1920's Gaff Ketch 'Patna'
Published: Friday, 23rd October 2009
An interesting project going through our workshop is the complete rig for a 1920's built gaff ketch 'Patna'.
being restored by the talented David Walkie and his team in Gweek Quay,
Cornwall, she is owned and project managed by the experienced Greg
Powsland of 'Marigold' fame. Originally designed as a gaff ketch, she
was converted to carry a Bermudian rig at some point early on in her
carer, and carried this rig to this day.
Although the majority of the rig will be replaced with new Sitka Spruce spars, it has been decided to try and modify the early Bermudan main mast into a pole mast, and therefore the top 14' was cut off and the main 50' section was shipped back to our workshops for work to begin. With the discovery of a small area of rot and with no internal wiring together with the problem with the position of solids, the decision was made to cut the mast in half for closer inspection.
10" is diameter this is no easy feat, but with the correct jigs and a
large diameter skill saw work began. With no ventilation in the main
hollow section of the mast, the musty smell was very apparent when the
hollow section was broken into, sealed away for many years. Unsure to
the actual age of the mast, it was very enlightening to see when finally
opened up, that the shapers has all initialed the interior dated it at
'11th December 1929'. Also next to there initials they had drawn a
picture of a holly leaf and a turkey with Christmas obviously in their
minds. After 80 years it was wonderful to see their proud workmanship,
and it has inspired us to continue their work and no doubt we will leave
out mark before closing up the mast once again.
More details will follow as the project progresses.