Making CREST’s permanent cradle trolley

Originally produced in early 2014, this was the first informational video about the CREST and its restoration.  The video, narrated by the supervising boatbuilder, Dave Lewis, documents the construction of the trolley on which the hull’s permanent cradle will sit.

The CREST’s restoration is sponsored by the IMB Community Foundation.


July Bulletin

Restoration activity on the CREST over the last 6 weeks has included



A significant event – the first replacement stringer now in place.   

A brief description of the steps  …

This stringer is one of 2 full-length 8.4metre 65 x 28 stringers on the starboard side, it required roving at each of the 40 ribs (frames) and the scarfing of 2 sections:-

The first section (at the bow) is held in place while holes, drilled  from the outside, go through the plank, the rib and the timber of the new stringer.

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Then a 2.5inch long copper nail is tapped through.

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Photo below shows rove, a square-shanked copper nail and the ss rove-punch.


The rove-punch is used to tap the rove down the shaft of the nail until the rove is gripping the stringer’s surface.

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The protruding nail shaft is then cut-off, 

before the small-roundhead hammer, using rapid tapping,  is used to shape the cut-nail shaft around the top of the rove.


  At the plank’s outside surface, a nailhead sized counterweight applies pressure while the rapid tapping happens. 


For the aft length of the replacement stringer, epoxy glue is applied to the .5metre long scarfing (overlap) section,

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before this second length goes through the holding, drilling, nailing and roving process.

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Photos below show the new stringer – viewed looking to the bow and to the stern.

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The system relief-valve has been refurbished and installed  …


… as have the tappet rockers and …


… the exhaust manifold.


Refurbished oil strainer in-situ in sump.




This posting features a short informational video which describes the sawmilling  and cutting of hardwood timber in order to produce replacement ribs for the Museum’s CREST restoration.

The CREST restoration crew appreciates the ongoing support of local sawmiller  TE DAVIS at Wandandian.

This video is a first for the CREST blog and we aim to post further videos which will show different aspects and stages of the restoration.

April Bulletin

Over the last month, restoration work has included …


RIBS (correctly known as STATIONS)

Five more replacement ribs have gone in – the technique for one of these was a first for the restoration.

In-situ laminating

Just forward of the stern-post, this rib has a sharper curve up from the keel to follow before it continues to the gunwale. It was decided, rather than using a single 16mm thick length, that steaming and bending three 5mm thick lengths and gluing as we went would be more appropriate – a form of “in-situ” laminating.

The  3 photos below show the three lengths being lined up and checked.

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Once the first 5mm thick length was in place, glue was applied to its surface before the second length was positioned and held, and the same again for the third length.

Wedges, rib-jig and leg-pressure were used to keep laminates in position while the copper nailing was done. Next 6 photos.

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Special mentions

Rib-steaming assisted greatly by Brett’s modified-gas-bottle hot-water supply for the steaming box and rib positioning was greatly assisted by Stan’s ‘rib-jig’.

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Dave’s rib-shaper-jig was put into use last week.

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The damaged ends of adjoining planks were removed and a piece of Fijian kauri is being shaped as a replacement.

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First undercoat applied to forward interior hull timbers

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A cockpit coaming bolt has been removed for cleaning.

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Lister Engine
Installing rear crankshaft bearing and housing, fan housing and flywheel, plus a start on one cylinder.

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March bulletin

Restoration this month has included ..


Removal of the Crankshaft  from the reconditioned Lister diesel engine


which required loosening and removal of the Flywheel Retaining Nut#.

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The final shaping,  preservation treatment and securing of the replacement plank on the starboard bow.

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RIB removal and replacement.

In this section, a more detailed explanation of how the rib removal and replacement is given.

Removal of timbers is done so in a manner which creates as little damage as possible to the timbers to which they are attached.

Laid on top of the ribs are the stringers which run the full length of the hull.


The stringers are removed as needed.

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The damaged ribs are removed in a sequence which creates as little stress as possible, eg. adjacent damaged ribs are not removed at the same time.

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After the copper nails are removed, each nail hole is filled with 2 part epoxy.

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Once dried, both external and internal surfaces are sanded.

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The replacement ribs have been milled, cut, and planed previously.

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They are steamed for up to 45minutes to allow for bending to follow the profile of the hull.

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The first to be replaced were 3 ‘sister’ or ‘twinning’ ribs.


These are laid next to the full ribs (which run gunnel to gunnel) and are needed for hull rigidity below the engine bearers.

Once slid and held in place, 6cm long copper nails are driven from the underside of the plank while pressure, using body weight and/or a metal stopper is needed to keep timbers flush.

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When all nails are in, they are cut to about 2cm length and then bent and hammered over into the timber.

This last action requires a weight against each nail head on the other side of the plank.

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#A big thank you from the Cresters to ‘Wandy Bus & Autos’ on the Princess Highway at Wandandian where Wayne applied the impulse driver to loosen the flywheel retaining nut.


A New Year

Over the summer break, repair and restoration work has included


Stripping down the gearbox, transmission, and transferring from reconditioned engine those parts necessary for refitting the Lister diesel last used in CREST.

Crest 2

Crest 1


Preserving treatment of removed engine bed timbers

Crest 3

Removal of the port and s’board ‘cap rails’ and ‘toe rails’

Crest 4

Crest 5

Shaping and fitting the replacement ‘knee’

Crest 6


Cutting, planing, steaming and fixing replacement ‘sister ribs’




The Museum acknowledges the sponsorship of the IMB Community Bank and the Australian National Maritime Museum.

We also are grateful to the TE Davis Sawmill at Wandandian and Ison and Co Hardware at Nowra for their contributions towards this project.

CREST restoration continues

The Museum is glad to announce that it has received funding to restore  the CREST.

The funding from the IMB Bank will allow the dedicated volunteers to continue under local boat builder Dave Lewis’ instruction and guidance to take the restoration to the next stage.

The funding includes expenses for more materials, some tools and the acquisition of a replacement 3cylinder Lister diesel engine.

The documentation of the restoration, in words and images, will also continue in the form of regular updates on this dedicated blog site.

There are currently up to 8 volunteers putting in the hard yards, not to mention tender loving care, mostly on Tuesdays, to ensure that CREST will be restored to her former glory.

The attached photo taken by previous owner Max McRae shows CREST at anchor in 1983.


Crest 1983