Dolly is about to get a rude awakening after 25 years.
Dolly has been out of the water for twenty five years and some restoration was started but not completed. Luckily although outside she has been well sheeted in and the major structure has faired well although there is much shrinkage after all that time ashore.
The first move will be to get her to Weymouth and indoors where proper evaluation of the restoration task can begin.
Much of Dolly is in remarkable condition despite her nearly 150 years of age. However although we have some very good parts we also have some horror stories such as her stem.
We have so far crawled around the boat with her sheeting still in place and at this time we are not going to remove it. Remarkably she has remained dry and well ventilated and we won’t be uncovering her till she is inside. First job will be to 3D image her all over so we have a nice working reference. This work will be carried out by our great friend Simon Brown.
The red line shows her as built in 1872 for the Puskins fishing family and the black line as she was altered to make her faster. At this time we have a combination of the two as her bow remains as the black line but her keel follows the red line. Dolly was unusual at the time because she carried all her ballast externally in the keel which weighed six tons and was removed after her racing days. A lesser amount of pig iron was then placed inside her as she was only carrying around 300 square feet of sail when she last sailed. The iron has been removed and we will be restoring Dolly back to the black line and once again she will carry her ballast externally.
After the first inspection, it was clear to Grahame that there was no way on earth we could let Dolly rot in a field, or even worse – be burned as firewood. So The Rescue began…
First up was to move Dolly from her current resting place, in a field near Wool, Dorset. This is where the expertise and know-how of Dave Caddy, of Kingfisher Marine came in handy. Dave organised the lifting, transport and storage side of things, and we can’t thank him enough for his help sorting this out for us.
Here are a few images of the recovery and relocation of Dolly: