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BOAT BUILDING

Sea faring display 5

The construction of a sailing ship required the skills and co-operation of a number of craftsmen in the nineteenth century community. THE SHIPWRIGHT, whose job it was to construct the hull of the vessel would work from SCALE PLANS, drawn with the aid of the arcs and crescents of the DRAUGHTSMAN'S CURVES. From these plans he would construct a half model of the hull, similar to that of the 'Nerissa' that is on display. Using this as a guide, work on the vessel itself would begin using simple hand tools. The PULLEYS or BLOCKS would often be turned and carved by a specialist blockmaker. Free-running, strong blocks were essential for lifting cargoes on board and for raising sails. THE SAILMAKER would work with the thick flax or hemp sail-cloth that would require strength as well as skill to sew. To protect the palm of his hand when pushing the NEEDLE through the sail he would wear a "SAILMAKER'S PALM". With the stitches complete, a SAILMAKER'S LINER, like the elaborately carved one on display, would be used to ensure that the stitches were lying flat on the sail. The essential rigging of the sailing vessel was the province of THE ROPEMAKER. The GAUGE on display would be used to find the circumference of the rope. The torpedo-shaped FIDD was used on board ship to splice ropes.

WOOD WORKERS