Sunday 14 December 2008

Putting the Old Girl to Bed

We thought you might like to see these update pictures of the Sailing Barge Cambria and the excellent progress being made by Tim Goldsack and his team of Shipwrights. This is the old girl one year into the three year project. You can see that all the double-curve timbers are in place at the stern ("transom" actually; we barge-dogs do not talk of sterns).
The main pic shows the hull framing almost done - there are just a couple more to assemble at the bow. On the left of the pic you can see a load of planking has arrived, and in the centre the steel "I" beams which are the "keelson" awaiting assembly and joining. Barges, being designed flat-bottomed to let them come up shallow tidal creeks, do not have a keel projecting down below. The stiffness comes from this internal girder along the barge's length.
The keel's job (stopping the barge sliding sideways when the wind blows across the boat) is done by big tear-drop shaped "lee boards" either side of the hull, which are let down on the leeward side (down-wind side) while sailing.

Finally a pic, for fun of the Christmas tree the lads have rigged up on the canopy. Today was Dad and his chum Richard's last day at looking after the Visitor Centre and showing people round the barge till after Christmas, so as they locked up and turned everything off it felt a bit like putting the old girl top bed.
Goodnight Cambria. Have a peaceful Christmas

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