I have been following the boat-building adventures of Eamonn Doorly at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic over the last few years, in particular his reconstruction of the schooner Hebridee II - which I have covered here before.
|Hebridee II is sitting out the winter in a shelter on the waterfront.|
With Hebridee II in the lean-to outside, Eamonn felt the boatshed on the boardwalk was looking a bit empty inside. Not wanting to disappoint visitors to the museum, he has begun a new project to demonstrate Nova Scotia boat-building tradition. Museum staff believe that Electron, Eamonn's latest subject, was built between 1895 and 1920 at the Obed Hamm boat shop in Mahone Bay - though he hopes to be able to narrow down the date further over the coming months. Electron herself is sitting in a tent in the museum courtyard, looking rather the worse for wear.
|Electron propped up in her tent in the courtyard behind the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. I don't think she has seen the water in many years.|
|Looking up from underneath the bow at the round hole where the mast penetrated the deck.|
|The small cuddy cabin ahead of the cockpit.|
|Electron's boom still lies on deck in this photo looking forward.|
|Looking forward through where the transom used to be. The stern post pokes up to the left of the photo. As with the plastic cockpit drain pipe, I'm assuming the many screws poking up through the ribs are not original.|
Electron's copy is starting to take shape in Eamonn's boat shop. Eamonn cautions that while he is reusing the original keel ballast, this will be a new construction, and not a restoration. Supported by the roof of the boat shop, the boat's new Red Oak stem, and laminated Douglas Fir keel and tailfeather, plus the transom are now erected - the bow and stern supported by temporary pieces of wood, and the keel by chain leading to a chain lift in the rafters. The chain, at least, is connected to the permanent lifting points from which the finished boat will be lifted in and out of the water when she is complete.
|The notch in the stem is called the "rebate" - this is where the planking joins up with the stem.|
|The new keel along with the reused ballast from Electron, with the cable and chain support leading to the rafters.|
|The tail feather on the right transitions to the transom, held together by what I assume is called the transom knee. Electron's transom had some serious "sheer", otherwise known as the angle from the vertical.|
Construction is not expected to be speedy - Eamonn intends merely to erect the bones of the new boat for the time being, as he currently has other museum projects on the go. He hopes to spend more time on her starting summer 2020. I, for one, can't wait!
Many thanks to Eamonn for answering my many questions so that this blog seems somewhat more knowledgeable that I am myself on the subject of wooden boat building. Anything herein that is technically sound is probably from Eamonn, and anything that isn't correct probably resulted from my own knowledge or lack thereof.