The Story of Hathor (Continued)


That first winter and following summer we went through the boat and removed everything that could be taken out. Two young men, Jordan and Oliver Pringle spent most of the summer working on the boat and did an incredible job. Even their father, Joe, pitched in, Joe having had an experience similar to mine with HATHOR when he was a young man.

Cleaning out the engine room, Oliver (left) and Jordan Pringle (right) worked all summer taking the boat apart and scraping out 110 years of dirt, grease and grime. You may click on images for larger versions.
The engine room, looking forward. The engine bed and most of the plumbing and wiring have been removed.
Fidel Sierra, the hardest working person I know, put his heart into the job. He took out shelves, racks, brackets, floor boards, ballast. It was hard, dirty work because everything was heavy and was coated with oil from the leaking exhaust and chronic oil spills from the various engines. Some of the grime from the old steam engine and boiler was 110 years old. We then went through the hull and chipped out all the old concrete that had been poured the length of the boat to raise the bilge water level to the limber holes. Later we cut new limber holes in the frames just above the keel to eliminate the need for concrete.

The cabin has been lifted off the hull to expose questionable wood and also gain access to the rusted metal under the cabin. Remnants of the original deck are visible under the cabin. Both the deteriorated wood and the corroded metal have now been replaced.
Looking aft from the bow, the cabin has been lifted off the boat and is suspended from the boathouse roof. Most of the decking has been stripped off, only a narrow walk way on each side remains, and the margin plate has been cut out. The strength this plate provided was replaced by a new steel rub rail welded along the outside of the hull.

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for larger versions.)
We separated the cabin from the deck and lifted the cabin off the boat suspending it from the boathouse roof, then stripped off the old deck. The hull was in surprisingly good shape. From the front of the engine back the oil drippings from first the steam engine and later the various gasoline engines seem to have protected the steel. Under where the steam boiler had been located there was some pitting. After we cleaned up the metal we measured the depth of the pits with a surface micrometer. The steel at that point was 1/4 inch thick. We didn't find any pits that were more than .040" deep. There was some rust penetration of the hull at the edge of the deck and behind the wooden rub rail, especially at the back of the cabin where the galley and head had been located, and at the transom. We cut these areas out and replaced them.
John is cutting away the rusted steel margin plate that ran around the hull.
Some of the ancillary equipment removed from the hull.

January, 2006

We pulled the hull outside in January, 2006 to do a preliminary sand blast of the rusted areas so we could examine them more clearly to determine what to cut out and replace and what was still good. Then I found three welders, Ken Lindberg, John Schilthelm, and Wells Church who worked evenings and weekends to go through the boat and replace any questionable steel. They put a new transom on the stern, put new plating on both sides of the cabin at the deck line, and installed a new rub rail. That took almost a year because of bowling, deer hunting, etc. but they did an excellent job.

June, 2007

In June of 2007, after the welders had finished, we again pulled the hull outside, this time for a complete sandblast inside and out. The sand blasting took three weeks. Then we painted the hull inside and out with two coats of a Sherwin Williams epoxy primer suitable for full emersion, then a polyurethane top coat on the inside and an anti-fouling bottom coat on the outside. We faired the outside of the hull above the water line with a micro-balloon fairing compound to fill the rivet depressions and the seams between the hull plates. Incidentally, this was a riveted hull. When the hull was originally built, after the frames were erected, the steel hull plates were picked up by clamps and placed in a plate furnace where the entire plate was heated red hot. The hot plate was then lifted and brought over to the hull where it was clamped in place and hammered with large wooden mallets to the shape of the frames. After the plate had cooled, it was drilled for rivets. As a result, there were numerous crests and hollows in the plating.

June, 2007

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