Page 1 of 3 12 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 35 of 78

Thread: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Jersey City, New Jersey, united states
    Posts
    17

    Default Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    Ahoy all. I'm building a model of the somewhat fictional Dulcibella from the well known sailing novel Riddle of the sands. I note that the topic of this vessel has come up on Wooden Boat a few times in the past. People seam to love this vessel and the novel she stars in.
    I am building a 1/48 scale model of her. There are some drawings on the internet, and even here, of what I believe is the vessel built for the 1978 Michael York film version. These drawings even show some internal arrangements.
    You will remember the Dulcibella was a converted wooden lifeboat, the protagonist had decked her, with a shallow deck house, and gave her a rig that eventually became a Yawl. He also added a centerboard and this is where my question comes in. Its the Autumn of 1897 so what will the centerboard look like?
    In the novel they mention the trunk divides the cabin in half and comprises the bottom of the cabins table. SO I know it is not higher than the table and this gives me the width of the centerboard but not its length. I IMAGINE you want the centerboard as long as possible? But maybe not. I think a lot will depend on how close to the vertical the deployed centerboard will be. Also if it runs fore and aft through the compartment the entry ladder, which faces athwartships, will dead end against it and that seams wrong. But if it stops short of the foot of the ladder it will be only ten feet long and I am not sure that would provide enough underwater surface area when deployed.
    I sail on the historic schooner Pioneer owned by the South Street Seaport Museum in New York. Built in 1885, she has a centerboard that spans the space between the two masts but when lowered is at a shallow angle to the keel and is not vertical. She has a Centerbaord Pennant that has a burten tackle on it- its a heavy beast- that hangs form the Trestle Trees.
    Would a vessel "Somewhat over thirty feet in length" have tackle on the centerboard as complex as that, with rigging to the masthead? It seams like you could get by with less, but I have no experience with smaller wooden vessels of the time and do not know how centerboards are rigged on something under forty feet overall.
    I would love it if any of you sailors could give me your opinion on this issue, or ANY observations you have on the Dulcibella, I would be happy to hear them!
    Thanks everyone.
    -Frankie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Northern NSW Australia
    Posts
    61,437

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    I'd suggest a search for Humber Yawl, they were very much of an era, say 1900 .



    Albert Strange's Otter.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Southern Maine
    Posts
    19,483

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    I think You're thinking of blade like dinghy centerboards. The dulcibella would have probably had a centerboard that was some sector of a circle (maybe an octant) with an extension of the arc as a attachment point for the lifting gear. That's just a guess.

    i'm glad you recognise that she was a converted ships life boat an not the yacht of the movie. The board of trade deemed that lifeboats should be replaced after a certain n.umber of years, so within living memory there was quite a trade turning them into pleasure boats.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Jersey City, New Jersey, united states
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    I have been looking at a lot of drawings of centerboards on small craft and they are never drawn at an angle to the keel of more than around thirty degrees. This appears to leave a lot of the keel still up within the hull and it makes me wonder if they are simply being drawn half lowered as a way of showing their shape? Or do you suppose this is the full traverse of the centerboards and the inboard portion is providing leverage- or whatever the engineering term would be?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, Ca
    Posts
    16,527

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    http://www.yalumba.co.uk/Framesets/Dulcibella.htm

    You might look at this Atkin design.
    http://www.atkinboatplans.com/Sail/Tern.html

    I helped to convert a lifeboat once and it proved to be a big disappointment. A Lifeboat's primary design feature is to stay afloat, not necessarily move far or fast. That thing was very burdensome and to get it down onto it's lines required a lot of ballast. A couple of tons in fact. When moving at "hull speed" that may have been the wettest boat I have ever sailed!
    Centerboards from that era were basic, hanging from a pin forward and dropping aft no more than about half the size. I.e. A rectangular board diagonaly mounted. I don't recall if the plate in the book was metal? They only need to sink so a massive tackle would not be required, maybe a simple watch tackle would do it.

    Or the centerboard version of the Seabird Yawl


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    4,492

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    Here's Albert Strange's Eel from 1896. The centreboard is an L shape, as is Otter's, hinged at the forward end, the small leg being also forward, and with an above-deck tackle to the mast for lifting.


    This type of arrangement was pretty common, although sometimes the whole rig was contained below deck. Trying searching on 'hinged centreboards' and see what turns up.

    Mike


    Edited to add --

    • A plate that dropped to only 30 could still double the draft

    • Most lifeboat conversions weren't too good, their main advantage being only that the hulls could be had cheaply

    • Note the position of the bumkin, and tiller shape
    Last edited by Wooden Boat Fittings; 01-26-2016 at 02:39 AM.
    Visit us to see how we help people complete classic boats authentically.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    4,492

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    Here's a clearer drawing of Eel's centreboard --

    Mike
    Visit us to see how we help people complete classic boats authentically.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, Ca
    Posts
    16,527

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    The Albert Strange stuff was unusual...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Auckland NZ
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    Assuming "Dulcibella" was based on Childers own boat "Vixen" she was a converted RNLI lifeboat, not a ships lifeboat. They are very different animals. The ships lifeboat is only required to remain afloat, whereas the RNLI boat was required to proceed to the site of an incident and rescue people. The RNLI boat of the period would have been a much finer lined boat and with sensible conversion a much more viable cruising boat.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    32,582

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    This is Vixen at the end of her life



    Originally a 28 foot pulling and sailing lifeboat.

    It is most likely that the CB trunk did not extend above the inner bottom.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Jersey City, New Jersey, united states
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    Thanks for everyone's input, I am pleased my question has gotten such a good response. I am still poking around on the internet and I have turned up this information about the prop Dulcibella built for the film: http://www.brookvillagehistory.co.uk...rooke-lifeboat
    In which it is claimed that the lifeboat Susan Ashley was retired in 1937, converted to a motor yacht, and then later converted into the Ketch seen in the film. Another internet forum yielded a clew that there was an article in Classic Boat (Issue 3 Summer 1987) about the conversion. But I doubt I will be able to uncover this issue, its not online.
    I found this quote on YBW.com: ...."
    I don't know what happened to the original, but the year after the film was made the boat used for filming was in Lymington Yacht Haven. I think Laurent Giles had some part in the design.
    It was immaculate looking, but little of it appeared worked. But that didn't matter because it was only required to look good from the camera's point of view.
    Below there was no fitting out - it was a shell containing only a huge Mercedes engine to get it quickly to the right place at the right time.
    All the cabin interiors were shot in a studio."...... which sounds like a plausible comment, right? I was unable to dig up much about a person named Laurent Giles.
    Thats all I have for now but I will post more as I get it. Thanks again everyone!
    -Frank

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    4,492

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    "John ('Jack') Laurent Giles (1901-1969) was a naval architect who was particularly famous for his sailing yachts. He and his company designed more than 1000 boats from cruisers and racing yachts to megayachts." See Wiki.

    As to the film version of Dulcibella, I'd be surprised if what you were told about her wasn't correct. Also, don't forget that she could be quite different to the "real" Dulcibella (ie of the book), and not many film-goers would know otherwise -- in other words, the film makers could rightly expect to 'get away with it'.

    Mike
    Visit us to see how we help people complete classic boats authentically.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Cushing, Maine
    Posts
    2,990

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    RNLI I believe has done a pretty good job with their history. I know that there is a RNLI museum down on the Thames down I think at Deptford. It may well be possible to get drawings of the RNLI boat that purportedly was converted. I suspect that the board was a simple rectangle not dropped very far. Weighted or metal. A quick look at Uffa Fox who sailed a whaleboat (double ended 30' ships boat) with his Sea Scouts shows a rectangular board as do the various whaleboats in Willets Ansel's whaleboat book.
    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."

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    32,582

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    Some more RNLI data
    A later motor sailing lifeboat

    Restoring a pulling lifeboat. The CB trunk would not have extended above the deck, and may be visible here:

    Here she is finished. The deck is clear throughout.

    The CB case from a much later motor lifeboat, still below the deck
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    4,492

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    Nick, your first sketch shows what I would call a 'typical' centreboard -- much as in the earlier sketches posted (although the top of the board isn't drawn). The last photo though seems to be showing a daggerplate case and slot rather than a proper centreboard case -- okay for a lifeboat in deep water, but not so suitable in a shoal-draft cruiser.

    Mike
    Visit us to see how we help people complete classic boats authentically.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    32,582

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wooden Boat Fittings View Post
    Nick, your first sketch shows what I would call a 'typical' centreboard -- much as in the earlier sketches posted (although the top of the board isn't drawn). The last photo though seems to be showing a daggerplate case and slot rather than a proper centreboard case -- okay for a lifeboat in deep water, but not so suitable in a shoal-draft cruiser.

    Mike
    Look at the diagonal rows of rivets, they suggest a triangular or fan shape board in a square case with internal structure.
    Your comment about a shoal draft cruiser is only relevant if J Price replaced the original case. That is unlikely but if he did, it will be impossible to answer Frankie's question.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Southern Maine
    Posts
    19,483

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    Was she an RNLI boat or a ship's lifeboat, I thought the latter. Whichever it was unlikely to be anything like the boat in the movie. The whole point is that it's the antithesis of a "yacht".

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    32,582

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hwyl View Post
    Was she an RNLI boat or a ship's lifeboat, I thought the latter. Whichever it was unlikely to be anything like the boat in the movie. The whole point is that it's the antithesis of a "yacht".
    This is the RNLI lifeboat from the short lived Kingsgate Gap station, north Kent.

    Converted by boat builder J Price of Ramsgate, two harbours round the coast to the east.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    4,492

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Look at the diagonal rows of rivets, they suggest a triangular or fan shape board in a square case with internal structure.
    Your comment about a shoal draft cruiser is only relevant if J Price replaced the original case. That is unlikely but if he did, it will be impossible to answer Frankie's question.
    Hh'mmm... I only see those diagonal rivets as reinforcing the case -- maybe allowing the plate to slop a bit fore and aft if it strikes something. It looks that slot's only about a foot long, which doesn't give much room to work the top of an L-shaped centreboard.

    Along with Gareth, I thought the Dulcibella was a ship's lifeboat conversion -- but I confess to being too lazy to look it up right now....

    Mike
    Last edited by Wooden Boat Fittings; 02-01-2016 at 10:43 PM. Reason: Grammatisised a bit....
    Visit us to see how we help people complete classic boats authentically.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    SF Bay Area- Richmond
    Posts
    15,153

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    All I can find in the online novel is, "Two huge coils of stout and dingy warp lay just abaft the mainmast, and summed up the weather-beaten aspect of the little ship. I should add here that in the distant past she had been a lifeboat, and had been clumsily converted into a yacht by the addition of a counter, deck, and the necessary spars. She was built, as all lifeboats are, diagonally, of two skins of teak, and thus had immense strength, though, in the matter of looks, all a hybrid's failings."
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    32,582

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wooden Boat Fittings View Post
    Hh'mmm... I only see them those diagonal rivets as reinforcing the case -- maybe allowing the plate to slop a bit for and aft if it strikes something. It looks that slot's only about a foot long, which doesn't give much room to work the top of an L-shaped centreboard.

    With Gareth, I thought the Dulcibella was a ship's lifeboat conversion -- but I confess to being too lazy to look it up right now....

    Mike
    Why do you assume an L shaped plate? A fan shaped plate as shown in the profile drawing in the same post would fit in that case. The slot in the top for the plate lifting gear at the top aft corner of the plate, the slot in the keel the same length as the case, setting the radius of the "fan" shaped plate.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    32,582

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne View Post
    All I can find in the online novel is, "Two huge coils of stout and dingy warp lay just abaft the mainmast, and summed up the weather-beaten aspect of the little ship. I should add here that in the distant past she had been a lifeboat, and had been clumsily converted into a yacht by the addition of a counter, deck, and the necessary spars. She was built, as all lifeboats are, diagonally, of two skins of teak, and thus had immense strength, though, in the matter of looks, all a hybrid's failings."
    The Vixen‘s certificate of registry says she was built by J. Price of Albion Road, Ramsgate, of whom little is known that isn’t legend and hearsay. But it is thought that Price specialised in turning lifeboats into yachts – and that he may have done his boat-building directly on the beach at Ramsgate. It’s also suggested that Price named all his boats Vixen, which suggests either a wicked sense of humour or a terrible failure of imagination.
    The Thomas Chapman lifeboat at Kingsgate station – but is it the first Thomas Chapman, or the second?


    According to Maldwin Drummond, the Vixen was initially the lifeboat Thomas Chapman, built by Thomas William Woolfe & Sons of 46-47 Lower Shadwell – just at the end of the Ratcliffe Highway, which Childers visited during the early pages of The Riddle of the Sands. The Thomas Chapman was the second lifeboat of that name, built for the lifeboat station at Kingsgate, near Margate in Kent. The only trouble was, it seems the boat was a little too wide for the gap in the cliffs down which Kingsgate lifeboats were launched, and it seems the Thomas Chapman only launched once, after which he was sold to Joseph Price, and became a she, the Vixen.
    from http://riddleofthesands.net/wordpres...en-a-lifeboat/
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Southern Maine
    Posts
    19,483

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    From Nick's link.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Cummington
    Posts
    5,238

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    Nice!

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    4,492

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Why do you assume an L shaped plate?
    Because that's where this discussion of shoal-draft cruiser centreboards started, I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    A fan shaped plate as shown in the profile drawing in the same post would fit in that case. The slot in the top for the plate lifting gear at the top aft corner of the plate, the slot in the keel the same length as the case, setting the radius of the "fan" shaped plate.
    But if it's only a fan-shaped plate then there's no need for a slot at all, just a hole for the pendant to run through. Having a needlessly uncovered slot is just a recipe for full bilges.

    Pivot at forward end, pendant at after end, slot fully covered --


    Also, there's no sign of a pivot (especially), or a pendant hole or covering strip in your photo. Or is that just an under-construction pic, and none of those things had been added at that stage?
    Visit us to see how we help people complete classic boats authentically.

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    32,582

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    The CB case from a much later motor lifeboat, still below the deck
    Quote Originally Posted by Wooden Boat Fittings View Post

    But if it's only a fan-shaped plate then there's no need for a slot at all, just a hole for the pendant to run through. Having a needlessly uncovered slot is just a recipe for full bilges.

    Pivot at forward end, pendant at after end, slot fully covered --


    Also, there's no sign of a pivot (especially), or a pendant hole or covering strip in your photo. Or is that just an under-construction pic, and none of those things had been added at that stage?
    The pivot structure is most likely hidden in all of that clutter at the lower right corner of the image. Alternatively it may be through the external keel, allowing for maintenance without opening up the airtight tanks under the deck.
    Similarly with the lifting gear, there is more than one way to skin a cat. What works for your little dinghy wont work for a 7 ton lifeboat. Any water coming up through that slot will run aft on the inner bottom and out through the drains, along with all of the other water coming in over the rail.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    1,314

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    Frankie, I would love to see pictures of your build. Dulcibella is hovering just off my 'to do' list - but if I went ahead, it would be for R/C, and very likely 1/8th scale.

    Andy
    "We were schooner-rigged and rakish, with a long and lissome hull ..."

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Jersey City, New Jersey, united states
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    I'm listening to the unabridged audio version uploaded to Librivox.org, combing the chapters for references to the visual appearance of the Dulcibella. I am hoping to find a passage where they mention the color of the hull, it is white in the film version.
    I did come across a reference to the drop keel/centerboard. Also called the "Plate" in one line of dialogue. Caruthers has to go below periodically to raise and lower it so this tells me all its tackle is below decks. He also says it will spit mud into the compartment if he doesn't jam some rags into the gaps, so this should say something about its construction?
    I found an actual photo of the lifeboat the Movie Prop Dulcibella was built from: the Susan Ashley. I will see if I can put up the photo.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Southern Maine
    Posts
    19,483

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!


  30. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    4,492

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    The pivot structure is most likely hidden in all of that clutter at the lower right corner of the image. Alternatively it may be through the external keel, allowing for maintenance without opening up the airtight tanks under the deck.
    Certainly either would be possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Similarly with the lifting gear, there is more than one way to skin a cat. What works for your little dinghy wont work for a 7 ton lifeboat.
    Well, my "little dinghy" was actually 15' and a quarter-tonner; and while her steel centreboard didn't need any lifting tackle, had it been any heavier it would have. I agree that her rig certainly wouldn't work for your 7-ton lifeboat. Lifting tackle would have been essential if you wanted to fine-tune the draft under way. Are you suggesting the tackle would have been rigged vertically through the slot, like my hand-operated one, and as Frankie says Pioneer's was??

    In a cruiser the size of Dulcibella I think the top of the c/b would almost certainly have been L-shaped as originally supposed, the top part (the 'L') protruding from the case (or the case built up around it), and the tackle operated horizontally from the top of the 'L', using the mast as the anchor point for the tackle. The drawings of Otter and Eel both show that sort of arrangement, and a similar geometry was quite common in many shoal-water craft that size. But the slot in the lifeboat photo only looks just big enough to take the 'L', without allowing any fore-and-aft movement for it. That's why I was inclined to think the case was for a permanent dagger-board rather than an adjustable centre-board. But, for instance, was the c/b of an 1890s lifeboat made of steel or timber? If the former, and depending on the pivot position, then just possibly the 'L' could have been made narrow enough fore-and-aft to operate successfully within that foot-long slot. More information would be useful.


    But as far as the OP's initial question is concerned, the top of an L-shaped centreboard would not necessarily have to protrude through the deck, as those sketches show. It could be low enough to be accommodated under the fore-deck. A table could certainly be built over the after-part, and I would expect the table might abut a full-height bulkhead at the forward end, the bulkhead dividing the saloon from a fore-cabin where the c/b tackle could operate unseen. (This is conjecture on my part -- I don't remember enough about the story.) With the lifting tackle leading first forward to the mast, then to starboard, then aft, as shown for Eel (but below deck), there would still be room for a pipe cot in the fore-cabin to port, and for plenty of additional stowage.

    As to the length of the case in the main cabin, a centreboard's effectiveness is mainly a function of its depth, not its length, and it doesn't have to be particularly long. You will see from the sketch of Eel that there would be sufficient room for a companionway ladder to enter the cabin from the side (something else I'd forgotten about in Dulcibella), aft of the c/b case.

    Mike
    Visit us to see how we help people complete classic boats authentically.

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    32,582

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wooden Boat Fittings View Post
    Certainly either would be possible.



    Well, my "little dinghy" was actually 15' and a quarter-tonner; and while her steel centreboard didn't need any lifting tackle, had it been any heavier it would have. I agree that her rig certainly wouldn't work for your 7-ton lifeboat. Lifting tackle would have been essential if you wanted to fine-tune the draft under way. Are you suggesting the tackle would have been rigged vertically through the slot, like my hand-operated one, and as Frankie says Pioneer's was??

    In a cruiser the size of Dulcibella I think the top of the c/b would almost certainly have been L-shaped as originally supposed, the top part (the 'L') protruding from the case (or the case built up around it), and the tackle operated horizontally from the top of the 'L', using the mast as the anchor point for the tackle. The drawings of Otter and Eel both show that sort of arrangement, and a similar geometry was quite common in many shoal-water craft that size. But the slot in the lifeboat photo only looks just big enough to take the 'L', without allowing any fore-and-aft movement for it. That's why I was inclined to think the case was for a permanent dagger-board rather than an adjustable centre-board. But, for instance, was the c/b of an 1890s lifeboat made of steel or timber? If the former, and depending on the pivot position, then just possibly the 'L' could have been made narrow enough fore-and-aft to operate successfully within that foot-long slot. More information would be useful.


    But as far as the OP's initial question is concerned, the top of an L-shaped centreboard would not necessarily have to protrude through the deck, as those sketches show. It could be low enough to be accommodated under the fore-deck. A table could certainly be built over the after-part, and I would expect the table might abut a full-height bulkhead at the forward end, the bulkhead dividing the saloon from a fore-cabin where the c/b tackle could operate unseen. (This is conjecture on my part -- I don't remember enough about the story.) With the lifting tackle leading first forward to the mast, then to starboard, then aft, as shown for Eel (but below deck), there would still be room for a pipe cot in the fore-cabin to port, and for plenty of additional stowage.

    As to the length of the case in the main cabin, a centreboard's effectiveness is mainly a function of its depth, not its length, and it doesn't have to be particularly long. You will see from the sketch of Eel that there would be sufficient room for a companionway ladder to enter the cabin from the side (something else I'd forgotten about in Dulcibella), aft of the c/b case.

    Mike
    You are forgetting that Vixen/Dulcibela was converted from an RNLI lifeboat. It is extremely unlikely that the boat builder J Price would have ripped out the perfectly serviceable centre plate and case to build a new one of differing design. He had a living to make, so will have spent as little on materials and time as he could get away with.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    4,492

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    Nick, you in turn might be forgetting that I'm from about 10,000 miles away and don't know many of the technical details of RNLI lifeboats. Perhaps you do know them. If so, please enlighten us as to how their centreboards were in fact rigged a century ago. (I was hoping I'd put that question politely enough in my last post, but perhaps it was too polite for you to notice it. )

    But more to the point, how do we know that the fictional Dulcibella had been an RNLI lifeboat at all? The real Vixen may have been, and you may have assumed that she was what Childers based Dulcibella on (or you may even know that for a fact, in which case please enlighten us further). But most lifeboat conversions were from ship's lifeboats, and it seems from a quick perusal of the book on-line that which type of lifeboat Dulcibella had been simply wasn't specified.

    So as far as I can see, and since we apparently have no infomation one way or the other, a conversion from a ship's lifeboat seems a better bet than from an RNLI lifeboat.


    For Frankie, I note that there was indeed a fore-cabin -- Childers refers to it as a forecastle, and says it's divided from the main cabin by a "low sliding door like that of a rabbit-hutch".
    Visit us to see how we help people complete classic boats authentically.

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    32,582

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wooden Boat Fittings View Post
    Nick, you in turn might be forgetting that I'm from about 10,000 miles away and don't know many of the technical details of RNLI lifeboats. Perhaps you do know them. If so, please enlighten us as to how their centreboards were in fact rigged a century ago. (I was hoping I'd put that question politely enough in my last post, but perhaps it was too polite for you to notice it. )

    But more to the point, how do we know that the fictional Dulcibella had been an RNLI lifeboat at all? The real Vixen may have been, and you may have assumed that she was what Childers based Dulcibella on (or you may even know that for a fact, in which case please enlighten us further). But most lifeboat conversions were from ship's lifeboats, and it seems from a quick perusal of the book on-line that which type of lifeboat Dulcibella had been simply wasn't specified.

    So as far as I can see, and since we apparently have no infomation one way or the other, a conversion from a ship's lifeboat seems a better bet than from an RNLI lifeboat.


    For Frankie, I note that there was indeed a fore-cabin -- Childers refers to it as a forecastle, and says it's divided from the main cabin by a "low sliding door like that of a rabbit-hutch".
    Read all of the posts, look at all of the pictures. There are quotes c&p'd that even name the RNLI lifeboat and who converted her. The pictures that I posted are of vintage RNLI lifeboats that have been restored to original. I have posted two pictures of Vixen/Dulcibella at the end of her life. I have tried to post as much original factual data as I could find.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Cushing, Maine
    Posts
    2,990

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    I wonder if any of the followers of this thread could stop in at Chatham where the RNLI has their historic lifeboat collection, get a couple of pictures. They have a couple of 1900 row/sail boats there. Remotely it would be possible for some one perhaps the OP to contact the RNLI archives http://rnli.org/aboutus/historyandhe...llections.aspx to see what they might have in the way of plans or what the system was at that time for plans. I know the NMM in Greenwich has plans for most of the 19th century Royal Naval ships boats; they may have the RNLI plans as well.
    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."

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    4,492

    Default Re: Building a model of Dulcibella from Riddle of the Sands. Have questions!

    Yes, read all the posts, looked at all the pictures. Nowhere did I see where Childers says his boat Vixen was used as the model for the fictional Dulcibella. This was exactly the sort of information which, if you'd had it, might have helped the discussion. Seems you don't.

    It also seems that we're at the end of this conversation, I guess. But perhaps Frankie might have learnt something from it anyway.
    Visit us to see how we help people complete classic boats authentically.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •