Leading Wind : inside story


What follows is a brief story of the rebirth of the interior of my Deben 4 Tonner Leading Wind.

I have already documented the restoration of Leading Wind from the start in January 2018 to the launch in September 2019 but the restoration of her insides began in ernest after she was reintroduced to the water. There was  an overlap between the restoration of the structure of the boat, therefore some of the following  internal photos have been shown before, however, in the interests of clarity here are some of them again. Above is the interior as it was when we started in 2018. In order to reach the rotten floors and  frames, the whole interior was taken out.

Here we see the badly degraded floor timbers and the frames which were later replaced with new green oak frames that were steamed and bent into shape before clenching with copper nails and rivets.


The garboard planks were removed and this scary photo shows the workshop floor in glorious technicolour


New oak floors went in first to maintain the integrity of the shape once the old frames started to come out and be replaced.


The old oak frames, ribs or timbers as they are also known were well past their sell by date and many were doubled up with sister frames alongside. Sadly during her time ashore in Bosham Leading Wind’s decks began to leak and the bilges filled up with rainwater, which rotted the ends of the frames necessitating the replacement of about 85% of them ! Salt water preserves wood but when ashore if you are aware that rainwater is getting in – it must be removed ASAP ! Good ventilation is also essential and the holes in the deck didn’t provide enough circulation of air – thus the boat was an ideal environment in which to cultivate rot !

Having decided to replace the deck stepped mast with a new one that went back where it was designed to go, we had to make a new wooden step which was a hefty piece of oak running fore and aft.

The hanging locker has swopped sides as the charcoal burning stove had to have a new home and as there was already a hole in the coachroof the chimney had to line up with it. Previously the hole was above the galley and there was a bronze ventilator (which had been pinched) conveniently placed pretty much where we needed it !

Her we see the new chain locker for’d of the vertical Sampson post.  The chain found it’s way into the locker and the ballast has since been relocated.

The rather shabby cabin sole has been returned and the porthand berth is taking shape. I will resurface the cork tiles !

Both the berth sides and the grey locker tops have been re installed


Here’s the engine cover and new step and it’s surprising the difference it makes climbing in and out of the boat !

Progress ss is being made and a galley and chart table are complete with Swedish Origo Cooker and Real Ale from Suffolk (courtesy of one of my life drawing students)



The locker tops are in the throws of being freshened up and the chemical toilet has been taken out of my loft where its been for 20+ years !


A marine ply structure is taking shape around the afore mentioned heads (loo ) and a further V shaped berth will be added with locker space around the heads.

Below is the latest shot of the for’d berth with lifting access (just above the blur masking tape) to the loo which  (in common with loo’s on coaches) will not be used unless it’s absolutely vital. When in her permanent berth, at Birdham Pool Marina, there are some lovely centrally heated facilities ! 


The last piece of the cabin sole (floor) is slotted around the mast and has been primed on the top and painted with grey bilge paint underneath. The top will be covered with a veneer of cork tiles to match the old existing floor. CNW 17.11.19

Getting into the festive spirit !


The story of the interior refit will continue throughout the winter and more updates will be added to this post later. . .



About chriswoodartist

painter, print-maker and illustrator

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