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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.

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Bow and stern views ….

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

The bow ….

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Starboard

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Port

The covers ( plywood with foam inside ) have all been removed from bow – revealing the beauty and size of the the timbers. Soon work is to commence on the bow, removing all nails and bolts, dowelling all holes and painting.

Bolts and nuts ….

 

Several temporary bolts have been removed from the new frames and the shipwrights have needed the holes to be dowelled. The hard wood dowel will be sawn flush with frame, sanded smooth and the painted. This will give a solid watertight sealing of the hole.  Volunteers have done this work saving valuable shipwrights time.

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Several more bolts that appeared sound when the exposed sections were inspected but experience dictated that they be pulled out. Fortunately within the timber the bolts are all rusting.

The timber encasing the centreboard casing is being refurbished. Several bolts have been removed and the holes drilled out ready for new larger bolts to be inserted. All nuts and washers on all other bolts are being removed and replaced with new ones. These timbers are sanded and painted.

Floor beams ….

Two photos showing the space between the keel ( lower section of photo showing timber and steel ) and the keelson ( top portion of the photo ). in the bottom photo on the left is a new floor beam and on the right an old floor beam that may need to be replaced. The top photo shows a larger space and the end of a frame. A floor beam will be attached from either side as the bolt between the keel and keelson prevents a continuous floor beam being pushed through the space.

Bending beams ….

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A non steaming or laminating method of bending a floor beam is to use a winch between two beams continually increase the pressure until the desired bend is achieved. Timber this size does not bend easily using steam. By using this method it saves laminating another beam. The smaller beam beneath the trestles may be used as a floor beam depending on where the shipwrights decide the joins between the frame sections should be. The floor beams are the straighter midship frame sections either side of the keel. They are generally not joined at the keel but a solid piece pushed through the gap between the keel and keelson.

Rusty bolts ….

Two photos of the same bolt remnants. When this bolt was cut the cross-section remaining appeared to be solid but it was decided to removed the bolt to give an indication of what the bolts may be like. After drilling the timber away from the bolt and then welding a metal extension to the bolt it was then pulled out of the timber. The bolt that had appeared sound at each end was in fact badly rusted in the centre.