Meeting at Cserve Ltd

Myself, Alan and the proprietor Chris Somner met to discuss getting back to work during the gradual easing of the Lockdown regulations. We explained to him our 3 main initial priorities ie the hull integrity, the cockpit rebuild to Coded cat 3 surveyors requirements and the replacement of the wheelhouse roof and windows.

This would require him to re-bore the deadwood and reinstall the sterntube and propshaft. He informed us that as the new deadwood had a misaligned pilot-boring already done by the Portsmouth College it would have to be removed by MVS and a new one made by him. This is a big setback and we will have to source a massive hunk of timber from somewhere. (The Portsmouth one was made out of a timber fished out of Portsmouth harbour and believed to be about 150 years old!!)

It was agreed that the MVS would replace the wheelhouse roof and also do the hull exterior. He recommended to abrade the hull clean and apply underwater primer. The MVS would also complete the cockpit rebuild. We would not be allowed into the workshops or to use any of their tools or machinery but if we gave them the dimensions, they would cut the timber for us and also carry out epoxy sheathing where required. He promised to install a metered electric supply out in the Yard that we could access for using power tools.

Further discussion ensued concerning Covid-19 safe working procedures, (Maximum 2 MVS personnel on site at anytime), domestic arrangements such as use of toilets, parking, beverages etc and a promise to review these measures on 17th May 2021

It will be good to get back to work, albeit slowly

new shaft-log that now has to be removed! The 6 bronze bolts go right through to the bottom of the keel!!

Tom Sherrin is made at home snug and dry

Another Saturday and another opportunity to make some progress. Four of us arrived in the morning, myself, Alan, David Ost and Brian Margetson. After the usual Covid19 palaver of temperature taking etc we set to with the propane gun, tape and plastic sheeting. We started on the South West side 25ft x 13ft was a huge single sheet of heavy plastic to handle and we were glad of 4 pairs of hands. By lunchtime we had it finished and after a break we started on the stern end of the shelter. Once that was done, we used a large tarpaulin to sheet the awkward shaped bow end. Finally completed we gave each other a socially distanced pat on the back and headed for home.

The Northwest face
TS is in there somewhere!

Slow progress is better than none

Today is Saturday so no staff on the premises and we can be allowed in, just two of us, Alan and I. After donning our masks and taking each others temperature and declaring no Covid symptoms, we went to work. Chris was on hand to lend us his propane heat gun. By the end of play we had succeeded in shrink-wrapping the full length of the area between our roof and that of the existing lower roof.

looks better from a distance!

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.



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

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