Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Boathouse - Then (2008) and Now (2010)

Here are the stages of progress to restore the southern side of the boat house at Swallowtail up to this point, beginning in 2008 when some thought the building couldn't be saved.  Some work still needs to be done but the building is starting to resume its tidy light station auxiliary building appearance:

Boathouse as it looked April 3, 2008.  The fasteners had rusted away and the wall was coming off in pieces.  One of the wooden doors was missing and there was no glass in any of the windows.  Part of the sill and skirting were missing and the building hadn't seen any paint in many years.

Beginning to tear apart the southern end and add some support to the under structure, September 21, 2009.  This was an emergency repair to try to save the building from blowing down during the very windy winters we experience each year.

The pile of debris accumulates as more of the structure is re-enforced on October 3, 2009. In most places disposing of construction waste is straight forward but at Swallowtail everything has to be carried along the path and up the stairs before reaching the parking area. The doors are being framed in this shot on.
Boarding in the lower portion of the boat house using rough sawn tamarack or larch to match the lumber used to originally build the boat house later in the day on October 3, 2009.

Doing last minute work on the temporary doors for the winter on October 15, 2009.  One of the doors was too short and we were not sure where it was from.  The building was left with tar paper for the winter since the top of the gable end still needed to be stripped and the entire end re-shingled.

Boat house as seen from the ferry November 16, 2009.  The wind is ever present at Swallowtail and nothing is safe from it as it boxes the compass.  Already some tar paper is missing.

Work on the southern end of the boat house began again in November 19, 2010.  However, other work had been done before this such as painting three sides,  replacing the roof shingles, reinforcing the eastern support posts, rebuilding the entrance ramp on the northern side, and updating the wiring.  

New doors were made on site patterned after a photograph taken in 1958.  The doors are uneven with one being half the side of the other.  A window has also been installed over the work bench.  This is the first glass back in the boat house in many years. This window mimics the shape of the window in the bell house that is attached to the light tower.  Returning the cedar shingling has begun November 25, 2010.

By December 9, 2010 despite snow storms and many days of wind, the cedar shingling is almost complete after the old shingles were removed on the gable end and the boards refastened since they had rusted off.  The upper window had been removed to rebuild.  It was a six over six solid window unlike the two lower windows which are six over six casements.  The lower windows need to be started anew since only a small portion remains.  The corner boards were also replaced, copying the rest of the building.  While the corner boards recently had been painted white, in old photographs they were red.  The skirting in recently years had been painted grey, although again in old photographs and under the grey paint, red paint was the choice.

By December 19, 2010 the staging was taken down revealing the new cedar shingles. Once the weather begins to warm, a final coat of red will be given to all surfaces and the cedar shingles will be painted white.  The gable end trim will also be painted red and the upper window returned.  Already there have been positive comments about the red doors.  

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