In the spring of 2014, I was lucky enough to be part of a project to build and sail a leather & wooden stone-age boat on the west coast of Norway. The story of the original build and maiden voyage of Havelgen can be found here.
This year, the boat was passed to a new owner in Denmark, Martin Dannevang. The boat was dissassembled in order to be shipped to it's new land, so I was called in as one of the original builders, along with Børje Møster the original owner/builder, to check on the status of the boat, and help put everything back together and made shipshape.
It was fascinating to see how the boat has fared after three years in the sea. The leather hull had taken on plenty of marine life with shells clinging everywhere under the water line, and there was the odd spot of mould here and there but she was still very much sea worthy. We decided to carefully strip/scrape the outer hull and give it a good oil from both sides, then adding a fresh layer of tar to the outside along the waterline and voila, good as new! The rest of the work was more reassembling everything in the correct order and just giving each piece some tlc before refitting.
The elkskin hull after being in the sea for three years.
The new custodian of Havelgen, Martin Dannevang.
Scraping shells from the hull and fixing some planking on the keel
A little keel damage and some lac to remove from the hull
Connecting the two hulls together via the platform beams and bent boughs for tensioning the outrigger.
Adding some additional planks to shore up the frame inside the hull.
Fixing the keel damage at the stern
Oiling the leather and wood
Serious task planning...
fixing the spraydeck for the bow of the main hull
Fitting the restitched and oiled spraydeck over the bow
Testing the main sail
Left to right: Hamish Half-Goat, Ryan Yellowlees, Martin Dannevang, Børje Møster (original owner/builder)
A final celebration after getting Havelgen seaworthy again!
We look forward to seeing Havelgen sail the seas once again in the near future, and wonder what new adventures it will have.
If you would like to get involved with Havelgen, especially if you have any boat building or sailing experience, you can join the Facebook group Havelgen to learn more.