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What style of cradle was used in the 17th century for ships like the Mary Rose when in dry dock?


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Ahoy Mates

 

It's the time when I need to decide how to display my Mary Rose model. I want to display it with the hull resting on cradles in a dry dock . Need to know where to look for examples of the type of cradles used in that era or near to it.

 

Thanks for your help in advance.

 

Keith

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Hi Keith;

 

I don't know much about launching or docks in the early years of the 16th Century,  but if Mary Rose was built in a dry dock,  then if later practice is a guide to that of earlier periods,  she would not have been in cradles.  A ship in dry dock was supported with a line of blocks below the keel,  and rows of props against the side of the dock to keep her upright.  For launching,  the dock was filled on a rising tide,  and the ship was floated out.

 

Cradles were used on a slipway,  which had a bottom that sloped down to the river,  and ships were launched by sliding them into the water,  with the ship in two cradles which slid on timber rails.

 

All the best,

 

Mark P

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Thanks Mark for setting me straight on the types listed.

 

Keel blocks it will be. Here's what I have made up today for the dry dock.

 

Ties  will be set with rock around them up to within 1/16" of the top of the tie's. They are 1/4" square balsa strips that I cut to random lenghts and then I added the wood grain and stressed areas to them. I painted them with a grey wash.

The rocks-model railroad ballast will be brown and grey mixed.

 

With the keel blocks and then the props will be added on outside the width of the base now for added width at a later date.

 

I added the wood grain and distress to the ties with an xacto knife and wire brush. I had different harness of balsa strips,so they made the wash look different in color without having to change the wash color itself.

 

Keith

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Hi Bear;

 

Those are some very realistic-looking timbers you've made there.  Congratulations!  Balsa wood is a very good idea for them,  so that the soft grain can be brushed away. 

 

That's one to file away in the old memory for use if I ever build a dock of any sort.

 

All the best,

 

Mark P

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ahoy Mates

 

It's the time when I need to decide how to display my Mary Rose model. I want to display it with the hull resting on cradles in a dry dock . Need to know where to look for examples of the type of cradles used in that era or near to it.

 

Thanks for your help in advance.

 

Keith

 

You may want to take a look at the section by Richard Barker, 2003. “Cradles of Navigation” Re-Visited. In Shipbuilding Practice and Ship Design Methods from the Renaissance to the 18th Century: A Workshop Report, 103–163. Preprint 245. [berlin]: Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte. https://www.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/Preprints/P245.PDF.

 

He provides several sketches of a variety of launching methods starting on page 155.

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