Today I decided to tidy up the area where I have removed the stem bands. My friend Nick visited at the weekend and we discussed this area which was previously filled with some sort of white sealant that appears to have dried out and become hard and useless like old putty and I suspect it is something of that ilk. You can see it in the gap between the planks where they meet the stems.
I picked at it and hoovered it out and am still thinking about whether to make a wooden fillet to go in the gap. I could just get some filler or modern sealant (Nick's suggestion was arbocol) and put that in but my thinking is it wouldn't leave much for the stem band nails or screws to fix into which is why I keep thinking wood may be better.
I cleared most of the filler from one end and then went to look at the other. Both stems are made with an inner stem and two outer stems that have been joined with a splice and a screw at this point.
The problem with this one is that it has been tightened well into the wood which appears to have damaged the stem end. The screw will have to be removed in order to repair the wood and it looks like it might be tricky to remove. I begin by picking the slot clean.
Next I carefully try to turn it clockwise first and then anti clockwise just a very small amount at a time re-cleaning the slot if the screwdriver slips and eventually I got it to move to here.
I then discovered it had a nail down the side of it so I pulled that out.
I could tell it wasn't going to turn anti clockwise and lift itself out in the normal way and would need a little extra assistance to get it to lift as I turned so I put a smaller screwdriver under the edge of the head and used it to lever it out as I turned.
I was still unable to get it to come right out with the screwdriver without pressure on the head pushing it back in so I used pliers to finish the job.
When I removed it I noticed I now have a hole right through my boat!
Now that the screw is removed I am able to repair the stem and then I will replace the screw with one that has a better head and thread and I will seal it properly.