by Adrian Arquati
(Emsworth, Porsmouth, UK)

We are about to begin a complete, a full restoration on a 1928 twin screw twin mast 50 foot motor cruiser built by John Thorneycroft at Hampton Middlesex.

I am a boat virgin and would like any help, non negative comments advice tips from anyone who is interested or can be of any help to me.

She is now out out the water I am about to clean her off with a jet wash.

The boat is in sound order for her age and has undergone extensive work over the last two years.

We hope to bring "Enola" back to her former glory so if u can help please get in touch

First question is on restoring “Enola’s” pine decks >>>>

Comments for enola

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Progress so Far
by: adrian

Have gutted out the forward wheelhouse to bow head and with help, replaced flooring timbers and secured them.

Also replaced a bulk head support timber on the starboard side due to rot.

Stripped off windlass stanchions and handrail and removed the fibreglass covering exposing yellow pine decks we are going too marine ply and 18mm epoxy cloth around Feb March weather permitting.

I removed loads of paint and sanded panels and ribs and have started to danboline at the bow head.

Have a mate repairing a 1metre patch in the hull.

Still a few bits of very small rot to sort out but remain undeterred.

Wishing u good yule and fair weather.

by: Mike

Great work Adrian, wonderful to know that "Enola" is being brought back to life.

If you should wish to add more photographs to your page you can submit then as another page here where you can add a further 4 photos.

Or you can email them to me at Mike at DIY Wood Boat as attachements.

I will then do any resizing etc and add them to your page for you.

Progress so far
by: Anonymousadrian and suzie

We have now completely removed all the fore deck fittings and stripped off the fiber glass covering the yellow pine decks, cleaning up all the beams before laying 18 mm ply as advised by three shipwrights.

New floor supports forward fitted and secure.

Starboard bulkhead support beam renewed and fitted.

Made a good start in removing paint and have exposed a small amount of rot in the oak prow but all this will be cut out and renewed as we find it.

I am learning fast and love this wooden lady and am hands on as many hours as I can.

We have many photos and will post them when I learn how.

Will update you all soon and thank you,

Any advice is welcome,


stripping paint methods
by: Anonymous

Thank you for the feedback regards soda stripping

I will research all options due to start the decks this July keep the advice coming.

by: William

Symblast and The Farrowsystem will require sanding after.

The finish to the wood will be good enough for painting.

Sanded with an orbital sander using the correct grit paper will give good results providing you know how to use a power tool correctly.

Sand by hand a large boat is hardly an option unless you have an Army behind you.

Neither could you expect anyone to be applying chemical paint remover over anti-foul whilst laying on their back.

Hand tools on large uneven areas are inferior to power tools simply because the operator will become tired much quicker.

The builders of boats opted for power tools as soon as they were available.

Nelsons Navy would never had been built with hand tools had todays alternatives been available.

by: Brian

What Nathan said.

Nothing should blast wood with any kind of abrasive, wet or dry.

Chemical strip, scrape with a dull scraper, then hand, yes by hand, no power tools, sanding with a long block to prevent the waves and ripples you'll get with power stripping and sanding.

Wooden boats are special works of art which need special handling and refinishing.

Soda stripping leaves a beautiful, shiny finish on a steel car body, and leaves nothing where there was rust.

I'm afraid of what it would do to the different densities of the wood.

by: William

www.Symblast.com and the Farrow system are worth a look.

Symblast quoted me £900 to remove the anti-foul and the paint around the topsides of my 40' wooden boat.

It will be done in less than a day.

I have recommend Symblast for GRP work before.

What you need to know is have they done it before?

As Andy said give them clear instructions and stay around.

Wet Abrasive
by: Andy

I agree with the previous comment...but in the right hands, anything is possible.

I would recommend a wet abrasive system over soda blasting.

Contact Atlantic Green Pro from NJ or Farrow Systems for more info.

I've seen how they can remove layer after layer of paint with more control than sand blasting or soda blasting.

The most important thing is to be a big part of the process.

Get into the tent and explain what you want from the operator.

Most, (bottom) jobs get screwed up because the owner walks away thinking the contractor knows what he wants.

Pay attention!!!!!

Soda Blasting
by: Nathan

I would have concerns about blasting wood with any media.

Wood has soft areas and hard areas in the grain as wood ages it looses its oils and generally get weaker.

When u blast it is very easy to hollow the softer areas of the wood leaving the harder grain high you can very quickly end up with a wavey mess that needs lots of fairing.

It's not fun but tried and true long board sanding is always best

Media-blasting with baking soda?
by: Carl

I was wondering the same thing about concrete hulls.

Can't say for sure how that would affect the wood, but it was one of the methods that United Airlines was looking into for aircraft skins at one time (decades ago actually).

Supposed to be easier on the parts being blasted as well as cooler.

by: Adrian

Hull of "Enola" almost cleaned off and all looks good.

One of the propeller blades has damage and will need replacing, rudders and prop-shafts all ok, hull and upper paint work will be stripped and repainted after I have dealt with the decks.

Has anyone had soda stripping done is it ok for "Enola" I am considering it any comments?

by: Robert Adshead


I would just like to wish you well with your exciting new project and say stick with it and ignore the small-minded people with their negative comments who no doubt measure others by their own small achievements or low-level aspirations.

I've been struck by the number of people out there who make such remarks and thought today how I am so going to savor the time my endeavors prove them wrong.

Yesterday I had someone who was a complete stranger & knows nothing about me & my skills telling me that I wouldn't get my boat to a high standard of finish.


by: Adrian

Yes mike that's her I will update it thank you I will post more soon.

by: Mike

Is this the "Enola" advertised here?

If so I‘d better mark her up as having been sold.

Photos of her can be found here.

She is a magnificent vessel and I wish you all the best with her restoration.


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