Restoration of
The William H Albury
If you would like to donate to the project:
PERC
501(c)(3) donation
(inclusion pending)
Contact Scott
scottweatherford@hotmail.com
cell +1 (242) 357-6618

Status (most recent reports at the top)
3/30/2020 From the desk of Scott Weatherford
We are at the stage in the restoration of the William H Albury where the next work project is the the repair to the bulwarks, rail cap, the top plank and of course the hull repair to the bottom when it is dry docked. However the bulwarks, rail etc can be done while it is still in the water waiting for dry docking using the pontoon boat for a platform.
 
Our bundle of Mahogany arrived on MOW on Wednesday. It looks good, arrived all neatly strapped and wrapped. Just waiting now to be able to start using it. However, that cannot happen until we have the $ to buy the Silicon Bronze Screws that will be used in the restoration. They are big screws (3 1/2" x 20) - the same size as original. I have received quotes for these and they are not cheap - best quote is $2.50 each. I have calculated that we will need approx 1000 screws, costing $2,500 first cost delivered into Florida.
 
The reason that I am writing this is to ask for your help by making a donation to our GoFundMe fund. We are trying to raise $3,000 to buy the screws. We appreciate your support. Our GoFundMe page is at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/gzbnjf-restoration-of-the-schooner-william-h-albury or click on the button at the top of the page.
 
Here is a video of Scott aboard Rough Waters in the 1978 Family Island Regatta:
3/21/2020 Report from Hamilton Carter, Video of Phil Frandino by Giavanna Manni
The William H is at a stage where no more 'wrecking' needs be done. We have removed all the questionable wood from the interior and above deck. Replacing any deck planking will be decided by a shipwright when it comes time to start on the decks and hull planking.
 
As suggested, the next obvious need is to replace some top planks where they meet the deck. There are also some very short planks at the stem which ought to be replaced. This work can be done while she is afloat. Once complete, the decks can be addressed as well as new bulwarks and cap rail.
 
The chain plates ought to be removed for inspection.
 
Once the #2 marine railway is ready, the William H will be hauled out for work on the bottom.
 
The Mahogany for planking will arrive any day and the fasteners have been located and ordered.
 
Our videographer, Giavanna, has filmed Phil describing the vessel, her history and some of the work he and I have done over the last two months (below). Her video of Phil singing the 'Wrecking Crew' ballad is in last week's report.
 

With the uncertainty vis-à-vis travel caused by the coronavirus, I have decided to return to my home in Nova Scotia a month early. Phil had returned to the USA last week for work.
 
Again, the more we have gotten to know this beautiful ship, the more convinced we are of how worthwhile it is to get her in shape and sailing out of Man O War once again.
3/14/2020 Report from Hamilton Carter, Video of Phil Frandino by Giavanna Manni
This week we wooded the cabin sides, removed the bronze porthole and dead light rings, finished painting the stanchions, companionways and inside the hatch combings. We removed the old exhaust muffler/check valve and generally cleaned Her up. The ship's inflatable has been hauled and bottom cleaned.
 
The William H is ready for haulout, plank replacement/refastening where necessary and the upcoming work of covering the cabin sides and decking.
 
This weekend is also the end of Phil's major volunteer efforts in restoring the William H. He has to go back to work in the USA next week.
 
Our videographer, Giavanna, has filmed Phil singing the 'Wrecking Crew' ballad (shown here) and filmed the William H while Phil described the vessel, her history and some of the work he and I have done over the last two months (will show next week).
 

The more we have gotten to know this beautiful ship, the more convinced we are of how worthwhile it is to get her in shape and sailing out of Man O War once again.
3/7/2020 Report and photos from Hamilton Carter (click on an image to enlarge it)

Aft quarterdeck mooring bitt
All our work this week was on deck. We wooded and finished oiling (2 coats) the pinrails that surround each mast at deck level, the aft quarterdeck mooring bitts, the wheel spoke handles, the hatch coamings and companionways fore and aft. The inside of each hatch coaming was painted with white primer.
 
The tops of the stanchions were further prepped and primed to keep out fresh water until the cap rail is installed.
 
The cabin tops were scrubbed clean.
Pinrails that surround each mast
Looking aft
Looking forward
2/29/2020 Report from Hamilton Carter with photos from Phil Frandino (click on an image to enlarge it)
This week the interior was scrubbed down with soap, bleach and fresh water resulting in even more loose paint, sand, bits of wood and the last of the ballast blocks being removed. We have kept her hatches open to the breezes day and night allowing her to dry out.
 
We finished prepping and priming all 70 of the bulwark stanchions. These appear to be in very good condition.
 
Phil and I were helped in our work by Eric on Tuesday morning.
 
On Thursday and Friday mornings, we had the help of Sarah and her 4 children, Charles, George, Marion and Annie, who brought home made chocolate chip cookies and helped us scrape and sand down the cabins' sides along with the forward Mooring Bitts. These Bitts (posts) which hold the inboard end of the bowsprit are
also made of Madeira (like the stanchions and hull framing) and are in very good condition. We are taking them down to bare wood and have applied Cetol, a special oil that penetrates and seals the wood and drys within 24 hours.
 
The assistants in the photos are Charles, Annie
and Mum Sarah. They were all a delight and helpful.
 
The forward hatch entry coaming has been stripped and sanded and is ready for Cetol. The halyard sway hooks and belaying pin rail and posts at the base of the main mast have been stripped of varnish and Fiberglass and are ready for sanding.
 
We are still pumping out about 30/40 gallons in total every 24 hours. She is leaking where underwater patches were applied and through some of the caulked seams.
2/22/2020 Report and photos from Hamilton Carter (click on an image to enlarge it)
We removed the Fiberglass covering the decks. It was put on several years ago and was leaking in a number of places and not adhering to the planked deck in many other areas.
 
We also scrapped, sanded and painted the topsides and transom of WHA with a white primer. The steering wheel was cleaned of rust and old paint and primed. The rudder, unstepped with only the upper set of gudgeons/pintles still holding the rudder in place, was secured with ropes leading to the aft stbd quarter.
 
We are working at taking all 70 bulwark stanchions down to bare wood for priming and finished painting next week. We will soon start removing all deck fittings and hardware in preparation for a new deck covering.
 
From Ham on 2/16/2020: Ansel (Eric's son) from s/v PELICAN, Phil and I took up all the fiberglass decks this morning. Dump run tomorrow for sure.
2/16/2020 Report and photos from Hamilton Carter and Phil Frandino (click on an image to enlarge it)
These photos show the bow (after the

bulwarks and caprail were removed) and the Samson Posts to which the original Lunenberg winch was mounted. [Hamilton is trying to source a winch like the original made in the foundry in Lunenberg, Nova Scotia, Canada. These were legendary. -Ed.]

From Hamilton's notes:
From the photos under separate emails, you will see the Samson Posts to which the winch was attached.
 
The following measurements are in inches:
  • Posts - 4 x 8
  • Outside to outside of posts - 11 3/4 (athwartships)
  • The depth of let in for the brackets that hold the shaft - 1/2 deep x 8 top to bottom
  • The rounded part of the brackets let into the posts is 2 3/4 top to bottom
This is about all we have to go by.

Again, hopefully you appreciate the attention to detail.
2/15/2020 Report from Hamilton Carter (click on an image to enlarge it)


Today the WHA is completely stripped of all interior joinery except for the ceiling just below the bilge stringers. Above the stringers, the ceiling was left in place right up to the deck level clamp and shelf. We have found patches of soft, and on rare occasion, some rot but not enough to affect her massive build and therefore strength. It appears that she has many good years ahead based on a very solid foundation. The accompanying pictures will show how open she now is. All of the ballast has been removed. We also removed the starboard bow hawse pipe and the trail board on Thursday; both of which are saved.
 
Next is to remove the rub rails along her sides at deck level in anticipation of removing her decks entirely. Once the deck planking is removed, we can inspect the upper face of the deck beams, make repairs where needed, and proceed to lay a two ply deck of marine grade plywood which will then be covered with Dynel cloth and Epoxy resin to insure water tight deck and cabins.
 
As you can imagine, all this will take time and dollars. The result of these two ingredients being carefully mixed will be a beautiful schooner for sail training. A living floating school to teach our Youth the art and disciplines of Seamanship. And for the pleasure of those who like to sail on Tall ships.
 
For two days Phil and I had the help of two volunteers from a yacht nearby, Eric and his son Ansel aboard s/v PELICAN. They helped scrape and clean below.
2/10/2020 Report from Hamilton Carter with photos from Phil Frandino (after he and Phil on the Wm H for 3 weeks)
Below deck - The internal ballast (lead and concrete), all interior partitions and furniture, the sole (and beams supporting the sole from forward to the main mast step) and water tanks have been removed along with the engine and transmission. We are almost finished mucking out the sand, mud and debris from the bilges. Parts of the ceiling where rotten or too waterlogged/soft have been removed. Mostly surrounding the engine on the Port side. The Starboard side abreast of the engine where you enter the vessel has not been touched.
 
These two
photos show the condition of the interior and bulwarks and caprail before stripping the interior and removing the bulrarks and caprail.  [Compare these with the photos above to get an idea of the magnitude of work and concern for doing the restoration to a high standard. -Ed]



After we finish cleaning, the next step inside is to start removing all the old paint and inspect the underside of the deck planking which in places looks soft and possibly rotted although further drying will give us a better idea of what we are looking at. The Shelf and/or Clamp look soft in places, particularly abreast of the engine beds on the port side. The fuel tanks still contain fuel thus we hope to empty them once hauled out.
 
On deck - the Cap rail and Bulwarks have been removed. The stanchions supporting the Madeira Bulwarks appear to be in excellent shape. The fiberglass/polyester matting on top of the planked deck is not sticking properly. We have cut it back (where run up onto the bulwarks) so that the rain runoff, etc., is not trapped. All dead eyes have been removed (from the chain plates), numbered and marked Port or Starboard. The cabin sides have been scrapped and appear to have some rot near deck level. This is also true of the visible top edge of Gunwale planks. What we can see of the covering board (by removing some of the fiberglass) appears to be good. The rub rails have not been removed.
 
The masts which David brought in are now covered after being scrapped and sanded a few weeks ago. A sail plan would be very useful to determine whether these spars are of the correct dimension, etc.
 
The bowsprit, winch and a lot of rope have been recovered from the Flying Circus.
 
Inquiries are being made in Nova Scotia to find the type of Lunenburg Foundry windlass that was originally fitted to the WHA.
 
WHA is being pumped out twice a day with the bilge contents never being more than half way up the Keelson.
12/2019 Video by David Wright
She was sunk in Eastern Harbour in 9/2019 by Hurricane Dorian.  Here she is being refloated.
The work was done gratis by Roston McGreggor of Valient Marine Services, Georgetown, Exuma.
 

2016
These photos are from previous restoration work. The work was done by Blake Albury and Keith Albury at Edwin's Boat Yard.  The work was commissioned and paid by the previous owner, David Wright.  Click on an image to enlarge.

 
Last updated: 3/7/2020  --  Please send comments to svbreakaway@gmail.com
© Scott Weatherford 2020