Topic : 1333 Kohima II

I brought 1333 back to France this summer in a very sorry state. The whole centre section of the inner and outer keel, and first planks are gone, together with some of the bottom of the case. Decks as well, but that's easy.
Can anyone confirm what timber I should be using to rebuild all of this ? Gaboon ply, I guess, and is the rest red cedar ? Built by Wyche and Coppock.
Any history would be great. I don't even know which design she is.
The mast is aluminium with no make and no spreaders, nor spinnaker gear.
The plan is for some gentle family sailing (to make a change from my Moth) on the river here as soon as I've finished the rebuild, and probably some trips back to the UK to join in some vintage events if they fit with holiday dates.
Also love to get in touch with any other Merlins that may have crossed the Channel if you know where to find them.
Many thanks.

Posted: 07/11/2005 16:14:29
By: David Balkwill
With a name like Kohima she deserves the best. I'd use best quality ply ie Mahogany not Gaboon and Mahogany (real) if you can get it. For the young Kohima is where a small Indian Army garrison held off the Japanese for 83 days often across no more than the width of the Governors Tennis Court! The longest pitch battle of WW 2 it stoped the Japs invading India and turned the war if the far east.

Posted: 08/11/2005 08:29:25
By: Ancient Geek
1333 was originally called 'Gem'. She was built by Wyche an Coppock in Nottingham and is a Proctor Mk 12 design.

Posted: 08/11/2005 10:36:56
By: Tony Lane
some history

Posted: 08/11/2005 10:40:23
By: Alan F
Who was bored at work then!

Posted: 08/11/2005 11:58:25
By: John Murrell
I just very efficient

Posted: 08/11/2005 16:55:07
By: Alan F
but not arf as good at grammar...

Posted: 08/11/2005 17:18:05
By: Mags
well, when are we getting the spell checker and grammmar checker

Posted: 08/11/2005 18:03:56
By: Alan F
Many thanks for this first batch of replies. Mahogany plywood ? Sounds heavy. Is that also called Okoume, or do I need to find a source over here ? Robbins in Bristol sounds perfect, but it means waiting till my next trip back. And are you sure about mahogany for the inner and outer keel ? The existing wood is very light, and only slightly red coloured, (looks exactly like some red cedar I used as the core for a Moth dagger board before we all went over to foam and carbon), nothing like the Merlin's centreboard, which is heavy and a good rich mahogany colour.

Posted: 08/11/2005 23:17:18
By: David Balkwill
Some years ago I repaired damage to the keel of 1064 a Proctor XI also built by Wyche and Coppock and it definitely was mahogany. When you take it apart it is in three sections the inner keel the outer keel with a piece of marine ply sandwiched between cut short at the edges to form the rebate for the bottom planks to be fixed in. The outer keel was damaged and the ply soft but the inner keel was largely OK.  The biggest challenge was removing steel screws countersunk through the whole keel anchoring the centre board case.  I thought these were from an older repair but have been told since that this was practice common on boats built in the early 1960's. In the end I cut them off and put in new brass screws.
I know Cedar is used in boat building but I am not sure of its qualities apart from being very light and rot resistant.

Posted: 09/11/2005 06:48:04
By: Charles Lawton
Thankyou Charles. Your description fits exactly with what I have here. The whole of all three parts of the keel has rotted from about three feet from the stem through to the transom.
I have made a jig for this whole length, screwed to the transom and to the thwart, and fitting the inside of the inner keel up into the stem area. Same thickness as the case. The centre part is shaped to fit the rocker of the case, to the mast step, and I've extended that curve fore and aft to be as close as I can get to where the inner keel was. I'm going to laminate the new inner keel on this jig so it will sit in place with no stress while I scarf the new first planks to the front section which is OK. I don't want to get into replacing the bow area where the planks are so twisted. After that, the ply filler and outer keel should be no problem and then re-fitting the case. All the steel screws were severely rusted. There are more between the deck beams and the filler pieces at the shroud fixings, so I will replace steel there as well.
Just need a source for the timber now, which shouldn't be a problem since Nantes is the first port in France for wood imports. I'll stop thinking about cedar and look for mahogany.
Thanks again.

Posted: 09/11/2005 18:10:33
By: David Balkwill


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