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 July 30/06. This group of pictures focuses primarily on the forward section of the ship. Bob Coes and his volunteers have been busy working on the bow stem, forward frames, and steam box. As well, other important details must be addressed prior to the planking process. It is our goal to begin planking the hull in two to three weeks.
   Be sure to check back often in the coming months, we hope to have lots to show.

August 19/2006
Just click on the pics for larger view.

    The first photo shows Brad Matthews standing next to the newly raised bow stem. The vertical height is just under 12 feet. The stem was cut from a piece of clear tamarack with a cross-section 8 inches square. This stem weighs approximately 300 pounds.
   The next three photos show various perspectives of the stem and the space left to be framed in. The last shot in this group, taken below deck looking forward, shows how the frames steadily close in on the stem near the waterline. The previous photos show these frames at almost the same width as the beam near the 14 foot waterline.

This photo shows Ken Sparks standing next to the steam box which he built over a two day period. The planks for the box are a full 2 x 12 inches by 16 feet long. Ken built press fit covers for both ends to allow for easy access and to eliminate the need to turn the box around. He also built the stands and the extensions for raising the box from either end. The hose attachments and pins for the planks will be installed later. The next shot was taken at a distance to show for the first time the approximate on-deck length of 67 feet from stem to stern. The following photo, while including the whole framework, focuses mainly on the bow area.
Gary Le Blanc is shown checking the procedure for chiseling the rabbet joint on the after edge of the stem. This process will take place prior to the stem receiving the plank after fitting. Bob Coes, along with Gary and Brad, raised the stem into position August 11. Klaus Klausen, of Wolseley Industrial Products Group, was present to witness the event. Joseph Poirier, our most senior volunteer, drops by our work site often to check on our progress and to offer valuable advice. As a young man in his thirties, Joseph worked in boatyards on the Gaspe' building fishing draggers of approximately the same size as our replica. He has experience planking, caulking, and rigging. Joseph is shown in this photo with a ship's wheel which he made of solid oak. He is donating the wheel for the helm of the Marco Polo. On behalf of all those involved with the project, thank you very much Joseph.
Gary LeBlanc is shown in the centre of this next photo. On his right is his brother Dave who is the Mechanical and Millwright Superintendent for Comstock Canada Ltd. in Saint John. On his left is Barry Sullivan. Barry is the Pipe Fitter Superintendent for the same company. They became interested in our project after listening to Gary describe some ideas which both he and Bob were discussing regarding the support for the hull and the masts. Bob Coes contacted Dave and invited him to visit our work site. Both Dave and Barry dropped by August 17 to see the hull and to look over the plans and our ideas. Barry has offered, on behalf of Comstock Canada Ltd., to fabricate and donate the mast steps, mast collars, and hull brackets for the Marco Polo Replica. These components play a crucial role in the support of the hull as an integral part of the steel platform. The mast supports will provide the same function when the masts are stepped after the ship is moved to its permanent location. The drawings needed to build these supports will be prepared by Bob Coes. Thanks to Barry, Dave, and Comstock Canada Ltd. for their interest and support. The posters in this photo represent several of the companies and organizations that have contributed to the realization of the Marco Polo project. Although not shown on our display board, Gary Quigg, representative for North Safety Products Ltd., recently donated hardhats, safety vests, first aid supplies.These products, used daily, are greatly appreciated.
Les Jones, representative for Irwin Industrial Tools, also marketed through Wolseley Canada in Saint John, stopped by August 9 to present us with twenty 6" C-clamps. These clamps are needed especially in the planking process, but will prove to be very useful in other procedures as well. Thanks to Les and Irwin Industrial Tools for their support.
    The next bow shot was taken August 18. It shows frame assemblies #42 and #43 installed. #43 is the first assembly to be installed on the bow stem. Gary and Ken both assisted Bob with the installation of these frames. Only frame assemblies #44 and #45 are left to complete the framing process. They will also be fitted to the stem at progressively higher elevations.
    The last two shots in this group of photos are close-ups of frame assembly #43 at the base of the bow stem. Here one can see the slot cut in the bottom of the stem. This feature allows the stem to set over the beam as opposed to on it. Once the stem is joined to #42 assembly it will have longitudinal stability as well as the lateral stability provided by the slot in its base.