Skip to content

The rudder post … (not the stern post …..)

I have had it brought to my attention that a basic identification error has occurred in this posting. The item identified as the stern post is in fact the rudder post. I will amend the posting and add some extra information provided to me.

The Rudder post ( not stern post ) photographed in situ at the end of July 2016 has since  been removed for assessment. It is thought that the Rudder post ( not stern post  ) is the original from the 1903 construction of the Alma Doepel and therefore of great significance. The timber has deteriorated and has been repaired previously.

“The stern post is where the hull planks end and has the 1916 stern gland and cut-off propeller shaft still in place.The rudder post was aft of the 1916 propeller aperture and is the post shown on the workshop floor, with the semi-circular shape cut for the rudder stock. The stern post has been left in place and last week a graving piece was
fitted over the old stern tube and finished off to give a level surface for the next set of timbers, the aftermost of which will be the new rudder post.”

Thanks to P. Harris for additional information and corrections.

The timbers from the rudder post ( not stern post ) lie in Shed 2 while they are assessed. If the original rudder post ( not stern post ) cannot be repaired, large pieces of hardwood timber will be needed to construct a new rudder post ( not stern post ). The future preservation of the original timbers would then be decided by the involved experts.

Starboard stringer….


The starboard stringer has been completed through the engine room and into the Master’s cabin.

Last spar progress …

The final spar is progressing with layers or laminates being laid. Each layer needs to be shaped for the fittings needed before they are glued. Recesses for the end pulleys etc need to be planned ahead and completed before being laminated.

Final spar commenced ….

Work has commenced on the last spar. A plain scarf or lap splice is used to join the oregon timber planks to the required length.  Layers of the planks will be glued above this initial layer until the correct height is attained. The scarfs of each subsequent layer will be staggered from the layer below to maximise the spar’s strength.

AD 28082016 ready(16)AD 28082016 ready(8)

All recesses and shaping for the spar’s fitting have to be planned before the spar is laminated and shaped. The initial layer already has shapes cut out for future fittings.

Re-using Alma Doepel timber …..

AD 30072016 ready (49)

Some timber of the old stringer that has been removed is being reused to repair stanchions at the stern of the ship. The timber lying flat on the bench has been deemed sound and pieces have been shaped and laminated to parts of the stanchion. The clamps are holding the parts together while the Epiglue cures.


Stringer scarfs ….

Some of the stringer timbers have been joined used a flat scarf. A vertical join is all that can be seen at eye level but from above and below there is a taper in the end of each piece of timber. The angle of the taper is determined by the shipwright and will depend on the type of timber, the load on the timber, other joins already used etc.

AD 30072016 stringers ready  (5)

AD 30072016 stringers ready  (11)

The second type of scarf used is the plain scarf as shown with the photo of the painted and unpainted timbers. The lower photo shows the scarf cut at the end of the timber ready for a matching join. These scarfs are bolted vertically and the bolt ends are then plugged.

Further information on scarfs.


Starboard stringer replacement ….

The starboard stringer needed to be replaced. When the Alma Doepel was built this would have been a continuous piece of hardwood. This was impossible to do when replacing the stringer. Many lengths of hardwood – 4 – 6 meters in length – were used. These timbers were shaped in Shed 2 and then lifted on board. The access to each cabin area was so restictive for such large timbers that access for positioning each piece was from the engine compartment. A block and tackle and much human effort was needed to push the timbers past the bulkheads to their correct position. The first photo shows how this was done.

The other three photos show a gap between the stringer and the beam shelf above it. This gap will be closed by forcing the stringer up before the final fastening of it to the frames.