time when the rest of the frames will be replaced all of this old epoxy should come off and the topsites should be taken back to bare wood to built up a new and proper paint system.

For access reasons we at some point removed the mast step from the boat and we finally found proper evidence that LUCKY PIERRE in fact is LUCKY PIERRE (not that there was any doubt): On the aft face of one of the floor timbers the mast step was fastened to the Herreshoff hull number “966” was carved into the floor timber. This number was recorded and kept on record at HMCo when LUCKY PIERRE was originally build at LAWLEY but under license from Herreshoff.

The mast step has several checks in it (pretty common) so we cleaned it up a bit and set two drifts thru it from side to side, capped with heavy washers and nuts and a lot of torque - this will keep this mast step going for a while. And as it was out of the boat and on a bench we gave it a bit new paint as well…

Some work is going on with the mast (more at the next report) and we started building a new rudder after we re-engineered the gudgeon situation which is a true short coming on the Lawley boats - more details and pictures on the next report as well.

So far - so good… or?

This morning we ran into a major issue and have put a halt on the hull work - we need to discuss this and preferably meet with you at the shop:

Under the keel, forward of the ballast is a rather large fairing piece which makes the transition from the forward keel into the deadwood and ballast. On LUCKY PIERRE this fairing piece was cracked and did not fit very well once we had the hull back into shape. Our plan was to remove the fairing piece once the hull is shut and stable again (meaning all frames, splines and planks permanently in place and no more movement in the boat). This is usually a standard procedure, so we took the old fairing piece off: What we found though was quiet shocking:

The keel plank in this section (right under the mast step = highest stress area) has major worm damage. This is old damage, most likely inflicted when the boat was in warm Florida waters. Some previous hack had filled the area with epoxy and put this badly fitting fairing piece over it (used the wrong wood as well) - I suspect this was done when the previous garboards were “fixed”. Either way, this damage to the keel is very deep and structural.

We need to discuss the proper repair for this damage, this goes from “doing the right thing”: replacing the forward keel (expensive but very long lasting and proper procedure), to carving out the damage, installing an additional inner keel and scarfing in fresh wood (less expensive but only good for 10 to 15 years).

We are also worried about the integrity of the keel bolts after we pulled a few bolts around the mast step. Furthermore we would like to address the deck with you…

Any chance we could meet at the shop this weekend or next week (evenings are fine)?

As always I have attached some pictures of the progress.



Baltic Boat Works, LLC
55 Carroll Ave
Newport, RI 02840

P: 401 924 2755


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Re: Lucky Pierre's #966 Structural Restoration
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2017, 09:35:52 PM »
Welcome to the S-Boat caretakers group!  Mine is 'Clara J' #1385 restored by IYRS in 2014.  You will love her this season!



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Re: Lucky Pierre's #966 Structural Restoration
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2017, 01:16:08 AM »
Thanks Dave...

Charles Barclay

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Re: Lucky Pierre's #966 Structural Restoration
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2017, 07:30:53 PM »

You have taken Lucky to the right place.  Jens is a quality.