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On this page we present the Full Restoration of a British Wooden Yacht;
performed by our team - in Bucharest Romania 2004-2006;
preceded by our
Sailing Passage of this 42 ft Soop from Italy Genova to Black Sea and up the Danube River.

This Audacious Project ; a First in East Europe; was intended to prove the feasibility of Classic Yacht Restoration Projects to Eastern Europe-Romania.

Andrew Thomas Owner and Initiator of this Classic Yacht Restoration Project deserves the credit for having had the courage to make this vision into reality.

Why go to all the trouble of have a wooden boat restored in the first place ?
For the boating and yachting afficionados such project may make sense from a series of reasons:

Yachts are High Tech Craft ; Classic Yachts are Part of European Cultural Heritage.

Why in Eastern Eu country? Due to the complexity and labor intensiveness of such undertaking; the costs of performing a Proper Artful Classic Yacht Restoration / rebuild in East Europe are much lower than same works performed in Western Europe.

Total total cost of an 20 years old wood boat plus its restoration cost - may be even lower than the price of a new fiberglass sail boat.

Today wood epoxy technologies allow the rebuilding of wood boats to a better than new condition.

In cases like the below Camper&Nicholson's sloop; a Designer Thoroughbred Classic Wood Yacht is a Craft of Beauty and Elegance; and much more sea worthy than the new fibergalss production boats.

One of the setbacks for such endeavors may be considered the transporation costs wich in the case of a +14 tons vessels may be quite substantial if by road/trucking.

This is why we chose to endeavor the sailing of this 42 ft Sloop from Italy to Romania; as well aiming to demonstrate this Classic Yacht Passage Making capabilities.

Its Superb Sea Behavior; strenght and reliability were more than demonstrated through the many gales and storms we encountered in our way; and the three groundings we succeeded to get ourselves out and sailing again of.

At the same time period as our Camper&Nicholson's Restoration project ; another Restoration Project was being performed in UK:
the restoration in 2004-2005v of Sail Yacht Gypsy Moth; the first to have performed a full circumnavigation.

Here a brief Log of our Sea Journey :

April12/2004 - We manoeuver classic racer sloop Rocquette off Marina Imperia-Italy for a 1800 Nautical Miles sailing passage to the Black Sea/Constantza /Romania .
Our crew of four licenced marine officers/skippers performes the passage round the clock, upon day and night watches.
May27/2004 -safe arrival in Constantza yacht harbor Tomis.
June05/2004 after a short sail from Constantza up the Danube river, Rocquette was being trucked cca 50 km frm the Danube river port Oltenitza to our hall/yard in Bucharest to undergo a major rebuild .

Quote Andrew Thomas/owner " this is a seminal vessel in the history of modern British ocean racing; built by Camper & Nicholsons in 1964 as the personal yacht of Peter Nicholson himself.
What really put Peter Nicholson's name on the yacht design map was the aptly named Rocquette which he owned and raced in 1964 before selling her.
Lightly constructed, with laminated mahogany frames and two skins of planking, she was the first British ocean racer to have a flush deck - made of two skins of plywood glued to laminated spruce deck beams - and had a small doghouse set well aft.
In her first year, 1964, she won the Gold Roman Challenge Cup in the Round-the-Island Race against a fleet of 325 boats, an outstanding achievement, and went on to win the Britannia Cup, the New York Yacht Club Cup, and the Coronation Bowl .
In 1966, Yachting World Annual described Rocquette as the first of " a distinctly new type of offshore racer " and her design led to later Peter Nicholson yachts such as Quiver IV and Noryema IV, who were both part of the victorious British Admirals Cup team of 1965 ,as well as influencing the Illingworth-designed Gypsy Moth IV of Sir Francis Chichester fame.

Accomodation comprise foredeak sail bin area,forecabin with double berth to port and single to starbord,portside wc compartment, with hanging locker opposite,main saloon with single settee/berth each side,chart table to starboard aft at bottom of companionway and quarter berth aft of this,galley to port,at bottom of companionway.
The vessel was designed to beat the Sparkman&Stephens designed "Clarion" of 1963.

Design: Peter Nicholson,Mere House, Hamble, Southampton
Builders:Caper & Nicholson's, Gosport, Hants, UK

LOA:41.93 ft
LWL:30.50 ft
Beam:10.85 ft
Draft:6.84 ft
Displacement:11.5 tons
Year of build 1963
Auxiliary engine:Volvo, 3cyl Marine Diesel No 840337K

Crew of four:
Baras George: OIL&GAS SEA GOING VESSEL licence,skipper licence;Micu Alexandru:champion/ "laser" sail class, skipper licence
Popsa Adrian:II-nd deck officer licence, Danube pilot licence; Andrei Rochian:II-nd deck officer licence.

The trip was interrupted by frequent force 7-8 storms and gales.
We continuosly kept watch on meteo web sites for 4-5 days weather forecasts.

Sailed off Imperia/14 April-Island of Corsica-Nettuno Italy-Stromboli-Messina-Badolato /Gulf Squilace-Island of Ithaca Greece-Missolonghy Gulf Patras -Korinth(EUR160 tax for the 13.10 meters boat)-Athens(marina Zea)-Island Of Kea at shelter violent storm)-Island Khios-Island Lesbos-09May-Channakale-Channnakale-Istanbul/Kadikoy-Bosphorus-Black Sea passage-Black Sea-Constantza/arrived Constantza 18 May/-Danube cruise-Oltenitza river port(60 km to Bucharest)Arrived at Oltenitza 28 May-Arrived at Bucharest/Iune 05.

Maximum speed under course 7.5 knts sail and motor.
Maximum speed on Danube river (against current )6 knts.

Rocquette Mediterranean Cruise photos at right
Races links and meteo forecasts web sites links at left


Our work is based on the survey carried out in Italy by Fraser Noble of Mc Gruer Yachts; for Mr. Andrew Thomas , on 25 and 26 June 2003

We went considerably further than the survey suggested, towards a complete rebuild and upgrading of the yacht.

All steel fastenings were completely removed from the hull and replaced by bronze or copper fastenings.
More than half of th mahogany frames were rotten at their bilge section; we cut off the rotten part and rebuilt by scarfed-in wood&epoxy laminations; epoxy capsulated.

All steel floors and frames , engine bearing support and mast bearing support were removed and replaced by wood laminated framing , wood laminated floors epoxy capsulated

Deck and transom were rebuilt.Bulwarks rebuilt in laminated wood.A laminated sheer plank is epoxy-fastened on the sheer.All steel deck screws were taken off and replaced by copper and bronze.The deck plywood was consolidated; all rot routered off; new scarfed in strips installed in way each screw row.
Rusted steel keel bolts were replaced by bronze keel bolts.
Cabin-to-deck bolts were rusted; replaced by bze bolts

Three layers veneer 1.7mm thickness each were West System cold molded(laminated) over the entire hull. First two layers diagonally; third layer longitudinally. Hull capsulated inside and outside in West System epoxy.

Deadwood was taken off; scarfed in new wood and epoxy capsulated original steel bolts replaced by newly manufactured bronze bolts.
Deck was reinforced by Dynel fabric impregnated and saturated with West System epoxy.

Dynel is high abrasion resistance and high strenght fabric ; set over the pre-existing plywood deck and impregnated and with epoxy resin upgrades the deck into considerably stronger composite structure.

Bulwarks were thickened to planking thickness by cold molding new wood on the outer surface.

Transom receives and extra outer layer cold moulding 5mm .

Rudder was Dynel&epoxy capsulated/reinforced.

As well were Dynel reinforced the stem amd transom.

Cavita line re-traced and routered as per original.

Lead ballast is re-positioned under keel.The new ballast bolts and bolt nuts were fabricated in bronze , now tightened ; 3M 501 sealant is generously set over the lead ballast surface and the keel surface to ensure good sealing.

Hull is being re-painted with Epifanes paints,SP systems primer. Topsides white; deck in antiskid;boottop blue;interior re-painted and re-varnished up to ten layers varnish.All paints and varnishes are Epifanes.

Diesel and equipments were reinstalled;batteries and new battery cables.

Diesel supporting structure prooved a serious challenge.

Mast step is produced is 15mm thick Stainless steel.
mast step steel structure was replaced by laminated wood structure.mast step platwe is fastened on top.
After launching, we verify the mast bearing structure to be only some 2-4 mm higher than the original ; wich is a very good success.

Blue boottop above waterline is painted.Photo of Rocquette at Lavrion shows we got it right.

Electrical wiring and equipment were reinstalled.

Thruhulls and seacocks were reinstalled in 3M sealant. Plumbing was re-installed.

The 11 tons sloop was loaded&trucked frm Bucharest to Constantza.

Re-launching was performed Sept 11 in Constantza harbor.Rigging was reinstalled.We succeeded building in the new mast framing structure at precisely the same height as the original one; the re-rigging was a 15min operation.

First test sailing between Constantza harbour and Tomis harbour at Sept12006.

Rocquette sailed off Tomis Marina Constantza at 13 Sept 2006.

After sailig through the Bosphorous, and Channakale, S/Y Rocquette , manned by an international crew of four British (Andrew,Tony, Eoin,Brian )and one French (Clemence Picolet) accomplished a 600 NM sail passage to Lavrion Greece 2006.


xxl sailing arround the clock 2000 miles

beginning by having the 42 ft sloop lifted and surveyed

cleaned the hull bottom hoping for a gain in speed

displacing 12 tons the camper&nicholsons classic sloop was being kept at imperia italy

halfaway home alongside in lesvos

main cabin the salon with berths laterally and diesel under table

mile after mile south to volcano stromboli and messina then north towards greece

motor sailing on the sea to danube channel

original 1962 plans were located and copied in order to do an accurate restoration

our mediterranean sailing passage 2004

danube floating crane lifts boat out to truck

danube to bucharest and inside our yard

boat loaded here on trailer for a 50 km road journey to bucharest

diesel was taken out and rebuilt

half of mahogany frames were rotten at bilge section

hull planking rebuilt

hull was turned 90 degrees

lead ballast keelbolts were replaced

mast bearing step and floors were badly corroded

new laminated framing and floors and new bronze fastenings

observe the rebuilt deck

position for gravity to help epoxy adhesion

this is how rusted steel floors were

transom was rebuilt by cold molded core plus veneers epoxy capsulated

west system veneer epoxy cold molding

deck was reinforced and sheerstrake added

rusted fastenings cabin to deck

deadwood off

deck reinforced with epoxy saturated dynel

new bronze ballast bolts

starbord cold molding complete

transom cold moulding

cold moulding

bilges painted white

coppercoat antifouling on

diesel reconnected

diesel was reconditioned

lead ballast back in place

new stainless mast step

re varnishing epifanes

ready for launching

rocquette loading

rocquette trucked at constanta harbor

sept 11 006 rocquette launching costantza harbour

after launching

after launching cabin

after launching forward

after launching manoeuvering

after launching rebuilt deck

after launching rigging on

after launching rocquette baptising by owner andrew

after restoration rocquette at tomis harbor prepares to sail

after restoration cockpit

after restoration deck reinforced with dynel and painted antiskid epifanes

after restoration deck revarnished mahogany

after restoration in quiet greek waters

after restoration interior

after restoration nav station

after restoration stainless rail

The PassageMaker Magazine

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