Re: Interesting boat load

Denny Anspach <danspach@...>

I'm not sure additional internal bracing would have been needed.
Many boats of wooden construction were rolled on their sides for
repairs when beached on soft bottoms by the simple expedient of
winching their masts down to a position nearly parallel with the
ground. The boat depicted likely was built with a strong internal
framework... I think it more likely that this is a working vessel and
not a pleasure yatch, based on its overall design, and that would
also support the used of a strong structure.
Bruce, what you say about the traditional custom of laying wood boats
on to their sides ("careening") for maintenance is true, but it almost
always is for short lengths of time, and most of the time with
considerable attention to internal bracing- something that you might
ordinarily not see (as in this instance). Generally, the hull is
cradled entirely or in large portion by water (they ordinarily are not
beached), and their weight does not have to be borne by a short
tangent of the curving side of the hull such as this hull, a hull
which will moreover be bouncing over several hundred miles of track. I
have "careened my own, and our family's wood boats in the past. Each
and every time, I temporarily clamp additional cross-hull braces in
place to maintain hull shape and integrity. This is a time-honored and
very pragmatic practice.

Because wood boats (in particular) are built to the strength of
"keeping the water out", they are not built to withstand so well
buffets from other directions, including cross beams designed to bear
the entire weight of a hull, and at the same time maintaining hull

The boat depicted is almost assuredly a commercial boat judging from
its lines and obviously heavy construction. Just the sheer weight of
the hull on its side pushing on just a few frames/ribs not only hazard
the frames themselves, they even more hazard springing the planks and
actually deforming the hull. As a very long time judge and chief judge
at national wood boat shows (now retired!), and also as a wood boat
builder/restorer, I can assure you that wood boat builders of all
stripes are extremely sensitive to these issues.

The greatest problem faced in shipping a wood boat hull by rail is the
real problem of the hull drying out, to the extent of the caulking
falling out of the seams. Inasmuch as it is the tightness of the seams
(one plank tight against another) that provides the basic stiffness
and strength of a wood hull, when the seams open, the planks no longer
do their job and the frames or ribs are left to hold the whole bag-
even more of a reason to do everything possible to relieve abnormal
stresses on the framework.

There are exceptions to these general comments, but they

Absolutely great set of photos!


Denny S. Anspach MD

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