Projects

Lifeboat ahoy

Real Journeys staff brought two wooden lifeboats from the historic steamship, “Earnslaw”, down to our Invercargill workshop this winter, with the instructions “Please give them a spruce up”.

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Wood lifeboat after 0305
Wood lifeboat after 0306
Lifeboat deck 0970
RJ Earnslaw lifeboat 5
Lifeboat mould 0273
Lifeboat mould 0322

Real Journeys staff brought two wooden lifeboats from the historic steamship, “Earnslaw”, down to our Invercargill workshop this winter, with the instructions “Please give them a spruce up”.

Our workshop crew set about cleaning the interiors, tidying up some cosmetic details and repainting the gunwales.

Both 700kg lifeboats looked ‘spiffing’, as they were loaded back onto road trailers and returned to Queenstown. See if you can spot the original diagonal planking, plus the wrought iron tiller and lifting rings.

Meanwhile the “Earnslaw” itself, a 105-year-old tourist icon, was up on its slipway at Frankton Arm (Queenstown) for annual maintenance. Stan and Reece, our F-I boat-builders, re-caulked its wooden deck with modern urethane sealant.

In addition, Real Journeys asked us to make a mould of the lifeboat hull shape. They wanted the future option of creating authentic-looking lifeboats for the Earnslaw, but made from low-maintenance fibreglass, unlike the 100-year-old wooden vessels.

So while the lifeboats were with us, we chose which hull to copy, then carefully made a temporary dividing ‘fence’ for the split mould. Many layers of wax polish and release agent later, we started to create the fibreglass mould. After several lamination sessions, followed by curing and bracing, the completed mould was removed and stored for the future. End result is that another classic boat has been ‘future-proofed’.

Each day, Real Journeys offer a range of Earnslaw trips on Lake Wakatipu – why not book on one?

Check out Real Journeys’ video about the TSS Earnslaw.

30 Oct 2017 - Fiberglass and composites_ Shipwright Boat Services_ Projects