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A small cog by silverman834 - scale 1:20 - c. 1410 - FINISHED

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The gangways lets the crew cross the hold without having to crawl over the cargo and a sturdy beam spans the hold to keep the hull from bulging out. Rosebolts keeps it in place.


The twin mast steps for the bipod mast are in place, and they act as steps to get up on the gangways.


The hold has a nailed down ceiling to keep the cargo out of the bilge, but the planks in the middle are loose for cleaning out dirt. The planks are roughly sawn with natural edges.





I've started with the mast and will have a boom for lifting cargo, here shown with the bowsprit in its place. Calculations in the thesis about the wreck calculates that the ship reaches it's cargo limit when filling up the hold with bricks, so I imagine the ship was made for smaller amounts of high density cargo rather than large amounts of light. And then a lifting boom would make sense and the bipod mast could be there as support.


Bulkheads are of course needed to keep the cargo in place and I did sides for the gangways for this purpose and a simple bulkhead aft of the hold. But it's hard to fit a bulkhead in front as the boom intervenes with anything higher than 40cm ( 1 1/3'). I must come up with a better solution here.

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Thank you Steven and Binho! Yes Steven, I got really good help in the other thread. This is a really good forum for advice, and I need some more later in this post if you have the  time.


I got a simple solution for the problem with the forward bulkhead blocking movement of the boom - the three planks of the bulkhead are each individually removable.




I once again used the bowsprit as a stand in for the boom. And whilst on the topic of the bowsprit I've been thinking more about why I even have one. I thought earlier that I would have bowlines running to it, but they have now been removed from the plans and I now only have the forestay on the bowsprit - which hardly justify it's existence. 


What about having an anchor on it? The book Cogs, Caravels and Galleons has this to say about this:


This image if from another source




Should the anchor line go through a block in the end of the bowsprit? That feels a bit weak, what about a short chain in the end of the bowsprit with a ring that the line goes through? What do you, dear reader, think?


Or could it be that it was warships that had grappling hooks on the bowsprit?

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Well that picture certainly suggests the bowsprit was used to cat the anchor. Probably a block would be ok -it all depends on having a block that's robust enough to take the forces involved, and they may not have been all that big. Anchors were fairly small at the time - Byzantine ones were made individually by a blacksmith, hammer-welding individual bits of bloomery iron together to make a whole, and I'm sure the same would have applied in Northern Europe. (I've got quite a bit of information on the anchors from the Byzantine "glass wreck" of c. 1025, found at Serce Limani if you're interested).


As far as I know, grapnels on chains attached to the bowsprit didn't come into use until about the 1440's.


A number of early 15th century representations show a pennon or flag attached either directly to the bowsprit or to a vertical "flagpole" attached to it -


355664034_earlyC15ChristinedePisanOthealedeesseHector.jpg.17be81ccb4dc10c3b40bb4e806f7d53a.jpg   911915206_EarlyC15SealofSothampton.jpg.63a3b87c88cfdfff1474b9b02cc3d0aa.jpg


but I think a modest sized cog like yours wouldn't have had one. 

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Steven, thank you for your thoughts on this! Yeah, I see this ship as provincial and they wouldn't bother with flags and stuff. Thinking more about it I think I will remove the bowsprit altogether, it will require rebuilding the foredeck, but I want to understand all the features I have on the ship and at this point I simply don't understand why it would have a bowsprit. I also want the ship to have a sturdy feeling to it and this pointy thing in front doesn't fit in.

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Contemporary representations sometimes show the stay fixed to the bowsprit,


512172043_1329SealofStralsund.jpg.d7f8b95d695ca38e93c4ef2ce6eeaee9.jpg    2016357179_earlyC15ChristinedePisanOthealedeesseHector.jpg.461b04f09b17dad930db3ea345961eea.jpg

sometimes to the hull




image.png.bd8a8ef5c3db25ed1937f4f4120bd7e9.png    image.png.a9235e779d87a5c44e89776c0135d13b.png



- and sometimes it's hard to tell.




The Bodleian Marco Polo picture shows the stay running to the hull and the bowsprit used for braces running forward from the yardarms.



A lot of representations show the fixing point at the base of the bowsprit - perhaps fixed to the stempost? The Marco Polo picture certainly suggests that.




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I have slept on this and practically all cogs have bowsprits. And so must mine. But I think I got a solution that I like - I'll extend the stempost and use that as a short bowsprit. That will both fit with finds and my design intentions.


And in other news: I have got a tattoo of my ship!


It's not a tattoo depicting the ship but a tattoo that the ship gave me. A splinter got pretty deep in a finger a week ago and left a fair amount of the dark paint when removed and I guess the dot will be there for a couple of years.

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The foredeck looked like this to recieve a seperate bowsprit




But instead I extended the stempost and remade bits of the deck. We can say that part of that plank on the deck was damaged and a new insert was nailed there.






I can not imagine a worse place on the ship for a scarf joint as the forces here are quite severe. So I nailed an iron plate (made of brass) as reinforcement to addition to two treenails.




The funny thing is that the stempost used to be almost of this lenght. My original plan was to have an integrated bowsprit like this, but I changed my mind and sawed it off. And now changed it back again.


Let us say that the ship ran into something and broke off the stempost/bowsprit if somebody asks about the joint.

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I feel as if treading water in the build as it goes so slowly. The main reason I think is all the work with finishing the hull, it will hopefully soon be finished and I'll talk more about the trials and tribulations then. Please ignore how all the nails are highlighted...




But the rudder and windlass is done! The tiller and the sides of the windlass are carved in oak and it was a nice change from the fir, I definitely now see why one should build in harder woods.


The drum of the windlass is based on the Kalmar 1 find.


I have always struggled with soldering but after reading up a bit I now understand the use of flux and now it went much better.



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Thank you so much Ab, Chuck and Steven! Perhaps the nails after all looks better than I thought.


The windlass is from a book I found when reading up on anchors. It's "Fartygsfynden i den forna hamnen i Kalmar" (The ship finds in the old harbour of Kalmar) by Åkerlund, 1951. It describes many finds and has really good plates in the end with drawings.


The book is in swedish but has a seven page summary in English. Anyone can just ask me if you want something translated or clarified. The book can be downloaded here




The author built models of the finds that can be viewed here




But I'm not a big fan of the details as I think they borrow a bit too much from much later ships to be fully convincing.

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Thank you all for the nice comments!

I started nailing the hull almost a month ago and it has taken time as it is over a thousand nails. I have done other areas inbetween as you have seen and I really liked the outcome of the nailing of the decks so I looked forward of the hull being completed.

But when the last nail was set and the painting started it looked all wrong. The paint got blotched! I did just like before; painted and after a wait I wiped off the excess and then used steel wool. But the nails was a dabbed in cyan glue and of course small speckles of it got on the planks and the paint didn't stick there. It looked awful.

Then it hit me. The decking was first painted, then nailed and then painted again meaning that you didn't see the blotching because of the first layer of paint.

So I covered the hull in a thick layer of paint and let it dry for three days and then went over it with steel wool to create highlights.

Which polished the nails.

So I painted them in a really flat black paint. The impression I have been after is the viewer to first look at the planking and after that notice the nailing. It's a bit blotchy but good enough for now.



Over to anchors.

The ship will have a main anchor (I guess it can be called a sheet but it feels wrong for such a small vessel) and a smaller secondary anchor. There are very few medieval anchor finds and the wreck this is based on didn't have one; maybe it was salvaged as it was just a few meters of depth there. But the literary sources say that large ships had several and images also show smaller vessels with them. And the wreck of a similar ship to this had a small piece of an anchor, a fluke, in it.

But what size?

Two sources, a dutch and a british in the the 17th and 18th century, said that the anchor length should be 2/5 of the ship's beam making mine 1.6 meters.

A 10 tonnage ship should according to an 19th century source have a 53 kg anchor and another source from the same time says that an 51kg anchor should be 1.7 meters.

It's really good that all three sources converge at the same length, but that's awfully big. I guess this is for seagoing vessels.

A modern source gives 2 pounds for each foot of waterline which would make mine 30kg. I guess I will have something in between.

I have already started on the smaller secondary anchor which is a really fun build and more about that in the next post.

I'm writing these long winding posts as I think my girlfriend is sick and tired of all this talk about ships and anchors...

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That paintwork and nailing looks really good, Silverman.


Your best bet (lacking archaeological finds of anchors) is to look at contemporary pics and work out an appropriate size by proportion in relation to the vessels pictured. And they'll also give you an idea of the shape of the anchors. Unfortunately I don't know any contemporary pics of cogs that have anchors. But there are a small number on my "Early 15th century" Pinterest page https://www.pinterest.com.au/lowe1847/early-15th-century-ships/ and a couple in the "Nef" page - https://www.pinterest.com.au/lowe1847/mediaeval-nefs/


That's the best I can do, I'm afraid.

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I was intrigued by the use of carving stone by the egyptian fellows here and I wanted to try it out so my secondary anchor is a stone anchor. A wreck of a similar cog to mine was found with a bit of wood with a strange shape that the author of a thesis thought could be a bit of a stone anchor and Kalmar 1 from 150 years before my ship had one. But they were used in Sweden and England well into the last century so I guess I could have one as well.


I tried to copy the one from Kalmar 1 that looked like this.


I bent a bit of wood to form the crotch. I think my stone would weight about 30kg in real size.




It can be stored under the aft deck.




The rope was made on a small lego ropewalk I built a couple of years ago



The rope is made of six linen threads and waxed with beeswax.

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On 10/18/2020 at 10:51 PM, silverman834 said:

I feel as if treading water in the build as it goes so slowly. The main reason I think is all the work with finishing the hull, it will hopefully soon be finished

That is a common problem.  Fight the urge to get the hull done quickly.  If you don't, you will get into follow-on stages and start finding problems with the hull you would not have had if you took the time.

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  • silverman834 changed the title to A small cog by silverman834 - scale 1:20 - c. 1410 - FINISHED

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