The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2015.05.17 - Destruction

The destruction of any boat is a sad thing for me even though I know that it is necessary so my intention is to try to get as much of the interior out carefully and as intact as possible so that I can reuse the wood. I don’t know how possible this will be since I know from the previous owner that she was constructed by glueing and screwing and then sheathing with glass fibre matting and epoxy.

Fortunately for me, epoxy can be softened using a heat gun. So a combination of heat gun and scraper was used to reveal where the screws have been plugged. Most if not all of them are just copper now, the zinc having long gone so getting them out was a long a tortuous process. The rubbing strake came off first and that wasn’t too much of a chore. Despite the careful handling a lot of the wood snapped during the removal. Extracting the screws ended up taking too long and despite the careful handling caused damage to the surrounding wood. In the end I just used a chisel to cut a square box around each screw head and then prised off the veneers of the plywood to reveal the screw head beneath. Even that turned out to be difficult and eventually I cut the side deck off with a reciprocating saw. Brute force is sometimes better than finesse.

You can see here the results of the initial trials with heat gun and scraper. The fibre glass sheathing, once heated up, lifts off very easily and you have to be careful that the hot sheathing lifting off as you scrape does not slide up over the scrapper and slice into your hand. Did I mention that it’s also hot?

Naiad after the starboard rubbing strake has been removed and the hull cleaned up.

This photo show the exposed, plugged, screw hole after the sheathing has been removed.

The lines of the cuts made by the chisel around the plug can be seen here.

The plywood square has now been removed revealing the screw beneath.

The slot in the screw is now cleaned up so that the screw driver does not slip. Well, that’s the idea.

And the screw removed. This one was one of the easy ones. You can see from the photo above that the colour of the screw heard is greenish which is just a bit of oxidant on the surface, if it had been pink then the chances are that the screw head would have disintegrated the moment I tried to turn the screw driver. About half of the screws ended up this way.