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The MotorBoat Protex

MotorBoat Protex The Protex has been undergoing a major refit for some considerable time. The work is weather related and…

The Protex has been undergoing a major refit for some considerable time. The work is weather related and valuable work time is lost each working day by taking off and putting on two very large tarpaulins.
A total of 25 replacement cabin top beams have been laminated and fitted, each using five layers of Fijian kauri timber, the timber thankfully was donated by Fleet member Bob Ellis. The replicated camber shaped beams along with replacement companionway and engine room hatch coamings have been fitted and fixed in position, the beams and coamings have had many clear coats of finish applied.
The replacement cabin top lining boards are western red cedar V,T&G and will be sheathed with a Double Bias Fibreglass Cloth with Bote Cote epoxy resin. All to maintain the structural integrity and prevent the ingress of rain water, natures destroyer of timber boats. The fibreglass cloth will replace the previously used heavy canvas, saturated with red lead paint!
The new engine room hatch opening is larger than the previous opening, this will enable greater access and easier removal of the Kelvin engine.
Two traditionally shaped "grown hanging knees" made from NSW north coast red mahogany timber have been fitted to the Protex . The timber was donated by a member of the Mid North Coast Maritime Museum. The knees have been "fashioned and fitted" to perfection by our Fleet volunteers.
We are trialing a relative new timber clear coating system within the SHF, it requires the timber to be coated with Bote Cote epoxy resin complete with a non yellowing hardener and over coated with many coats of Aquacote, a two pack, water based, non toxic, ultra high performance polyurethane.
This coating system will result in a more durable, longer life, clear timber coating to resist UV break down.
Engineering works taking place include modifying the diesel fuel tank, checking & realigning of the propeller shaft, repairs to the engine stub shaft, repacking sealant material to the engine operated cooling water fresh water pump, making up two replacement steering cables made from galvanised steel wire rope, overhaul of the heat exchanger and general engine maintenance.
Hull and structure painting/varnishing continues, painting of the fuel tank is now complete.
Two replacement hardwood transverse floors have been fitted beneath the Kevin J2 engine to strengthen the hull and to support the rigidly mounted, heavily constructed 22 hp Kelvin engine.
I would like to thank the Fleet volunteers who have been and are associated with the work being carried out aboard Protex.
Sadly one of our long time Fleet and Protex/Kookaburra II stalwart volunteers, Ian McDonald died in April this year, Ian is genuinely missed on the Protex's refit.
Alan Stannard
M.B. Protex
UPDATE from the Ship-Master
The refit and work aboard the Protex is progressing at a steady pace and I invite all Fleet volunteers to come and visit the motor boat Protex whilst she is under refit and talk to the team of volunteers carrying out the wonderful work.
Now only two support pads remain to be epoxy glued in place, atop of the new cabin top, one for the new replacement stainless steel horn and the other for the modified mast base when it arrives, hoping we can take delivery soon.
The support pads will take the various fittings required to go onto the cabin top, the advantage of the pads will see no fastenings penetrating the epoxy glass sheathed cabin top. This will prevent the ingress of rain water and prolong the life expectancy of the new replacement cabin top.
The seating arrangement has been temporary landed ashore to enable cleaning and painting preparations of the hull interior, the tedious task of cleaning out the bilges and limber holes have also been completed and the bilges are now spotless!
The SHF Protex Coordinator reported
A very laborious and detailed task of applying the Aquacoat water based, high build, two pack epoxy primer to the new replacement cabin top was carried out last Tuesday.
Not even soot pollution, bees and seagull droppings could deter the application of the four coats of the epoxy paint. These hard coatings will now be sanded smooth and prepared to take the two coats of gloss Aquacote water based two pack polyurethane.
Following on from the painting, will be the fitting out of the cabin top with electrical work, hand rails, mast, carly float, navigation lights, fuel tank and horn.
A big thank you and a job well done must go to SHF volunteers Tim Harrison and John Surman who applied the four (4) coats of the two pack epoxy primer on the same day period.

Alan Stannard
M.B. Protex

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