SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Steve Spurling perches on a scaffolding to demonstrate how he and long-time friend Jock Williams, of John Williams Boat Company, have been gingerly re-planking the wooden hull of Nefertiti, a 41-foot Concordia yawl that was purchased by Mr. Williams in 1978.
The pair has been working on Nefertiti since May of 2009 when Mr. Spurling gave Mr. Williams an ultimatum.
“I told him, ‘I ain’t doin’ it any more,’” Mr. Spurling, age 90, said. “‘I ain’t bringing dinner plates over to the yard [in Hall Quarry] and getting’ myself over there.’ So we brought her over here and I bought a tent for it so I could work at it right here.”
Originally, the Concordia fleet was sheathed with a single plank of mahogany over oak. Mr. Williams and Mr. Spurling have chosen to double-plank it with modern epoxies.
“She weren’t very good when we started,” Mr. Spurling said. “Below the waterline, she was done with. Over half her timbers broke right off. All the way off.”
Next, Mr. Spurning plans to start work on the deck. An original binnacle stands resolutely near her bulkhead. And much of her interior looks intact. But, Mr. Spurling says, it will still be a lot more work than it looks like.
“Never can tell,” he said. “Could be bad or worse once you start getting into it.”
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