Marco Polo Project Saint John New Brunswick

Marco Polo Project Gallery

    Here are the latest photos sent to us from Bob Coes, Project Manager taken on September 24/06. Bob and his volunteers are continuing to make progress in preparing the ship's framework for planking. His photos and descriptions continue to keep us up to date on current developments.
   Be sure to check back often in the coming months, we hope to have lots to show.

September 26/2006
Just click on the pics for larger view.

   The first two pictures focus on the bow area showing the completion of the remaining frames on the bow stem. With some temporary battens in place, one can get an indication as to where the planks will lie at various waterline heights. The third photo, taken from the starboard side, is the first shot showing the complete framework - stem to stern.
   This next group of photos were taken upon delivery of the mast steps, mast collars, hull support brackets, and welding supplies from Comstock Canada Ltd. Dave LeBlanc and Bill are shown unloading these materials. Bob prepared the drawings for their fabrication at Comstock who in turn supplied and fabricated these items as a contribution in support of the Marco Polo Project. Barry Sullivan, the pipe fitter superintendent at Comstock oversaw the building of these assemblies. The mast and hull components are very important to the structural integrity of the replica.
    The next group of photos generally describe work taking place on the faces of the ship's frames.This shaping is necessary in order to allow the planks to lie properly on the frames when they are hung. "Facing off' the frames is tedious work which requires careful attention to the changing contours of the frame's faces.The shape of the hull, along with the rise of the planks both contribute to the complexity of this process. The first photo in this group also shows the hull support brackets welded to the I beam. Gary LeBlanc, one of our volunteers, did the welding. Ken Sparks chipped the welds and primed the assembly. Joseph Poirier assisted in fastening the brackets to the floor timbers (joists). In the second photo, one can begin to see the shaping of the frames as they progress towards the stem. The steel beams supplied by Ocean Steel form an excellent platform upon which to build a land based model. The third and last photo in this group is an overall shot of the hull where one can see by the wood chips on the floor that the concentration of the work is for the most part at both ends of the boat.
   The last group of photos shows the assembly of the steam box and boiler. These photos were taken while it was in operation in a test situation Sept 22/06.
   Notice the dark object in the first photo on top of the steam box near the centre. That is a thermometer used to monitor temperatures throughout the box during operation.Small holes were drilled near both ends and at the centre to allow the probe to be inserted for temperature readings. The second photo shows the whole assembly including the remote water supply in the blue barrel. The water level in the boiler is maintained automatically by a gravity feed from the barrel. One need only check the water level in the barrel to insure an adequate supply to the boiler. Because water seeks its own level, the open line permits the water in the boiler to continually adjust to the water level in the barrel.
   The third photo is a close up of a thermometer with its probe inserted in the box. Notice that the reading is approximately 200° F. The acceptable minimum is 180°F. The peak operating temperature approached 210 degrees f. Excellent results for this design! The last photo in this group shows the thermometer inserted near the end of the box closest to the front of the picture. During normal operation the steam box will be raised at one end to allow any water due to condensation to run off through a drain hole into a container.
    The final shot shows the mast steps and collars all primed and ready for installation at a later date. The three assemblies with the longer plates are the mast steps which will be positioned on the lower deck. The remaining three collars with the smaller plates will be fastened to the upper decks respectively. These plates have drilled holes to aid in their installation. All of these assemblies had the pipe welded to the plate at angles of 4 degrees, 5 degrees, and 6 degrees. The angles describe the rake of the masts when stepped on the ship.
    Bob reminds us that there are many details to be considered with a project as unique as a land based replica of a tall ship. With the help and support of the various companies and volunteers we are able to make progress and realize a sense of accomplishment. The pace at which we progress is directly linked to the amount of support that comes our way. We are almost ready to begin planking. As soon as the frames are faced off we will begin. This phase of the project is expected to be even more challenging and exciting, and we are all looking forward to it.