Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Progress on the building of the new Lighter

The building of a new lighter - used to unload the cargo ships which visit Norfolk Island - has already commenced and photos were uploaded last week. Work progresses steadily and the frames which hung loosely from the ceiling are now connected to the hull. 

The outline of the lighter is clearly discernible.
The frame viewed from the left hand side; from the front and
and right hand side.

It is now time to attach the clinkers. The lighters display the overlapping planks that characterise clinker construction, a method used by experienced and skilled boat builders. The technique developed in Germanic shipbuilding tradition and is a trademark of Nordic navigation, particularly of the Viking longships. The oldest preserved clinker-built boat dates circa 320 AD. The planks overlap rather than butting each other. The planks are fastened with rivets, clench nails or glue where they overlap, resulting in a hull of considerable strength. A tight fit between planks is usually sufficient to keep the Lighter watertight, however sealants or glue is used.  Repairs are not as simple with clinkers as on carvel hulls due to overlapping planks and because the fit of the planks is more critical. 

The keel is chiseled out by hand prior to placement of the clinker.

 Once accurate placement is assured the clinker is glued and;

 hammered into place.

Hand chiseling to ensure accuracy whilst fitting the clinker in place, and also for placement of the next clinker.

 Accurate fit of the clinkers is important to the overall strength of the hull.

The men are satisfied with the first clinker and will now move to the stern of the lighter and repeat the process.

Regular posts on the building of the lighter will be uploaded to this blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment