David Pittaway writes:
'A few years ago I was goaded into buying OLGA, a 30 foot long double ended Huon and Celery-Top Pine workboat, built by Harry Grinning in Strahan, launched in 1923.
OLGA performed as a Huon Pine raft tow-boat; (towing Huon Pine logs rafted together, from the Gordon River, across Macquarie Harbour, to the Grining's mill at Strahan) spent time as the Macquarie Heads pilot boat; was the Hobart Ports work boat when the Barnes Bay jetty was built, and she then spent time on the east coast out of Triabunna, adapted as a private pleasure boat, before spending her retiring days moored at Austen's Ferry.
She has been out of the water for some 25 years now, but much of her structure remains sound, and, after preparatory cleaning and removal of internal fitments, she is ripe for restoration. In the short term this means replacing all her Blackwood ribs - yes, acacia melanoxylon ... they steam beautifully, but they lack structural longevity, so out they must come.
I have already removed half the ribs that need replacing, but I need assistance to steam the new CTP ribs into position and then rove them into place; then remove the remaining half and replace those, and so it goes.
So, if any of the readership are interested in learning more about restoration, helping me get the project along a bit more, and/or want to get some hands on experience working on a larger boat, please give me a call or email.
As a boatbuilder and carpenter, I am open to bartering regards your project of choice, be it construction, maintenance or boat related - or if you only want to help for an hour or so, that'd be great too - it all adds up 'cause the roving fairies aren't visiting when I'm not home.
So if your interested, give me a call, write an email, or if passing by, drop in if the shed door is open.'