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Questions about Magellan era Portuguese Carrack


Salty Sea Dog
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I'm doing research for what may end up being my next build:

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The plans for this shows keel joints which seem odd to me. The non-staggered butt joints at the stem (pointed at by the pens) seem like they would create a weak area that would not handle pounding seas very well.

The angled splices along the bottom seem a potential weak spot too.

 

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Does anyone know if the jointery shown on the plans is correct? I was thinking that the joints would have shoulders to help prevent joint movement like this:

post-218-0-05394900-1410146466_thumb.jpg

 

Also, would one expect that the rear cabins be built using timber framed jointery like medieval houses of that time? Thanks in advance for any help.

 

The castle-like appearance of the carracks have a whimsical charm that really appeals to me.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I love carracks as well, Buck. To me they have a rather ungainly beauty.

 

I'm not an expert on joints in keels, but I'm sure you're right. The model seems to have far too many of them, and far too fragile.

 

Also, in my view the rear cabins in the model you're considering seem somewhat over-large compared with how they're portrayed in the pictures of the time.

 

There's a particularly fine build log of a Venetian carrack here, which has lots of very good contemporary pictures of carracks and may be of help to you in your research.

 

 

Steven

Edited by Louie da fly
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Hello Buck,

don't take  the jointery of the plans too much seriously, since it is almost surely fictious.

Mamoli and Corel in many plans show an "apparent jointery" which is made using the provided walnut strips and that more or less is nice to the eye.

I think that their purpose is to give to the model a more complete appearance using the provided material in the box.

A more complex research must be done in order to provide a good answer to your doubts regarding keel structure of those type of ships.

Maybe you should search in the web for the Cogs of the Anseatic League, the "Nave tonda" of the Venetian Republic or other type of ships of the same period.

you should consider that the largest part of the material in the web can be find using the key words of the possible Country of origin of the type of ship.

In anycase, as an example check this build log:

http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/4915-venetian-carrack-or-nave-tonda-by-woodrat/

 

 

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There´s a lot of discussions on there. This type of ship seems to me a lot more spanish than portuguese on its looks. And, in portuguese we call it a Carraca Atlântica :P . When I was researching types of ships to build I found some words about the Carraca Atlântica discussing it as a Spain/Mexican "cruiser".

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Thank you Steven, Cristiano and Vivian! I have worn out the like button reading through Woodrat's build log - thanks for the reference. All the pictures you posted there Steven are a lot of help too. Thanks for the hints on internet searching Cristiano - I had just been using "carrack" and was getting limited results. Vivian - It is you I need to thank (or blame!! :P ) for getting me excited about building the carrack next after posting your caravel build log. Thanks!

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  • 1 month later...

Buck, the basic shape of the hull of this kit is ok. I like the round tuck stern. Does it have a transom timber below the rudder port?  However, the sterncastle is way overbuilt.It would probably drag the carrack down by the stern. The rigging is rather wrong and represents a nineteenth century idea of mediaeval rigging and masting.  I would recommend bashing the kit. However, as it is it is still a nice decorative model. Happy to help where I can.

 

Perhaps the model could be modified along these lines?

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It is rather like the Kraeck of Master  W A which is a well regarded contemporary illustration of a carrack

 

post-848-0-25852900-1416414191_thumb.jpg

 

:) Dick

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Greetings Buck,

 

I built this ship a few years back, and it is one of my favorites. Mamoli makes a fine product. The keel on this model is veneered with thin walnut, so you can do pretty much what you want. I agree that the drawings are a little funky as to how the keel joints are represented. I have book entitled "The Pepper Wreck - A Portuguese Indiaman at the Mouth of the Tagus River". This book is about a spice ship circa 1600 that went down in the Tagus River which runs through Lisbon, Portugal. Portions of the ship were recovered between 1997 and 2000, including keel sections. According to diagrams in the book, the keel had horizontal scarves in it such as you would expect to see on later ships. The lengths between scarves on this particular ship ranged between 160 and 190 cm. 

 

It should be pointed out that Portugal was recognized as the world's first super power owing to its trade with India, Japan, China, and colonization of Brazil and parts of Africa. They pretty much pioneered blue water sailing and ship building, and wrote the book on navigation.

 

wq3296

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Woodrat, Tarbrush & wq3296 - Thanks for the additional info. The kit's stern castle does look a bit big but I think I must like a big stern castle haha! The upper level of the 2 levels is an open balcony so it might not be as heavy as it looks?

 

wq3296 - By any chance did you have a build log of your Sao Miguel on the old MSW1 that had an open side with interior details? I'll have to look for "The Pepper Wreck". That sounds like a great resource.

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The pepper wreck is a very interesting and worthwhile resource, but it has to be remembered that it's about 100 years later than the ship you're planning to model, and there were quite a few changes in ship design over that period.

 

There's some good info on Portuguese naus (carracks) at http://nautarch.tamu.edu/shiplab/indianau02iconography.htm and http://nautarch.tamu.edu/shiplab/00-pdf/Castro%202009%20-%20PepperWreckSails.pdf, including some good stuff on the Pepper wreck itself.

 

Steven

Edited by Louie da fly
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