More planking, work on transom

A second plank of white oak was installed in the stern last week. White oak bends easily after being steamed and for that reason it will be used in areas of the bottom which have a more curved and twisting shape. Longleaf pine, which was the wood used in the first plank we installed, bends less easily and is well suited for use in longer, less curving sections of the hull. With the emphasis now on planking, as many as three teams of shipwrights will be formed to measure, cut, steam, and install the planking. The search continues for longleaf pine. Once one of the dominant species in Georgia, we have located good prospects for harvesting in southwest Georgia, some of which are 300-year-old trees.

Meanwhile work on the transom is progressing. The new cross timber, which is white oak from the Charlestown Navy Yard, is ready to be shaped. A pattern of the old piece has been made and cutting of this 22-foot-long piece will commence soon. The cross timber is not unlike a roof beam in your house. You should imagine removing a roof beam while attempting to keep the house from badly sagging or even worse collapsing. This is exactly what the shipwrights have done. By means of an ingenuous series of supports, eye bolts, and other fasteners, the material around the cross timber space has been temporarily held in place.

Planning for the 38th Voyage continues. There are hundreds of details to be considered from gangplanks to safety and communication equipment to the outfitting of Roann as a tender.