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Further planking ….


Another section of the garboard plank has been positioned on the starboard side. This section finishes at frame 23 and has been wedged into position ready to be permanently fastened to the frames .

The new section has a butt joint with the other section and the cross section photo shows the taper on the edges to allow for caulking between the planks.


Raising the foredeck planks ….


The bow section of decking has been raised and is being covered with plywood until any repairs commence. The king plank and Samson post remain in place until they are inspected and assessed.  They may need repairing in the shed or in situ.

( King Plank  –  The primary main structural extra wide and often thicker deck plank laid
on the vessel’s centreline in a sprung or swept deck and into which the ends of the decking planks are joggled. )         The reference to the decking planks being joggled into the king plank does not apply to the Alma Doepel. The deck planks are joggled or stepped into the cover boards. The following new photo shows how the Alma Doepel deck is laid.

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(  Sampson Post  –  Any post well attached to the vessel’s structure to take heavy loads. On
cargo vessels they are often rigged with a derrick. Frequently used to
name a mooring bollard. )

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The extent of the deck being raised and the subsequent laying of plywood is evident, all this enables the shipwrights to examine the top of the deck beams. The top is the most likely area of the beams to have soft timber as some of the deck fasteners were leaking water. Most, if not all, deck beams midships and aft have been repaired or replaced already.

Garboard strake progress ….

The new strake has been fastened with a large temporary bolt near the bow and several permanent dumps and spikes. This strake starts at the bow and ends at frame 13 and is over 6 metres long. The holes with the dump and spike heads within will be plugged with hard wood dowel and glued to provide a water tight seal.


First section of the garboard strake ….

The first “below the water” plank has been fitted.  This plank, sited next to the keel is the garboard plank and runs the length of the ship on starboard and port. This plank has been steamed and bent into shape then attached to the hull. Planking will proceed forward of frame 26 – approximately the forward half of the ship.

Volunteers at work ….

The preparation and painting of the steel keel shoe is still a work in progress for several volunteers. All steel surfaces are cleaned with wire brushes, of all paint and rust before being painted.

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The decking on the port fore deck has had the caulking removed and is now being lifted.

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All the dumps are being removed and the timber of all beams are being assessed for repairs or replacement. The dump pulling machine has been manufactured in-house by volunteers. Works really well.


Shipwrights work ….



Some of the frames and the keelson have needed extra timber laminated onto them to get the correct shape. The extra timber will be planed to the exact shape needed before being painted ready for planking.

The shipwrights also need to calculate many dimensions relevant to the frames and planks. Each plank is a unique part of the hull and its dimensions, its taper or bend or twist needs to be known and the effect on the other planks.

The gaps between the keelson, the frames and the keel are being sealed, from port and starboard, with suitable hardwood timber pieces. These pieces are shaped by the shipwrights to fit exactly and tightly in the spaces.

New load of planks ….

Another load of hardwood planking timber has been delivered to Shed 2. This timber is relatively green and will be some of the first to be used when planking commences again. Green timber is suited to planking below water line.