Shipbuilding

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by BATAAN, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. BATAAN
    Joined: Apr 2010
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    Just thought I would post some photos of building BERTIE. She's a modified Slocum SPRAY that has worked out very well since launching in 1984.
     

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  2. sailingdaniel
    Joined: Apr 2011
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    sailingdaniel Junior Member

    wow. i love that pic. whit all sails flying...
     
  3. BATAAN
    Joined: Apr 2010
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    This boat really sails on her 1000 sq ft Swatow-style mainsail, and will handle under it alone when necessary. The others add area and control steering. We haven't used any light sails since Mexico, when a big light jib and a mizzen staysail are necessary due to constant 5-6 knot wind conditions in the Gulf. There's also a very quick to set "Thames watersail" that goes under the boom, but for all practical sailing, it's just the working rig you see here of Jib, Staysail, Main, standing lug mizzen. The Mizzen and its single boomkin can be unshipped and stowed for parallel parking in about 10 minutes. This saves on berth rent and I wish I could do it with the bowsprit but the rig is essentially Chesapeake sloop or maybe Noank and due to forward mast position the nose pole is very necessary to staying the tall mast and is the same diameter at the stem as the mast is at the deck, 10".
    Rigging is deadeyes with dacron lanyards and get adjusted every year or so. A little flex is necessary in this set-up due to extreme over stability of the hull type and tall heavy rig (the mainyard is 22 feet long).
    Notice NO turnbuckles, especially above the bowsprit where they interfere with sails coming all the way down when you heave on the downhaul, standing back by the mast. Headsails can be totally dropped and tied down hard before going on on footropes with harness clipped to that small wire you see running to the end of the bowsprit. My dear wife usually does this, putting a neat furl in using the gaskets that are permanently installed and you can see hanging down.
    Everything on this boat is 1890s workboat style with lashings tightened with winches when setting-up, but wooden blocks have been replaced with all Harken or Schaeffer and there are appropriate Harken self-tailing winches where necessary.
    All-important main halyard goes to a 1945 landing craft bow door hand winch with a brake. This allows the sail to be instantly lowered and there are no coils etc to screw with in the usual chaotic panic of sudden necessary radical reefing at 2 am.
    First reef: Drop mizzen and furl. Second: drop staysail. Third: Pull topping lifts UP to the curious Chinese unsheeted half reef batten. Fourth: start reefing the main which takes seconds on any point of sail. Have several times been reduced to 3 panels up and bare poles for 24 hours more than once.
    The jib stays up until it blows out, which it hasn't done yet but the old one was stretched badly so was replaced.
    First photo is bending on the new main, half reef batten not installed yet.
    In sailing photos the luff parrels are not tightened because of light air conditions. By pulling on these the bagginess goes out of the sail, it moves slightly aft and gets very flat for heavier air conditions.
    Last faint photo is the old mainsail when it was quite worn out after 20 years use. The new one is more developed (copied more Chinese actually) and quite a bit larger.
    To see some sailing footage on youTube go to minute 8 of:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIBDOUSd-Ag&feature=related
     

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  4. troy2000
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    Have I mentioned lately that I'm in love with your wife, although I've never actually met her?

    Maybe we can get together and arrange a swap someday. I happen to love my wife dearly; she's one of my favorite people and she has many sterling qualities. Unfortunately, none of them involve water.

    She firmly believes that if God had wanted her to go floating around in boats, he wouldn't have given her enough good sense to stay on dry land instead.:(
     
  5. BATAAN
    Joined: Apr 2010
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    Somehow I got derailed from Shipbuilding into ship using.
    Construction detail was very pre-WW1, a combination of Essex style (Gloucester schooner) and SF tugboat building. Very simple, thick, heavy and well-developed by others for me to copy and not re-invent. Appropriate hull weight for the very stiff hull shape.
    In the photo of the deck being framed, notice bits of roofing felt stuck on the frame heads (which are kept 3/8" short of touching the deck for ventilation). This kept the sun off them while building and today would keep any fresh water away if the deck leaked, which it still doesn't, like the rest of the boat 27 years after launching. Bilge stays dry unless we're powering and the shaft log drips a little.
    Repairs have been to replace two planks 15 years ago, and now the lower part of the stem, which rotted at the heel and was repaired last year.
     

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  6. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    Troy, this is a good sailor. Not because she knows the frammis from the tafferbob, but because she never gets seasick, cooks in bad weather, stands watch cheerfully, likes being out in the wilderness we seek and is just generally cool. For us, sailing is not the objective, but going somewhere enchanting as quickly and safely as possible at very low cost, while having most of the comforts of home along.
    Thank you for the compliments to my dear companion.
    To see her on the bowsprit at sea:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zw6mdrcDL1o
     

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  7. DGreenwood
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    DGreenwood Senior Member

    Arcadia Antigua Race week.jpg

    What's wrong with thinking about sailing...it is, after all, the incentive for shipbuilding,,,:)

    It never hurts to mix it up a little.
     
  8. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    I know, but my intention was building in this wooden boatbuilding forum, but then it all crosses over into WHY do you build something a particular way? So all is one I guess. It's hard to separate the design, build and use of a vessel.
     
  9. DGreenwood
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    DGreenwood Senior Member

    I find it comical that boatbuilders find it nearly impossible to talk seriously about construction for very long before they go all misty eyed and start talking some BS about sailing. I guess if we were not all some kind of romantic, boats would not get built...we damned sure don't do it for the pay.

    I apologize for interrupting your train of thought...go on...
     
  10. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    Building again. One of the shortcuts I learned from D.J. Arques, master builder, was put the ceiling in first after you frame up so you can use c-clamps to pull it down. Planking is done later with shores and jacks against the ground and doesn't need clamps.
    This makes the structure very rigid, gives you a place to walk and work as you install the sheer clamps and deck frame, and is just generally sensible to do it with nothing else in the way.
     

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  11. Lister

    Lister Previous Member

    Bataan many thanks.
    Finally we see some REAL boats, not a chemical composition of plywood and crap.
    Real wood, real frames, beautiful ceiling in the making, what a joy.
    Lister
     
  12. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    This one is the recent re-build of the 1890 steam tug ELMORE by free-lance local shipwrights.
     

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  13. BATAAN
    Joined: Apr 2010
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    Found some more BERTIE building photos, and a little deck detail. Some will be horrified at the crude building methods (ribbands! shores!) but they are all that are necessary to do the job when using this building method, and I managed to set-up and frame the boat alone in 30 days after setting the keel blocks on the dirt, open air working surface.
    The crudity was not laziness on my part but research in that I looked at pics of guys building large schooners at Essex Mass in the 1890s and noticed they did it that way so found that all went well and amazingly fast.
    Other seemingly minor (but not) things like nailing the staging plank supports to the the A-frame holding the stem and also to the the frames, are again directly from photos and contributed to efficiency and quick build.
    I was absolutely dirt poor with a wife and two very young kids living in a shanty boat at the time, so needed to be as cheap as possible if I wanted to do it at all, so I copied how others in my situation did it successfully before.
    In the sailing photo I am single-handing and leading ALCYONE, for the moment.
     

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  14. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    What's in the shipyard today. Major framing job on nice, unusually shallow draft and well shaped, old NW fishing boat. Still owned by family of original builder and has been profitable since launched.
     

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  15. ironmatar
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    ironmatar Junior Member

    would leeboards help bertie at all? steel version suggestions?
    IM
     
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