woodrat

Venetian Carrack or Nave Rotonda 1/64 by woodrat

433 posts in this topic

I will restore as much as possible of the build log of this reconstruction of the vessel, a round ship or nave rotonda, illustrated in the 1445 document by Zorzi Trombetta da Modone ( also known as Timbotta).

 

post-848-0-47967000-1388456615.jpg The Trombetta nave circa1445

 

The lines for the master frame and sheer were based on the extant material available from contemporary sources

 

 

note the rounded bow and stern, the projecting deck timbers, the high forecastle with its "great arch" below and the characteristic clinkered planking below the castle. The temporary lashed shelters attached to  the fore and stern castles were presumably covered with awnings

 

post-848-0-26613600-1388457491_thumb.jpg to show another illustration of the great arch

 

post-848-0-71659900-1388458399_thumb.jpga detail from the arrival of St Ursula at Cologne by Carpaccio. A contemporary view of carracks.

 

post-848-0-55020700-1419821365_thumb.jpg a careened carrack by Botticelli showing deck

detail

 

post-848-0-86547700-1388458320_thumb.jpg a carrack by Bonfigli 1485 showing the transversal bitt projecting below the forecastle whch is also seen on the Trombetta document

 

post-848-0-88499700-1388458497_thumb.jpg A roughly contemporary method of constructing a master-frame by Pre Theodoro

 

post-848-0-36889700-1388458664_thumb.jpgpost-848-0-39384900-1388459187_thumb.jpgpost-848-0-29392600-1388459196_thumb.jpg]This my attempt at a master-frame. All other hull frames are based on this. More to come.

 

Dick

post-848-0-13053100-1419821505_thumb.jpg

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post-848-0-72356400-1388548396_thumb.jpgtail frames are positioned at each end of the keel

 

post-848-0-07455000-1388547390_thumb.jpg Calculation of the narrowing of the frames between the master frame and the tail frames used the geometric "mezza lune" technique. rising of floors can also be calculated by a geometric technique

 

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using these techniques, a half hull block model of the central hull was made and  faired

 

post-848-0-90659500-1388548962_thumb.jpgpost-848-0-96322500-1388548993_thumb.jpg

post-848-0-56000500-1388549013_thumb.jpg As was done by the original shipwrights of the venetian Arsenale, ribbands were then used to make the bow and stern frames.

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post-848-0-51706700-1388549573_thumb.jpg lines were taken off at each stationpost-848-0-95713700-1388549881_thumb.jpg

yvesvidal, ggrieco, dgbot and 9 others like this

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There's something enchanting about a carrack. A much under-represented form, in my opinion.

 

You can keep your clippers and frigates; I don't think you can go past a carrack for a sort of ungainly elegance. Reconstructing the shape using only contemporary representations is difficult but rewarding.

 

It really looks good - keep up the good work.

Salty Sea Dog likes this

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Having taken off the lines the solid half-hull was cut down to main deck level. The side timbers are seen.

post-848-0-17376400-1388615728_thumb.jpgpost-848-0-86487200-1388615787_thumb.jpgmain wales are seen bracketting the deck beamspost-848-0-45167200-1388615852_thumb.jpg transom framing is seen

 

The hull was then planked. Note the projectiing deck beams at forward half of main deck and hold

post-848-0-06197100-1388615951_thumb.jpgpost-848-0-49640500-1388616004_thumb.jpgpost-848-0-94693200-1388616008_thumb.jpg

 

The main deck was planked

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The supporting structure of the forecastle was guessed at and the clinker planking below the forecastle was installed

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the transversal bitt was installed

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the horizontal clinker planking was installed to match the original drawingpost-848-0-25195300-1388617453_thumb.jpg

 

The view from the other sidepost-848-0-90870700-1388617801_thumb.jpgpost-848-0-30872600-1388617805_thumb.jpg

 

Dick

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The quarterdeck beams also project through the side planking

 

post-848-0-20331700-1388663107_thumb.jpgpost-848-0-87077500-1388663103_thumb.jpg

 

Progress on the poop and quarterdeck

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note the characteristic vertical timbers on the ships hull to give extra rigidity and protection to the hull

post-848-0-96456400-1388663396_thumb.jpg

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Hi Woodrat, 

 

I'm glad to see your topic here again... your carrack was truly inspiring, thank you for your pictures.

 

Wish you all the best for this New Year 2014! 

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Your project is a fascinating one, Woodrat. Kudos to you for your reconstruction and interpretation.

 

One point, though: while the deck above the waterline would reasonably have the deck beams protruding through the sides, I am puzzled by the beams below water coming through: surely it would be impossible to keep the joints watertight with the working of the ship. Or do you know something I'm missing here?

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One point, though: while the deck above the waterline would reasonably have the deck beams protruding through the sides, I am puzzled by the beams below water coming through: surely it would be impossible to keep the joints watertight with the working of the ship. Or do you know something I'm missing here?

Thanks Druxey, Bob, Vivian and Doreltomin. Great work Vivian on your caravel, keep posting.

 

You raise a good practical point, Druxey.  The Mataro nao shows no projecting beams below the waterline,

post-848-0-17910000-1388707705_thumb.jpgpost-848-0-37585200-1388707709_thumb.jpg

 

but the Trombetta nave definitely shows thispost-848-0-59612200-1388708047.jpg

 

My theory is this:

  • The drawing was done with the ship out of water in drydock. No masts. Whole hull visible
  • The ship may just have had all its outer sheathing removed and awaiting new sheathing.
  • Sheathing was a layer of sacrificial planking over other materials (hair, bitumen tallow, etc) which protected the hull against shipworm
  • This nave was a a largeish size vessel and the projecting beams below the waterline may have been required to prevent torsional problems.

the outer sheathing may have helped to caulk the projecting beams and cover them.

 

Alternatively, the dotted area between the wales may not be deck beams at all! If so, what do they represent?

 

post-848-0-59654400-1388709291.jpg

 

There are no known wrecks of venetian round ships from this era so this is all speculation. What do you think? Any other ideas in MSW Land? :huh:

Dick

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Dear Dick,

 

Thank you for responding to my query. I agree that there are dark beam-end like squares shown in the Trombetta illustration. My (perhaps uninformed) impression is that these are small blocks of wood, perhaps nailed on, wedged between the heavier wale strakes. This may produce more longitudinal strength without adding too much weight. The deck beam ends shown on the topsides do not all follow the sheer of the ship, whereas the 'blocks' do, all the way forward and aft. Your theory may well be correct, though.

 

 

This is yet another place where I'd love to have a time machine!

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This is yet another place where I'd love to have a time machine!

Or one ot two archaeological finds! I can find no other reference in my books of nautical archaeology to projecting beams below the waterline but sheathing is well attested. Any nautical archaeologists out there?

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Really great work. I'm impressed. However, I would have preferred a full rigged model with sails, rather than a half model. Regardless, this project is truly professional in scope. Thanks for sharing.

 

Montani semper liberi  Happy modeling

    Crackers    :):D

Thanks, Crackers. But if you think the evidence for hull construction is poor, wait till you see what's known about mediaeval rigging!!!

 

I do, however, have a cunning plan to do a full hull with rigging. The half-hull was sort of a proof of concept model. But first I must finish Le Gros Ventre. B) Dick

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Hi Druxey and Woodrat, 

 

Thanks for asking precisely the question I was about to put myself! These ships are indeed truly confusing and without having at least one real example under our nose all this discussion may remain just pure speculation. However, it is very interesting that your model makes us put such good questions and trying find the correct answer. As one friend here on the MSW puts it so nicely, it's not only the model itself, it's mainly the knowledge we gain when building it! 

Vivian Galad, ronkh and mtaylor like this

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Thanks for your response, Dick. Your lovely model has certainly generated good discussion and thought! As for medieval rigging, good luck with that. I'm currently trying to sort out rigging from as 'late' as 1600, and that's tough enough.

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Another thought. Perhaps the ship in drydock is in the process of being planked and the strakes between the main wales are not yet in place. The square blocks could be the underlying frames. :mellow: Dick

post-848-0-15673500-1388792532.jpg

 

The rudder is made of several pieces with wooden battens and metal straps reinforcing. Note the curve of the tiller.

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The fore and aft edges of the blocks are always perpendicular to the keel. Problem solved. Have to change the model now :( Dick

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Well done Dick, excellent point with the frames seen between the wales! Good luck with the rigging and don't be afraid, it is actually simpler than in the 17th century, only you have to do it the way it was done at the time... you can take the Mataro ship as an example. The blocks for instance are different. Will follow you with interest!

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Thanks, Doreltomin. It is unfortunate that the Mataro nao has been interfered with so much over the centuries but it is the best we have. It is a challenging project .

 

Here are some views of the temporary framework used to support awnings on the stern and fore castles. Also the eccentric "bowsprit"post-848-0-47273400-1388891904_thumb.jpgpost-848-0-60325700-1388891908_thumb.jpgpost-848-0-86319500-1388891912_thumb.jpgpost-848-0-83593300-1388891915_thumb.jpgpost-848-0-87376800-1388891917_thumb.jpgpost-848-0-48030000-1388891920_thumb.jpgpost-848-0-01813700-1388891923_thumb.jpg

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The engraver Master W.A. (Willem A. Cruces, ca. 1468) can be very useful for rigging, though as he was based in Flanders it's a moot point how much of the rigging he shows is appropriate to Venice. this link is to a pdf on the rigging in his engravings and those of others. WARNING - it's at least 10 MB of download.

 

There's also the ships of the Beauchamp Pageant (English, about the same time)shown here. Unfortunately the pictures are extremely faint, but there is a good zoom function and you can get pretty good detail despite the faintness. You can see ships at pages 17,19,29,31,45,49,51,71,73,97 and 99. Again, perhaps not appropriate to Venice.

 

I've also attached a few contemporary pictures that may be of help. Unfortunately the tapestry of Vasco da Gama's arrival in India was done not in Portugal (which might have helped with Mediterranean rigging) but in Tournai in Flanders.

 

I'm going to have a look at my copy of Landstro"m's The Ship. I'm pretty sure it has more pics of Mediterranean vessels of the the right period which might be of help.

post-1425-0-50954400-1388908986_thumb.jpg

post-1425-0-95072900-1388908997_thumb.jpg

post-1425-0-07266900-1388909209_thumb.jpg

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@ Louie, thank you very much for the tip... very interesting link and photos! 

 

@ Woodrat: you are right about the Mataro being much tampered with. Louie is right that other cited sources are very useful as well.

 

And one last point, which is a bit tricky because you should have thought of it earlier: Have you considered putting a MIRROR instead of the plank on which the half model is put? In such a way the model would look complete from any angle!

 

Of course since the plane of the cut isn't now made exactly in the middle but a bit before that, you must "shave" everything to the exact middle and make not a full round mast, but just half of it.  A bit tricky but I believe it would worth the trouble!

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: Have you considered putting a MIRROR instead of the plank on which the half model is put? In such a way the model would look complete from any angle!

 

Of course since the plane of the cut isn't now made exactly in the middle but a bit before that, you must "shave" everything to the exact middle and make not a full round mast, but just half of it.  A bit tricky but I believe it would worth the trouble!

I did consider a mirror and tried one but, because of the thickness of glass over the silvered layer, it looked like there was a huge gap down the middle of the ship and I gave up on the idea. Besides, there is a venerable tradition of half-hull models and I rather like the way they look. :)

 

 

Thank you Louie for the article on Master W A +. This will be very useful. I think Landstrom in his excellent book uses the Mataro nao but lengthens in in the mid section to make it seaworthy. the wooldings on the masts in two of the pictures indicating masts made of several pieces of wood whereas the small nao by W A has a one piece mast. Also noteworthy is that, in the first picture, the yard has been lowered to the deck, presumably it was the way they did a harbour furl.

 

post-848-0-13411300-1388936044_thumb.jpgpost-848-0-74446200-1388936060_thumb.jpg The dragon

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I had a look at the Landstro"m book last night. It really is an excellent book, but there's not all that much about Mediterranean carracks of the time you're interested in. Maybe there's very little extant information available at all.

 

But one thing is that in the Mediterranean they were quite late putting ratlines in the shrouds - your model is probably from around about the time of transition. So rather than ratlines, perhaps just a single rope ladder per mast. I'll see what else I can find out.

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It's expensive, but front-silvered glass eliminates that 'gap' in a mirrored half model. 

 

A possible help for rigging of the earlier period might be to look at blocks recovered from Mary Rose. They are certainly different than 18th century or modern blocks. OK, they are not as early as your model, but might give some useful pointers anyway.

 

Lovely work, Dick.

rek likes this

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Louie, I have been fascinated by the english carracks in the Richard Beaumont drawings. These seem to be sketched from life and show much interesting detail. Some show ratlines and others Jacob's ladders. Thanks for the link.

 

Druxey and Doreltomin. Another reason not to place the ship on a mirror was the fact that it was not symmetrical. the bowsprit (if that's what it was) is shifted to the starboard side of the forecastle (a feature seen in many pictures of the period).

 

post-848-0-41227000-1389022215.jpg

 

Dick

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Happy to help. Though the Beaumont stuff is is a record of happenings some decades earlier, the pics date from about 1485, and I think we can safely assume the artist portrayed ships of his own time rather than those of a few decades earlier. When I first looked at it I thought there were only about 3 or 4 pics in it, but on looking at it again I realised I'd missed a lot on my first view. I agree the detail is very convincing and I'm prepared to accept it as an accurate depiction of what was actually used at the time.

 

 

Here's a link to a contemporary picture of Venetian and Turkish carracks in battle in 1499, which has some interesting details.

 

And a bowl from Moorish Spain c. 1450 here and the bottom picture here

 

I also did a quick image search for Jacopo de Barbari's view of Venice of 1500, from which Landstrom got one of his reconstructions - you can see the results here. Didn't have time to go to all the websites shown, but you might find one that blows up enough to give good details of ships. Some examples I was able to find are here, and a detail photo of one of the original wood blocks here.

 

Your model is nothing short of magnificent. Keep up the good work.

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