View Full Version : New schooner a-builing
11-21-2002, 09:13 PM
Just wanted to share a couple photos of a little (OK, maybe not so little) project that I somehow got myself involved in. It's an Alden design #390 now being built new in Camden, Maine. For those of you familiar with the book 'Wood, Water & Light', this is the Tarbaby/Voyager design, with a few differences; namely, a marconi main/gaff fore rig (my favorite schooner rig) and lead ballast.
This photo is actually a couple weeks old. The amazing thing is the owner/builder got to this point mostly by himself. The craftsmanship, even for parts that are structural and will never be seen by anyone, is nothing short of incredible. Here's a closer veiw of the frames, which if you look closely you'll notice are dovetailed into the keel timber.
It was, actually, a bit of a shame to start planking the boat, since it was a gorgeous piece of sculpture as it was. Sweeping, laminated frames, angelique keel finished bright with sealer, cast bronze floors... Simply beautiful. There are now five strakes of planking on, also out of angelique. The plank stock is long enough that the garboard and first broad strake are full-length. And this is a 52-foot boat, on deck. Beautiful stuff. Too bad it's so *#@$!*^ miserable to work with. Anyway, here's an inside picture:
and one from the bow:
The planking will be angelique to the tuck (one more strake), and then some other tropical wood the name of which escapes me at the moment (I'd never heard of it) to the sheer. I'll post more pictures as planking progresses.
11-21-2002, 09:24 PM
What a work of art! Inspiring to see that level of work from a so-called amateur.
Enjoy the experience and see if you can share more about the owner with us, please?
Amazing! I'm not familiar with the design(#390?). Is there a line drawing available showing the profile and sail plan?
Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson )
11-21-2002, 10:15 PM
ART ABSOLUTE ART Took my breath away the dove tailing was the straw that broke my back Ill never be worthy :(
does it get any better then that? What a privlege to be involved with such a project!
11-21-2002, 11:30 PM
11-22-2002, 08:09 AM
Nigel "Twig" Bower is "da man"
The Woodenboat Company (http://www.woodenboatco.com/)
That is an amazing piece of work and a good source of inspiration.
Thanks for the great photos. A wonderful project, and the attention to detail is superb. I'll look forward to any further updates you can give us.
11-22-2002, 09:08 AM
Fantastic! Please keep the photos coming.
11-22-2002, 09:16 AM
Wow! Really nice work.
But, I'm glad I don't have to pay by the hour for it. :eek:
11-22-2002, 09:49 AM
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! know what I mean?
Alan D. Hyde
11-22-2002, 10:55 AM
That's VERY good.
Please pass along our compliments to the builder.
He has more patience than I do, but I'm told I'll get more patient with age.
So far, it hasn't worked...
11-22-2002, 11:24 AM
Thanks for that link, Trull... Their restoration of OLAD was of particular interest to me. Years ago, I spent many hundreds of hours gazing at her as she used to be our our only "competition" to HINDU when I sailed her out of Provincetown. Sailed past each other, coming and going, four times a day. Every day. I knew she'd been sold down east. Nice to see she being so lovingly cared for. I hope HINDU finds similar attention again one day soon...
(As to the schooner project above... words fail me. Gonna be harder to look "too" closely at my own work for awhile...)
11-22-2002, 12:08 PM
:cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: Flamin heck the mans a bloody legend!... wow... man... Im stonkered mates thats taken me breathe totally away!!!... bloody beautiful work!... what a "job" to be a part of! whew
One more word...
Schooners aaahhhh gotta love em!
Take it easy
11-22-2002, 05:03 PM
11-22-2002, 06:03 PM
Chills man.......wow. wow.wow.wow.wow.
11-22-2002, 09:00 PM
Where did he get the bronze floors? They look fantastic! So does the the rest of the work.
Let us know as we may need them in the future.
11-22-2002, 09:26 PM
"Inspiring to see that level of work from a so-called amateur." Come on Dave, you'd never see that from a pro. We're talking ANAL! LOL Nice job, as it ought to be.
BUT... being the inquiring mind, I have some questions that I would ask the builder, figuring that he must have had a reason.
First, I'd have though setting the frame ends into notches, a common enough high quality practice in years past, seems now to generally be considered inadvisable because of the potential created for rot. On the other hand, it does make setting steam bent frames a lot easier. Surely he must have considered this and I wonder why he opted for notching the keel for the frame ends.
Second, as near as I can tell from the pics, ALL of the floors are those cast bronze numbers he has in there. I don't see any heavier floors anywhere. Now, I am familiar with that flooring method and have them on my own boat, as required by her Lloyd's 100A1+ scantlings, BUT... only on intermediate frames. The other frames all have heavy timber floors. Given the scantling rules I'm familiar with for metal floors, I'd have expected every other floor to be somewhat beefier, particularly to reinforce the sharp corner. If these are as the designer specified (probably are), I'd like to know how they held up in similar older boats. Making patterns for them would certainly be easier than the cast bronze floors you usually see.
Third, it appears as if the bolts holding the floors to the keel also serve as the ballast keel bolts. They are, however, seemingly light, given the size of the vessel and the concentrated weight of the lead keel. They look like maybe not much more than a half inch. I'd be interested in knowing whether he dropped them all the way through the ballast or cut into the side of it for a short bolt pocket and how that task went. I would have thought that while there's nothing wrong with running the floor bolts through to the keel at all, he'd want a few larger bolts, since the corrosion half-life of the larger bolt will be theoretically exponentially greater than would be a whole bunch of small ones.
Now, I'm not knocking his workmanship at all mind you. I'm asking these questions because, obviously, this guy has given it a lot of thought and I'd like to know his thinking on these subjects.
Anybody got any answers?
11-23-2002, 11:28 AM
I asked many of the same questions myself. As far as notching the keel for the frames goes, the result of that was that he could hold the frame in place, have his wife knock 'em in with a mallet, and there they stay 'till he got around to putting in the floors. Also, with a frame that is dovetailed into the keel then through-bolted into the floor, you have a joint that, even if the frame completely delaminates, won't be going anywhere. He admitted that he thought breifly about water getting in the sockets, but the joints are as perfect as they could possibly be, so the chances of that are minimal.
There are a few heavy timber floors, such as under the engine, a couple up in the counter, and three up in the forepeak. But you're right; basically, this is a metal-floored boat. All I can say about that is the floors are quite heavy (the pictures don't do them justice), and the contruction is "Coast Guard Approved," since this will be a passenger-carrying vessel. To answer a previous question, the floors were done at a foundry near Boston. I can get the specific location if you would like to know.
The keel bolts actually don't go all the way through the ballast, nor did he cut a pocket in the side. They're threaded directly into the ballast, a style I think the Herreshoffs were fond of. I think the bolts in the ballast are 3/4" but don't quote me on that. These, along with all the rest of the bronze bolts, were custom cut on a thread cutting machine.
Art: You may be happy to know the Olad now has a proper rig with varnished wood spars and Oceanus sails. Beautiful! Aluminum does not belong on a gaff-rigged schooner. God, what a racket!
[ 11-23-2002, 11:48 AM: Message edited by: JeffH ]
11-23-2002, 01:10 PM
Thanks, Jeff. Love to see a new picture of OLAD sailing sometime, And one of that new interior too. I wondered about those spars. Couldn't see keeping 'em in there after such an otherwise thorough restoration. Did you ever hear how she came to lose her original ones? I understand her skipper back in P-town either lost his bowsprit or damaged it somehow while sailing. It was going to blow that evening, so he took her off the "boarding" float and left her on her mooring over night. At dawn, the spars were floating alongside. I guess he neglected to beef up that damaged headgear well enough... A few years earlier, she sank at her winter moorings in Wellfleet. Some "innocent" cause, but I can't remember what. And then there was the time she broke her moorings in a Northeaster and came ashore in P-town... Unhurt. For a boat with such bad luck, she seems to lead a charmed life just the same!
It's funny how often I "cross paths" with OLAD. The year before I first got my Coast Guard "ticket", I earned the rest of my required sea time, (and upped my tonage) by spending the winter sailing aboard the Brigantine ROMANCE down in the Carribian. When her skipper, Arthur Kimberly, wrote to tell me I had the job, he mentioned knowing HINDU from when he was a young man, just after the war, and would see her, docking under sail, whenever he visited Provincetown with friends. Always impressed him. Then he causally asked if I was aware he was the former owner of OLAD? Seems he and his wife sailed her on charters in the Bahamas. He sold her into the P-town "fleet", when his old friend, Alan Villiars tipped him off that ROMANCE was available for "a song" from the Hollywood studio that he had rebuilt her for. My vague "connection" with OLAD was probably the main reason I got the job...
(I'm a little confused about this thread's schooner. It sounds like she's being built by her owner, (an amatuer?) But in the link above she appears to be a "current" project for the "The Wooden Boat Company". A little of both, perhaps? Different boats? An amazing piece of work, either way!)
[ 11-23-2002, 01:12 PM: Message edited by: Art Read ]
11-23-2002, 04:06 PM
Lovely looking work-I too would love to hear more about the boat and builder-she is going into charter? To pay some of her freight or to be a full blown charter boat I wonder? Long time building process in the backyard or is she being built-to-be-finished-to-be-launched-and-sailed??
Etc, etc -love to hear more!!!
11-23-2002, 05:14 PM
Cast bronze floors...wow..what kind of money would that be??
11-24-2002, 03:34 PM
(Rummages around in sail bag)
11-24-2002, 03:37 PM
Of course, in her case, she's rigged as a staysail schooner. although I might be right in thinking she was originally gaff foresail. Her foremast would certainly take a gaff foresail easily.
[ 11-24-2002, 03:37 PM: Message edited by: John B ]
11-24-2002, 07:00 PM
Thanks for the info. I hadn't realized that the frames were laminated. Pocketing the heels would cause less concern, since they are probably well saturated with epoxy anyway. Surely, it would make setting the frames easier. The new pic shows the bronze frames to be a lot thicker than they appeared in the upper shots. That question answered!
I don't think that cast bronze frames are particularly expensive, compared to wooden ones. Nothing is cheap, of course, but wooden floors aren't inexpensive when you consider the bronze rod stock for the bolts and the heavy clear wood and all. What costs the most about bronze castings is the finish and polishing of fancy castings. Casting bronze should otherwise cost no more than casting anything else, save the minor difference in the pig price, maybe even less, since the temperatures are fairly low and the stuff casts easily.
Funny, but I was just reading LFH's writings on using lag bolts threaded into lead keels, which he swears by. It sure does make sense, but still...LOL Lead supposedly taps easily when it has a bit of antimony in it. As I recall, LFH calls for the bolts to be threaded into the keel six times the diameter of the bolt. He says test them by sticking a scrap of stock as thick as the keel under the bolt and tighten down until the wood crushes, thus proving the bolt will hold better than the wood, which would obviously be good enough.
Now, just one more question... did he clean up his shop just for the photo shoot or does he work like a "surgeon" all the time? LOL The guy's clearly a craftsman. Keep us posted!
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