The photos presented show a chronology of the restoration project from the point at which old and worn out wood had been removed. It progresses through the stages of re-framing, planking the hull, laying the deck, fitting the rails, building the accommodation and fitting out which spanned a period of 5 years. Due to the economic downturn the project slowed midterm but has since regained momentum.
Exceptional levels of skill were needed throughout and our Master Shipwright, Andy Harman at St Osyth, guided and oversaw the entire programme, ensuring that work was being done in the most efficient manner.
The scale of the project is implied by the numbers; Thalatta is 90 feet long, 22 feet wide and weighs 90 tons unladen (she was able to carry 150 tons of cargo). The structure therefore had to be of appropriate strength, and the frames and planking reflect the requirement; frames are typically 12” square oak and 9 feet long and number about 100, the planking is two layers, each of 3” iroko… Much of the planking needed to be steamed in order to bend it to the complex shape. It is certain that Thalatta is now better built than originally since more time has been taken in the rebuild and power tools are now available. If she lasted 100 years which included a hard commercial life, she should last many decades in her relatively gentle training role, given careful maintenance.