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Trajta by mikiek - Finished - Marisstella

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Sometimes I feel like I need a new build like I need a hole in the head. Other times it's nice to walk away from one build and get some distraction with another. Trajta is my first Marisstella kit and I have their Cog on the shelf. I'm not one to take lots of pix of the box and contents, actually the Marisstella boxes are blue on the outside and do not show a pic of the boat. Here's one (a pic of a pic) and you can go to the Maristella site to see more about this boat. Lot's of good pix and a very good write up on the history.




As I alluded to, this is my 2nd build in progress at the moment. I am making a concerted effort to complete Niagara - kind of a personal commitment - so Trajta will be playing second fiddle for a while. If you would like to follow along, please consider that and have patience.


The keel has been assembled and the next step will be the bulkheads. As there is a pretty big open hold on this boat, a few of the bulkhead pieces need some dressing up as they will be visible. I've also made a feeble attempt at a build board - recommended in the instructions. I'm not crazy about that, but I'll play along for now. I think the Amati stand would probably be sufficient.






Speaking of instructions, the English version has just been revised. Don Robinson has played a big part there so he deserves a lot of credit as does Zoran from Marisstella for continuing to improve on his product.


Thanks for reading and I hope you'll stay along for the ride.




Edited by mikiek
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Hello Mike.  I'm very interested in the Maristella kits and will watch your build with great interest.  I agree with you about occasionally putting one build aside.  In my limited experience leaving a problem for a while often makes the solution more obvious.  I suppose sometimes one also gets into more repetitive or tedious parts of a build and it is nice to get a way from it for a break - not my experience yet but I can imagine it.


In any event,  I've got my front row seat.

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Well it did not take long to stump the band. I'm confused with several items on the finishing of bulkheads 7 and 9.



My understanding is the opening should be framed twice. Once with with a 0,5 thick plank. Then a 1,5 thick plank. There's a spot on the plans (inset P2) that appears to show 3 planks. To me there are places shown where the 0,5 plank suddenly stops and does not go all the way around the opening. Also can't tell what the 3 numbers at the bottom are telling me.


Looks like I will need to get the hang of these drawings.

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Hi Mike! I am also very interested in Marisstella kits. About your problem. It looks to me that there is an outer layer of planks that are 6mm wide and .5mm thick. It also looks to me that there is a .5mm thick strip of wood on the outer side of the bulkheads. In the circle, I think that the 4mm describes a large timber that is 4mm thick, possibly to strengthen the hull? Lastly, I do also think those three boards you show are in fact three boards, with the third having a cut away in it. I hope this helps! good luck :)!

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Hi Mike.

Not easy to answer.  

I think you are right about"My understanding is the opening should be framed twice. Once with with a 0,5 thick plank. Then a 1,5 thick plank. "
 on Zoran Web site there are colour photos of the build.


Some close up of the hatch entrance .

The 3 boards could be showing the side and the face of one board.

Why the  0.5 strip stops ...no idea  might be a drafting error.

In the circle you have drawn... the 4mm is the width of the bulkhead. The 6mm is also looks like a board width.. 6mm X 0.5.. Again a drafting error (should show width of the 6mm X 0.5mm board.)

Not sure on the 0.5mm. 


Don't know the kit so only guessing.

Regards Antony.


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Elijah - glad you stopped in!


Will definately PM Zoran. I have no doubt he will have the answers. I was trying to catch his attention here first so that his replies will become public knowledge in case someone else has this problem.


I think Antony and Elijah are on the right track. It probably would have been easier to figure out if the drawing was a cutaway (2D) instead of 3D.

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 Hey Mike you are off to a great start. I'll try and answer your questions. The openings are lined with .5 mm material then using 1.5 x 5 mm wide material that you will cut to 3 mm wide  line the opening again, this will create a 1.5 mm ledge or door casing in the opening to allow for the door to sit in. Did I explain this ok? The bottom numbers you have circled are: 4 mm - thickness of bulkhead, .5 mm -thickness of the exterior planking and the 6 mm is the width of the exterior planking. The reason the .5 mm planking seems to disappear is the exterior planking is added and hides that edge. If you look at it again where your line is pointing there is no exterior planking installed and just to the right of your line there is a exterior plank installed. Where you are asking about "three boards" your top line is pointing to the 1.5 x 3 mm door casing, the second line is pointing to the 1.5 mm ledge or space left for the door to fit in up against the door casing and the third line is pointing  to the .5 mm edge of the exterior planking. What helps is to try and think in 3d, I know it is not as easy as it sounds but it works and you will catch on. I hope this all helps and I'll be on board waiting for more updates.

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OK Don that clears it up for the most part. The 0,5 liner is actually a 6x0,5 stick which means 2mm will extend out beyond the edges of the opening. And as you said the 5x1,5 (trimmed to 3x1,5) will create a recess on the opening. Is the excess from the 6x0,5 supposed to be trimmed at the edge of the opening (making a 4x0,5) or left to overhang? I get the feeling it needs to be trimmed. First time I've had to whittle down the width of a stick.


There are 2 different lengths of the 6x0,5 strips. Not sure which should be used here. Made a guess and used the shorter ones. Which raises another question. On the material list the 0,5 are listed twice:


walnut strips 0,5x6mm   54x6cm

walnut strips 0,5x6mm   2x63cm


The kit supplied 5 of each. What is the 2nd part of the line telling me?  54 & 63 appear to be the length, no idea what the 6 & 2 are for?


3D can be confusing if it's not done perfectly. Have you ever seen that illusion of the castle with stairs running all around the top. Each set of stairs looks like it is going upwards. When I look at the P2 inset, it starts doing that to my eyes. The top ledge of the opening and the bottom ledge do not follow the same angle.


Thank you for your advise.

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The 6 x .5 mm does not need to be trimmed, you will need 3 mm for the 1.5 x 3 mm "door jamb" and then a 1.5 mm recess for the door, which will be 1.5 mm thick around the edges. There will be a 2 mm overhang on the inside of the bulkhead that can be left or trimmed if you wish. The walnut strips are as follows: 1st line is 

.5 thick x 6 mm wide strip - 54 pieces @ 6 cm long. The second line is ,5 thick x 6 mm wide walnut strip - 2 pieces @ 63 cm long these are for the wales, It is always best to use the short strips first saving the longer pieces for when required, such as the wales.

 The list is showing that if you want to cut all pieces ahead of time this would be the measurements you would use. If you don't want to cut all the pieces it would be then telling you that two pieces of 63 cm in length will be required at some point and time in the build so save at least two strips this long.

Glad to have been of some help, I'll be watching.

Mike I just edited this post and my last post to reflect proper measurements. I am starting to get the staircase syndrome:)

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13 hours ago, mikiek said:

Sometimes I feel like I need a new build like I need a hole in the head.

Hi Mike,


We all need extra holes in the head.  It's what helps our brains cool down when we overheat it with all the things we want to do. :rolleyes:


Looks like you're off to a good start.  I'll be watching.  

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Hello Julie - It's been a while. I need to pop over to your yacht and see how things are.


Don - the picture is getting clearer. It's funny how different designers try to lay out all the information. Some think like you. Some don't. I'm not sure I would ever pre-cut 54 pieces. What if I read the wrong measurement :o    One of those Oh s*** moments :D

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Hi Mike - I've been looking at that drawing you have.  Maybe this will help.


If I'm reading this right, the "fillers" are to show good grained wood in areas that will be exposed later on, like a veneer on plywood.  The 3mm beam looks like it wraps an opening.  That means the 4mm beam would show 1mm of end grain.  Solution is to put in the filler (veneer).


To give a full 3D cut away, I put dashed lines in what I'm describing as the 4mm beam.  The bottom shows what it would like if they took the 3D drawing to the end.


I agree with your assessment of 3 boards. It's built like a doorway opening with the left handed board working like a cripple.  The thin board on the right might be some sort of veneer? 


Does that 3mm board taper to 6mm?  The one on top doesn't show it but then as you move right it seems to cover a 6mm beam (board).  I'm thinking if it remains 3mm, why not extend the veneer all the way around?

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Julie - yes the drawing shows half of the opening. It's a bulkhead piece which normally wouldn't even be seen in a build. But this boat has an open hold - a big square hole in the deck. So a couple of the bulkhead surfaces are exposed and the idea is to dress them up. There is an opening in the bulkhead (what the drawing shows) and there is actually a door of sorts that covers that. So we have the builkhead opening framed by a 0,5 liner and then framed inside that with a 1,5 liner. The 1,5 is 3mm thick the bulkhead 4mm so it gives a recess. The door will fit into the recess. The entire bulkhead is 'planked' around the door. I don't believe the 0,5 frame will even be seen. Neither will the 1,5 for that matter.


Thanks for your work on that drawing! I hope I get smarter or this is going to be a long build :)

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 Using .5 x 6 mm strips line the inside of the opening keeping the front edge of the strips flush with the front  edge of the bulkhead. Now install the 1'5 x 3 mm strips recessed 1.5 mm, to allow for the thickness of the door, as seen in P2, thus forming the door stop. The backside of the bulkhead can be trimmed or framed in with 1.5 mm stock, your choice. Next step is to apply the exterior planking, .5 x 6 mm. to the front of the bulkhead, this is installed  so that it is flush with the edges of the door opening.

 The plans, which are accurate, are showing the progression of the build so what might seem like the end of a strip is actually a cross section. Where  the red arrows are pointing there is no veneer, or filler exposed  it is showing the exterior planking and it's thickness, giving you a 3d view of the layers involved in this particular part of the build.

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  • 5 months later...

Considering it was July when I last posted I feel I owe you guys some explanation. Trajta has been on the shelf after my meager start. I had a lot going on at that time both in regards to builds and personal life. Frankly I was totally exhausted to the point where it was affecting me physically and mentally. I was easily frustrated with a short fuse and given all the questions I was coming up with regarding this build - questions I should have known the answer to - I put the kit away. I had made a commitment to finish Niagara - rigging was all that was left. Something I really don't like to do - more frustration.


So here we are now, mid December. Things have improved somewhat, while I am still trying to recover from the exhaustion, I at least now know what was causing most of my problems. The knowledge alone has helped me a great deal. Niagara is finished, I just finished a model restoration and I am ready to take on Trajta once again.


In our last episode, I was attempting to add some planking to an inner frame(s). Trajta has a large opening in the deck that exposes the hold and the planking is to dress this up a bit. I've got about half of that completed, but decided to move on to getting frames on the keel. The Marisstella design here is interesting. The notches used to fit frames to keel are fairly shallow compared to a lot of kits. However this is offset by the use of some large dowels that are inserted thru pre drilled holes in the frames. When glued in place the frames are very sturdy and come fairly close to being parallel to each other and perpendicular to the keel.


Gluing the frames was uneventful except for being sure which direction the frames planked earlier were facing. The opening I mentioned earlier has a frame in it at the moment but it is lightly glued and has no dowels running thru it. It will be removed down the road.


I did some fairing after that, it didn't take too much. Was about to lay the first plank when I realized there was no rabbet. I reviewed the plans and instructions and saw no indication of one. As it turns out this build doesn't use a rabbet. Planks just butt up the the stem and stern post. The garboard is just  supposed to be glued where the frames meet the keel. That's going to be interesting. Given this, I am breaking down and making filler blocks. I not a big fan of blocks but it looks like the planks are going to need some help bending to the bow & stern and without a rabbet to hold them in place it looks like they are needed.


So that's about where I am right now. Finishing up the blocks (bow & stern) and getting ready to lay some sticks. Here's a few shots.

















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One ramification of no rabbet is that it makes the laying of the garboard a challenge. For most of the middle frames a garboard lays nicely and even butts up to the keel OK. But the last bulkhead on either end is going to require a serious twist to the plank so it will lay flat. I've also got a decision to make about how far forward to let the garboard run. Both ends of the stick will require some carving so it ends cleanly and I'll have to make sure the ends are actually glued down. Normally I would just cram the ends of the stick into the rabbet.


I think this is going to make planking the entire bow a challenge as there will be nothing to grab and cover the end of the stick.

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Building the Syren was my 1st chance to experience the joys of the rabbet and I certainly think it helps with the planking at the bow especially.  On other builds I used various spring clamps as a temporary movable rabbet.  Works pretty well although once you remove it you see any gaps between the plank and the stem - so form it as well as you can before glueing.


Garboard strake always seems to offer challenges and choices doesn't!

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Once you get going with the planking Mike you will be fine, it may seem strange at first but it really does work. The three MarisStella hulls I have planked so far have all been like this and I have been happy with the results. 

A couple of things to keep in mind are:

Be precise with the angles you cut at the bow

Leave the planks a little long at the stern, not so long that they are past the stern post and snag on something then break off :default_wallbash:

If you need to bend a plank a little over bending is better than underbending

And the one I still have problems with is to resist the urge to trim the planks at the bow and stern until planking is completed. It really does not matter if they are a little long or short as long as they are all equal and you have a nice uniform line of planks

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Thanks Don - it appears that the bow is a somewhat narrower than midship. I think the strakes at the bow will be pretty narrow so that should make it easier to get them trimmed uniformly.


I'm in the middle of laying the garboards now. I glued the sticks to the easy frames last night - waiting for the glue to dry. Tonight I will do the bow & stern. For the rest of the planking I am planning on working with 3-4 plank bands. The proportional dividers should make an easy task of that.


I can already see that I "over-faired" some of the frames. I didn't take too much away, but the angle on some of the bow frames I made too sharp. I'll have to see if I need to add some shims to correct this, but I'll do that strake by strake.  I've always said don't kill yourself on the first fairing. Wait and do it when you lay each strake.  Guess I wasn't listening to myself ;)



Edited by mikiek
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Getting preped for hull planking. I have laid the garboards (well almost) and they seem to have come out OK. It's been a while since I worked with walnut sticks and I forgot they don't like bending & twisting very well. Yeah I know to soak them but they still but up a fight.


As I mentioned earlier there is no rabbet in this design so placement of the garboard leaves a little guesswork at both ends of the hull. So I glued a stick to the easy frames in the middle first. Got them situated and let the glue dry overnight before I started wrestling at the bow & stern. Next evening I did the rest. Here's what I got:







Like I said these sticks aren't bending well. This one cracked while I was heat bending it. I tried to beef it up with some thin CA but it broke as soon as I tried to twist it at the stern. I hope this replacement piece will hold


Next up was marking the plank bands. It's not really stated in the plans to do this but it's what I know. The challenge was to come up with the number of bands for the available space. Trying to figure with the actual measurements wasn't working out. Looks like a case for the dividers! I've preached about them before but never for this step in the process. While trying the actual calculations, 4 bands came the closest to working out so that's what I am going with. To get that marked on the frames here's what I did.


Measure the surface length of a frame. I use a piece of string but paper or tape can work too.




Set the dividers to 4 (4 bands)




Lay the string flat and spread the long end of the dividers across the determined length.




The short end now has that measurement evenly divided by 4 so that's the width of the band on that frame. Place the short end on the frame up against the garboard and walk it to the other end of the frame making a mark at each step.







And there you have it. As the measurement will be different, do this for each frame. The cool thing about this I don't really care what the actual measurements are. I just know I have some length and I need to divide it by 4 and transfer that result (whatever it is) to the frame. In my Niagara build I show how to actually use the dividers to shape each individual plank to fit within it's band. This method is almost fool proof.


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Mike,  I think this method works OK but only as an approximation when the curvature is not to great.


The dividers give you the length of the chord not of the the arc. That's is fine as long the curvature over that distance is not too great.  Within the precision you're working and the number of bands you've chosen I imagine it is a good approximation.


I think proportional dividers are very cool but when I tried to use them for the individual planks within a band I couldn't control the shaping of planks with any great precision.  My pencil marks were always much wider that the precision I was trying to achieve ( getting 3.6mm instead of 3.7mm for example proved to fine for my temperament!)


Your use of the dividers to lay out the bands makes a lot of sense to me.  Do you use your proportional dividers for other tasks as well?



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Doug - you are correct and I forgot to add my usual disclaimer about the curvature. That's the main reason for using the string to get the initial surface measurement. It will wrap around the curves. When I walked the dividers down the frames today I was left with about 1/16 - 1/32 extra after the last step. That's easily made up when shaping the planks.


My dividers have thin metal points on the end. When shaping planks rather than pencil marks I just stab the point into the plank. The hole becomes my mark. My problem is trying to whittle/cut/sand/file the plank edge down to the stab marks. Cutting with a knife (even with a straight edge) is problematic for me. A lot of times I use a mini hand planer to remove material.


Other uses? Transferring measurements. I've used them in the opposite way a few times when an inset in a plan was blown up and I needed to shrink to scale.

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Mike is teaching me this process and the other day it hit me and I can see so many uses. I use 1" masking tape against the frame. I can pull the tape off and lay it on wax paper so I can mark it on a hard surface and place it back to mark the frame.


Also I used some really strong plastic Velcro to mount a palm sander upside down. I don't turn it on, I simply drag a planks edge across. Took a lot of practice, but on box wood it works great.

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