Thank you maritime podcasters

For those of you who don’t know much about blogs, there’s a little thing called the Blogroll down on the right side of this particular blog (it can be in other places on other blogs).  The Blogroll is a series of links to other sites of interest. 

Tonight I’ve added 2 after learning that I’ve been mentioned in the Messing About In Ships podcast.  The podcast is hosted by two folks, Peter Mello, (who runs Sea Fever Consulting and keeps up an excellent, informative blog about a wide range of interesting maritime items called Sea Fever) and Captain John Konrad (who also runs an excellent maritime industry resource site called GCaptain).  Peter says some very nice things about my blog that would be sure to make my mother very happy if she could only figure out how to listen to it. 

And, I must say, Peter is a singular gentleman with a keen, incisive intellect, and fine literary taste.  Clearly, the world needs more fellows of his ilk.

Right.  So, seriously, Peter and John’s podcasts can be found at Messing About In Ships.  To listen to the podcast from the website, go to the little arrow that looks like a “Play” control on a tape deck and click on it.  You can also subscribe to their podcast through iTunes. 

Thanks again guys, and keep up the good work!

Blogged with Flock

A case for the brace

Before heading to boat school I thought that bit braces were cool in the same way that, say, a steam powered apple press is cool.  Quaint, handsome, satisfying when they were engineered well.  Any tool collector worth his salt was sure to have a couple of rare ones, but no one used them.  Electric drills pretty much made them obsolete as far as I could tell.  

And then I noticed that boat builders always seemed to have them around.  Well, that’s just because these wooden boat guys have a thing about old tools.  I mean, they’re basically smitten with all things old, so of course they’re going to have a pile of old tools around.

And then I got to know some of these boatbuilders Continue reading “A case for the brace”

Wedges, gaff jaws, and a little tiny dot.

Inside the Aurora it’s not exactly balmy, it’s ambient air temp with no wind, so it’s tolerable if you dress right. 

Looking aft, towards the fore mast.  This is where we first noticed the problems with the old mast wedges.  As I took each wedge out and replaced it with a new wedge it became immediately clear just how much we needed new ones.  Continue reading “Wedges, gaff jaws, and a little tiny dot.”

Screwing around

I imagine that the next few weeks will be taken up with the same mundane work that has been going on during the last week or so.  That means that this blog is going to be pretty dull for a while I fear.  There are over 2000 screws holding the planks to the frames and a lot of them are broken or corroded.  Let’s start with what you see once you get the bungs off.

The first task is to clear the slot as well as possible. 

In a perfect world you can get a screwdriver or bit brace into the slot and get the screw out the usual way.  Continue reading “Screwing around”

Mast wedge factory

As the ship’s carpenter on the Aurora I get to fix all manner of wooden things.  A few weeks ago, we realized that some rather important parts of the boat had been made of red oak.  It’s not a good idea to use red oak in a marine environment because of the difference in porosity between the species.  Red oak (at least in the eastern US) grows faster than white oak, and the pores of the wood stay open, unlike the pores of many white oak species which are filled with a cell structure called tyloses that effectively seal them. These 2 cross sections show the difference well.


Continue reading “Mast wedge factory”