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obsidean12

Question regarding hull plank length

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Does anyone know what the rules are with regards to the plank lengths for the hull should be?  How do you create a hull planking pattern?  For example for a deck you could have a 1-2 pattern.  How would I translate this to the hull?

 

Someone commented as follows but it doesn't address the creation of a pattern I think:

"According to the instruction booklet for the Niagara, a full-sized ship's planks were 20 to 30 feet in length. The 3/16 scale says that would be roughly 4 to 5 3/4 inches on the my model. There's other things to consider as well. The butt points need to be separated from any butt in the rows above or below it by 5 or more scale feet. There also need to be 3 unbroken strakes between one butt and the next vertically. At least for the Niagara kit but the instructions indicate that it is a universal shipbuilding rule in the full-sized world."

 

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Depends on the period and place, but remember that hull planks had to be carried and fitted by manpower, so it would be unusual to find planks much over about 20 feet - I use 24 feet as a maximum.  Also be careful of planks that are too short - they should span several frames, at least, as the hull planking provided a lot of the longitudinal strength to the hull.

 

As for plank butt shifts, I use Lloyds rules for planking as taken from the 1890 edition of their 'Rules and Regulations'.  Won't necessarily be accurate for all times and places, but is a good starting point for working out a planking pattern.  The basic rules are:

3 strakes between butts on the same frame

5 feet between butts on adjoining stakes

4 feet between butts with one strake between

 

Hope this is helpful.

 

John

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That is awesome, thanks.  I have always used full length planks knowing that it is unrealistic but I didn't have anything else to go on.

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31 minutes ago, obsidean12 said:

That is awesome, thanks.  I have always used full length planks knowing that it is unrealistic but I didn't have anything else to go on.

In scale planking, it is rather easy to simply score the face of a long strip of plank to simulate the planking butts.  Using long planking stock makes model planking a lot easier. Many modelers without full-scale wooden boat building experience make the mistake of painstakingly planking their hulls, complete with trunnels, while ignoring the scale lengths of the planks and timbers they are depicting. This is true not only with respect to the length of planks, but also with respect to the width of timbers. It's not uncommon to see models with sternposts, stems, and keel members larger at scale than any timber would have ever existed in nature! These may be beautiful models, but these are the flaws that an unknowing viewer would never notice, but which cost points in competition and dollars in value. 

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Thank you.  That is good information.  For plank width, I was going to choose something that works with the scale of the boat that I am building and the width of the hull planks that I have been given for the kit.  I am building the Mirage.  The scale is 1:75 and the given planks are 0.5 cm.

 

If I am doing this correctly then using metric measurements: The width of the model plank that I have been given is 0.5 cm.  For a model built to a scale of 1:75, the full size plank will be 

1/75 = 0.5/x

That gives a plank width of 37.5 cm or about 15 inches.  I will use these 5 mm planks but I don't think they are the correct width.  Fifteen inches seems a little wide to me.

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12 hours ago, obsidean12 said:

That gives a plank width of 37.5 cm or about 15 inches.

Consider how large a tree would be required to get out a fifteen inch wide plank.  The four to five and a half inch average plank width in the instructions is correct. 

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5 mm planks is easy to work with, but not sure about less than half of that.  I usually have to taper planks down to get them to fit and sometimes they taper to about 2 mm.  I find the 2 mm challenging to work with because it is very fragile.  I think I will have to accept the out of scale plank width from a practical perspective.

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For the Niagara, you may want to try to contact the Flagship Niagara League and at the least  they can let you know what is on the rebuilt version after the wreck was raised and then rebuilt back in the 1980s.   Based on plank expansion drawings on British ships of the early 19th century that  I just looked at, the average width is mainly between 10 and 12 inches and at least one  strake with a maximum width of 14", on the hull, both inside and outside.   As Niagara was built of pine versus oak, this may have been a factor in deciding the plank width as well, but hopefully the League can clarify for you.   

Allan

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Obsidian,

Sorry, I was thinking Niagara not Mirage when I responded.   Assuming the Mirage you are building is the 84 gun ship of the line, I THINK the strakes would be wider than 4 to 5 inches.   

Since the thickness would be anywhere from 4 to 6 inches, more for the wales, it seems  a width of 4 to 5 inches is quite  a bit too narrow.  Frolich in the Art of Ship Modeling suggests dividing the space between wales and keel into 24 spaces for a French  80 gun ship (page 55)  This equates to a maximum plank width in the neighborhood of 14".    You can use a tick strip between the wales and the keel to get the exact distance along a bulkhead midships and then divide by 24 to get the proper width dimension midships.

Allan  

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