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!

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