Newfoundland & Labrador's Maritime Heritage
A historic Labrador canoe trip
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Over the years I have traced almost one hundred half-hull models, but only a few of these lines have been developed into plans that can be used to build a scale replica. To date I have finished two full scale replicas and partially completed several others, as well as about a dozen mounted half-hull scale replicas.
The Julia A. Johnson and the Paulette are constructed of planking on ribs, which is the most time consuming method of model construction. The Philip E. Lake and the Marian Winter are constructed of planking on a pine shell which saves many hours of work and produces a hull which is realistic and resistant to changes in temperature and humidity.
My half-hull scale replicas are all attached to oak display boards, and designed to clearly show such details as the deck, the bulwarks, the railings, scuppers and hawse pipe. The Phoenix, the James and Kathleen, and the Melva Abbie were constructed of pine painted to represent the original schooner.
The half-hull scale replicas of the Trinity North, the H. M. H. Humby, the L. M. May and the Annie E. Johnson were constructed in varnished specialty woods such as mahogany, maple, and walnut to represent the colors of the hull. The construction of these models is my art.
Since 1992 I have been looking for original half-hull models. When I locate a model, with the permission of the owner, I would take off the lines. This is a process which takes about an hour to trace the side and top profile and a number of stations along the length. From these tracings it is possible to produce a plan on paper showing the water lines, the buttock lines and the frame shapes from fore and aft. It is also possible to draw the deck layout, the rigging and the sail plan with some accuracy; particularly if photographs are available.
It could take a week or more to produce a good set of accurate plans, and I am now experimenting with generating these plans using computer graphics. From these plans a scale replica of the schooner can be constructed and thus, in essence, bringing her back to life
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