Walsh/Telegraph-Journal Draftsman Bob Coes shows some of the blueprints of the
Marco Polo replica he's donated for students' use at Simonds High
students get hands-on experience
building replica of world's fastest ship
BY SANDRA DAVIS
Friday, April 02/04
In a matter of
weeks, a temporary moulding loft will be set up at Simonds High School where
students will lay out rib lines for a scaled-down version of the Marco Polo.
The young boatbuilders will have the luxury of having
plans on paper to follow, thanks to Saint John draftsman Bob Coes.
Following Mr. Coes' drawings and offset tables, they will
draw the ship's lines on plywood, ultimately setting out a pattern for her 40
pair of white pine ribs.
Next, they will transfer the
pattern onto wood and cut the frames, all under the direction of their teacher,
It is one more step in a series of exercises
that began five weeks ago when Mr. Coes started studying details of the Marco
Polo and her unique characteristics.
Armed with photos
and drawings completed a dozen years ago when the plan was to build a
full-scale replica, he knew it would take time to produce a one-third scale,
non-sailing version and still maintain the integrity of the ship's lines.
His preliminary sketches have culminated in a first set
of blueprints that provide details of the hull and the vessel shape.
The blueprints represent one of the most important steps
in seeing teacher Barry Ogden's dream become a reality. The work of Mr. Coes, a
retired teacher and drafting technician, is worth thousands of dollars but,
like many others, he has donated his services.
interested in wooden sailboats all my life and have done some sailing, so I
thought this was a good opportunity," said Mr. Coes.
Ogden envisions it sitting near the lip of Long Wharf or in the water on a
floating wharf, near the start of Harbour Passage.
the ship's original four decks, there will be a modified lower deck inside,
measuring 67 feet, four inches, with a bow spread of over 100 feet.
"Passengers" will enter through a cargo door on the side
of the hull and will be able to walk the main deck, continue down the
companionway and explore inside. Two replica cabins will be set up, lit by a
skylight in the centre.
There may even be a stage on
board from which the story of the Marco Polo could be told and an opportunity
to rent the ship out for social functions.
White pine is
still being harvested for the replica, which Mr. Ogden hopes to begin
assembling at Long Wharf by the end of next month.
Mr. Coes' work is far from over. He has next to draw a set of blueprints for
the ship's 60-foot main mast and finally, a third set of more specific plans
for the rigging.
From start to finish, Mr. Ogden expects
this Marco Polo replica will cost about $180,000. It's a fraction of his
original $28-million proposal for a full-scale sailing replica that he began
pushing for in the early 1990s. The new, modest pricetag includes labour and
gifts in kind. The effort to raise the money is going well, said Mr. Ogden.
The original Marco Polo was launched from the yard of
James Smith at Marsh Creek April 17, 1851. She was the largest ship the yard
On her most famous voyage, the Marco Polo
sailed from Liverpool to Australia in just 76 days, making her the fastest ship
in the world. Previous voyages had taken 100 to 120 days. She sank in July of
1883, off Cavendish, P.E.I.
HOME · THE STORY ·
POLO · FACTS & HISTORY
& YARNS · LINKS