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Stern layout ….

While work is continuing at the bow and work at the stern has all but stopped, great development has been achieved with the layout of the stern. The batten curved around the outside of the staunchions  has laid out the shape of the counter.

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New timber bolted to keelson ….

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A new section of hardwood timber has been bolted to the keelson at the centreboard casing. This timber will be dovetailed with the new frames. the shipwrights will make a tight dovetail joint between the end of the new frame and the new timber in the photo. The sawn off ends of the frames can be seen at the left of the photo.

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The new timber bolted to the keelson is on the left and the frame ends are on the right of the photo. The plywood spanning the gap is providing a safe floor in the cabin space above.

Frame sections removed ….

A section from several frame has been removed to allow timber attached to the keelson to be inspected. The frames adjacent – port and starboard – to the forward centre board casing  have been detached and shortened from the dove tail joint. The large timber attached to the keelson needed to be exposed and removed to assess whether it was sound or needed repairing or replacing. This link is to a short you tube video showing the gap after the frame sections were removed.

Frames painted ….

Volunteers have primed the bare timber on the weekend. This protects the timber from the weather minimising the expansion or shrinkage of the timbers.

Shaping the frames ….

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The shipwrights have shaped the frames ready to start planking. Many hours of planing and measuring have occurred to get this result. There are 50 frames on each side of the hull. The photos show frames 1 to 23 with number 1 frame being at the bow. The starboard frames are shown but the port frames will be shaped soon and planking will begin in a symmetrical manner. This means that if two planks on the port side are attached near the keel then there will be 2 planks attached on the starboard.  Every plank will be attached not alternate planks as was done with the attached upper planks. Alternate planking was used as the planks would have shrunk too much before caulking occurred.

Getting ready for planking ….

The hull, from frame 26 forward is being prepared for planking. Frame 26 is midships – meaning that the forward half of the ship – port and starboard – will soon commence being planked. Preparation involves laying out battens marking the position of the planks. The frames need to be contoured to give the hull the desired shape. Several old frames – where the tripod steel supports were – are used as reference points for this shaping. The bare wood indicates were planing has occurred already to shape the frames.  When the frames are exactly the shape that the shipwrights want then planking will start. Planking will commence from the keel and proceed upwards.  Unlike the planking at the gunwale, each plank will attached rather than alternate planks. The alternate planking gave the hull rigidity and have been in place for up to 2 years. These planks have shrunk during this time and if every plank had been positioned the gap created between the planks would have been too large to properly caulk. The lower planks hopefully will only 6 – 8 months before caulking happens.

Bow and stern views ….

The Alma Doepel provides a great setting for photographers and painters being situated close to the Melbourne CBD.