ECU's 2006 Fall Field School
13 November 2006
By Amy Leuchtmann
At this point everybody is working on his or her individual projects so it’s hard to say what progress we’ve made as a whole. Throw in the fact that it is nearing the end of the semester, meaning we’re all running around like the proverbial chicken as we finish up projects and papers for other classes as well as Field School. We didn’t even meet during our usual times this week due to scheduling conflicts. Yet, now that we can officially say “crunch time” has arrived, we all know that in just a few very short weeks, there will be some great results to share!
Body plan of the 19th-century Chesapeake Bay oyster schooner Sunny South. The Washington Park vessel has a similar shape. From Howard I. Chapelle, The American Fishing Schooners 1825-1935 (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.), plate 25 page 85.
I have been diligently *cough cough* working on my first assignment, which is the Lines Drawings. I am afraid they’re rather hard to explain, but basically I am drawing three different views of the ship that the other students will use as a guide for the shape of our vessel. This type of drawing has been used in shipbuilding for hundreds of years…so you would think we’d have found an easier way to do it, or at least explain it, but alas, no! The best explanation I can give (thanks to some help from Adam and Michelle) is to say that lines drawings act like schematic drawings, or shipbuilders’ blueprints. The drawings are several cutaway views that are concerned solely with the shape of the vessel, not every little construction detail. So, for instance, there will be no frames or planking depicted in these drawings, just a lot of curves and straight lines. I have only constructed lines for one small boat in the past. As I explained to Dr. Stewart earlier in the week when he was answering some questions for me, creating or simply “reading” lines drawings is almost like being able to speak another language. Unfortunately it’s a language that I understand if I take it slow and put some effort into it, but I am far from fluent.
Usually, when one constructs lines drawings, you would have the whole boat to work with. I’m finding this much more difficult because I can only take so much of the information I need from our site map. Much of the rest of the information is simply me making an educated guess based on contemporary lines drawings and photos of similar vessels. Seeing as a lot of this conjectural reconstruction is being left to my discretion, I am seriously considering asking for a name change of our vessel. The Amy works for me!
Lines of the 19th-century Chesapeake Bay oyster schooner Sunny South. The Washington Park vessel has a similar shape. From Howard I. Chapelle, The American Fishing Schooners 1825-1935 (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.), plate 25 page 85.
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