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Hello friends ,

Im almost ready to start planking the second planks on my victory project ,

and I saw a lot of build logs (of the victory and other models ) who used the 4 butt shift system...

to be honest it looks beautiful .. but I don’t think they used this method on the real ships 

because each plank need to be divided to 4 sections and at each raw the plank will starts his strike from another section 

it means every 4 planks we will have1/4 plank how going to touch the keel at the bow aria 

and I don’t think it was like this at the real ship 

Because most of water pressure it’s on the front of the ship 

Is it correct to install 1/4 of plank at the bow section ?!

I will be more than happy to see your comment here 

it’s very important for me to discuss this matter with you friends before I will start marking the lines on the model

Best regards



Edited by michael101
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51 minutes ago, allanyed said:


Look on the RMG Collections site and you will find plank expansion drawings.  You will see the butt patterns for both external planking and ceiling/sealing planking on a number of ships.  https://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections.html#!csearch;searchTerm=plank_expansion


Thank you Allan

but you just give me a good example for the issue 

take a look at the first plan of Hawk 

look how short they are at the bow section :




and if you will try to avoid this problem by making the next plank long 

it will not have the scale of the real plank ... I mean it will be 1/4 bigger then the plank at the real ship

take a look at the Podargus plan:




Edited by michael101
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Sorry Michael, but  HMS Hawke indeed appears to have planks at the bow from 6 feet to about 8 feet long.  I assume the draftsman had the proper information and that these lengths are correct, but hopefully a member will be able to resolve this for you if the drawing is incorrect.  I don't know if there was any rule on any plank on a given strake regarding minimum length.  There are no hull plank length dimensions given in the Establishments, Steel, or the Shipbuilder's Repository.   


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When there are both internal and external expansion drawings on the same page, do you know if the top was internal (facing left) with starboard planking and the lower external also showing the starboard side (pointing right)as the standard presentation?   Example of the HMS Squirrel can be seen at https://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/83495.html



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Thank you friend for all your answers but still im very confuse..


RichardG - even with all the timbers at the front , when you building a big war ship it will be stronger to put long planks a the bow section , if you need to chose what is better 1. To make the 4 butt shift for the beauty of the ship ( and also no one will see that because its under the water aria ...)

2.to make a stronger war ship 


im sure the second choice will be better for the risen of the strong war ship ...


Allen - I know that no one talk about minimum length of plank , but logical it no make any sense to build a war ship in this manner 

you can see a pictures of the Hms Victory hull,  they didnt use the 4 butt shift , and i know that they change all the planks at this days on the victory but believe me .. if the original ship had this shift the museum had to do something similar ..


druxey - im understating your unswear , so you agree with me that at the external planks there is no evidence for the 4 butt shift system 

Dziadeczek - it looks nice and i was thinking to do something like that (and avoiding the small planks at the bow aria )

but im not sure if its correct because if you avoiding the small planks , it means you will make a big plank and it will be out of scale ..

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Allan: Squirrel's draught is a little unusual with its opposite facing expansions. One can always tell which is the internal one by: 


1) The 'garboard' inside does not run all the way to the stern post


2) There is usually a gap for the limber channel internally


3) There are gaps  in the planking runs for the deck beams as well as air spaces. 


In Squirrel you can make out the thicker bands of plank internally as well.


Hawk shows internal port and starboard only

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I would be very cautious with McKay as these are no contemporary evidence. Also he draws the deck patterns with all planks in approx 6 meters long without respecting the beams underneath. 

There are some nice contemporary plans like the ones mentioned above or also published by Steel.


Bildschirmfoto 2021-02-26 um 23.31.17.png

Bildschirmfoto 2021-02-26 um 23.30.52.png


But I always am tempted to see those as idealized schematic proposals. In the yard they imho had to be sparing with the material, especially in war times. So I believe they never would have cut a plank short just to fit the pattern, especially as the strongest version of building was using as long planks as possible.  🙂


And anyway, I am following since long all excavations available - none of them shows 1:1 all the theory of Steel and others ...



Edited by dafi
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