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Author Topic: Steam Trawler "Bayflower"  (Read 18864 times)

Bryan Young

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Steam Trawler "Bayflower"
« on: April 08, 2011, 06:09:44 PM »



   
The theft, discovery and rebuild of a trawler.


Perhaps it’s just me, but I find that the hardest part of writing anything is the “beginning” and the “ending”.
Apart from the pair of Cable Repair ships (“Norseman” and “Recorder”, although 2 entirely different ships) I’ve always tried to build something “different” as a next model. OK, I know and appreciate that some modellers prefer to build particular types of ship. Some build Ferries of one sort or another. Some stick to Fishing Boats, others to RNLI boats and so on. No harm in that. But I prefer having a go at disparate types of ships. Generally speaking this means that I’ve got to learn a lot when the projected model is out of my professional “comfort zone”. Particularly when I decided to build a Trawler. Also, I’m not particularly interested in very modern vessels as I find them less visually appealing than vessels of a past age.
Having recently completed the marathon build of s/s “Hunan” (R.I.P.) in mid 1997, I was casting around for something else to build. Then another of Mr.Pottingers’ plans appeared as a “Modellers Draught” in the December 1977 issue of Model Shipwright. A very traditional Steam Trawler named “Bayflower” that had been built in 1933. Everything about this boat intrigued me. First was the fact that modelling her took me away from the more “mainstream” stuff I’d been building. Then was the realisation that although over the years I’d seen many of these things but still hadn’t much of a clue as to how they went about their business. Of course I knew the basics of trawling, what lights they had and all that. But about their day to day work I was quite ignorant. In fact my experience of trawlers up to then had been more of annoyance and exasperation than anything else. They always seemed to operate with a remarkable disregard for anything else that just happened to be on the same bit of ocean as themselves. Absolutely no regard or adherence to the chiselled in stone “Rules Of The Road”. At times, being a “driver” of perhaps a fully loaded troopship, these things would suddenly alter course to put both ships in imminent danger of collision. Heart attack time. And they never seemed to be operating without others of their ilk meandering haphazardly about the place. It’s all very well saying that “proper” ships should give fishing vessels a wide berth, indeed the “Rules” state that “when possible” that should be done, but the “Rules” also state that a vessel engaged in fishing should not hamper the safe navigation of other vessels in a recognized seaway, But that just isn’t possible all the time. A good example here would be the North Sea. Even in the 1970s the North Sea was laid out (on paper!) with a sort of road map. These “roads” were passage areas that had been swept of WW2 minefields. And very few “deep sea” ships would be willing to risk traversing an unswept area. So from a navigational point of view these vessels could be a major hazard. On the other hand, on a more person to person level we always got along with them…..especially during times when we would just be stooging around in a 30,000ton tanker or ammo ship and the notion of some fresh fish seemed a good idea. Amazing how much fish could be “bought” for a couple of bottles of whisky!
On other occasions when we were just meandering a bit aimlessly off the North coast of N.Ireland local fishing boats would offer to “trade” crabs and lobsters for some fresh vegetables. A sack of potatoes would be swapped for 2 sacks of large crabs. A sack of mixed veg and a bottle of whisky would result in a sack of large lobsters. Happy days.
    But none of that would ever excuse their utter disregard for others. Even when they weren’t actually fishing they would invariably show the lights or day signals that said they were, honestly, fishing. Mind you, this was a mind-set on their part. Even in port their navigation lights and fishing signals would be left on and showing. A law unto themselves.
    So “Bayflower” caught my interest.
I’d love to be able to reproduce Mr.Pottingers’ article and description here, but I’m not going to push my luck against any copyright legislation!
“Bayflower” was just over 150ft long, and Mr.Pottingers’ plans, if adhered to, would result in a model of around 30”, which is basically around 1:50 scale. And that scale is what I generally use for “proper” ships. But 30” was just too small, so I decided on 1:36 scale (about 50% larger). So somewhere in the region of 4ft. The plans published in Model Shipwright are actually pretty good if 1:50 scale is what the builder wants. I built the hull (GRP) directly from these plans using my invaluable proportional dividers. But to build at the larger scale, more information was needed. Very conveniently the photo accompanying the article was sourced as being supplied by the Hull Maritime Museum. It didn’t take me long to buy (remarkably cheaply) copies of the original builders plans….and what a wealth of detail they showed. Perfect. Or was it? All the details gleaned from both sets of plans only went to show how little I knew about the actual operation of these ships.
More learning required!
Fortunately for me, within Tynemouth Model Boat Club we had 2 ex-trawlermen. One was a guy called Jimmy Cullen (more on him later) who’d actually been the Ch.Engineer on this class of ship, and Brian Chambers (Brian_c on this forum).
What a wealth of information these 2 supplied. Brian loaned me all sorts of books that were mainly about the people, but every photo had little details of the boat somewhere in the background….more than useful. Another little “oddball” was the use of cow-hides strung up around the working areas. This all got stranger and stranger. In fact the only thing I could find in common with my sort of sea-going life was that we both used the sea to float on.
Jimmy Cullen was very much an old-fashioned trawlerman. Blunt to the point of rudeness without realising it. But when approached he could be a mine of willing information. He knew these things inside out. Any little query I had about fixtures and fittings he would delight in improving my education….in the broadest Geordie accent imaginable, complete with the adjectival epithets without which no seamans’ vocabulary would be complete. But even I was now and again reduced to asking for some “clarification”. These “lessons” were mainly filled with sentences comprising words beginning  with an “f”. But remarkably descriptive for all that.
I really don’t know how old he was, but one day he asked me to walk around the lake with him and told me he’d got the “Big C” and as he hadn’t much longer to go, he was going to live with his sister(?) in Scarborough, but could I send him some photos of the model? He got them just before he died. A lovely man….when approached in “his way”.
And so my education in the ways of trawlermen progressed. I suppose I was getting a feel for both the trawlers and the people who suffered on them by now. In point of fact, I’m not generally sympathetic to the woes of my fellow man, but I did feel a little softening of the heart when (metaphorically) sitting on Cullens knee listening to his tales. He died in 1998, but just now and again, I miss him.
Alas, the various (on film) photos I took of the original build of “Bayflower” have been lost. Not to worry. The fog will clear eventually.
Just after I completed the model (2001?), “Bayflower” was entered into the competition section of the Harrogate show (scratch built section) …the organisers of which immediately stuffed the model into the “Kit Built” section. Shrug shoulders, but inwardly seethe. This began a long running and on-going saga of disagreements between me (and with the support of other TMBC members) and the judging at Harrogate.
But life’s too short for all that.
As I’d had a very pleasant year sailing “Bayflower” it was time to consider another model. So I began building RFA “Gold Ranger”. Not part of this tale.
It was my practise to keep 2 models in my trailer housed within my main garage / workshop. Not attached to the house, but only about 30ft away at the end of the back garden.
Then it was raided. Patently by someone who knew my layout and what I had in there.
Both “Hunan” and “Bayflower” were taken. As were more or less all of my tools and equipment including all my batteries and radio gear. This could not have been done by a casual sneak thief. It was by someone who both knew me and had seen my layout.
The phone call to the police resulted in a casual visit 8 hours later by a “community” policeman who, to his credit, did say that this robbery was more serious than had been assumed. Like a total of £30,000 worth of “stuff”. Of which I got £7,500 back from the insurers.
Ever tried insuring a rather valuable model? I could insure a new BMW car for less.
Then came the CID who first of all tried to imply that I’d done it as an insurance scam. Then came the SOCO who did absolutely nothing but shrug his shoulders and go back whence he came. My faith in Britains Finest took a severe nose dive here.
And so it remained. Many fingers were pointed at a club member who I’d had a serious falling out with some months earlier, but it was all circumstantional.
Until.
About 5 years after the event, another club member saw and recognized “Bayflower” for sale in a rather sleazy “antiques” shop on the south side of the Tyne. I went over there and eyeballed it, sure enough…it was my model. For sale at £600.
Off I went to the local Police HQ and explained the situation. These things take time…and yet more time….Eventually 2 young “officers” appeared and said they would “look into it” and I was to be there when they did. Progress!!
The next few minutes or so were rather bizarre.
When the officers asked for the model to be lifted down off its high shelf it needed 2 people to do so. Odd.
On the counter I was asked if I could prove it was mine. No problem. Although the model was wrecked beyond belief, some little catches and so on were still in place. When I began removing the superstructure the shop “owner” tried to stop me by saying it was all fixed down, and it was only a “kit” anyway.
By the time I’d removed the various bits he was looking as decidedly seedy as his shop. Even more so when I showed the so-called “officers” my signed plaque and wiring diagram inside the boat.  Impasse.
The reason it was so heavy was because the idiots hadn’t been able to get at the battery, lead ballast and motor. Even the electronics were still in place and untouched.
     Now, between you me and the gatepost, I’d sort of expected the highly trained custodians of the law to be a bit suspicious by now. At least to demand access to wherever more “stock” would be held. Did they? Did they hell.
In fact they went off to report to HQ for an hour and I was left wondering what on earth was going on.
      I got “Bayflower” back, the “shop” closed down soon afterwards, but sadly,“Hunan” has long since disappeared.
      And so poor “Bayflower” sits, in smashed up bits waiting patiently to be brought back to life.
   
But at the time I was blowed if I was giving in to these low-lifes….so I decided to rebuild her. I couldn’t really face up to rebuilding “Hunan” as I was (and still am after all these years) a wee bit emotional about her. So “Bayflower” Mk 2 was born. This time re-named “James Cullen” after my original mentor.

And now it’s year 2011. The rebuild of “Norseman” is complete and the “General Havelock” has had its damage repaired. Just in time to be entered into the NE Model Boat Show. From all accounts (that I’ve heard, anyway) this may be the last one. Various reasons I suppose, but a shame nonetheless.
So. In the next couple of weeks I shall begin the rebuild of “Bayflower” Mk.1. and hopefully will get her to take her place alongside the “James Cullen”. I will find that day to be more than satisfying. I’ll still miss the “Hunan” though.
I’ll end this “introduction”/ preface with a photo of “Bayflower” in  her “James Cullen” guise. Then I’ll get to the nitty gritty of rebuilding the original…..which I haven’t started as yet.
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john s 2

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Re: Steam Trawler "Bayflower"
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2011, 08:43:58 PM »

A bitter sweet story. The vessel you rebuild will be a tribute to your friends. Sadly there can be a lot of
variation in the way the Police act. Sadly as in your case a lot more could and should have been done to
find the acusued. Having said that even if it went to Court. Justice most likely would not have been carried
out. Nothing can replace the time and effort spent building a model. as in your case all the personal touches
 Thanks for posting John.
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Bryan Young

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Re: Steam Trawler "Bayflower"
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2011, 04:58:13 PM »

With the NE Model Boat Show imminent (like tomorrow, Sat 9th April) and 4 of my models being taken there……recurrence of the dreaded gout prevents my personal involvement…..SWMBO and I managed to get the wreck of “Bayflower” into the main workshop / garage.
Do any of you suffer from the occasional bouts of gout? Pointless trying to explain to non-sufferers how painful and debilitating it can be, but I find that it tends to hit after a period of “stress”. But I digress, again.
With the “Bayflower” finally on a workbench I could have a good look at it.
The actual “damage” is more or less repairable given time and the will to do it. But it’s the missing and/or broken up bits that hurts. Stuff that really means re-making.
The foremast is beyond redemption, the pair of derricks aft of the funnel are missing altogether, the trawl gantries may need re-making…as will 2 of the missing otter boards. The decent rigging is non-existent and will have to be totally replaced. And all sorts of other stuff that’ll probably take me the rest of this year to put right. At the moment all I feel is an odd mixture of anger and sorrow. But I suppose that when I get my head back in order I’ll be able to be a bit more dispassionate about it all, and at least attempt to get her back to her original condition. I wouldn’t feel so bad about all this if the damage had been done by me dropping the thing or something! 
     However. The ignorant low-lifes certainly hadn’t realised how much of the model I’d made to be removeable, so my first job has been to strip it down even further before cleaning off the accumulated grime. I gave the deck areas a quick waft over with a soft brush just to find out how much else was damaged that I hadn’t noticed. She must have had a couple of hefty whacks on the bulwarks as a fair few of the bulwark stays are missing, roughly glued back in the wrong places or just loose. The rails and stanchions around the foc’sle head are buckled and bent. Nice guy though he is, I hope I don’t have to get Jim (Lane) to supply me with a new set! I’m not going to touch the superstructure until I get the deck areas, foremast and rigging re-done…..I hope I’m wrong but I can already sense Xmas approaching as a timescale for that little lot. I’d forgotten that I’d originally made the foremast out of interlocking brass tubing. Although I had vaguely wondered why and how the thing was so badly bent and creased. The “Cullen” version has a wooden foremast, so I may do the replacement in timber as well.
The 1st pic is before the broken and deliberately removable parts were put to one side.
2nd is after stripping down….and the bent mast.
3rd is the full deck showing all the means of access into the hull…just to give an idea how much importance I place on “access”.
           I must beg some sort of pardon from you at this point! I’m still getting used to my new camera and it’s taken me awhile to realise why the “crispness” I’m used to with my posted pictures isn’t quite there. It’s because I’m also pretty busy doing a rather large portfolio of my local area from the old Smiths Docks all the way up the coast to St. Marys’ island…..a “then and now” sort of thing comparing views of over 100 years ago to the same viewpoint as today. So the camera has been set to produce high definition shots capable of printing out at A2 size….all the ones I’ve put on here so far started at over 3mb each, and had to be reduced to the 161kb the forum demands. Sorry! Must try harder.
     Anyway. The next stage is to give the whole area up to where the red deck begins a good seeing to, and get it all nice and clean again before re-building starts.
Just a reminder that this model is at 1:36 scale and is in the region of 54” x 9.5” weighing just over 50lb when batteries and ballast are added.
 Scrubbing decks time.


































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Bryan Young

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Re: Steam Trawler "Bayflower"
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2011, 06:56:28 PM »

Although I’ve just spent the better part of a year getting “Norseman” back into reasonable condition, “Bayflower” is a completely different “project”. “Norseman” suffered her damage due to being stowed in an unsuitable place. Distressing yes, but there was no “hands on” third party involvement. The situation with “Bayflower” is completely different, all the damage being caused by a third party. I left you last time saying it was “scrubbing decks” time. A euphanism I’m afraid. I used a complete squirty spray thing of “Mr.Muscle” and 2 similar things of fresh water just to get the grime off the thing (not including the superstructure). “Things” began to be a bit clearer after that. The grime accumulated during her period of incarceration relaxed its hold on other parts, so even more damage was unveiled.
       By now I’m beginning to realise that repairing and rebuilding this model could well be more difficult that building the whole thing from new. But that’s not the point, is it. The planked decks hadn’t suffered too much, and now look pretty good. So that’s a relief. The bulwark stays had obviously been seriously thumped…so re-attaching them took a couple of days. I had thought of “doing” the gantries next, but as I haven’t really thought that through yet I’ve decided to concentrate on the foc’s’le head. Alas, the rails were beyond redemption and will need to be replaced with a new set. Courtesy of Jim Lane. I need only 24 of them, so it’s not exactly going to send me into penury.
One of the things I’m going to miss out this time around (maybe) is the very fiddly method I used to show the top handrail larger than the lower ones. Standard shipbuilding practice. My earlier method, done because I didn’t know any better, was to get stanchions with a pointy top rather than a hole. Then I would get a length of alloy tubing and (very) carefully drill holes so the pointy bit of the stanchion would fit into them. This now seems to me to be a waste of time. I’m wondering if just using stanchions with a hole at the top to take a standard wire but overlaid with a carefully cut length of tubing slid over the top wire between stanchions would be better and stronger. I’ll give it a try, anyway.
I post the plan of the focsle head just to show that the windlass for the single anchor (p 5) was actually set slightly to stbd of the centre line….just in case you were wondering!
     I also think that I won’t be doing all that much re-painting. Touching up some obvious places, but let’s face it. These vessels weren’t exactly maintained to P&O standards. But it’s all starting to become another learning process…..one I could well do without, but you know my reasons. BY.
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Bryan Young

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Re: Steam Trawler "Bayflower"
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2011, 07:02:59 PM »

An observation re. the plans. The plan view shows that the forward fairleads were of the 2 roller type, but the side view shows plain cleats. I don't know which was correct, so I fitted the roller sort. BY.
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john s 2

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Re: Steam Trawler "Bayflower"
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2011, 07:08:10 PM »

Im sure that in your skilled hands she will end up as good as new. Abeit with a bit more history unfortunately
John.
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Bryan Young

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Re: Steam Trawler "Bayflower"
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2011, 06:55:55 PM »

Another day at “the office”. This morning (and all day) I’ve had the Siren type “foghorn” on the end of Tynemouth Pier giving out its mournful 5 seconds “on” and 5 seconds “off” wail. I’m fortunate in that I live a couple of miles away from it…but for those unfortunates who live only a few hundred yards away …….? Living beneath one of these things (as aboard a ship) is another word for purgatory.
       I was going to tackle the broken gantries today, but I wimped out. So I gave the “fish ponds” a severe “looking at”. Two reasons. The first was because some of the boards were missing, but secondly because a lot of the rigging from the gantries gets very close to the pond boards, which would make fitting the boards after doing the rigging pretty difficult. As I write this I can still hear Jimmy Cullens voice speaking to me in what could well have been Swahili for all I knew. That man could have given the drunken priest in “Father Ted” a comprehensive course in the use of expletives.
When I mentioned the positioning and layout of these “fish ponds” he would do his demented dwarf act and yell at me (in a form of English only known to trawlermen of his vintage) that the boards were only fitted where they could fit. Although the plans shown here look nice and symmetrical it wasn’t necessarily so. So I just put them where they’d fit. You really must understand that throughout the building of this trawler I was spitting into the wind. “Normal” ship-building” practise was no real problem….it was really only the bits that were specific to Side Trawlers that threw me.
      The “holders” of the pond boards I had to make from 1/16” brass channel section with a spur down the centre to fit into the deck. Fortunately these “structures” survived the mis-handling. I still don’t know why a couple of the dividers were made of “rods” and not boards….but Jimmy said that at least 2 of them were always made that way. Again, you may possibly notice that some of the boards are 3 boards high, and others are only 2. I can only assume that the 3 boards were fitted to prevent (hinder) sea water getting down into the hatches. But I don’t really know.
The boards themselves are just simple cut out bits of Obeche, stained (in my case) with Canadian Cedar, plank edges marked with black ball-point and sprayed with matte lacquer. Looks OK to me. The “boards” with rods in them are made of brass. I really must have been keen when I made them. All them little holes, soldering them up. Never again!.
The photos should speak for themselves. They are as of today (20th April 2011). But I suppose that the next nettle to grasp will have to be the forward gantries. Please both wish me luck and bear with me. BY.
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Bryan Young

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Re: Steam Trawler "Bayflower"
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2011, 04:10:21 PM »

I don’t know why I kept calling the “gallows” gantries. Just goes to show my on-going ignorance I suppose.
All the drawings (so far) have been portions of Mr.Pottingers plan of the vessel. As I mentioned earlier, my actual model was built using plans from the Hull Maritime Museum but scanning those plans isn’t very convenient. At the moment Mr. Pottingers drawings are more than adequate for my purposes.
Making the sets of gallows was “interesting” to say the least. The straight “upstands” were relatively easy using Plastruct “H” section of a suitable (large) size. The bottoms being carefully cut to the required angles allowing the straight sections to both lean inwards in a fore/aft direction and also to lean outboard. Making the top curved section was more difficult but made easier by drawing out the profile at the scale I needed. I didn’t have a computer etc. to help me in those days. Fitting the middle bit of my fabricated “H” section was more tricky, but by fitting only one half of the arched section the second bit could be fitted later. Doubling plates were “welded” over the joints. It surprised me just how many and varied fittings there are on a gallows, many more than are shown on the enclosed drawings! And how on earth did the odd shaped bracket holding the hanging block (is that why it’s called a gallows?) get to be called a “Norman”? These fisherfolk, apart from talking in a form of English unknown to the rest of us also use familiar words in unfamiliar circumstances. But what’s life without variety.
The “Hanging Blocks” were easier to make than I expected. Once the cheeks were cut out of a heavier grade of Litho plate and the swivel eye and sheave were fitted that was it…didn’t take very long at all.
     Apart from talking about the re-build of this little ship I’m rather hoping that it may all be helpful to anyone at least contemplating scratch building one of these old traditional side trawlers. Even if building from a kit, it may be well worth your while buying a set of original drawings for a similar type. From the kit built models I’ve seen (and some are quite excellent), the fact they are built from a kit possibly means that some details have been omitted…the original plans will guide you on this.
      Now that I’ve managed to put together one of the broken gallows that’ll suffice. The last photo shows a couple of white plasticard doubling plates that I hope will strengthen the repair job. Still need trimming and painting.
     The next task will, I suppose, have to be the foremast.
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Bryan Young

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Re: Steam Trawler "Bayflower"
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2011, 04:13:51 PM »

Im sure that in your skilled hands she will end up as good as new. Abeit with a bit more history unfortunately
John.
Sorry for not saying "thanks" sooner. It's not the supposed "skilled hands" that's the problem....it's being sort of limited to the use of one eye! Interesting times for a modeller. Bryan.
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john s 2

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Re: Steam Trawler "Bayflower"
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2011, 09:47:13 PM »

Thanks Bryan. Like you my eyes are giving trouble. Ive very short sight and Macular Degeneration. When model
making i loose count of how many times i take my classes on and off to see close up. All adds to the fun. Even
worse when i cant find them. John.
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Re: Steam Trawler "Bayflower"
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2011, 07:47:52 PM »

A change of plan. Jim came up with the new focsle stanchions yesterday (Easter Sunday) so I decided to fit them instead of following “the plan”.
April the 24th. Easter. And it was both hot and sunny. I really can’t remember an Easter when it wasn’t blowing a hooghly and either raining or snowing. Once in a lifetime I suppose. Our sailing lake is only separated from the North Sea by a road and the beach…great for the yachties, but not always so good for the scale thingies. The weather also brought out many visitors….but there was a large “fun run” going on at the time. “Fun Run”? Not many of the hundreds of trotters I saw passing looked like they were enjoying themselves.
     Our (park) lake is for the moment weed free after the industrial scale dredging that took place a couple of months ago….let’s hope that it stays that way. Two very enjoyable hours on the water with “Northumbrian”. So many stops to chat to some of the people who always remember crossing the river on her. All interesting recollections, but always, always was the memory of looking down through an open window into the engine room and watching the man in the big wooden chair controlling the engines.
      But then Jim (Lane) turned up with my stanchions. At first I was a bit nonplussed as they were so much larger than the ones I’d recently removed. Not in length, more in diameter. I must admit to being a bit more than sceptical about these new things. But as always, he’d done his homework and decided that the ones I’d been using on the original were too “spindly”. If you compare the earlier photos with the ones in this post you’ll see what I mean. I still think that they’re a trifle too “fat”, but certainly an improvement on the originals for a 1:32 scale model. As always though, there’s a “downside”. The stanchions in other parts of the model that don’t need replacing are his earlier “spindly” ones. So there’s a contrast. A rather large contrast. I’ve got no intention of replacing the stanchions around the wheelhouse……but the focsle head is (hopefully) far enough away from the wheelhouse to fool the eye a little. I hope so anyway.
     The photos will show that I’ve only “fixed” the starboard side ones. The rails on the port side have to be bent 90*. With multiple rails this has always been a “not desired” job, as I always get into a bit of a tangle. But nobody else is going to do it, so I sort of look forward to an annoying/frustrating few hours.
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Bryan Young

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Re: Steam Trawler "Bayflower"
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2011, 02:15:36 PM »

Actually, this task wasn’t as awkward/frustrating as I’d feared. The more robust stanchions can withstand a lot more rather robust manhandling than the finer ones that were originally fitted. I really should change all the stanchions on both these trawlers to the larger variety…..but to be honest, I just can’t be bothered. Maybe…someday.
So one coat of matt white followed by one coat of satin white and I can say farewell to the focsle until I get around to the re-rigging.
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Bryan Young

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Re: Steam Trawler "Bayflower"
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2011, 03:37:57 PM »

Far from being just a stick stuck into the deck, a traditional side trawler foremast had a wealth of “stuff” attached to it. Compared to a general cargo ship anyway.
For a start, the standing rigging (shrouds) were tensioned with deadeyes and had ratlines. One of my least favourite aspects of doing the rigging…..but that’s the penalty for opting to build models “of a certain age” I guess.
They also carried rigging for a steadying sail and all sorts of other gubbins  (harking back to the days of sail) that general freighting ships had long since discarded. But then again the fishing industry was a very conservative (small “c”) one. Even the last of the sidewinders (1960s?) kept many of the features of trawlers built 50 years previously.
    But in one respect, on this occasion I find I have to disagree with Mr. Pottinger. His depiction of the lights carried on the foremast are both wrong and misleading.
Mr.Pottingers plan of the vessel shows 3 “normal” type mast lights. That is, lights that show from ahead to 2 points abaft the beam on either side. Only the lowest of these 3 lights is correct. The top one is a “tri-coloured” lantern, the centre light is an all-round white light. That bottom one is a normal nav. light. The others were only supposed to be shown when actually engaged in fishing….but fishermen being fishermen invariably ignored the law and even sailed into port with the trawling lights ablaze….and then left them on while tied up to a quay. By day they were also required to hoist a basket somewhere near the front of the boat…..that thing was also to be seen flying whilst alongside. They got away with this forever, so why have the Rules? Beats me. It was probably because these polite, well mannered trawlermen  took mild umbrage at being told what was correct and what was incorrect by a stroppy upholder of the law.
     My earlier thoughts on re-making the foremast out of wood were discarded after I chopped out the bent bits of tubing and found replacement bits of tubing. Instead of soldering the new bits into place I’ve used Araldite. Mainly because soldering is a bit “sudden” and I needed time to adjust the structure into it’s more or less correct configuration (i.e. straight and with its bits’n’bobs line up correctly).
     While searching for the original rigging diagram (unsuccessfully) I got to poring over the builders General Arrangement drawing and spotted something I’ve never seen on this sort of drawing before. Normally all the fixtures and fittings are built and fitted in line with detailed specifications as per contract. It really surprised me just how many “things” were just made and fitted “To The Surveyors Satisfaction”. This even included the stepping of the masts. How much simpler life must have been then!
      In the absence of a detailed Rigging Diagram ( the one shown here is Mr.Pottingers slightly simplified version), I’m going to have to refer to and photograph the “James Cullen” rigging next Sunday ‘cos I know I got that more or less correct. So was the original “Bayflower”, but such was the damage that some of the mast fittings were broken off and need to be re-sited as close as possible to the original positions. All very tiresome (and costly!).
       Another thing I missed first time around is the fact that the vessel was 150ft in length. That means she had a mast light on the aftermast. (Vessels of 150 and over had to have 2 mast lights). But that can wait.
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pugwash

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Re: Steam Trawler "Bayflower"
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2011, 04:01:43 PM »

Bryan, having looked at the diagram I see there are two preventers shown.  I know what they prevent on a yacht
but what is their purpose on a fishing trawler which has no boom fitted?

Geoff
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Re: Steam Trawler "Bayflower"
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2011, 04:41:34 PM »

Geoff, if I read you correctly you're referring to the "bag ropes" (?). It appears that they were used to "prevent" the "bag" (i.e. the trawl net, full of fish) from swinging across the deck. Although I've never seen it, I understand that cow hides were strung from these ropes for the same purpose.  How many? Haven't a clue. Where were they kept? Same answer. It was life, Geoff, but not as we knew it. Regards. Bryan.
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pugwash

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Re: Steam Trawler "Bayflower"
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2011, 06:28:01 PM »

Thanks Bryan for shedding light into the darkness

Geoff
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Re: Steam Trawler "Bayflower"
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2011, 07:45:31 PM »

We had a single bag rope on the David John A169 but the following photos show what it was used for








Larger trawlers had up to 3 of these ropes per side
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Re: Steam Trawler "Bayflower"
« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2011, 07:49:29 PM »

Geoff the "preventers" you see are wires attached to the mast and down onto the whaleback. When you take a bag of fish aboard on a boat of the size the Bayflower was it can weigh up to 5 tons and preventer wires were used to make sure the mast didn't come down. On later boats these were substituted by metal poles



Even though we had 2 metal supports to our mast we still had 2 preventer cables down onto the bow
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pugwash

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Re: Steam Trawler "Bayflower"
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2011, 08:05:45 PM »

Thanks Dave. Makes my light  weight preventer on the boom seem puny in comparison but it did the same job - to stop the mast
coming down  on a certain point of sail if the the boom swung over uncontrolled..

Geoff
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Re: Steam Trawler "Bayflower"
« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2011, 07:12:26 PM »

I'm really pleased that Davie Tait has answered a question here.
The plans I have (builders ones) do actually show the preventers/bag ropes attached to the mast shrouds, rather than the mast. I always distrusted this because of the weight and possible velocity of a full "bag" swinging over the deck of a rolling trawler. It would put one heck of a strain on the shrouds if that was the case.
So the sensible answer is to fasten the bag-ropes to the mast, right?
The next bit .....I've been told that the bag-ropes (wires?) were strung with "beads", and not always with cow hides. Is that correct? But I still await some sort of answer as to the purchase, stowage and "fitting" of these cow hides.
These trawler things are so far removed from my experience that I may as well be building a bucket dredger....another ship I know nowt about. But I'm still always willing to learn. BY.
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Re: Steam Trawler "Bayflower"
« Reply #20 on: April 30, 2011, 07:51:10 PM »

That is how they were rigged Bryan , attached to the shrouds then onto the forward Gallows on the old style sidewinders like this with the diesel boats the rope was normally between the gallows and a fixing point on the rail held tight by a small rope to the mast. The beading I think was more just a thick rope bound tightly around the bag cables but if it was beading it would have been wooden or latterly rubber discs threaded onto the wire.









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Re: Steam Trawler "Bayflower"
« Reply #21 on: April 30, 2011, 08:19:11 PM »

Wow! Now I'm beginning to learn something new!
Were all the fish pond boundaries lined with the open rails, or did some of them just have wooden boards as I've been lead to believe?
I take your point about the "beads" being simple windings of old rope. Cheaper than buying something I suppose. But what about those dead cows?
Davie, over the time I've been on this forum I've always respected your depth of knowledge on things "fishing", and I thank you for that.
However, your contributions have been a bit sporadic. Could you not find it in yourself to write some sort of thread on the "ins and outs" of these older forms of trawling? I realise that not many people here are full blown "scratch builders", but at the same time the sort of knowledge that you have could well be invaluable to us in the minority.
A bit like me describing the repair or laying of submarine cables in days of yore....but not quite as far back as Barry M would have you believe! Regards. Bryan.
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Re: Steam Trawler "Bayflower"
« Reply #22 on: April 30, 2011, 08:31:31 PM »

The cow hides were attached to the bottom of the cod end of the net Bryan , they were used to prevent the net from chaffing and tearing , they were almost uniformly done away with by the late 1960's as nylon twine replaced manilla. They were a bit of a health hazard as well , a few men got infected with anthrax over the years if they let the hides dry out before first use ( they were stored in a preservative to keep them supple , probably formaldehyde !! )

I am happy to help when I can but writing down how each style of fishing boat was laid out and worked would take a long long time ( probably several months of solid work , something I can't do due to not being able to sit for too long at the pc nowadays with my knack'd back ), each boat was different even so called sisterships , each skipper had his own ideas on how the deck should be laid out and how the gear was rigged even amongst the big company boats.

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Re: Steam Trawler "Bayflower"
« Reply #23 on: April 30, 2011, 08:31:58 PM »

Hi,
Bryan, very well said, and I for one would love to see more of the type of thread you have done so very well.
Davie, now about doing as Bryan has suggested. I, and I'm sure others on here, would welcome an in-site to your trawler/fishing world.
How about short snippets on each different area, spread over time. Similar to how Bryan did his reminisences. The end result would be the same, but broken down into managable posts.
You both keep up the good work
cheers
kiwi
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Re: Steam Trawler "Bayflower"
« Reply #24 on: April 30, 2011, 08:39:07 PM »

Cow hides





Next 2 show how they were tied to the bottom of the cod end of the net



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