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Rob Pollock
195 articles

Royal Caroline, 1749 (Lifeboat)

August 9, 2014 · in Ships · 7 · 1.9K

Back in January, I posted details of an on-going build of the wooden ship, Royal Caroline.

By rights, it's a work-in-progress, but the actual build takes so long, and as I only return to it from time to time (eight months in this case), that I treat it as individual build units, in this case, the Lifeboat.

It's constructed much like the main ship - a frame and a double hull - from scratch-built larch and walnut strip, in this case probably more than 100 pieces, apart from the four brass pintles and the decorative wave-pattern strips over the azure. The oar shafts required 2mm dowel, which I couldn't find, and then discovered that toothpicks were exactly 2mm in diameter, so they've been drafted into service.

The boat is 13.5cm in length (just under five and a half inches).

I think I'll continue with the build for another two or three weeks, as that should complete everything but the mainmasts and all the rigging, which will be a next-phase, major undertaking.

As you can see, I'm no shipwright, but I find a complete change to kit modelling from time to time blows away the cobwebs.

Reader reactions:
1  Awesome

4 additional images. Click to enlarge.

7 responses

  1. Hard to believe it's 5 1/2 in size. Looks much bigger. Where does it get stored on the Caroline?

  2. Hi Al,

    It's stored within a complex cradle assembly (in progress now) on the main deck.

  3. This boat has almost 100 pieces to it..?! I shudder to think what the main boat entails. I used your link to go back and refresh my memory on your build. No wonder it's a "WIP"...(and will most likely continue as such for years - lol). And it's gonna have a boatload (pardon the pun, but I couldn't type what I was really thinkin') of rigging isn't it. That right there would ensure it'd never be finished if it were on MY bench. So how many lifeboats are/were there...just the one?

    • Hi Craig,

      Just the one lifeboat. Of the 100 bits, many are in the double (planked) hull, that is, two layers over the framework.

      I take it they had no intention of shifting the ship's crew in an emergency, with only one boat and eight places. More like an escape vessel for visiting lords and ladies plus a few burly types to man the oars!

  4. Great work, Rob, keep it up!

  5. Rob,
    Beautiful. I have friends that do wooden boats like this and I know they would be impressed with your work.

    • Thanks, Frank. That's very kind of you to say so. I'm now (intermittently) working on the masts and mast platforms, which are the last items in the construction phase. After that, it's rigging. Problem now is that with the sections that extend either upward or outward it means I can't simply slip the ship back on a shelf out of the way; it has to remain on top of a side unit. I hope to have the masts complete by Christmas, in and around other 'normal' modelling work, which will be two years since it was started.

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