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One of my favorite YouTube channels, Sampson Boat Co, is doing just that: a young shipwright is rebuilding the classic sailing yacht Tally Ho piece by piece, in a modest workshop by the sea up in Oregon. It will be all new by the time he’s done, minus some hardware, but he has never lost continuity with the original hull.

This is just how wooden boats are, whether you do it bit by bit, or as a big project, eventually you replace just about all of it every 100 years or so.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg-_lYeV8hBnDSay7nmphUA






Thank you for this. Occasionally you find gems like this on YouTube. One of my favourite channels is Nik Rijavec's, who is building a house from scratch (so not a rebuild). There is something really pure and real about the way he makes his video, and is not only about the woodworking: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMjAl_0yeKwUAQ2A3tQFcnA

Craft youtube is the best

>This is just how wooden boats are, whether you do it bit by bit, or as a big project, eventually you replace just about all of it every 100 years or so.

If you replace one specific part of the shit(Keel), it is by law a new ship. It needs to be accredited again if it is to be used commercially.


Reminds me of a story from a morning radio show. Guy calls in to say how he "legally" stole a car. Steals expensive car, strips it, abandons frame. Frame is collected and put up for auction. Thief buys bare frame and puts all the stripped parts back on.

It is definitely car theft. This is just a way of getting a clean (-ish) title for it afterwards. In the USA, it will still be a salvage title.

It is definitely car theft. But...if he claimed that he parked the car in this neighborhood and came back to find it stripped he could conceivably get away with it.

That's an interview I would like to listen to


> It is definitely car theft. But...if he claimed that he parked the car in this neighborhood and came back to find it stripped he could conceivably get away with it.

That sounds more like insurance fraud, actually. Which you can also get sued for.


I wonder how this is legal. I mean you might not be held accountable for car theft anymore, but being prosecuted for normal theft is still possible, right?

It's definitely still car theft. They just avoided getting caught.

As someone who used to work around the kind of people and organizations who own vintage (like 1960s on down) wooden boats I assure you almost nobody except the museum nonprofits that own restored/replica tall ships cares in the slightest about having proper government papers to accompany your new keel. It's often actively avoided in practice.

A lot of times the chain of custody and the history is what makes a boat valuable or interesting and government recognition of the new boat is the difference between the original and the replica in a lot of people's eyes because without that recognition there is one boat and with it there is two, a real one and a replica. Sometimes people just work done right and if the hassle of creating a "new" vessel in the eyes of the government can be reasonable avoided it will be (but this is rare reason, most of these people would rather buy a different boat, nobody does that kind of work on a boat that isn't historically interesting or of sentimental value).

It's common (as common as something can be in a niche part of a wealthy people's hobby) to have a boat in crap shape and park it in a shop, deconstruct it enough to take critical measurements and then rebuild it in the adjacent bay starting from the keel using all new material and then reinstall all the original fittings, hardware, etc, etc, off the original boat.

So yeah, you're "supposed" to re-title the boat with a new title in the same way that you're "supposed" to drive 55mph on a four lane interstate highway. In my observation the fraction of people who do what they're "supposed" to is about similar and those people tend to be motivated by special circumstances.

I assume commercial vessels follow the letter of the law but you don't exactly see a lot of commercial vessels getting keel repairs short of scrapping the vessel (or selling it overseas) and buying a new one.


Is this a western or US based law?

I would like to know too. Maritime law is fascinating. It's by nature an international affair, yet it still manages to be convoluted by borders.

That is one absolutely amazing job. Wonder what his timetable looks like.

He's two years away from launching, and has been for at least two years now (this is Leo's joke, not me criticising his project)

Hehe, a bit like fusion then. Well, here's to hoping that he gets it completed in his lifetime and that he gets to take her out on the maiden voyage and that all works out well. It is an incredible undertaking, I just watched some of his joinery videos, him doing stuff 'without getting too fancy about it' is workmanship level that I can only aspire to and know that I'll never reach it.

I think he's probably pretty close to the actual two year mark at this point. The bulk of the really big, heavy, structural stuff is done (getting it reframed was a big milestone). Still tons to do, obviously, but an increasingly large percentage of the remaining work is stuff that can be done efficiently by one person.

I've done my share of house rebuilding. The last 10% are 90% of the time. Boats likely are no different. The sailboats that were overhauled at the sailmaker where I worked (ages ago) just came in for new rigging and sails and that could already be a pretty major job (redoing the stay mounts in the deck for instance could turn up all kinds of nasty details). This is pretty much building a very large boat from scratch by one guy recycling the keel and some very small percentage of the bits. I can hardly believe that he started the job to begin with, that's a sign of extreme confidence right there. It is hard for me to express how impressed I am by this. Can't wait to see what it looks like when it is done.

Episode 38 was about as real as it gets for me. We all know somebody, somebody's father, or somebody's uncle with a similar passion for woodworking, equally similar "digit reduction," same explanation, "yeah, stupid mistake, my fault," and a new respect for the tools of the trade.

Thank you for the link.


Wait, he lost a finger in the episode? Or it was about how he hurt himself during the work?

Either way -- whoa.


1/2" (or more) off the tip of his finger. Then, after an overt warning and short delay to let you get ready -- showed it.

At one time I worked with a guy who had lost the index and middle fingers of his left hand. He used to raise it up and say "peace!" Then laugh and put a cigarette in between what remained. Great guy to work with but as you say -- whoa.


I'm glad to hear of another follower! Do you also follow SV Seeker? Ignoring a recent stunt, it's been a really interesting process to follow. So many skills go into boat building.

I do, and Acorn to Arabella! Definitely learn a lot from each. Leo is amazing with volunteers and creating a collaborative atmosphere. Plus beautiful joinery. Doug dispenses the life wisdom and the metalwork side. Steve and Alex show you the whole process, tree to boat, and the day to day of what it takes to make progress. Love all three channels.

To 'not lose continuity' you only have to keep one piece. Save the compass from the original, keep it in your pocket as you build, and is it 'the same boat'?

Washington, not that it changes your point.



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