June 2022

This month we have been concentrating on producing planking from the cleaved sections of timber that were brought to the Longshed last month. In order that we can fit sections to the Ship, we need to produce several pieces of planking at the same time so that we can select the right piece to fit…

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May 2022

There have been a number of times during the build so far where the modern techniques we would usually use in boatbuilding today do not appear to fit the construction of a seventh Century ship; sometimes, as in the use of temporary molds, we have utilised the modern method for a specific reason – in…

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April 2022

April has seen the conversion of the log, which was cleaved at the end of January, converted into planking stock. As is the nature with all cleaved timber, (and quarter-sawn timber which is the modern equivalent), every time we cleave a larger section into a smaller section the width of the planking available is reduced.…

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March 2022

As I have written before, boatbuilding – perhaps like a house undergoing renovation – goes along in fits and starts; lots of preparation goes on behind the scenes and then for a short while great progress seems to be made in a short period. Then the cycle begins again and to outsiders, it might seem…

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February 2022

This month has seen two major milestones achieved. The first was that the Stem, the final element of the backbone of the Ship, was hoisted into place and set up. The second milestone was that the first major pieces of garboard planking have been converted and are now ready to be attached to the backbone.…

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January 2022

As has happened each time we have re-started work, be that after Covid lockdowns or Christmas breaks, volunteers have returned to the Longshed very keen to get on with the production of the Ship. The first stage this month was to produce a safe working platform at the stern of the Ship (at the railway…

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December 2021

As we come to the end of the year we can reflect that despite all the delays forced upon us by Covid we have this year made solid progress in the construction of the Ship. The latest stage in this has been the setting up of the sternpost and the fastening of this to the…

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November 2021

After the great progress made last month, November has seen a return to the steady work of checking the bevel angles on the keel and underloutes and hollowing out the insides of these to give an inside surface parallel to the outside. This is so the roves attached the garboard planking sit square to the…

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October 2021

Having begun to set up the molds on the backbone last month, we have continued through October to work towards the completion of the backbone of the ship. Both the forward and aft underloutes (the extensions to the keel which begin the curve up into the stem and the sternpost) have been completed and the…

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September 2021

If you look into the river end door of the Longshed you will see a very different view to that seen this time last month, and it might seem that a great deal of progress has been made. However, this is typical of boatbuilding where months of preparation might be required and then, all of…

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August 2021

August has been a busy month and it has really begun to feel that we are back in business and progressing the build of the Ship on all fronts. This report aims to bring you up-to-date with the progress made so far.  A number of volunteers have returned to the Longshed, with more to come,…

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July 2021

This month we have continued to work on the keel and underloutes. The keel is nearly complete, just requiring scarfs to be cut on each end in order that it can be mated to the corresponding scarfs on the underloutes. Unfortunately, due to a large knot in the centre of the keel which was identified…

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May 2021

Following the successful delivery of the keel and available backbone timbers on 18th April, work has commenced to shape these in preparation for assembling and setting up the backbone. Covid restrictions, whilst now being eased, still require us to limit the number of volunteers in the Longshed.   The ‘molds’ – temporary softwood frames to…

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ladder for the chainsaw mill

March 2021

As we continue the behind-the-scenes planning to return to working in the Longshed we have, at last, been able to commence preparatory work on the timbers for the backbone of the ship. Some time ago we took the decision to saw blanks for the keel and posts (from the logs that were delivered in January).…

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February 2021

This month progress on the build has been very limited because of lockdown restrictions.  This report is about essential work that we are doing to source wood for the hull, frame and oars that will make the ship a strong, seaworthy vessel. Readers of previous posts will know that we already have already obtained a…

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January 2021

Unfortunately, lockdown has again slowed our progress.  However with the arrival of two logs for the backbone we are in a good position finally to begin the build of the Ship as restrictions ease. We have lofted (drawn full scale) the stem and stern posts which will enable new patterns to be taken for the…

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lofting and frames

December 2020

As the year comes to a close we are back in the Longshed and continuing to make progress, with restricted numbers of volunteers. Whilst we wait for delivery of the keel logs we have lofted the design stations of the hull to full-size (that means drawn out full scale plans) and begun making molds to…

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November 2020

Planking the 12′ section The floor for trying out rowing positions in the 12′ section Trying an oar in the 12’section Chopping willow 12 foot midships model Since we returned to operations in the Longshed at the beginning of August we have continued training and preparation to begin the actual build of the ship.  Covid…

Read more November 2020