Harbour Marine Services

Incorporating Southwold & Ipswich Boatyards


Nic Seal brought his 46ft twin screw Silverleaf to Harbour Marine Services after a recommendation from the owners of ‘Gralian’ and then a visit from John Buckley to their home in Cowes.

She came up to Southwold and work was started on her. The main work was a new deck. When John understood from Nic that he planned to take ‘Chinda’ down to the Mediterranean, he recommended they install a ply deck with epoxy recesses to achieve a complete monocoque structure for strength instead of just a teak deck and then the original triple-diagonal teak deck was laid on top of this. This will be much more resilient in the strong Mediterranean sun and also stiffens her up considerably.

Unfortunately during one of her re-fits in the past, anodes had been put onto the A brackets, the shaft logs, and also onto several planks. This had caused significant electrolysis and meant that the brackets, shaft logs and the garboards had to be replaced. A new laminated floor was built right across the stern to support the frames, new stern tubes were added and new keel bolts fitted. In addition to this new bearers were built for the two new 72hp Yanmar engines. These replaced two 52hp units which had been there since 1962.

New diesel, water and holding tanks were designed and installed, with the fuel tanks relocated to the engine room, which left space for a large lazarette below the afterdeck. The vessel also needed to be completely re-wired.

Externally the planks in the break of shear were replaced with Brazilian mahogany together with new Cascover sheathing for the aftermost 26ft. The portlights were all re-chromed and re-seated. Nic was keen for ‘Chinda’ to have a real chrome feel on deck and this was duly done. Interestingly it was discovered after the chroming was done that it was almost identical to what was on her originally in 1946 when she was ‘Lady Dot II’.

The rear of the wheel-house was also rebuilt to accommodate an external helm and to help conceal the new electronics. Below decks the original feel of the vessel has been maintained despite redesigning a new galley.

3rd May 2024

The HMS team have been pulling out all the stops and Chinda is looking fabulous with her newly painted hull and varnished bright work. She is nearing completion.

24th April 2024

With the hull repairs complete and prepped for painting, the superstructure and wheelhouse have been varnished and the new Raymarine chart plotter installed. The engineers have been busy carrying out their repairs and maintenance and the transport is booked and the whole project is coming together and nearing completion. There is still a lot to finish and the project timeline is looking tight, but the great team at HMS will do it!

15th February 2024

Great progress is being made on the planking on Chinda, the planks are in the process of being fared and are ready to be plugged. Then we can begin caulking the seams.

1st February 2024

With the stem repair completed the next stage is to fit the new planking using Douglas fir, Paul is a master at replanking a lot of the vessels that come through HMS.

26th January 2024

The HMS team are making good progress on the complex repair to Chinda and the new laminated stem has been shaped to suit. Today John and Paul were assessing where to cut back the timbers to stagger the joints in the replacement planking as per Lloyds requirements. The engineering team have been busy sorting the shaft alignment and have replaced the cutlass bearings and have burnished the propellers making them shine beautifully.

16th January 2024

The next task on this complex repair is to take out all the rot and then repair the stem, this has been done by laminating layers of oak to the solid wood and clamping them in place. Then we have been able to remove the other rotten wood ready for repair.

The engineering team have also been busy replacing the cutlass bearings and sorting out the alignment issues.

12th January 2024

With Chinda in the shed for the winter having all the varnish stripped off this is the perfect opportunity to investigate her hull condition, unfortunately we have discovered some areas of rot in the timbers on the stem and in the front planking. This is no problem, however it is a complex and time consuming repair. There is no easy access so a bulkhead has been removed to the anchor locker. Now the rot is being cut out so the repair can be made.

While the rot is being removed the rest of the boat is being sanded in preparation for new varnish and the port lights have been removed and sent off for re-chroming. And the bollards have been sent off for re-galvanising.

7th December 2023

Chinda is now tucked up in the boat shed for the real works to begin. The port lights are in the process of being carefully removed so the sanding and varnishing can begin.

16th November 2023

Chinda has come back to HMS for a winter refit and refresh.

A firm favourite of the HMS team she is a well travelled beauty who normally resides in Cornwall. She arrived on transport with @squirrelmarineboattransport yesterday. She is now awaiting a slot in the schedule before she comes inside the boat shed.

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