Here are the
latest photos sent to us from Bob Coes, Project Manager taken on October 12'th
- the first day of planking on the Marco Polo Replica. This day marks a special
turning point in the construction of the ship's hull. Project Manager, Bob
Coes, along with Ken Sparks, Lou Doyle, and Joseph Poirier at the steam box,
hung the first two planks at the bow - one port and its mate on the starboard
side. Friday, October 13'th, Ken and Lou were back on the job and the three of
us hung the next pair of planks below the first pair. Bob plans to plank the
hull stem to stern beginning near the 10 foot water line. Planking will
progress aft and downward to the steel platform.
to check back often in the coming months, we hope to have lots to
Just click on the pics for
| The first five photos were taken on 'day one',
October 12'th. This day was a bit of a test for us. All went well! The steaming
process; the bending qualities of white pine; and the hanging of the planks
with three inexperienced hands, all went off without a hitch.
The first photo shows the plank already on the frames and
fitted into the rabbet joint on the bow stem. Planks in this area are bending
in three directions at the same time: across its flat, its edge, and twisting
on its end. The less time taken to hang the plank reduces the stress on the
plank and its fastening to the frames. The next photo includes myself, Bob
Coes, to the right, Lou Doyle centre, and Ken Sparks to the left on the photo.
Both Ken and Lou have contributed a great deal of time and expertise as
volunteers on the project.
| The next three photos show the planks from various
angles: their fit, clamping arrangement, and lay or shape. Photos six, seven,
and eight showing two planks on each bow were taken the following day. Again,
one begins to see more clearly, the details mentioned earlier.
| The last six photos in this group were taken
October 20'th. By week's end we had sixteen planks hung. More than half of the
planks were hung on the frames with only one or two persons. However, a minimum
of three are needed where the bends are sharper. The planks near the centre of
the hull can be installed by only one person even though some bending may still
be required. Ideally, planking on a vessel of this size requires two to four
people depending on the location of the planks. Steamed planks must be hung
more quickly for reasons mentioned earlier, thus requiring more hands.
The first three photos in this group show three rows of
planks all continuing aft to frame #15 - approximately two-thirds the length of
the ship. The fourth photo taken looking forward gives an indication of the
extent of the planking in just over a week. It also shows the butt joints on
the frames. Butt joints near the bow, where the bend is greater, are between
the frames backed with a butt block and additional fasteners. The fifth photo
is a close-up of the starboard bow with the planks already fastened and fitted
to the stem. The sheer line and general shape of the hull is becoming more
obvious to the eye. The last photo is an overall shot of Marco Polo's hull
showing the lay of the planks. The batten positioned approximately five feet
above the planks represents the sheer line at the main deck.
Bob Coes and his volunteers are extremely pleased with
the progress to date The setting up of the steel, the ship's frames, stern
assembly and bow stem, and now the beginning of the planking process, have all
taken place in just over four months. We hope that more volunteers will step
forward and contribute their time and energy insuring the continued success of
the Marco Polo Project.
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