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Author Topic: Humber smack circa 1880- build log  (Read 38306 times)

Brian60

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Humber smack circa 1880- build log
« on: February 08, 2014, 11:46:29 AM »

 First a little background- Brixham home of the ubiquitous sailing trawler a few of which still survive to this day. The fisherfolk of Brixham back in the mid 1800ís always on the lookout for newer fishing grounds gradually spread around the coasts of the UK.
Slowly making their way up the east coast they put in at Lowestoft, Hull, Grimsby and as far as Scarborough. The locals on seeing this type of craft were not slow to copy and order craft of their own to the same style. Sadly the Humber variant no longer exists, only as one line drawing in a book called Homes of the Humber , Homes among other things being a small craft (zuluís) sailor. From the contents of the book the boat was almost identical to the original Brixham craft but being 10-15 feet longer and 1 ft deeper draft to give them more sea room. The boats of the south coast running for safe harbour in foul weather whereas the east coast men would stay out at sea. More in depth reading on all the variants from Brixham up the east coast to Scarborough, both about the craft, their crews and their owners can be read in Edgar J Marchís book-Sailing Trawlers, good luck if you can find a copy anywhere for less than a £100. It was written  just after WW2 and has been out of print since 1970 but is a fascinating read! Interestingly the sailing smack rose to prominence and disappeared very quickly from nothing around 1870 to over 300 registered in Hull by 1890. Then in the next 10 years had just as quickly disappeared to be replaced by steam, so 30 years was the golden age for these type of craft on the Humber.
 

Brian60

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Re: Humber smack circa 1880- build log
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2014, 11:47:55 AM »

 So to my build, while taking measurements from the plan in the book,  I broadly followed builds of any similar boat for ideas and ways to crack problems that arise. So for the problems kicked up by the hull I am indebted to the late Greg Bulmer (Greggy1964) for solving most of them for me! His build of the Lowestoft variant can be found here--http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,19422.0.html
The keel (p1) is 8mm oak scaled up this is a shade under 12Ē for the real keel, the hull planking will eventually be of oak also. Bulkheads/ribs are in 6mm ply (p2) and are there not for scale but to hold the planking(obviously!) and radio gear.  I have many ideas in my head for the deck, masts and other items, but its problem solving on the fly. You cannot complete part A because part C has to be given consideration for fitment beforehand etc  etc!  My first problem came at the stern, while Greg built at 1/20th mine is 1/44th( a cock up with upscaling on the photocopier!) physically a lot smaller.  He decided on rudder control  using a worm and pinion gear below deck. On mine the clearance between inner hull and deck head in that area was akin to 10mm, not enough room to put the same into place. I thought of using a standard tiller/rod connection through to a servo, but again the problem would be the swing needed for the tiller linkage, using it would mean that not enough timber would be left to support either the deck or the hull planking.
 

Brian60

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Re: Humber smack circa 1880- build log
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2014, 11:49:37 AM »

 After rather too much time sitting and staring at the area concerned I decided on the idea detailed in p3. I installed two short pieces of 5mm copper tube (car brake tubing available in lengths from ebay or a local motor factors) one port, one starboard (p3). I will feed  a line through these and up to the real tiller bar above deck, the other ends will be terminated at  adjustable turnbuckles at a servo. The outward appearance will show the tiller arm is lashed down as though for rough weather or because the helmsman  ( J Edgar March in his book Sailing Trawlers, mentions that the cook was also a boy apprentice and  helmsman when necessary) is helping out on deck with the gear or gutting fish. It was common for the 5 man crews to carry out any and all work as needed. There was however a pecking order, from apprentice up to captain, boys as young as 11 serving as apprentice could be captaining a boat by the age of nineteen!
The third copper tube in the centre of p3 is fed to the stern rail, through this will be  the sheet for the mizzen boom, down below operated by a sail servo. Once the deck is in place these tubes will be trimmed off flush with the deck and disguised by cleats port and starboard. The sheet will run up beside one of the horn timbers to the taffrail and be fed through a block up to the boom.
 

Brian60

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Re: Humber smack circa 1880- build log
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2014, 11:52:01 AM »

 In (p4) you can see my  solution to the rudder problem.  I have epoxied a 5mm brass tube which will act as a bearing for a 4mm rod that the rudder assembly will be built on. Again the scale rudder will be much too small to give any noticeable control. After some experimentation with solutions I decided on the rudder being a hollow pocket, into which a perspex extension can be fitted for sailing and stowed inside when the boat is on its display stand. The rudder two parts are shown in p5 and p6, the perspex addition roughly cut to size for the moment, I will trim it smaller and smaller once I can see how much I can get away with in sailing conditions.
There are several  ways of keeping this type of craft well balanced for sailing. The most popular seems to be to increase the actual depth of the hull, ie add in several more lines of planking. I wasnít happy to do this as when the model is on its display stand it will look out of proportion (to my eyes) so I plan on having a detachable keel and maybe a bulb weight, more of this later.
 

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Re: Humber smack circa 1880- build log
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2014, 11:57:32 AM »

Hope some are watching the bent tube solution Brian as this is all that's required for turning the "cable" in closed loop steering systems (Oh no, not again). As you've already done, the only thing to watch is that the ends of the tube bores have been deburred.   :-))
 
  Regards   Ian.
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Brian60

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Re: Humber smack circa 1880- build log
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2014, 12:01:13 PM »

Thanks Ian. I had already deburred them but I am also going to line them with plastic tubing. It just so happens that biro pen refills are just the correct size-once I get the ink out of them!

More to follow this evening when I return home.

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Re: Humber smack circa 1880- build log
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2014, 12:36:52 PM »

hi ya Brian56
 
I am very interested in your build, and I myself often fancy making a model similar to this - so I will be watching every step of the way.
 
As a side note, I used to know a guy from Saltwell Park Model Boat club who built similar models and he used to obtain a lot of his information through various museums but not from the Plans Dept but the Picture Galleries Dept - as they aide him with his drawings/plans
 
aye
 
Keep up the good work.
 
John
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Brian60

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Re: Humber smack circa 1880- build log
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2014, 05:19:36 PM »

Thanks John.

Hull has an extensive seafaring museum, but as far as this type of craft goes they have nothing. square rigged whalers yep. steamers yep, trawlers yep. every concievable type of craft except for fishing smacks, as mentioned they appeared for a very short time only 30 years in the river's history. Hull grew into a massive fishing port, but this was and still is dwarfed by the more normal import export type of commerce.

Brian60

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Re: Humber smack circa 1880- build log
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2014, 05:23:07 PM »

 Again problems seeking answers.  It came to me that now I have the first two hull planks in place I could actually vision the finished smack. During this moment of lucidity I saw the deck and all the clutter on it, then I thought how in heck am I going to locate the masts through the deck at the correct angle? They lean forward at a 4į angle. So I cut the keel steps for them,  then made the sub-deck out of 1mm ply. Placing this onto the upturned keel and bulkheads I used a protractor to mark out the angle on the underside of the sub-deck (p7). While I was at it I also marked onto the sub-deck where the frame timbers will protrude through to hold the bulwarks  in place much later on, these can just be seen in the photo.
 
The other problem I can now consider is the actual access to below decks once all the decking is in place. The real boat only had two smallish hatch covers forward and a small companionway aft for the crew to shelter in foul weather and during trawl runs. Referring back to Edgar J Marchís book,  much of which is anecdotal quotes from crewmen in the latter days of their lives, it seems that in foul weather the crews would set a Ďstorm sailí lash the tiller and then all of them shelter below decks, hoping to see the following day. This is going to make for an interesting solution as the deck could  quite often be awash in heavy weather and I am sure will be no different with the model unless sailing on a millpond. The sealing of the access hatch is going to take some doing.
 

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Re: Humber smack circa 1880- build log
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2014, 05:27:18 PM »

 Now I have to contemplate the planking of the hull. Iíve put it off and put it off, but itís not going to do itself, so I have begun to line off the bulkheads ready to make a start.

 Iím not going to go over old ground by outlining the hull planking, for a refresher take a look at the in-depth article  outlined by greggy1964. Iíll just add a couple of pics and a note or two, p8,p9 and p10 show the hull now planked up to deck level. Below the waterline I used pine because oak is so expensive, above the waterline I used oak principally because I did not want to paint above the waterline but leave it natural. Several things here, first it may have been false economy because the pine kept tearing when an initial sanding was done, so the application of some filler was needed in places (the brown stuff) Then the  major problem of bending the oak planks, I bought this in 2mm sheets and ripped it to size on my bandsaw.  I knocked up a steamer using some 50mm waste pipe and an old wall paper steam stripper, this did the job wonderfully. However you have to be quick because the timber cools fast and then becomes difficult to bend. Even so some of the planking was a nightmare to do, the ones under the transom stern and on to the sides have a longways twist, a curl like a banana from end to end and curve to follow the hull. So need to be manipulated in 3 directions at the same time.
Having said all of that it has taught me how much goes not only into building a model but the real craft, these boatbuilders of a bygone age really were artisans of their trades.

 

 

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Re: Humber smack circa 1880- build log
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2014, 05:30:25 PM »

 Then to the finished inner hull, what I have done is to coat the insides  with polyester resin and then lay up a single layer of well wetted grp tissue  p12.  rather than chopped strand mat.  This reinforces the timberwork in the hull adding strength p13 , secondly it also bonds to the hull adding a waterproof layer against any slight gaps in the planks. And of course this being my first build of plank on bulkhead rather than a full grp hull, there were gaps! Albeit only 3 very tiny ones, but enough for resin to seep out (and seal) so water would definitely have got in had I not grpíd the insides.
 

Brian60

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Re: Humber smack circa 1880- build log
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2014, 05:32:05 PM »

  In p12 you may just be able to see through the resin along the keelson some lead shot (the artificial type) I had from many years ago.  I ran it down both sides and resiníed it in place under the tissue. Iím not certain of how much ballast itís going to take to float it to the waterline,  but Iíve just had it on the wifeís kitchen scales ( donít worry sheís in the UK and Iím in Spain so she wonít know!) and at the moment it comes in at 1.86 kiloís. While Iím admitting to doing stuff when sheís away, I also grp in my outside workshop but then carried it inside to the lounge and left it on newspaper on the floor. Just because itís Spain doesnít mean itís hot all the time, the weather at the moment is akin to the good old UK,  too cold for grp toíset upí so into the warmth. Fortunately she isnít due back for another couple of days and the smell has almost gone now!

You will also notice in p12 the rather nasty way in which the frame timbers do not run the full depth and up the other side of the hull. The ply bulkheads  support the hull planking, the frame timbers are basically there to hold the bulwarks above deck and have no structural work to do apart from  look the part in the finished model,  the deck supports are similarly nasty looking. Not in place yet are crossbeams on 2 or 3 of the ply bulkheads also to support the deck, the deck will be well and truly epoxied down eventually. P13 shows the stern horn timbers, quite proud of these the way they went together,  a first for me to do something correct the first time. They may look odd and appear to be different sizes but this is because of the camera angle, they are all the same,  these will show above decks once it is eventually in place. The rather curious piece of ply in centre well is to locate the foot of the mizzen mast, the tiny hole is for the copper tubing that will carry the mizzen shroud from the sail servo.
 

Brian60

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Re: Humber smack circa 1880- build log
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2014, 05:34:56 PM »

   Hellooo Costa Coffee-although any coffee house would do. If you felt inclined you could even buy them in bulk from places such as Makro. What am I talking about? Deck planking otherwise known as coffee stirrers!  I was fortunate that the width of these were just about spot on for the width of deck planking they just need cutting to the correct length, I laid them out in a Ď5 plankí recurring pattern this was readily calculated for me by a neat little Excel sheet that I downloaded from another forum. I decided to go against the grain of some builders here and glue them to the ply sub-deck without any form of caulking showing p14. You will see the pattern of planks still waiting to be completed at the bow p15. Also an oversize hatch that I have cut from the centre p16, hopefully once the decking is stained and some of the deck fittings installed this wonít be noticeable to much. Iím now at the tedious part of adding all the bracing and water ingress sealing of the under-deck
 

Brian60

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Re: Humber smack circa 1880- build log
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2014, 05:40:31 PM »

 Shipbuilding comes to a halt! Going back to that statement of having to consider  part C before attaching part B to part A problem. I now have to look at the lanyards that are going to act as my rudder control, trial fitting the deck now that it has a waterproof rim added to the access hatch I realise I will not be able to thread these through the copper pipes, likewise the mizzen sheet. So these are going to need adding now and have a generous length coiled up inside for later trimming. I have about 7 or 8 rolls of various thicknesses of rigging cord bought in the UK, while it may be ok for static models in no way could it be classed as authentic looking. So I am in the process of making a ropewalk! In for a penny in for a pound huh, who said modelling was easy.
 
 So this brings me up to date with the model so far, this is a culmination of the last 5 months work albeit 7 weeks of that were spent in the UK so no work at all was done on it. So back to realtime and updates will be posted as and when I get stuff done, keep tuned everyone.

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Re: Humber smack circa 1880- build log
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2014, 05:58:03 PM »

Looking good Brian,
At least you are seeing the problems and overcoming them
before glueing summat that you need to get around.
Did anyone get to do anything with Greggy's hull?
His death was a bolt out of the blue.
He really enjoyed finding a way round the build problems.
The kitchen was his workshop.

Ned
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Re: Humber smack circa 1880- build log
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2014, 06:14:52 PM »

Brian,
You must be mad setting out to build a scale sailing trawler!  I mean, who in their right mind would want to do that?  :embarrassed:

I'm looking forward to following this build.  I too am a big fan of the brake pipe solution  O0

Robert.
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Brian60

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Re: Humber smack circa 1880- build log
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2014, 06:45:46 PM »

Ned I don't think anyone from the forum picked it up to carry on with. I do recall seeing somewhere that it had been taken up by a member of the Scarborugh model boats club but don't know what became of it, it would have been a cracking model had he been able to finish it.

Robert madness runs in my family at least thats what the voice in my head tells me %% But no madder than your prawner subject :} We  must be cut from the same stock :-)

Chris G

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Re: Humber smack circa 1880- build log
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2014, 02:37:27 PM »

Hello Brian
Super build and look forward to seeing it all develop. I still manage to glue some bits before they are meant to be fixed making the next process difficult or in some cases impossible.
Lot to be said for having two on the go at the same time gives you time to think things out.
Your model will look great with the hull planking on display instead of painted. Keep up the good work.

Regards Chris G 
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Re: Humber smack circa 1880- build log
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2014, 04:25:19 PM »

Chris. Very imprest with your planking. I have a trawler @ 33:1 a little bigger than yours. Faced the same problems as you are now.  Came to the same solution almost. Rudder in pocket mine is operated by a servo. I use plastic fuel pipe (model engine) carry it up to the servo so cord can be renewed if necessary. Although I have a drop down centre plate it is not required as she sails well with internal ballast only.   I shall all be watching.
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Chris G

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Re: Humber smack circa 1880- build log
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2014, 04:40:22 PM »

Hello Hammer
Slight confusion methinks, the builder of the boat featured is Brian56 I simply admired it, similarly I admire yours which also looks a treat, lovely modelling by you both, congrats.
Regards Chris G
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Re: Humber smack circa 1880- build log
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2014, 05:42:22 PM »

I am sorry Brian56 .but I will be watching.
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Re: Humber smack circa 1880- build log
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2014, 06:30:30 PM »

Keeping sailing history alive.... love it!  Very nice work gents.  I'll be following along.
Regards,
Dennis
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Brian60

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Re: Humber smack circa 1880- build log
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2014, 07:37:25 PM »

And so to the next instalment.......

 Before I discuss the ropewalk Iíll finish off the rudder, p17 shows the beginningís of the pintle and gudgeon parts of the hinge mechanism. I simply cut a length of 5mm wide brass strip from a 0.25mm thick sheet I have, then using fine needle nose pliers and my small vice bent them to shape. Having done the initial bending I attached them to the hull and rudder using epoxy and then drilled them to add the bolt heads. The boltheads were simply dressmakerís pins with the head snipped off leaving about 2mm of pin to epoxy into the holes p18 and p19. A timely warning on cleanliness and safety here, p20 shows vinyl gloves, when using any of the items shown, epoxy glues, grp resins, cyano glues etc, its worth using a pair of disposable gloves. They are cheap to buy, this box of Spanish ones cost me 2Ä for 30 pairs and more importantly they keep the stuff of your fingers. Some people may be allergic to the various glues and resins, others like me just might spend the next few hours peeling the stuff off of fingers!
 

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Re: Humber smack circa 1880- build log
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2014, 07:44:32 PM »

 Okay down to the ropewalk, I had researched this in a couple of publications and the best internet tool there is (besides Mayhem of course) Youtube! I collected the bits together they really are a simple machine. P21 shows the assembled parts, on the left is the mechanism that does the winding, I have used 4 hooks in case I want to try winding shroud laid rope, but for most ropes 3 hooks are sufficient. Also there are four cogs that wind the hooks synchronous to each other. The hardest part was actually drilling the holes through the plywood perfectly parallel without a pillar drill. We all make mistakes, mine was the cogs, Iíd bought these last time we were in the UK, slotting them onto the hooks I realised that there was no way to secure them to the hook shaft, if you build one make sure yours have grub screws! I spent some time cross drilling the cogs and the hook shafts so they could be pinned together and then assembled  onto the plywood 120 degrees apart (think equilateral  triangle) The winder mechanism will in time be a 540 or similar motor, but for now I am using a battery drill attached to the centre shaft. On the right is the other end, a simple pulley that will carry a rope with a weight to add tension and a ring and swivel assembly that the three strands will be attached to p22.
 

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Re: Humber smack circa 1880- build log
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2014, 07:47:23 PM »

 The basics of operation are thus- three strands of line are attached to the three outer hooks at the winding end and all three terminate at the ring and pulley at the other. The length between the winding end and the pulley end can be as long as you like, for my experiment that was the dining table (again) But I do have an extendable square tube that I aim to attach everything to so that it is permanent.
 So the clever part of all this is the bobbin. This is shown in the centre of p23, it hold the 3 strands apart at the pulley end from premature twisting, you apply the winding torque to the cogs via the drill. Because this twists the strands on themselves you will see the weighted rope begin to lift up off the floor as the strands shorten. The bobbin should move forward under its own momentum as the line begins to form a rope behind it
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