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Scratchbuilt Hull Decision

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I am approaching the point that I will need to make a decision as to what technique I will use to build the hull: plank on frame, plank on bulkhead, or the lift method. My model is a fairly straight forward late 19th century brigantine merchant.


Never having built a hull from scratch, I am willing to attempt any of these methods, but my greatest concern is ensuring the fidelity of the finished product.


Anyone here have recommendations (preferably with explanations)?



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Well, I suppose fidelity means plank on frame. This is a challenging project that other methods avoid. If you wish to go this route, I strongly recommend you try a cross-sectional model first. This will give you a good idea (and lots of practice!) in building accurate frames. There are several c/s models on offer right now. For instance, there is the Triton c/s on this site, or the Echo c/s from Admiralty Models. I'd consider either of these to get you up to speed before you tackle the complexities of even a 'straightforward' full hull.

Edited by druxey
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I think by 'straightforward' Terry means that his subject (Galilee) has a typical hull form and construction for the period.  POF would certainly be the most labor-intensive method and would require either an extant framing plan or a knowledge of general framing practices used by that particular builder (Matthew Turner).  Terry, can the Delftship program create bulkhead or lift templates for you?

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Chris, yes, the program is actually quite useful in that respect. You just set up the station spacing on the baseline to match the room and space (14 inches and 14 inches) of the original hull, and the forward and after moulded frame edges appear on the plans. The program projects the stations onto the modeled hull surface. They aren't fixed reference points that determine the hull shape or anything like that. I have a fairly accurate idea of the framing from direct measurements on the bow at the Benicia museum and the stern at Fort Mason in SF. Interestingly, Matt Turner didn't use cant frames, so the spacing problem is even easier to deal with.


Druxey, by "fidelity" I meant "true to form", not necessarily structural accuracy. I'm not sure how many bulkheads you would need to avoid the inevitable flat spots between them if they are too far apart. I've carved a half-hull of Herreshoff's Gloriana using the lift method from WoodenBoat plans, so I'm comfortable with that. I could carve the moulded shape of the hull then plank on top of that. The result would be a pretty heavy model, though.



Greenville, South Carolina, USA


Edited by CDR_Ret
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