Tom Sherrin has a new tin hat

Just Alan, Paul and myself braved the freezing cold today. After taking the usual Covid precautions we got to work on  the shelter adding some extra bracing to the frame and then to complete the roof. We experienced some problems due to a mismatch between sheets. The width of the roof is covered by the pairing of a 6ft sheet overlapped by a 10ft sheet, both described as being 42″ wide and all delivered from the same supplier. However the 6 footers actually measured 42.5″ whilst the 10 footers were 41.5″ . The one inch difference caused a few headaches! Notwithstanding the task was completed by 2pm and we were very glad to head for the warmth of home.

The next stage will be to clad the scaffolding entirely in polythene shrink-wrap. Let’s hope that we don’t have to wait until this National Lockdown ends. We are only allowed to work on Saturdays now because the Yard is otherwise closed to business. Sunday working is not allowed under the Industrial Estate rules. This is going to be a long haul.

A Tin Hat at last!



The Shelter is taking shape

Alan Jones, Karl Chant, Paul Roberts, Mike Diprose and myself turned out to put a shift in to get some progress on building the shelter. We are now in Tier 4 so started the day off taking everyone’s temperature with our new IR contactless thermometer, no symptoms declared, scanning the Track & Trace Q code on the gate, issuing hard hats, visors, tools etc and got stuck in.

By the end of the day, 4 pm as we lose the daylight, the framework was up and we had 4 roof-sheets on

December in Poole

In the week following Tom Sherrin’s arrival in Poole, there is very little to report due not only to continuous rain and high winds but mainly to the 2nd Lockdown which ended on 2nd December and was replaced by Tier 2 restrictions. On the Monday I gave a Zoom talk to the Poole MVS on the restoration which encouraged people with useful skills to come forward and volunteer to help.

A meeting arranged with the Boatyard owner to discuss the way forward was postponed twice and finally took place on Tuesday 8th on the boat with him and Harry, a shipwright, and Alan and myself. This proved very useful and included most aspects ranging from Covid precautions, risk assessments, insurance both theirs and ours, works that require Shipwright assistance and the erection of a suitable shelter.

On 14th December, I took delivery of the corrugated iron roof sheets and stowed them by the boat. Five days later on Saturday 19th, 4 of us, Alan, Dave Ranger, Spencer and myself made a start on the scaffolding but after a while it became apparent that there were insufficient tubes and fittings to complete the job. I took stock and ordered more which were delivered before Christmas and these were also stowed beneath the boat. Some more of the framework was assembled on New Year’s Eve but it was slow going.


Back Home in Poole at last!

After 5 years since MVS Tom Sherrin travelled by sea from Poole to Portsmouth, she has finally returned home rather ignominiously by road! However we are really pleased that at least now we are back in control and can crack on with completing her restoration. The IBTCP have not done any work on her since August 2019 and all the work carried out since was done by MVS volunteers which came to an end with the first Lockdown at the end of March.

On the plus side she has had 3 months in the cut rehydrating and the planking has largely taken up although unfortunately she has been sunk in the cut, the shakes in the keel are now all full of mud and the freshly painted bilges all now need cleaning out and pressure washing. We have covered her over with tarps for now and the next job will be to erect a shelter from scaffolding which the Yard has available on site.

Arrived and preparing to lift
over the fence







Coming in to land!
final resting place for a while
Alan washing off the mud

Our last excursion to Portsmouth

At 0830 this morning Alan and I arrived at the van hire depot in Poole and swapped our car for a Luton van before heading off for Portsmouth for the very last time. Having cleared through the Dockyard security our escort arrived to lead us through the Naval Base to Boathouse 4. Sophie was our host today and was very well prepared having previously palletised all our loose gear in readiness and speeded up the loading no end with her excellent fork-lift driving skills. The van had plenty of room and took all of our equipment and materials and after a swift bite of lunch we were back on the road again to MVS Poole in the Port of Poole.

On arrival we were glad to find a number of MVS volunteers had turned out to help us unload and stow everything away. All we need now is our beloved boat back. Unfortunately we have more delays due to the cranes in B4 being out of action.

Some Progress at last?

At last I am hopeful of a move for Tom Sherrin very soon. The boat that was occupying our space in a very crowded boatyard apparently sold on Ebay last Monday and when the buyer makes contact with the boatyard owner he will insist that it is removed immediately. He is aware that we need as much notice as possible to re-book the transport and for the Naval Dockyard security requirements and so will telephone me as soon as he knows when the boat will be gone.

In the meantime I am trying to get some space cleared in our Poole store to take the equipment which we will be collecting in a van. It would be a great help if bulky items like the fuel tanks and the steel saveall could be refitted into the Engine Room for transporting in the boat. The engine and new propshaft will be transported with the boat on the flatbed.

I am looking forward to some action at last and whilst it is good news that Tom Sherrin has been rehydrating all this time and has plimmed up well, it will be great to have her back in Poole and crack on with the work and get her completed –

  and on the water again!!!

Return to Boathouse 4

Yesterday Alan and I made the trip to Portsmouth in order to locate all our equipment and materials in readiness to ship back to Poole. Ollie met us at the Main Gate to ensure we were allowed in. The Boathouse was very quiet with only a skeleton staff in to run the course for the new cohort of students.

The tide was low but Tom Sherrin was sitting in the cut afloat with the help of a pump.

With help from James and Sophie we managed to find all our equipment and materials with the exception of our new propshaft which Tiger has managed to stash away in some hiding place of his own. We took some photos to send to the transport company to show where he has to turn outside and reverse through the doors and park for the boat loading and took a note of the door height to ensure that he can exit with the boat loaded. Fingers crossed we have calculated correctly. Altogether a very useful visit.

TS hibernation ends

Some news at last. The Dockyard and Boathouse 4 remain closed but a skeleton staff have come out of furlough to prepare the Boathouse to be Covid friendly in time for a 1st September start for the new student intake. In order to make sufficient space, some of the boats are being removed including Tom Sherrin. Yesterday, she was put into the wet dock without any sealant in the cracks where she quickly sank but according to Diggory, they were quite pleased that today she appears to be taking up quite well and is floating almost on her marks with the help of a pump onboard. They are hoping to put her alongside a pontoon later. The hole for the sterntube is plugged and presumably also the cockpit drains and exhaust pipe. She will need a coverall outside to keep the weather out as the cockpit rebuild has not been completed, the wheelhouse windows have not been refitted or the coachroof engine hatch.

shaft log is plugged!

Corona virus update from IBTCP

Email from Head of School reads as follows:

I am writing to let you know that Boathouse 4 and the IBTC Portsmouth College are closed in line with Government advice, and the Boathouse 4 and College team is furloughed as of 1st April. There is therefore no access to Boathouse 4 for the time being and we will not be in contact for the next couple of months.

So I guess it is Goodbye from them and Goodbye from us for a while!!

Corona virus update

The Government has declared a lockdown situation and the MVS HQ has imposed a ban on all MVS activity and all our Unit premises and craft locked and out of bounds.

So it looks like we have another long delay.

Keep safe all our readers




The Tom Sherrin Restoration Project is managed by the Poole Unit of the Maritime Volunteer Service.

Ⓒ MVS Poole 2018. Registered Charity Number: 1048454 / SCO39269