Jump to content

Nibbing vs hooking deck planking

Recommended Posts

I am working on a Baltimore clipper, late 1700s to early 1800s, American build. I have spent hours looking through threads on the Forum and I am not sure which technique would have been used in America during this period.


Would these ships have waterway boards parallel to the bulwarks, with hooked deck planks, or margin boards with nibbed deck planks?


Any suggestions?




Also, I am familiar with 20th Century US Navy nibbing, having served on two ships with wooden decks (it isn't a real ship if it doesn't have wooden decks). It seems the practice was to cut the nib perpendicular to the length of the planks on the ships I was on (a cruiser and a minesweeper). However, I have also seen comments that sometimes the nib was cut perpendicular to the cut in the margin board.


Was there any standard for nibbing, or was it just whatever a particular shipyard preferred to do?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nibbed waterways and parallel deck planking generally were a later 'modern' development in the mid-1800's. Before that the plank ends were hooked, as well as curved and tapered in towards the waterways bow and stern. So, the latter method would apply to your vessel.

Be sure to sign up for an epic Nelson/Trafalgar project if you would like to see it made into a TV series  http://trafalgar.tv

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

Just came across this. Do you know of a decent guide (or thread here) to understanding the difference between nibbing and hooking? I’m building a constitution model (see my other thread), and while I’m clearly a few months away from dealing with it, it does affect the waterways, which is part of the planking, which is rather soon. 

The bluejacket guide has a single pair of diagrams which seems to indicate that the ends of the planks are underneath the waterways. That makes no sense, as the deck planks are flush with the waterways in every diagram and picture I have seen. In any case, as @druxey stated above, nibbing is a later development, while the model I’m doing is 1812-1815. 

So, how do I understand both?

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Here are a couple of photos of the two styles. 


The first one shows hooked ends to three deck planks. The planks themselves are tapered and curved which reduces the number of hooks, and at the stern the tapering removes the need for hooks or nibbles. The photo also shows hooked scarf joints. The pink colour is deliberate for this Bermuda built schooner. 




The second picture is of a cutter and has nibbling, also called joggling (please correct me anyone if my definitions are wrong). I used a cheat method for the joggling, which was to first take the planks right up to the bulwarks. The waterway is cut from paper and is glued on top of the deck planks. This is much easier than trying to match cuts in the wood but depends on finding paper of the right colour. (The joggling on this model is quite extreme and the deck planks near the centre line could just have the ends cut at an angle to match a plain waterway.) 




Hope this helps,





George Bandurek

Near the coast in Sussex, England


Current build: HMS Whiting (Caldercraft Ballahoo with enhancements)


Previous builds: Cutter Sherbourne (Caldercraft) and many non-ship models


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...