Monday, November 2, 2009

Boat house resurrection, continuing project

The boat house next to the keepers house is in need of resurrection. I'm not sure how old the building is but it is definitely over 100 years of age.

We have begun the the slow task with the rebuilding of the southern wall which had become completely derelict with the cladding floating away from the studs. The nails had rusted away from corrosion from the salt spray driven at the building and the doors and windows leaked relentlessly. You know there is major work to do when shingles and boards all come off in a unit. The building will be relatively water tight for the winter and more work will begin again in the spring. We have a long way to go, replacing windows, doors, roof, southern wall, part of sill, skirting, paint, before we can consider possibly returning the winch, skiff, tracks, etc. that made it a working boathouse.

This is what the loading system looked like in 1958 when the new keepers house was being built. It is interesting that the doors were of different width. There appeared to be two platforms that could be winched up the steep hill filled with supplies or loaded with the dory which could also be lifted up the hill. A swinging boom and winch were used to lift the supplies or dory up to the rails since they did not extend to the high water mark.

Looking back through pictures taken in April 2008, there is a section of the wall that had blown off the previous winter in some of the monumental pile of "stuff" removed from the keepers house and boathouse. The boathouse was literally stuffed with none of the construction debris removed from the renovations for the short-lived bed and breakfast.

Here are photos taken since April 2009 of the southern wall. In the first photo, already, one of the doors, the header, part of the wall are gone or ready to collapse.
The next series of photos are the tearing apart and then rebuilding of the door frame and wall in September and October 2009:
The southern end is now relatively weather tight for the winter. Work will begin next spring to finish this side and then address the other issues with the building. The biggest surprise was that the door that had been carefully stored in the boat house was neither the same width nor the same height as the other door. We are not sure where this door was originally. We will have to build at least one new door to replace the short door next year.

There seems to be a never ending amount of material that needs to be removed from the site, as witnessed by these two photos, one from April 2008 and the next from September 2009. The material from 2008 was, of course, hand lifted off the peninsula by a human-chain of volunteers, while the material in 2009 was lifted off by helicopter which took 6 minutes per load. This could not have happened with out the support of all of our volunteers, the Canadian Coast Guard and CleanEarth Technologies who did the lead paint cleanup around the light house and the foundations of the old keeper's house.
We have the paint for this building which was donated and a few bundles of cedar shingles for the southern wall but we will need to replace the roof soon and replace the glass in the windows. The windows and doors in this building have changed greatly over time, either being moved or replaced with different sizes and styles.

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