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The Big Blue Sheds – March 2015

February 27, 2015

It has been a busy winter in the Big Blue Sheds at Berthon during which the Berthon skilled employees have been working long hours on refit projects and winter yacht maintenance. But with the start of the season nearly upon us the focus in the sheds changes as the long term projects near completion and new projects accelerate to make launching prior to Easter, ready for 2015 season.

Since our last Big Blue Shed article we have completed 2 more teak deck replacements, one on an X412 the other an X442. A fairly labour intensive process using a large proportion of Berthon’s skills, starting with the our rigging team removing the mast using the purpose built hydraulic crane adjacent to our (de)commissioning pontoons along the yard wall; next the boat moving team lift the yacht out of the water and place her in one of our new cradles, allowing us to move the yacht and cradle in one go and straight into the pre-booked slot in the Big Blue Shed where scaffold is erected to very strict HSE guidelines allowing us to gain access to the deck.

Berthon create templates of the current deck, marking out each and every deck fitting, turning block, winch and cleat. We then use these templates to create a teak deck in kit form. While this is happening our shipwrights are working on labelling and removing all items from the deck (tracks, cleats, winches, covering plates, mounting brackets and deck hatches). Internally the head-lining is removed to allow access and we put protective coverings on all surfaces. Then we start removing the old teak, using various methods depending on how the original deck was laid; on these two x-yachts we were able to pull large pieces off by hand and in other areas the traditional hammer and chisel was used along with other more modern time-saving methods. Once the teak is removed the sub deck is cleaned and prepared ready to take the new teak.

The new teak deck is in a number of pieces at Berthon and will go through a few final stages before being glued to the deck, following which a quality control check is undertaken by the senior charge hand; the original templates are then overlaid on the new deck marking where any shroud plates will need to be cut through. The outside edges of the deck are then bevelled to give a rounded profile and the whole deck is dry fitted.

Once the senior charge hand is satisfied with the dry fit, the deck will be lifted and the adhesive application will start (for those interested, we use a 2 part epoxy glue in a 1:1 ratio and use around 20kgs per this size yacht). Once the adhesive is applied the relevant deck section is laid in place, aligned into the correct position. The team works around the yacht, starting on one side aft piece by piece until all areas are glued in place and weighted down. We used 120 25kg weights to aid the adhesive process and they are left on overnight while the glue cures.

On both EXIMIUS and TEXA, areas in the cockpit and transom were vacuum bagged rather than weighted. The process involves sealing a bag around the area, then using a vacuum pump removing the air from the bag and drawing the teak to the sub deck and adhesive. This works extremely well in areas with compound curves and locker hatches.

Now the new deck is in place the task of caulking the joints between the deck sections leaving a seamless joint to finish off the deck perfectly. All that is left is to replace the headlining and deck gear.

As you can see from the images below of the finished product, the yachts look like new. If you are thinking about a new teak deck or a yacht refit, speak to one of the Berthon Project Managers today – 01590 673312 –

X-Yacht Teak Deck replacement at BerthonEximius X-412 Teak deck

Both yachts had a Boracol teak treatment applied by the Berthon Yacht Valeting team, this is an anti-fungicide solution that we use regularly which stops the growth of mould and fungus and reduces the amount of cleaning you need to undertake, increasing the life of the teak. Don’t forget that teak decks need huge care and attention, cleaning by soft brush heads across, not along, the grain and with no abrasive substances. For quotes, contact – Boat Care Manager

Other news from the Big Blue Sheds…

We have just delivered another Shannon Class lifeboat to the RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea; she is 13-07 called REG and will be the Shannon fleet relief boat, providing cover for the previous Berthon built Shannon’s stationed at Dungeness, Exmouth, Lowestoft and Hoylake as well as being used for crew training. She could feature anywhere around the country so keep an eye out.

RNLI Shannon Class Lifeboat 13-07 REG relief fleet

WINSOME IV (S&S 2121), built at Berthon in 1972, is back for her normal over winter layup. This year she is having major rudder repairs undertaken, rebuilding the rudder skeg and fabricating a new skeg shoe. This is interesting work for the shipwrights and engineers as Winsome is made from aluminium and shows the continued diversity of our in-house skills. We are also repainting her non-slip deck in our dedicated yacht paint facility, and her topsides (painted last year) have been polished (following numerous race-miles including the Middle Sea Race) and her bottom faired and antifouled, ready for another busy season on the racing circuit.

Contact; Berthon Yacht

Winsome VI yacht painting BerthonWinsome Rudder Repair

MUSKETEER (Maxi 1100)– Another yacht has emerged from our purpose built yacht spraying facility looking like new. MUSKETEER had her topsides repainted in Awlcraft flag blue, and with the Maxi lines and logos restored, we also gave her a new epoxy bottom coat and fresh antifoul. She looks stunning.

Contact; Berthon Yacht

Maxi 1100 yacht paint repair Berthon

 Ex Tyne Class Lifeboat – Now renamed as THE JOHN FAULDING (named for the owner’s late father) hails from her base at Appeldore. We blasted and Coppercoated the steel underwater hull; the topsides were repaired and painted in orange Awlcraft to complement the superstructure and black lines and logos applied.  Her decks were ground off and repaired and repainted in non-slip and the deck fittings spruced up with a lick of paint.   Once her names and grab ropes were applied and her loud hailers fixed she was ready for action as a safety boat in the Bristol Channel.

Contact; Berthon Yacht

 Tyne class lifeboat repainted - appledore lifeboat

OSIRIS (Chranchi 50HT) – This 50’ motor yacht was previously unloved, but her new owner has invested in a brand new Awlcraft flag blue topsides band.  We’ve blasted and re-epoxied the hull and applied Interspeed Ultra hard antifouling in Dover white, ensuring that the owners have trouble free cruising with their family this summer and for many years to come. Along with some cockpit and component painting she’s looking a lot more loved in 2015. This transformation is a broker’s dream, as it proves that an owner can buy a tired weathered yacht and make it look like it’s just come out of the factory.

Contact; Berthon Yacht>

Chranchi yacht repainted

For more information and quotes on yacht painting at Berthon contact – Berthon Paint Manager

For refits and yacht maintenance and general yacht repairs contact

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