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Thread: The UNA Project

  1. #1
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    Default The UNA Project

    For the last two years I've been researching the UNA, a very early catboat from 1852. I have been able to extrapolate enough from the minimal written records to generate plans for the boat. My first effort was building a half-model from those plans. My goal is to build a full size craft and eventually sail her.



    The frames for the mould and it's strongback are complete and I just ordered the stock for her keel. Most of the last four months have been spent in drawing full sized patterns for the stem post, rudder, tiller, stern post, deadwood and the centerboard assembly. During down time, I've been creating casting patterns for the hardware I'll be needing. I'm also in the process of fabricating the blocks and crane assembly required in the original drawing.





  2. #2
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    Nice work Mr Sherman.

    Half model shows a lovely boat.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    This is very cool. I'll be checking in regularly.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    I assume you know that in the UK "cat" rigs are called UNA rigs, because UNA was the first example of a catboat they'd seen.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    Quote Originally Posted by Hwyl View Post
    I assume you know that in the UK "cat" rigs are called UNA rigs, because UNA was the first example of a catboat they'd seen.
    I am steeped in the history, such as there is.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    Wow! Very nice. Is she narrow for a cat?

    Could you tell me the material you used for your casting patterns?

    Cheers!

    Mike
    "near it, a small whale-boat, painted red and blue, the delight of the king's old age."

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon1 View Post
    Wow! Very nice. Is she narrow for a cat?

    Could you tell me the material you used for your casting patterns?

    Cheers!

    Mike
    She's a little narrow for a standard catboat... the beam is 6'-6" and length is 16'-6". She a very early version of a New Jersey Catboat.
    The casting parts are carved from white pine and sealed with auto body spray primer.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    More photos. nibbling away at the subassemblies. The beam for the keel has been ordered. The nine mast hoops are drying out and will soon be prepped for finish,
    Centerboard and trunk-


    Aft assembly-


    Frames, transom and centerboard trunk caps-


    Second set of patterns-


    Strongback-


    Wind Indicator-

  9. #9
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    Good progress , and nice pictures.

    It looks like this will be quite a stunning little boat.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    Quote Originally Posted by boat fan View Post
    Good progress , and nice pictures.

    It looks like this will be quite a stunning little boat.
    Let's hope.....

  11. #11
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    Judging by the examples of your woodworking skills it looks like you are well on your way to building a beautiful historic replica boat. It will be very interesting to see how she performs against modern designs. No insult intended but, might want to consider replacing those nutted bolts with peened clinch rings as we did on the boat seen here.
    Jay

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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    Judging by the examples of your woodworking skills it looks like you are well on your way to building a beautiful historic replica boat. It will be very interesting to see how she performs against modern designs. No insult intended but, might want to consider replacing those nutted bolts with peened clinch rings as we did on the boat seen here.
    Jay
    Thanks for the information, will revise those items.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    UNA's designer- Captain Robert Fish. Taken from "A Yachtsman's Scrap Book or The Ups and Downs of Yacht Racing (1887) by Joseph Florimond Loubat.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    Judging by the examples of your woodworking skills it looks like you are well on your way to building a beautiful historic replica boat. It will be very interesting to see how she performs against modern designs. No insult intended but, might want to consider replacing those nutted bolts with peened clinch rings as we did on the boat seen here.
    Jay
    I was going to suggest the same. When you look at old boats you'll see that rivets rule. For a little boat like this one, you can use stuff like real heavy copper wire, number 2 or thereabouts if you can't get straight stock. Another neat things seen on some of the old ones is a little taper or narrowing of the booms and gaffs from the end of the jaw stock in. This allowed the jaw stock to be inset into the spar so it didn't look so humpy, and you got a smoother taper, really elegant ones cut a point on the end of the jaw stock.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Vernon Langille, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity and a quiver of unamed 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    Re: frames, given the date of the boat, and what we know of building of the time (this all before the steam bending era) she'd have been framed out in natural shapes. Are you going to do the same? What size frames are you going with? Spacing? This is all hard as there are almost no surviving boats of this era. Mystic does have a whitehall that came in after the Watercraft book was published that is of that age, that might be worth a look, a wonderful example, no metal oarlocks, but flat pins like American Star/ General Lafayette, etc.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Vernon Langille, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity and a quiver of unamed 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  16. #16
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    Super cool project. You have my full attention.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    Took the clinch ring idea to the basement, by tomorrow night I should have something to show for it.



    The mast hoops are drying..... they came out ok.



    I am winging this project.... have zero visible evidence or written information about fittings, etc.
    I will forego hunting down a blacksmith and rely on bronze castings for most of the boat. Even if they are out of character.
    Last edited by G.Sherman; 01-11-2016 at 09:18 PM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    You will want to counter sink the holes in the clinch rings a bit to provide a smooth and greater bearing surface. You do nice work! Do you have a metal lathe? Clinch rings are only needed for larger diameter fastenings, 7/32 or quarter inch and bigger. Smaller diameters call for roves. Let your eye tell you what is needed.
    Roves are used in conjunction with boat nails. Bronze rod for clinch rings. Here, these are roves and Brittish boat nails.
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 01-11-2016 at 09:53 PM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    Roves work well for homemade rivets, ones made from copper wire.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Vernon Langille, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity and a quiver of unamed 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  20. #20
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    A question was asked regarding frames for this boat. These are the only drawings I could find, most mentions of UNA use these images. Mystic Seaport has only the one.

    Eight stations are shown, this is what I used as my guide.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    I asked about the framing and what you had decided to do. I am pretty sure that the boat had sawn frames as built. Looks like the take off was done on 2' centers, which is not necessarily where the frames were set. The way to use your molds with pre-bent frames or sawn frames is, of course, setting up a set of ribands, either on top of them or notched depending on how you made your molds. I don't recall if there is a sail plan.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Vernon Langille, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity and a quiver of unamed 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  22. #22
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Fuller View Post
    I asked about the framing and what you had decided to do. I am pretty sure that the boat had sawn frames as built. Looks like the take off was done on 2' centers, which is not necessarily where the frames were set. The way to use your molds with pre-bent frames or sawn frames is, of course, setting up a set of ribands, either on top of them or notched depending on how you made your molds. I don't recall if there is a sail plan.
    There is quite a bit of information on the UNA in Dixon Kemp's "A Manual of Yacht and Boat Sailing (1900) and here is the sail plan.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    At the risk of offending, are the limber holes in yet? The D shaped holes in the floors will allow a lot of water to stand in the bilge. This looks like a great project, keep the photos coming.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    Quote Originally Posted by CundysHarbor View Post
    At the risk of offending, are the limber holes in yet? The D shaped holes in the floors will allow a lot of water to stand in the bilge. This looks like a great project, keep the photos coming.
    At this point, I'm still waiting for the keel stock to arrive. Rudder, tiller, centerboard/trunk, stem post, stern post, boom, gaff, transom, frames and mast hoops are built and mostly ready.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    Quote Originally Posted by G.Sherman View Post
    There is quite a bit of information on the UNA in Dixon Kemp's "A Manual of Yacht and Boat Sailing (1900) and here is the sail plan.
    That does not look like the 1852 boat, the stem and cockpit are different. I think that is the Cowes UNA boat sail plan.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  26. #26
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    That does not look like the 1852 boat, the stem and cockpit are different. I think that is the Cowes UNA boat sail plan.
    You're correct, UNA was unstayed with a larger cockpit area. Her sail dimensions are listed in Kemp's book. I built a full model of UNA and put in the wrong cockpit detail. Thus, the half-model.




  27. #27
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    It is my belief that the original boat was built using natural grown frames. But that is only based on logic gleaned from historical information and not actual fact. For a hull that would have been subject to great twisting moments, the sawn frames would have needed to be of rather heavy scantlings hence, the supposition that natural grown frames would have been the builder's first choice for framing.
    Jay

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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    It is my belief that the original boat was built using natural grown frames. But that is only based on logic gleaned from historical information and not actual fact. For a hull that would have been subject to great twisting moments, the sawn frames would have needed to be of rather heavy scantlings hence, the supposition that natural grown frames would have been the builder's first choice for framing.
    Jay
    How was Peggoty framed out?
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  29. #29
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    I'm going with steamed white oak frames. My goal is to build UNA as best I can without tromping around every sawmill between Boston and Savannah.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    Great project! Bob Fish was one of the most influential creators of racing centreboarders in history. I wonder if this will be the only Fish design afloat?

    The funny thing about Fish's boats is that a couple of recent writers (including Frank Bethwaite) have basically claimed that Una and Truant were part of an "anti establishment" movement in design, whereas in fact the people associated them were almost all related to the top tier of establishment society, or in one case arguably became the ultimate member of that society.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    Enjoying this thread, love those mast hopes and the use of the brass etc. very cool indeed
    My First Boat Build:
    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...acgregor-Canoe
    Iain Oughtred - Macgregor Canoe - 15 foot

  32. #32
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    Quote Originally Posted by G.Sherman View Post
    I'm going with steamed white oak frames. My goal is to build UNA as best I can without tromping around every sawmill between Boston and Savannah.
    If going bent, might be worthwhile taking a look at the scantlings and deck construction of the Delaware Tuckups, a foot shorter but with the same size main if you went with evently spaced light frames. You could also emulate sawn frames by bending bigger ones outside of the boat; it is something we had to do when we built the Breck Marshall. Used a wooden chain to get the shape of the frame, made a bending table and used a metal strap and tackle to do the bend. Then we did not take any off of the frame but let it lay normal to the ribands with the effect that the frames were angled forward and aft. We found the technique used in some old Crosby boats in the Mystic collection and it was confirmed in interviews with Bunk Crosby. I think Barry Thomas may have written this up.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Vernon Langille, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity and a quiver of unamed 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  33. #33
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Fuller View Post
    If going bent, might be worthwhile taking a look at the scantlings and deck construction of the Delaware Tuckups, a foot shorter but with the same size main if you went with evently spaced light frames. You could also emulate sawn frames by bending bigger ones outside of the boat; it is something we had to do when we built the Breck Marshall. Used a wooden chain to get the shape of the frame, made a bending table and used a metal strap and tackle to do the bend. Then we did not take any off of the frame but let it lay normal to the ribands with the effect that the frames were angled forward and aft. We found the technique used in some old Crosby boats in the Mystic collection and it was confirmed in interviews with Bunk Crosby. I think Barry Thomas may have written this up.
    I have the book and am using it as a reference.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    Marking time waiting for the keel stock to arrive.... making alterations to gaff and boom per Jay Greer.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: The UNA Project

    This looks a lot easier on the eyes, knuckles and sails. Good going.
    I don't doubt the two big parrells will work, but a handful smaller ones would probably look more in proportion.

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