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July 18, 2006

Planking Begins

The first planking of the hull has begun, using cyanoacrylate to tack the planks in place, and carpenter's wood glue for the full glue-up. The planks are drilled at each bulkhead, and push-pins used to hold them in place while the glue cures.

Following every piece of planking advice I've ever heard, I'm planking the hull one plank at a time, alternating between the port and starbord sides of the hull to avoid distortion of the hull form.

Photos later.

July 11, 2006

Frame Assembly

With the keel straight, the next step was to test-fit the bulkheads and false deck, check the alignment, and make any necessary adjustments before then gluing the bulkheads in place.

Bulkheads were added one at a time, squared up and the glue allowed to dry before proceeding to the next bulkhead. After the first was added, the bow support blocks were glued into place. As each subsequent bulkhead was added, I checked the fit of the false deck. When all the frames had been glued in place, the false deck was checked one more time, and then glued and pinned into place.

I then took the time to "fair" the bulkheads smooth so that the planks will eventually run with firm contact along their entire length, rather than contacting the bulkheads only.

(The above image taken from Keith Julier's New Period Ship Handbook.)

July 08, 2006

Keel Straight

The keel, after several days under weights, in a baggie with a damp sponge, has indeed straightened.

It feels slightly damp, though, so now it's out of the bag and under weight for a day or two of drying.

July 04, 2006

Straightening the keel

To straighten the keel, I'm trying a method I've read about: I've placed the keel, which is made of high-grade plywood, into a ziplock bag with a damp sponge.

This should loosen up the glue which binds ply to ply just enough for the keel to straighten out, assisted by a pair of flat surfaces and a bit of weight.

It might take a few days, though.

July 03, 2006

The real beginning

I began by examining the box and its contents. Everything looked complete and intact.

The main keel/backbone piece, however, is slightly warped.

Building a ship around a warped keel will probably yield a warped ship, so it might behoove a fellow to attempt to straighten the keel.


I've decided to document my construction of the Mamoli kit of the Black Prince.

From the Mamoli website:

During the Revolutionary War (1774 - 76) private vessels (privateers) were commissioned by the colonial rebel government to prey on British commerce everywhere and to capture, when possible, British ship. At the time of the Revolutionary War, Benjamin Franklin was ambassador to France. He allowed to buy French built corsairs through an important ship broker. These corsairs were the predecessors of the Baltimore Clippers. The ships were painted black so as to be nearly invisible at night. They were named Black Prince and Black Princess. The crew were Portuguese seamen but captained by an American. They preyed on the British trade in English coastal waters and for over a year nearly destroyed Britain’s trade with the rest of the world.