Aston Bourne 40 - major renovation
This Broads hire fleet boat was built upon a classic Bourne 40 hull by Astons at Loddon in the early 1970s. Whilst there were around 10 of these 40ft cruisers made only two remain in hire service with this one being privately owned but leased to Freedom Boating Holidays. The unique layout of Rambling Freedom with two separate single cabins aft makes this a perfect family boat.
Originally constructed from almost a "kit" of superstructure GRP mouldings so as to achieve a variety of different lengths, this Aston Bourne has a plywood roof which, over the years, has begun to soak up water and rot. Whilst the ingress is hardly fast, the time had come to deal with the problem at source and replace the whole roof section. The challenge was how. Removing the roof and remaking a new ply one had it's appeal, but there were concerns over not achieving the correct shape. In the end, we decided that we would make a brand new fibreglass roof.
Using the existing roof so we could match the curvature and shape, we set about making the outside edges of a "mould" on the existing roof, applied release agents and began to laminate a new roof on top of the old one. Once this was made, we lifted the two roofs from each other and begun to remove the old plywood.