Sailing Story - Gaff Ketch - Cariad - Shelf From Old Planking

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    Gaff Ketch - Yacht Cariad

A Welsh word for "Sweetheart"
    A fortuitous meeting one day aboard a beautiful old Sydney Harbour Launch called “Kanungra” brought Mike together with Des Kearns, now the project manager for the Gaff Ketch Yacht Cariad.

    Sadly we just received the news that Kanungra has been trashed after being holed on a reef and then dragged off and ripped apart. She was a treasure now gone!
    View our Cariad photo gallery here

    The Gaff Ketch Yacht Cariad has provided a once in a lifetime opportunity for Mike to use his skills on a unique piece of wooden boat history, along with the obvious boost to our cruising kitty.

    The Cariad website provides a complete and comprehensive coverage of the project. This page is about our personal experience here.

    Cariad was brought into PSS Shipyard for restoration and it was hoped that much of the original boat could be retained however like many projects of this age, on closer inspection it was found that she needed much more.

    The steel frames have taken 9 months to be completely replaced and besides ongoing work on the rudder, masts and booms, only now can they begin planking.

The old planking has not been wasted as Mike has set them aside and begun to build unique pieces of furniture including a seat out of the old stern piece still bearing Cariads name.

Everything that could be saved has been, including beautiful brass fittings that are polished up and waiting to return to her!

The search for suitable and available timber to replace these planks has been both an experience and a nightmare.

    The first journey into Laos was to be a standard search for mills providing quality boat building timber, whereby Mike was to inspect the logs to ensure their quality then arrange for appropriate milling and shipment to the yard.

    It was not to be and even now they do not have the full amount needed although Martin, a New Zealand saw miller with 5 years experience in Laos, is on the hunt and hopefully this saga will soon come to an end.

Martin found beautiful teak for her decks and coach houses and this work has begun.

Language barriers are another hurdle that adds to the difficulty of the job. The staff are a mix of four races, some of which speak two languages, enough to get messages and instructions through most of the time.

The carpenters are very skilled in their own style of boat building but of course this differs from Cariads construction so new ways need to be learnt.

    Purchasing anything requires both local knowledge and mastery of the language so once again extra effort plus patience and tolerance is needed until the desired product is found.

    Mike wanted to write this piece on the Gaff Ketch Yacht Cariad, but I have written this for the time being because he simply does not have either the time or the energy left at the end of the day at present!