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Tug Delaware

February 10, 2020
On to the next project!

This time, it's a model of the Chesapeake Bay tug, Delaware. She is owned by the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. She was built in 1912 and was used to haul ships in and out of tight harbors and rivers on the Bay. The boat is just shy of 40 feet long and I will be building the model at 1:16 or 3/4" = 1'. That will make the model about 30" long. Delaware is currently undergoing a major restoration in the CBMM shipyard. They are keeping a blog of their progress - https://www.cbmmshipyard.com/delawarerestoration

I'm using plans from the CBMM. The build is going to be a bit challenging. Behind the windows you can see in the plan, is the engine room. I want to have viewers look through those windows, so that space will need to be left open all the way down to the keelson. The frames are not sawn, but are steam-bent, which means they'll need to go in after the hull is planked. The area around bulkheads 1 & 2 and 8&9 is not visible through the windows, so I will leave the bulkheads in those locations after the boat is planked, but the middle bulkheads will have to be removeable. So, setting up the build board to allow for that will be the first challenge. As of today, I have the bulkhead patterns drawn out.

Plotted Frame
Outboard Profile
First Frames
Molds

February 12, 2020
I have the keel finished and the bulkheads all cut out except for the notches that the keel will fit down into. I haven't glued the bulkheads onto the build board yet, but the build board is lined out so I know where they will go. This is going to be a large model! I have used the terms bulkhead and molds interchangeably and will likely continue to do so. But for purposes of clarity, I think of bulkheads as those parts that will permanently remain with the hull, whereas the molds will stay on the build board once the hull is freed. As mentioned above, there are four bulkheads that will remain with the hull and five molds that will stay on the build board.

Keel and Molds
Keel and Molds
Molds/Bulkheads
Molds/Bulkheads

February 16, 2020
I spent the past few days working on the build board. Having to make some of the bulkheads removable proved to be a bit of a challenge. As can be seen in the right-hand picture below, I put some support boards on either side of those bulkheads and also put some brass wire through them to make sure the bulkheads wouldn't move side to side while I'm planking. In theory, I should be able to reach into those spaces and pull out the wire to release the bulkheads.Next task will be to fair the frames and that balsa filler at the stern.

Build Board
Build Board
Removeable Bulkheads
Removable Bulkheads

February 18, 2020
I continued with the fairing yesterday morning. Spent a couple hours outside doing some yard work in the afternoon - very nice weather! This morning, I got the sheer strake on both sides. There is a curved part that will go around the transom, but I won't add that until the planking is finished because it covers the ends of the planks. I did make a form and bend a piece of basswood around it however. Having the sheer strake on allowed me to start dividing the hull into planking bands. There are 15 planks per side so I'll be doing 3 bands. I have the lower band lined off. Once it's planked, I'll line off the remaining two bands. I cut one garboard plank as well. The first three planks have a 90-degree twist from the stem to bulkhead 3. They won't go on without soaking and pre-bending, so that plank is soaking right now.

Sheer Strake
Sheer Strake
Lining Off
Lining Off

February 22, 2020
Planking is moving along and I now have 8 of the 15 planks on each side. I've only managed to do two planks per day. The twist at the bow is severe enough that the planks have to be soaked in water then clamped to the hull to dry before they can be glued on. I believe I'm now at the point where the remaining planks won't require soaking, so things should go a little more quickly.

Planking
Planking
Planking
Planking

February 26, 2020
Planking is done at last! Pretty poor planking job that's going to need lots of filler, but it is what it is. All of the twisting of planks and having to make sure I didn't glue them to the molds increased the complexity of the job. Fortunately, paint will hide my sins. I'm glad to have it behind me in any case. I will add filler, then sand, then add the sheer strake around the stern, then the wale. There is also a rub rail (what the plans call a sheer guard) but I think it may be easier to add that once I remove the hull from the molds.

Planking
Planking
Planking
Planking

February 27, 2020
Success! The hull popped right off the molds without sticking anywhere! I wound up not putting the wale on the hull yet. I think if I add the internal frames first, it will stiffen and strengthen the hull. The frames will have to each be soaked in water and clamped inside the hull to dry before gluing them in place, I will need 16 frames per side, so it will be a slow process, I think.

Off the Molds
Off the Molds
Off the Molds
Off the Molds

March 1, 2020
Over the past few days, I've bent in the frames, added the stringers, the clamp, and the shelf. I need to add flooring supports and floors in the bottom next.

Frames
Frames
Frames
Frames