Hawsepipes and more

A while back, Roger cut the hawsepipe holes for the anchor chains. I want to show you a slick little trick that he used to map out the shape of the hole as it exits the boat. The hawsepipes are round in cross-section, but when they exit the curving hull of the boat at an angle, the shape is more of an oval. Getting that shape just right can make your head explode if you’re not a mathematician with a focus on topology. Boat builders excel at coming up with simple methods to solve complex problems like these however, and this is an old favorite.

All you need to know, to make this work, is where the center of the hawsepipe hole starts, and where it ends. Roger had previously worked out the angle of the hole, and he knew where the center of the pipe would be inside the boat, so all he heeded to do was to drill a hole starting at that known center and along the proper angle, and the drill would exit the boat in the right place. Here, we’re looking from the inside of the boat up at the bow. You can see the two hawsepipe openings on either side of the stem.

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Here, the center hole that Roger initially drilled in the middle of each opening is visible. The opening on starboard (right) was partially defined by the existing opening (the bottom bulwarks plank was not replaced, so the old hole is still visible. It has a black border), and the port hole (left) was brand new. Here’s a close-up of the port side hole.

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He’s drilled all around that center hole, to rough out the shape of the pipe inside the boat. Here’s how that center hole looked on the outside of the boat.

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So, once he’s got the center hole, how does he get the shape of the whole pipe? By using this piece of iron rod that looks like a shepherd’s crook.

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The end of the crook is sharpened to a point, and the rod is bent so that the distance between the tip and center of the rod is the radius of the pipe. To use it, insert the long end of the crook into the hole,

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and then swing the short end around the hole, scratching a circle as you go.

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Even if the surface is curved and sloping, the point of the crook will always be right at the radius of the pipe. You can see how this comes out at a somewhat oval shape on the outside of the boat.

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Roger then rough drills out the shape of the hole and will come back to fine tune it so that the hole goes just to those lines on the inside and outside of the boat.

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Paul and Phil have been bringing the copper up to the bow. Here, Paul is tarring the last little section before the stem.

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That light section is a patch that fills in a place where some older damaged wood was removed. And it’s now installed.

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Matt’s been fairing up the lower section of the stem to get it set for the final copper wrap going up and across the front of the stem.

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And… that’s done.

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Paul is working primer into the older stem wood in preparation for bottom paint.

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By the way, that’s original wood there. As in, installed in 1841 original.

Back at the transom, the planking has been scraped and painted with black linseed-oil paint,

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and John has been finishing up the port lights for the captain’s cabin. Here he’s countersinking the brass port light in preparation for installation.

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Then, there’s always lots of touching up and tweaking the hole to make sure that everything fits just right.

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There was one plank left to go on the starboard aft quarter. Rob and Shelly work out the fastening pattern before this shutter goes on. This is particularly important when working with planks going onto old frames. You can see the light circles on the frames where the old trunnels are still embedded in the frames. It’s best to avoid them when putting in the new trunnels. Shutters also take a little more planning because once they’re on, you can’t see the frames any more!

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And then, with all the persuasion we could muster, the last aft plank was bent into place.

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And that’s now all fastened in place.

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The plastic sheeting is there to keep wood chips (from all the trunnel hole drilling) away from the caulkers below.

It’s not that they’re prima donnas or anything, it’s that they need the cotton and oakum to be as clean as possible when they drive it into the seams. If the folks below were just fairing… we’d totally shower them with wood chips.