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Zeehaen by flying_dutchman2 - 1:37.5 - Dutch Fluit - from Dutch Explorer Abel J. Tasman

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For my next build which is the Zeehaen, a Dutch fluit used by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman.  But first some historical background information of a Fluit.

 

Shipbuilders, skippers and other curious people, from near and from far, travelled to Hoorn in Noord Holland to look at the new ship. A prominent merchant, Pieter Janszoon Liorne, had turned his view of the ideal merchant vessel into reality. By the end of the sixteenth century there existed a ship type called a fluit, which had some specific characteristics. 

 

Seen from the side a fluit looks just like any old three-masted sailing ship. The mainmast and the foremast have square sails and the aftermost mizzenmast has a triangular lateen-sail occasionally supplemented with some smaller sails on the bowsprit and mizzenmast. 

 

The particularities of the  fluit’s hull become apparent when seen from above or from astern. From above the outline of the hull appears as a rectangle box with slightly rounded corners. Seen in cross section the sides of the hull slope inwards, so-called ‘tumble-home’, which result in very narrow upper works. The rounded lower parts of the stern are crowned by a narrow flat transom, giving it a pronounced pear-shape. It might be that this shape, which stern-on gave the impression that the after works looked something like a thinly shaped glass, a flute, is the origin of the name. 

 

The Dutch fluit was a classic merchant ship of the 17th century. It was built to be economical in operation, carrying the largest cargo and smallest crew possible. The rigging was designed to be sailed and operated with proportionally small crews (12 to 13) , and its narrow upper deck was designed to evade Danish customs dues when passing through the sound in to the Baltic, where duties were levied according to the size of the breadth of the deck.

 

There are several reasons for building a hull of this shape. Keeping the center of gravity low is perhaps the most obvious. The idea that the hull shape of the fluit was adjusted to cut costs probably derives from the general reputation of the Dutch merchants at the time. Creating a ship type that kept costs to a minimum becomes just another way to confirm their superiority and skill when it came to making profit.

 

The fluit was a total success. From the end of the 16th century to the
mid 18th century fluits were amongst the most common type of merchant vessels in Northern Europe and the Baltic Sea. In the Dutch Golden Age, 80% of the ocean going vessels were fluits and were built at an average of 400 to 500 annually. They were easy and cheap to build thanks to standardization of design as well as a technological improvements, such as the sawmill, which was invented by the Dutch. 

 

The fluit was a ‘multi-purpose’ vessel, a ship that with slight adjustments could meet a wide range of demands. Even if the term embraces a range of ships which share some important characteristics, there are variations with important differences. The size of fluits varied considerably. The smallest versions, sometimes referred to as the boot, were 86 feet at most (around 24m), whereas the largest versions were 140 feet (just over 39 m) and larger.  Variations of the basic concept did not only affect the size, but included some special features connected to the trades in which these ships were used. 

 

Noortsvaarders or Houthaalders - Woodhauler was developed with ports in the bow and stern for loading long beams and timbers, They were of about 300-350 tons, with simple hulls and an armament of small guns.

 

Ostervaarders, especially designed for the shallow harbours of the Baltic Sea. 

 

Fransvaerders, Spaensvaerders and the Straetsvaerders, so called because they were used in the trade with France, Portugal or Spain and the Mediterranean (through the straits). From the exterior, they differed from the other varieties through the beakhead

 

The Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, VOC, (United East India Company), employed a number of fluits. 

 

Fluits were also used as whalers which are easy to distinguish in depictions as they have davits on the sides for lifting whaling boats.

 

Next, a biography about Abel Tasman 

 

Marcus 

Edited by flying_dutchman2
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Abel Janszoon Tasman Biographical Note

 

Abel Janszoon Tasman (c. 1603-1659) was born in Lutjegast, near Groningen, in the Netherlands. Not long after his marriage in 1632, he sailed to the East Indies and in 1634 he was the mate on a vessel sailing from Batavia to Ambon. He spent two years in the Moluccas seas, before returning to the Netherlands in 1637. In the following year, accompanied by his wife, he left the Netherlands permanently and settled in Batavia.

 

Between 1639 and 1641 he commanded a number of expeditions to Japan, China, Formosa and Cambodia and acquired a reputation as a competent commander of long-distance expeditions. 

 

In 1642 the Governor-General and Council of the East Indies resolved that Tasman should command a major exploring expedition to determine the extent and coastline of New Holland. He was to proceed to Mauritius and then sail eastwards at 52-54 degrees S. lat., a latitude never sailed before.  He would then sail eastwards as far as the longitude of New Guinea and the Solomon Islands to establish if there were any lands at that latitude.

 

He was also directed to examine the northern coast of New Holland and ascertain if a passage south divided the west coast of Cape York from the coast of New Holland to the west. Sailing in the yacht "Heemskerck, burthen 120 tons, and the fluit "Zeehaen, 200 tons.

 

Tasman discovered the southern coast of Tasmania, which he named Anthony Van Diemens Landt, and the western coasts of New Zealand, which he named Staten Landt.

 

Landings at both places were very brief and the Batavian authorities later expressed concern that he had not fully examined the lands and people that he had encountered. Tasman then sailed north to Tonga and Fiji and returned to Batavia around the northern coast of New Guinea.

 

In 1644 Tasman commanded the Limmen, Zeemeeuw and Bracq on a second voyage to New Holland. Leaving Banda in February 1644, he sailed along the southern coast of New Guinea, but failed to discover Torres Strait. He then charted the Gulf of Carpentaria and the northern and western coasts of Australia as far as North West Cape. 

The expedition covered a huge stretch of coastline, but because it sailed some distance from the coast it failed to establish that Croker, Melville and Bathurst and various other islands were in fact islands. Tasman was a member of the Council of Justice of Batavia in 1644-48. In 1648-49 he led a fleet of ships with the intention of attacking Spanish vessels in the Philippines, but the expedition had only limited success. In his last years he was a merchant in Batavia.

 

Next, some information on the book and plans.

 

(If you got this far.... Thank you for reading and now you have a basic understanding of this unique and very successful ship) 

Marcus 

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Titlle - The ships of Abel Tasman. 
Author - Ab Hoving
Plans - Cor Emke 

The book incldes detailed information about the voyages, many pictures of the two ships as models and various paintings, detailed instructions of how the models are  build whicth is the "shell-first" method, and an appendix of all the dimensions of the parts that make the models.

87817180_FluitZeehaen1693.thumb.jpg.7960b65d77d48e7dd987bec919b8daf5.jpg

Detailed plans (21 sheets) of both ships in the scale of 1:75. 

CD-Rom has all the plans in the following scale. 1:50, 1:87. 5, 1:100, and 1:150.
It also contains all the pictures in the book.

 

 

 

The Build
The paper plans are in the scale of 1:75. I am going to double the scale to 1:37.5 and the reason for this is that I want to built a large ship with lots of details. I have built many small Dutch vessels, so I am due for a big one.

912536228_FluitZeehaenscale.thumb.jpg.d7e768663bb4ffb4078e0d2269cdcfcb.jpg

I took the body plans of the Fluit and copied them at twice the size on the printer. Made 12 templates and added another 8 so that I have a total of 20.

2041640555_FluitZeehaentemplates.thumb.jpg.be46b9529b4bcb0731204fe25f5ae25d.jpg

 

There is a bulkhead every 38mm.

Took some computer Styrofoam and cut two long rectangular pieces from it.  Made a slit every 38mm and slipped the templates in there designated slots, from #5 to #95.

1359013504_FluitZeehaentemplates1.thumb.jpg.c1e6603bc90d657d7d408693509bb72f.jpg

Looking at all the bulkheads in a row gives me a good idea of the lines of the Fluit. These are extra steps and works for me. I did this as well with the Boyer and that ship came out great.

380903567_FluitZeehaentemplates2.thumb.jpg.6f63d3f89154b9ed4325767cdfc90a7d.jpg

484174125_FluitZeehaentemplates3.thumb.jpg.d9381f360c9a279e7e4efb6931a9553f.jpg

Used quarter inch ply and drew each template on the wood.

Next step will be to cut out the frames with the scroll saw. 

 

Thank you for reading all of this 

Marcus 
 

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Hi Marcus

 

It’s great to see you’re starting on your new beauties to add to your Maritime Museum. 

 

I’m in!

 

Cheers

 

Patrick

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Nice ship, not the easiest hull to plank.

(Never tried one myself, but saw lot of strugling )

Emke's drawings show enough detail to keep you busy for some time .

Jan

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Wishing you a lot of succes and a lot of pleasure with this project. I am sure that I will have a lot of satisfaction in following it.

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1 hour ago, amateur said:

Nice ship, not the easiest hull to plank.

(Never tried one myself, but saw lot of strugling )

Emke's drawings show enough detail to keep you busy for some time .

Jan

Cog, 

Agreed on the planking of the hull. I have checked some Euro sites and people that build the Fluit say that they have/had problems. Some gave up and others completed the model. 

 

There will be lots of bending of planks in very different curvatures. I am looking forward to this challenge and will complete the Zeehaen, to whatever it takes 

Marcus 

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57 minutes ago, G.L. said:

Wishing you a lot of succes and a lot of pleasure with this project. I am sure that I will have a lot of satisfaction in following it.

Thanks for the interest and following the build 

Marcus 

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Hi Marcus,

 

Bending isn’t the bedt way to go: some need serious sideway curves, and the width isn’t constant over the length. Making templates, and fabricating planks from a sheet is perhaps the easier way to go.

 

Jan

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2 hours ago, amateur said:

Hi Marcus,

 

Bending isn’t the bedt way to go: some need serious sideway curves, and the width isn’t constant over the length. Making templates, and fabricating planks from a sheet is perhaps the easier way to go.

 

Jan

Jan,

I will keep you that in mind.

Marcus

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Finished rough cutting the 20 bulkheads out of 5mm thick Baltic birch. They will be carefully sanded to a width of around 8mm. 

929519954_FluitZeehaencutframes1.thumb.jpg.fcb3a9eb45e3ccab07834b0f16e82b68.jpg

1182467974_FluitZeehaenframescut.thumb.jpg.f617b725f7cd0fd9c519521287e151ee.jpg

 

The keel is in 2 pieces and will use N. Witsen book, the one Ab Hoving translated, to create this. 

Been looking through that same book and will use many of the examples in creating the various items for the fluit. This is a great way for me to learn how Dutch ships were built in the 17th century. 

 

Marcus 

 

 

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Hi Marcus 

 

You’re off and racing!  It looks like this is going to be a big hull, judging by the size of those bulkheads.

 

All the best with the building.

 

Cheers

 

Patrick

Edited by Omega1234

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On 5/22/2019 at 3:12 PM, kees de mol said:

Good start!

Kees, 

Thanks. This is going to be a  frustrating built and that will be a challenge. Especially the bending of the wood 

Marcus 

 

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12 hours ago, Omega1234 said:

Hi Marcus 

 

You’re off and racing!  It looks like this is going to be a big hull, judging by the size of those bulkheads.

 

All the best with the building.

 

Cheers

 

Patrick

Patrick, 

Big hull it is. Big boat overall. I am thinking it should be easier to built than a smaller scale. 

Marcus 

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Put all the bulkheads in a wooden clamp with computer foam in between them. This setup will give me an idea of the forms of the fluit. 

402122855_FluitZeehaenbulkheadsside.thumb.jpg.dbfe84363f83bf40ae1ed7ce2a99f8e5.jpg

Side view 

 

682997887_FluitZeehaenbulkheadsstern.thumb.jpg.8b6349feefbdfd9926b8d20dcd067c47.jpg

Stern view 

 

 

1133024930_FluitZeehaenbulkheadsbow.thumb.jpg.ec6fb1d202f2f4b40be81efce7510865.jpg

Bow view 

 

The foam will be replaced with balsa. All the balsa will be 34mm long between each bulkhead and that is what is next. 

 

Creating the transom and where the tiller goes into the ship is going to be a difficult exercise. I am not so worried about the bow. 

When I build a ship the most difficult areas are the bow and the stern  

Marcus 

 

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Hi Marcus

 

Mmmmm, I reckon you’re gonna have a lot of fun putting this beauty together.  Lots of nice curves and shapliness in the hull to keep you busy.

 

No doubt, the final result will be well worth the effort.

 

Cheers. 

 

Patrick

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Belt sanded balsa blocks which are all 34mm wide and fit in between the bulkheads. 

458756410_FluitZeehaenbalsasanding.thumb.jpg.8d6d822d77811bdda9d9aa393de5825c.jpg

I inherited this monstrosity from a cabinet maker. If I don't watch what I am doing the wood disappears in no time :-)

 

Balsa spacers in between the bulkheads. 

1552378504_FluitZeehaenbalsaspacers.thumb.jpg.f591c3bc761c6356afee2f8c96e1d439.jpg

 

Added a notch on top of the bulkheads so they are all aligned with each other. Something I have not done before and it helps in keeping the bulkheads in a straight line. 

811436490_FluitZeehaenmidline.thumb.jpg.4f0a6458f14b30b7180647e082e638d2.jpg

 

Started glueing the bulkheads to the balsa spacers 

Marcus 

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Glued the balsa spacers in between the bulkheads. Started this am with glueing 2 bulkheads and 2 balsa spacers.

596576210_FluitZeehaengluebkhds.thumb.jpg.63c0f5f54b2f32c47b72686215c0ed35.jpg

 

Once the glue was dry, glued the two's together and ended up with 4 large pieces. Glued again the pieces together which resulted I 2 large pieces which I will put tomorrow together  

897409564_FluitZeehaenbulkheadsglue1.thumb.jpg.0cc8a8212b0c058ea4d8303d52f37898.jpg

228578339_FluitZeehaenbulkheadsglue2.thumb.jpg.238c9cb85e6641a0762b14d1bdbd5cf4.jpg

Marcus 

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All bulkheads and spacers have been glued together. All bulkheads have been reinforced with extra wood. 

1451189784_FluitZeehaenstrengthenbulkheads.thumb.jpg.8de9a1fe951c57384c6146d43040a72f.jpg

 

 

I have spent a considerable time copying some of the plans at twice the size and then with a glue stick putting them together. 

148160037_FluitZeehaenplans200x1.thumb.jpg.e3f797cdf573a4d89468b6b0e9321517.jpg1825952385_FluitZeehaenplans200x2.thumb.jpg.72e04271a6200a05aff176e0dd703994.jpg

680304359_FluitZeehaenplans200x3.thumb.jpg.7e3696d3408123e20521acf7c0900603.jpg60073647_FluitZeehaenbulkheads200x.thumb.jpg.2ba9349fb2f11ee76fbf350b8346caba.jpg

 

Paper template of each bulkhead so I can figure out how to place the decks. I will make a notch on the inside of the bulkheads. 

1564206349_FluitZeehaenalignpapercopywithwoodbkhd.thumb.jpg.e154e785b941b1b1ee0afe2d32646399.jpg

 

Question :

Three types of anchors x 2 total of 6. Where do I place all of them? It's going to be crowded at the bow. 

 

Marcus 

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The pics of the model as shown in the book, show only four anchors: 

twp large ones on one side, a large and a small one on the other side.

No idea how you could stow six on this ship.

I am puzzling on it also for Prins Willem, there are texts saying that there shoudl be six anchors on a ship of this size, I can only manage four. I sometimes wonder whether some of them are kept as spares down in the hull....

 

Jan

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Second question: In the  book on he Tasman ships, I can't find any reference to the number of anchors. (and according to your pic, we own the same version of the book )

The drawing shows four types: Sheet, Best bower, small bower and kedge.

Those four will (with some trouble) fit on the fore chains. (on the CD-rom: drawing 4b)

 

Jan

Edited by amateur

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Jan, 

You are correct about the anchors, 4 total on plan 4b. 

I wonder do they have them all on the bow ready for use or like you said, keep them as spares. 

 

The plan shows four anchors, if their are spares there would be more than four. 

 

I just checked the pictures of the Zeehaen in the book and it has 2 anchors on each side. Don't know which ones are which and does it really matter. 

Marcus 

Edited by flying_dutchman2
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Unconventional method of figuring out where the decks go on each of the bulkheads. 

 

Took the longitudinal lines plan, divided the plan into 38mm by  38mm squares and colored in some key areas. The decks are colored green. 

Created cardboard templates from each bulkhead. 

 

Y which are the numbers on the bottom of the plan and is from 0 to 100 (left to right) and X which are the numbers on the plan on the right side and is from 0 to 35 (bottom to the top). 

1598029049_FluitZeehaenlongitudelinesgreencoldeck.thumb.jpg.a0d4d64a9f59463b19da7567052626aa.jpg

 

Lined up template for bulkhead 75 where Y is 75 and X is 10 and marked on the template where the deck intersects at these points.

1918101197_FluitZeehaenlongtd.bulkddeckpos..thumb.jpg.cf068f289e720062f2e23eade9b7e45f.jpg

 

Once all created the paper templates are transferred to bulkheads and with pencil mark where each part of the deck goes. 

 

Hope you understand what I am trying to explain. I do everything using math when building a ship. 

Marcus 

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Thanks for all the likes and answers to my questions. 

 

Did some preliminary sanding especially the Stern and the bow. I want to get a visual of the curvature of both and with some sanding I can get that.

682938164_FluitZeehaenprelims.sanding1.thumb.jpg.5dcca7d608b45163991b70d94d59eb45.jpg

676529300_FluitZeehaenprelim.sanding2.thumb.jpg.f4a727cab4dae9aba671fdd944057c0c.jpg

Stern and bow. 

Next I made templates of scrap wood for the bow. One piece for the X axis and one piece for the Y axis. The empty spaces will be filled with balsa. 

1330907421_FluitZeehaenbowcurve.thumb.jpg.6c089204d7e40a18275a0587bb9b258e.jpg

Did the same for the Stern but only for the Y axis and will be filled with balsa and sanded to get the curve

487636110_FluitZeehaensterncurve.thumb.jpg.44dc73dd14f153ffad1e6de83d8895d2.jpg

 

Next took the individual paper templates, one for each bulkhead, lined them up, clamped them to each bulkhead. Now I can mark where all the decks go. 

1656834112_FluitZeehaentemptomarkdecks.thumb.jpg.c68caa129ed98f1f5e4e1c640d85301c.jpg

Marcus 

 

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Marked on both sides of the bulkheads where the different decks go. 

375066170_FluitZeehaendeckmarkings.thumb.jpg.14116f8610b2d65768619e9f7bcc109c.jpg

 

Deck templates. I have a lot of this veneer so I used it to create the deck templates. In the end I may use them and then just cover them with planking. 

1868223650_FluitZeehaendecktemplates.thumb.jpg.5ee6dccf9d63e6694d64828f3d8a9a81.jpg

 

Slowly shaping the stern. Getting the right shape is a slow process. Don't want to muck it up. I'll do the same for the bow. 

304705554_FluitZeehaenshapingstrrn.thumb.jpg.d19f305a69d6438e73df9453680fbd00.jpg

Marcus 

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Hi Marcus

 

One of the great joys of our hobby is seeing our creations take shape, from a set of plans, to a framed hull. Without a doubt, your ship’s really coming along beautifully. 

 

Pls keep the updates flowing. 

 

Cheers. 

 

Patrick

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