Winter work begins on the R. Ian Fletcher

Sorry for the delay between posts – it’s been a busy winter! Let’s jump right back in….

There’s a lot going on this year with the R. Ian Fletcher, Riverkeeper’s patrol boat on the Hudson River. Last winter I had started replanking the bottom sides and this winter sees more of the same. Removal of the bottom planks also gives me a glimpse into the framing of the boat and areas that are otherwise inaccessible. And so a bottom-planking job is rarely just that. So far, an 8′ section of the port inboard stringer has been replaced, and the port keel rabbet nailer and port aft chine plank are in the process of being replaced. All galvanized fasteners are being replaced with bronze.

Below are the first pics of the year. I’ll try to post weekly updates on the progress.

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The beginning of winter work on the R. Ian Fletcher… First plank removed!


Removed planks on the port side. You can see the new planks that were installed last year aft of the opening.

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A rotted section of the port inboard stringer about to be cut for a scarf. I used a piece of wood clamped to the stringer to act as a guide for the 5″ Skilsaw used for the cut …


… and a chisel, plane and sanding block cleans up the cut from there. Note the stringer-to-frame carriage bolt. These bolts are very difficult to remove so I bored around them to remove the stringer. From that point, a combination of lump hammer, slide hammer, and a few scraped knuckles did the trick  — eventually, they came out.


There is a 4′ section of the keel rabbet where the shaft log passes through. The shape of the shaft log requires this keel rabbet nailer to extend the rabbet outboard. The keel rabbet nailer showed signs of rot on its faying surface with the keel and so is being replaced.


After its removal the keel and shaft log were scraped and faired to receive the new keel rabbet nailer. Pics of that to come!

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