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19th century deck planking - what shift to use?

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Hello there:


I read Ulises Victoria's article on deck planking - very clearly written and informative - and I've planked a few decks in the past. But one thing I've wondered is whether any particular conventions governed whether a 2, 3, 4 or 5 butt shift was used....Was it:


1. Builder's/designer's preference

2. A matter of time-period? 

3. A matter of vessel type/size/rate?

4. A matter of national convention?


I've almost exclusively used a 4-butt shift in all the models I've built - with the exception of a couple where none was used or where a 2-butt shift was used...


I'm currently building the Fair Rosamund from the OcCre Dos Amigos - a Baltimore clipper of the early 19th century - any hints on the deck planking arrangement?


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I used to use at least 3 butt shift patterns, sometimes more. Then one of the older guys in the club, who used to work in a shipyard building fairly large schooners, said that they didn't use any pattern in planking a deck. They just took the longest length boards they had and installed them, just making sure that the butt joints weren't adjacent on the same deck beam.


Since then, I use a scale plank length of about 24 feet - I read somewhere years ago that this was about the longest that a planking team could work with easily and safely. After the first plank is in, I shorten the next one by 4 or 5 feet and the next one 4 or 5 feet again. Then plank #4 is full length and so on from there. BTW, I work from the center out to the waterways.



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