the boat that didn’t float

After our replica bronze ago boat failed to float on it’s maiden dipping we had to tow it round to the waiting crowds and assembled press on a trailer where there were speeches and a bottle of bubbly cracked over her. She was named Ole Crumlin-Pederson after the archaeologist/shipbuilder who gave much advice and inspiration for the project but sadly passed away before completion.

The pics that appeared in the press showed her from a very unflattering angle so I wanted to share some more images taken the next day when I went to say my sad farewells before heading home.

Rachel had a thing about not getting inside the boat until launch day and having missed that she sat inside for the first time.

We will be back and we will have her on the water, but we are out of time to do so before she has to be got ready for her museum tour so we have a reunion to look forward to in 18 months time.

5 Responses to the boat that didn’t float

  1. Brian May 17, 2012 at 1:46 am #

    That must have been really disappointing. But amazing work never-the-less.

  2. Marianne May 17, 2012 at 7:36 am #

    from a fascinated observer who knows nothing about boats: Does an uncaulked wooden boat usually float straight away? If you put water in a wooden barrel it leaks. And then it doesn't. If you put the barrel in the water…

  3. Brian May 17, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

    Boats need to sink before they can swim weird !,well done Robin you all worked like it was a real labour of love 🙂

  4. Bob Holtzman -- May 28, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

    Robin: My deepest admiration for the work of yourself and your colleagues on this project. Do you have any further thoughts on why she didn't float? I'm skeptical about the idea that she needed to swell up like a lapstrake boat; your timbers are so thick and set edge-to-edge, I doubt they would swell together like the overlapping surfaces of thin clinker planks. Are any of these possible explanations?: insufficient caulking material in the joints; joints not adequately flush/smooth; planks not held tightly enough against each other with withies and wedges.

  5. Robin Wood May 28, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    Hi Bob and thanks for the blog link, very interesting. Yes clinker boats need to saok and swell, carvel need lots of calking, the Dover predates both by 2000 years and is very different, no one knows exactly how these joints worked which is one of the reasons for trying it. We will get the chance to play properly when it finishes it's museum tour but the initial floating was problematic primarily because ewe had to put it together knowing it had to come apart a week later. We were using modern mastic under the laths and under time pressure did not get good seals. There is no caulking in the joints like Severin's it is all laid over the top of the joint and a lath holds it in place. I am off next week to take it apart, carry the bits into the museum and reassemble it.