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Last starboard plank ….

This is the last starboard plank to be fastened until the ship is ready to be floated. Work will now concentrate on the port strakes.


Starboard planking nears the end ….

During Thursday 9th of April 2020 I received 3 photos showing the amazing progress of the planking of the Alma Doepel on the starboard side. The photos were sent to me courtesy of Peter Harris.

The top photo shows the space where the next 2 planks will be fixed.

The lower photo shows the forward most plank fixed.

The photo below shows all the attached planks painted and the space for the plank to be fixed after Easter.  Photo again thanks to Peter.

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There are 5 planks on each side to be fitted below the sheer strake where the white side props are bolted to the hull. The props are needed to support the hull while it is on the barge.

On the port side there are about 25 planks still be attached.

Three weeks ago ….

Three weeks ago the newly arrived planks were being shaped readt for fitting – with the remaining space being filled quickly.  Many of these planks did not need the time to be steamed into shape. Note the space, on both port and starboard, needing to be plank still.

Watertight bulkheads ….

During the past month the shipwrights have started making the bulkheads watertight. This has involved fabricating timber to tightly fit between the bulkhead edge and the adjacent frame. This timber piece is such a tight fit in the cavity that it is hydraulically pushed into place. The ceiling planks also need a “flange” to be attached to.  Some of the iron hanging knees are also close to the bulkheads.

Completed strakes @11/3/2020 ….

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The total completed strakes  is 19 as at 11/3/2020.  The strakes U and W have been completed.  The total planks attached is 309.  Many planks have been attached as part of the N to S strakes which are still to be completed.

Port planking progress ….

The top photo was taken on 4/3/2020 and shows the incomplete strakes  –  planks still needed to be attached –  above the white vinyl wrapped plank.   One week later two strakes had been completed. Many of these planks did not need to be steamed into shape saving time.

New planks attached ….

Some planks that have been attached midships have not needed to be steamed to the required shape.  A greater number of planks can be attached each week if steaming is not necessary.  Each plank still needs to be planned, measured and shaped but 3 – 4 hours of steaming  is saved.

Ceiling plank refurbishment ….

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An ongoing task has been the refurbishment of the ceiling planks. The section photographed shows some original  ( topmost planks ) and several refitted ceiling planks ( white painted and sanded timber ). While the hull planks were removed the ceiling planks could  passed through the gaps from the barge deck below.  Now that the lower hull planks are attached the ceiling planks will need to be taken onto the ship’s deck and lowered into the appropriate position.

Refitting the iron hanging knees ….

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The shipwrights have commenced refitting the iron hanging knees. The knees are refitted before some planks can be put in place. A template of the timber behinfd the knees provides the shape for the backing timber.

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The backing timber is shaped from the same spotted gum that has been used on the hull.

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The knees can be refitted with bolts. Planking can be started over the countersunk bolt heads.

The following photos show the knees already fitted on both starboard and port.


Planking update ….

The following photos show the progress in planking the spaces in the upper strakes. Work is concentrating on the stern and bow areas both port and starboard.

Some photos appear “spotted” – it was raining.