Remember the Sven? Two posts earlier. Well, I continue to put her back together. After removing the garboard planks (top oak ones), the boat starts to lose it’s shape so I tie each frame with rope while I continue the project. Note the gunwhales/inwhales getting bent on a jig out in the rain.

Here’s the new forefoot–not an easy piece to fabricate. I removed all the ribs or frames, then spread open the planks and carefully fit this piece in–it has to be nearly exact or the boat will leak.

Here’s the outside of the same piece of wood with a small graving piece (or Dutchman) fit in where the plank broke. I simply caulk this small piece with cotton and seam compound.

Here’s a caulking (pronounced ‘corking’ by the salty shipwrights) iron and the cotton. The depth of the seam is only 3/4″ or less so one round of cotton is enough. On the USS Constitution, the planks are 9″ thick with 3′ square frames stacked solid (i.e. no frame bays) which is how she got her nickname “Old Ironsides.” Years ago, a patient of mine in Seattle wanted me to make patterns for some custom caulking irons which were 9″ long, using dental impression materials. Turns out they were for the rebuilding of “Old Ironsides.” He gave me a set for my efforts–cast in case hardened silicon-bronze; but that’s another story….

The ‘hood-ends’ were pretty beat up but I managed to fasten them with silicon-bronze screws and epoxy the ends pretty well. The fasteners were copper boat rivits/roves, 660 of them had to be peened over–a two person job and tough on the wrists.

Here I’m finishing up some small details after painting the hull….

….and here’s a stern view with the boat name installed, an interior coat of paint and ‘furniture’ or seats–removable for repainting. Pretty slick!

Well, I’m underway with a few small leaks–the trouble with lapstrake construction. She’s very stable in water and I’ll get some proper sized oars….

Wonderful day yesterday–look at this view! And people wonder why anyone would live in this rain forest? Can’t imagine why…..stay tuned

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