The keel of a replica of a typical small West Country cargo schooner will be laid in Bristol in February.
Originally built in 1924, she rescued over 7000 troops at Dunqurkue, but had fallen into disrepair by the ’70s. The preservation society has funded a new hull into which all the original outfit and machinery is to be fitted. This is the first riveted ship to be built for perhaps 50 years, but the skill being obsolete, and modern approach o health and safety has require me to develop a new application for electric heating of the rivets, and tooling to set the rivets hydraulically. The “spin off” has been far better and consistent quality in comparison to any hand riveting work identified from any source to date.
With this work, a “voyage of industrial archeology” has been undertaken through the few original drawings that exist, to prepare new working drawings, plate development, and digitizing for modern cutting machines.
West Country Schooner
Design is in hand for a replica “West Country” topsail schooner of the type common round UK coasts in the 1880’s. The 21m vessel, with its “ship” type hull, is ideally suited to the “liveaboard” family. Construction will commenced in January 2011, in Bristol.