Replacement of the Gunwale

When I bought “Faneromeni” her gunwale was already seriously worn down, particularly the bakalaris (μπακαλάρης) that apparently had never been painted, not even when “Faneromeni” was built. Consequently it was rotten—the wood was like a sponge.

At that time I judged that this was not a critical problem, and since its rectification required considerable effort, I decided to postpone repairs for the time being.

But by 2000 it was time to address this issue.

After the successful replacement of the keel by the Koupetoris Shipyard, I did not have to decide whom to commission for this task. So in February of 2000 work on the replacement of the gunwale began at the Koupetoris Shipyard.

The worn frame ribs after the removal of the gunwale.

(Archive of Nikos E. Riginos)

First the old gunwale was removed, only to reveal a new problem. The tops of the frame ribs, at the point where they meet the gunwale, were worn down and rotten. The rotting bakalaris was the main cause of rot on the ribs. These worn ribs, then, obviously had to be restored before any other work could proceed.

After much thought and many discussions with the shipyard crew and with other experts, I concluded that the ribs should be restored with epoxy resin. During this restoration, my friend Vasilis Zairopoulos played a decisive role because of his considerable experience with epoxy resins. With his own hands Vasilis had constructed a wooden sailboat using this material.

The construction of the new gunwale began after the reconstruction of the ribs. The photographs in the following links illustrate the processes of rib reconstruction and subsequent construction of the new gunwale:

•First, the removal of the old gunwale.
•The reconstruction of the ribs.
•The construction of the new gunwale

“Faneromeni” is very happy to float again after the completion of all her reconstructions!!!

Salamis, April 2000.

(Archive of Nikos E. Riginos)