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Had a private visit to the ship, it was rather interesting!

Current status: masts are being installed, rigging is in progress, various small construction projects are ongoing as well.

After the launch, there was a bit of water in the bilge, but not more than expected. Bilge pumps are working 24/7, but the bilge is just barely wet, which is also expected. 

Apparently there was a lot of green lumber used during construction, so there is a lot of cracks and distortion everywhere. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Cannons are ready and waiting to be installed:



Cradle pieces are no longer in use:



Julia, the best guide ever! :) 



Interesting planking - plywood layer in between.



One of the ship's boats:



Some rope preparations:



The large construction area where Poltava was built. Now empty:



The main sponsor local headquarters, nearly completed (from the outside):





The rest of the photos, can't annotate them all. Pretty self-explanatory!

























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The 1:12 model is already on display in a yacht-club that is a part of the whole place. Pretty hard to photo, since it is right behind the window, pardon for the photo quality :(

Oak looks weird, and I can imagine how hard it is to shape it... A lot of iron nails are used, and they already started to corrode and darken the oak around it, not sure why they are used. 

But on that scale you can look between the frames even when they are correctly spaced!
















Poltava's ship wheel is on display here as well, not yet finished. 

Would be fully functioning once completed:


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Great pics, Mike.  Some fascinating insight into decking details, interior bulwarks and ‘tween decks.  She sure sits pretty on the water!  Amazing, also, how wide the main top really is.  Thank you for posting these!

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That looks like a nasty split in the darker strip along the wales; guess even the big boys have trouble with plank bending sometimes?

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Yes, not surprised if this happened after the installation (though I do not know for sure). Direct sunlight on a dark stained wood is never a good idea, the crack is on the side facing the window.

Also, it was built in a pretty harsh conditions - the workshop was in a construction container that was standing outside, I would be surprised if this container has a stable temperature and humidity...

Edited by Mike Y

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A few construction details of the replica stand out and are interesting to me.  First - the planking of the lower stern counter overlaps the side planking.  Usually, in my general understanding of 17th/18th C. ship construction, the side planking would overlap the stern planking.  I wonder why.


Also, the edge detail of the poop deck reveals what appears to be plywood (maybe 1/2") between the surface deck planking, and an interior ceiling planking.  Although the seams are kerfed and "caulked" with modern sealant, I wonder whether the plywood is just a modern consideration for extra water protection that will ultimately be covered with an edge board faccia.


Replicas always strive for visible authenticity, but it is only reasonable that the constructors would make certain concessions that might reduce maintenance costs in the future.

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Well, this is as close to a high quality replica as it can get. No design alterations to accomodate a motor (there is no motor), and the whole construction is designed based on the british historical books, but some internal details are adjusted to increase the lifespan or save materials (laminated keel and knees instead of a solid ones). Extra plywood layer on the roof might be one of those things, not sure about lower stern counter, looks unusual indeed.

I feel sad about a non-seasoned wood, the amount of cracks is quite high for a ship that is just launched (look on the railings, for example), which means a high maintenance cost to either fill & sand & refinish cracked parts, or wait until they rot and replace them with a seasoned wood. And I doubt that the maintenance budget would be anywhere close to the construction budget - it would be a part of the museum, so would be funded by the ministry of culture, and culture expenses are not high on a priority list at the moment. 

It would be on the open air in a pretty harsh climate, famous for wet winds, wet snow and sunny days mixed with wet days. Wooden buildings in this region do not last for long, unless they are made out of seasoned wood, finished with a high quality outdoor finish and are properly maintained.

Edited by Mike Y

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That does sound like a maintenance nightmare.  I hope funding and upkeep go well as she's a beautiful ship.  

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Yes, the ballast is not yet in place. The guide said that they will use metal weights as a ballast, not stones. Do not know the exact details.

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The replica participated in the Annual Naval celebrations in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kronstadt - the strategically placed island that was used as a naval base for hundreds of years (and still is).


Some things are not yet finished (like a ship wheel - just temporary placed on a deck as a decoration). I guess things are slowing down due to summer vacations. 
















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I am blown away by the relative scale of these 17th C. ships, when placed in a modern context.


Poltava would have been, in her time, a large and powerful 3rd rate ship, however, by today’s standard we make tugboats that seem to dwarf her, or at least minimize her scale.  And, forget about the skyscraper in the background!


The same would be true of even the largest first-rates from this time period.  The Royal Sovereign would be more serf-like.  There’s still nothing prettier on the water, though.


I have enjoyed this photo log, and it has helped clarify an issue I have been grappling with, regarding my representation of Heller’s Soleil Royal.


I know that the so called “dead works” above the waterline would have been fastened with iron, and not tree nails.  Ergo, to protect the iron, the French would have painted everything above the waterline, as has been done, here, with Poltava.


The particular color the French would have used throughout the 17th into the 18th century, between the wales, would be an orangy brown called “ventre de biche.”


I had been more of a mind to paint a natural weathered timber appearance for the lower and middle decks, because I did not want an overly painted, or dandified looking model.  My model is supposed to represent the ship just a few years after her refit in 1688/89.


I can see, though, that with Poltava - even a short exposure to the elements has begun to weather streak her hull.  I realize, now, that I can dry brush this very light weathering, and achieve a much more realistic appearance.


As always, Mike, thank you for sharing your pictures and insight!

Edited by Hubac's Historian

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