Sunday, 31 August 2008


Auspicious date.

Aye Aye Skipper!

Pt 3
30 - 31 08 08

Having spent the last week in Bristol (which allowed the opportunity to see some boats, not least of which was the recreation of John Cabot's ship The Matthew) I'm back for more boat building.
Completed fitting of internal planking and applied two more coats of white acrylic to inner and outer hull. Just before I went away had time to construct the centre board housing which will also get a coat of paint before fixing. Next stage is to cut the many frame heads and fit them between the riser and gunwale along each side of the upper internal hull then add the thwarts (on which the oarsmen would sit) Ah!, first need to fit two small sections of decking that come as individual laser cut parts...

...grrrrrrrrrrr! All very fiddly. Have some lunch and think about it.

Monday, 25 August 2008

In consideration of...

...the scuptural qualities of the boat.

Yo Ho Ho!

25 08 08.

The outer hull is pretty much complete. Soaked and fitted garboards and upper planking, left to dry and then seams filled with automotive filler (Upol D). This was then sanded smooth with 80 grit and then 360 grit paper.
Bluejacket recomend using Testors paints which aren't easily available in the UK so I'm gonna use acrylic. Applied 2 coats of thin white acrylic to the outside of the hull and then sanded back.
Fitted keel, false stems, guard and rubbing strips to outside of hull and then gunwales to inner top edges. It's starting to look like a boat! Next up is the inner planking or "ceiling" which entails cutting all the planks to size from the supplied basswood strips. Pretty damned fiddly by the look of things.

Saturday, 23 August 2008


Building the New Bedford Whale boat
Pt 1.
23 08 08

Well the kit has arrived and on inspection I'm feeling that I've bitten off rather more than I can chew! Oh well in for a penny in for £65.00 (incl' post and packing)

Ticked off all the parts against the checklist and all seems in place. Looking at the plans and instructions it clear this is going to be quite a challenge. There's a bit of interpretive licence required and some new techniques such as soaking some of the basswood planking to fit. Lots of boating lingo and part names also: garboards, keelson, cuddy deck, lions tongue, loggerhead, thwarts and cleats etc.

My immediate feeling is that with all the work needed to build the boat I shall be reluctant to send it to its destruction on its maiden voyage. Hmm, should I be referring to "it" as "she"? But that's all part of the process, creating something for a specific purpose and then suffering a sense of loss when it is destroyed. I hope that in some small way this will emulate the feeling of watching the boats put out to sea on a whaling expedition not knowing if they will return.

Sourced the recomended glue (medium cyanoacrylate) from Maplins and set to work. Firstly assembled the building board and fitted the keelson to the stem and sternposts. Also made some sanding boards using self adhesive 3M sanding disc paper on foam board.

Next is to soak the garboards (having marked centres etc in pencil) and fit them along the keelson and around bevelled edges of stem and stern posts. Here goes!