Over this past year I have manufactured a significant stock level of all the joinery aspects for both the Lugger and the Longboat, making it now possible to supply directly off the shelf. For instance I carry Mizzen and Main Mast Steps/Thwarts in excess of 30 of each, ready to supply on a mail order basis.
To achieve my aim, I purchase sawn 25mm Iroko in quantities of cubic metres. This at our Dragon Design machine shop is converted to a planed and thickness profile. From there the varying sections and specifications of the individual pieces are made; making use of the variety of sized boards, I am able to minimise on wastage to produce these pieces. It’s all about purchasing material in volume, then manufacturing all work in one operation, which then minimises the labour and manufacturing cost. By using this principle I’m able to hold a large stock, keep the costs down for you Drascombe owners and deliver without any fuss or bother.
You may like to read of Philip Kerr’s experience just recently of ordering a tiller, with extension fitted, all fully spray varnished, complete and ready for dispatch with a boarding ladder in just 14 days. It was the spray varnishing and curing time that ran it through into the second week. Normally, from receiving your tiller head in the post, I would be able to fit one of our ready laminated tillers plus extension in 2 days, and you would have it back within 5 days. No other company can match this performance!
Take a look at our work rate over this winter period. In Early December a keel band and Lazarette hatch cover for a Mk 3 Lugger was shipped to Nice Marina in the South of France by the DDP service (Delivery Duty Paid) from DHL. After a successful uneventful fitting at the Marina, Tom placed another order for a unit of our 5 section floor boards. They are now complete and ready for shipment.
In between that and getting a shipment ready for Paul in Dunedin, New Zealand, we supplied Stephen in Fort William, John in Cornwall and made more stock. Paul’s Keelband and centre plate pivot pin and side plates got to him in 12 days, all intact and I await Paul’s ‘fitting story’ very shortly.
Our Longboat owner in Bahrain who had anticipated collecting his mast thwart and transom board at Christmas time to take back on the flight as ‘hold luggage’ couldn’t make it, so we combined some of his other materials for the rebuild of his ‘Longboat in the sand’ and sent them over at the beginning of March. We await Henry’s ‘fitting story’ very shortly. So progress is very good!
With spring just about on us, it’s time to get the cover off the boat and prepare for enjoyable days out sailing your Drascombe. Again I’m sure one does not need to be reminded, but these boats can be up to 50 years old. Building practices and materials have changed and improved over the years, so it’s prudent not only for the safety of the craft, but to try and maintain/improve your pride and joy for a further period of great enjoyment in sailing her.
To this end I have set out some personal pointers of aspects that would deserve looking at for updating and renewal.
Firstly, the dreaded centre plate pivot pin, a source of great issues on early Luggers, and I still fail to understand the builder’s rationale in their manufacturing procedures of this area. Bonding 2 steel grommets to the 4mm thickness side walls of the centre plate casing, the opposing grommets had the pivot pin slid through, this 10mm pin supporting the 50kg centre plate – a disaster waiting to happen! It’s not just the weight of the plate, but also the lowering and extraction process that caused strain and consequential damage to the side cheeks of the centre plate casing. Common issues are water seeping in past this grommet or via the shaft of the pivot pin itself, and that’s at best. It’s been recorded that the entire assembly has failed causing the pivot pin to drop on one side and so jamming the centre plate. Not a good idea. With a boat of this age why not consider an upgrade? Consider fitting a pair of our JLJ side supporting plates and a new pivot pin. The process is documented on our How to do it page, well worth a read.
Another replacement/upgrade on the top of my maintenance priority list is the keel band. It’s hidden under the boat, rarely looked at yet gets a lot of wear and tear. This replacement procedure again is on our How to do it page, and it’s not as difficult to do as it sounds. Always best to turn the boat over on old tyres and follow our website page through the fitting process. Or for those who want a professional fitting of the keel band, deliver the boat to NP22 4LA and with a 48 hour turnaround it will be done for £495 plus VAT, including the keel band and all materials. Please be aware it has to be booked in for this work.
At Just Lugger Joinery (Dragon Design) we have all you need to re-fit, maintain or add upgrades to your Drascombe, not just joinery but centre plates, rudders and more.
It can be a rush to get your boat ready for the season, but leaving a little extra time can make a big difference to your boat being in a good state for the water. If you have issues, you can always give me a call for advice on materials, fitting procedures and general information. It’s free! My aim and objective is to provide the joinery, fittings and advice to enable you to fit out and maintain your own boat.
I’m always available to help.
Just Lugger Joinery & More