Walsh/Telegraph-Journal Simonds High School Grade 11 students Steve Dunn,17,
Greg McLaughlin,16, and John Kennedy, 16, from left to right, work with Bob
Coes, manager for Marco Polo project, on the batten being used to draw a
It 's all
hand's on deck as students 'Ioft' ship
BY SANDRA DAVIS
John Kennedy is
looking forward to walking along Harbour Passage, pointing to the Marco Polo
replica sit ting there and telling his friends and family that "I ` helped
" It was during his high '' school years at
Simonds, he'll tell them, when he was in Grades 11 and 12.
His dream is only about two years away.
Before it comes true, he and his classmates have
hours of work ahead of them.
Every morning in the Simonds
High School shop, students take co-ordinates to plot the ship's points and lay
out the curve of her lines as they "loft" the ship.
Lofting is the process of going from a small-scale line
drawing to full size.
The work is painstaking and there
is no room for error. It is important because it defines the look. of the ship.
"Holy crab, this is going to be a ship some day," said
Mr. Kennedy as he watches draftsman and retired teacher Bob Coes check and
re-check measurements and the plotting pattern.
is kneeling on an eight-by-12 board that serves as a temporary moulding loft on
which the rib-lines and beams of the replica of the famous sailing ship are
being laid out.The board represents about half of the replica ship's
SHIP: Vessel's hull to be completed
Coes' drawings and offset tables, the ship's lines have been drawn on plywood,
setting out a pattern for her 40 pairs of white pine ribs.
The students help transfer the pattern onto wood and cut
the frames, all under the direction of Mr. Coes, who is spending most mornings
at the school, and their shop teacher, Mike Boyle.
work began three weeks ago on this one-third scale, non-sailing replica of the
Marco Polo that has been a dream of teacher Barry Ogden for 18 years.
The hull of the vessel is expected to be complete by
spring, after which it will be moved to an approved waterfront site where the
remainder of the replica will be constructed in the public eye. Plans call for
it to be completed by 2006.
The students check and
re-check angles so no materials are wasted and design jigs as they need them.
Jigs are patterns that are cut out and used to keep everything in line.
This exercise in shipbuilding is worthwhile because it's
teaching the students the importance of precise measurement and how to plot
"You have to be very precise," said Mr. Kennedy.
"Everything has to be exact."
Some students, like Grade
11 student Greg McLaughlin, use the project to hone up on math skills, while
Chris Forgrave, who wants to be a millwright, has been busy framing, sheathing
From start to finish, Mr. Ogden expects this
Marco Polo replica will cost about $260,000. 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 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 ship 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.
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