Build a Ship like in the Olden Days

28 Nov

Mystic Seaport helm

Mystic Seaport in Connecticut may not actually give you the chance to build yourself, but you can get an incredible view of skilled craftsmen who are doing just that. Whether building new boats or repairing and restoring historic vessels, there’s always something going. And the facilities are mind-blowing.

When I visited, the Charles W. Morgan was being restored, the world’s last wooden whale ship. Did you catch that, the WORLD’s last one. Unreal. The name, not too catchy, but then I didn’t pay for it so I may be biased.

The More the Merrier
A sea-worthy ship uses 10+ different kinds of wood, each in specific parts of the construction based on strength, manipulative qualities, how they hold nails, and relationship with water. What else in life do we categorize based on its relationship with water…?

Five Minutes of Planning…Why Bother?
Planning: truly a half-assed job. They started on paper, got partway there and then stopped. Eh, we’re good enough. Then built to scale for the first half of the ship and did geometry problems in the dust on the floor for the rest. Amazing that it worked.

Tune-Up and Tune-Out
A ship lasted four years before it went in for repairs, preferably at the home port. And when its time had come, you “scuttled” the ship – sank it. Hence, “scuttlebutt” for gossip: what floats to the top as something is going down.

What have you found to be interesting while in the state of repair?

Can’t see the slideshow? Click here.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Mystic Seaport, posted with vodpod

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