America's Most Historic Yacht

Progress through October and November 2011

Posted By on November 26, 2011

You may recall seeing the large mortises and tenons used to join the rudder post and keel, here they are now assembled.

You can see the diagonal scarf joint that connects this last section of keel to the longer sections forward of it.

The frames and deck beams at the bow of the boat have been installed for some time now, and aside from setting up temporary decking there, not much is happening at this end of the boat.

Still, it’s quite impressive to see.

It’s been back to frame making these days.

The futtock stock that had been previously rough cut is now getting marked more precisely  for final cutting on the ship’s saw.

And afterwards assembling on the upstairs lofting floor.

Here, you can see one of the long arm / short arm floors with the frames attached to form the complete frame assembly.

Note how the top of the floor is slanted down.  This slope matches the slope of the deadwood aft of it (to the left), and of the two temporary posts forward of it.  The keelson will lie right along that sloped surface.  The keelson is a long backbone member that extends the length of the boat on top of the floors.  It looks like a second keel.  The temporary posts are placeholders for the next two floors that will be installed.  Here’s the aft section of the keelson in its rough state.

The keelson is glued up from multiple boards.  The stair step to the right will be planed down to create the sloped surface that will mate to the deadwood you saw above.

The deadwood starts out as a monolithic stack of timbers, but it needs to be shaped where the curve of the hull intersects with it, and it needs to relieved to accept the frames that will eventually be attached to it.

It’s relatively straightforward to mark out the locations of the frames on the deadwood, as these are vertical lines at a given distance along the deadwood.  The curve and sweep of the deadwood is a bit trickier to measure since it changes in 3 dimensions.  To get a reference surface to measure from, Eric constructs a framework around the deadwood and rudder post that is parallel to and a known distance from centerline.

The framework has upper and lower members, which allow him to slide a vertical stick along the framework, and measure in towards the deadwood from there.  So, if the lofting tells him that the curved deadwood is 13 1/2″ out from centerline at 3′ 6″ up from the baseline, and 3′ forward of the rudder post, he can locate the X (fore and aft) and Y (up and down) coordinates easily, and use the framework to give him the Z (inboard / outboard) coordinate.  This is why having accurate and reliable drawings of your boat are critical.

Most of the drawings for the boat have already been done on the computer, which allows the crew to print out large maps detailing the placement of every part.

Some details had not been worked out in the computer, such as the construction details of the transom.  In cases like this, the crew has to go back to the old school method of carefully lofting out the structure.

For these operations, a stiff, straight batten is indispensable for creating fair curves.

The rule of thumb is to use the stiffest possible batten that will bend to connect all your points.  In cases like this where the transom curves around quite a bit, Eric will use 2 different battens for different parts of the curve.

A stiff batten will be used to create the long, flatter curve, and a thinner batten will be used to generate the tighter curve that you can see marked out with nails.

For people unfamiliar with lofting, the end result can be a confusing jumble of lines, as the loftsman will usually overlay multiple views of the boat on top of each other.

For those familiar with lofting, you can see the body plan and profile view of the transom in  this drawing, along with some construction details such as the locations of the deck beams.  If you can’t see them… it’s ok.  Join the vast majority of people for whom lofting is simply a strangely beautiful thing.

Despite the recent warm weather, everyone knows that winter’s coming.  The crew is getting the upper (heated) shop ready by hanging an insulating curtain down between it and the (unheated) main shop floor.

This makes tea time ever so much more civilized.



4 Responses to “Progress through October and November 2011”

  1. Roger Kizik says:

    Am an artist in S. Dartmouth; have a show of ‘boat’ watercolors at Victoria Munroe Gallery in Boston.
    Grew up around Boston and saw ‘Coronet’ tied up for YEARS near Beacon Marine in E. Gloucester – great thrill to see it being re-born! Have visited construction site couple of times, will be down again before long. THANKS for this excellent blog – very well done….

  2. Tim Murray says:

    Great to see this progress. I watched the sternpost go in, but haven’t seen the after frames yet in person. Thanks for updating, and for the excellent explanatory comments. This is a great way to stay in touch when you live too far off to get there often. Very much appreciated.
    Capt. T.F.Murray

  3. Lisa Valente says:

    As a child, I had the most wonderful opportunity of staying aboard this grand old schooner in the 1970’s when it was docked at Beacon Marine Basin in Gloucester, Mass. My cousin by marriage invited me to stay for a few weekends. Her parents were caretakers of the schooner which was owned by their church. I clearly remember the old staterooms with the built in captains beds and velvet bedspreads. The doors to the staterooms had windows with etched glass. I even got to play the dusty old upright piano in the parlor. I remember the distinct scent of the ship below deck. I was told that it was the scent of oil. I’m so happy to see that this grand old vessel is being painstakingly restored.

  4. Dave Bowman says:

    I had watched the gradual deterioration of this fine old vessel for many years and so glad to see it being restored. Each time I get to Newport, i always check out how she is progressing. Thanks for keeping all us fans of Coronet updated on the website with it’s progress.

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