Latest updates

05 Jun 19

Liddesdale canoe roll over

Seb, Laura and Becci rolled over the canoe at the beginning of May 2019 to work on the keel and planking beneath the waterline. The original pitch pine keel is largely intact, but needed some scarf repairs. Stem repairs were carried out in oak and ash to match the original materials. The planks that needed to be replaced were fitted using iroko timber. The hull timber repairs are now completed and soon the canoe will be turned upright again for fitting out the interior.

The Liddesdale Canoe rolled over, ready for restoration work under the water line

20 Mar 19

Woodwork repairs have begun in earnest

The team of boat builders are working hard again with assistance from our Liddesdale Project volunteers to repair the canoe. First they are repairing splits in the planks, next they will replace the steamed timbers inside the hull and then they will turn the boat over to replace rotten woodwork and reconstruct the canoe as necessary. They will be using the same methods and materials that the original boat builder, Bill Horsham, did at the Ray Motor Company when the Liddesdale was built in the early 1920s.

Woodwork repairs

01 Oct 18

Preparing for woodwork repairs

Our boat builders from Prettiest Star Boatbuilding are all 2018 graduates from the International Boatbuilding Training College in Portsmouth, where they trained in all aspects of traditional wooden boatbuilding and restoration. Last autumn they set up their workshop in the Boat House and quickly got to work on the Liddesdale. Leading the team is Sebastian vanden Bogaerde, who summarises the first phase of work as rewinding the boatbuilding process: “We removed all of the fit out, fore and aft decks and coamings, risers, gunwales and inwales, thus reducing the vessel to a bare hull. We stripped off the old varnish, antifoul and bilge paint, and carefully cleaned and prepared every single piece of the boat. Phase one included strongbacking and straightening the vessel, as she was quite severely twisted. The moulds we made to hold the vessel in precise position will eventually be used to provide a table of offsets and line drawings for the National Trust’s archives, as there are no extant original plans to our knowledge.”