HMS Beagle Model Ship Project
Week Five: Water test (November 15-21, 2010)
Did first water test with hull protected by plastic bag. Tilted to starboard a bit. Did some more shaping of hull to thin out the port side. Leveled out pretty well after that. Without any ballast the model is prone to bobble left and right -- go figure.
Just starting to realize that the bottom of the Beagle's gunports were only 5 feet from the waterline. That means at 1:36 ratio any open gunports will only be 1.67 inches from the water! I suddenly recall the story of the Mary Rose who sank when water poured into her open gunports too fast. Might scratch the idea of opening gunports (unless I can figure how to make it very watertight) and just fire the carronade up on the forecastle. Waterline to top rail would work out to 3.33 inches, a little safer than 1.67 I guess.
So anyway, the model needs enough weight to get deck level down somewhere between 1.33 to 1.5 inches from the waterline, about 1 1/2 inches to go. Roped an eight pound dumbbell to her keel and water tested again. Brought waterline down to just under 2 inches. Model was now very stable in water. Once I get a handle on how much weight the deck, masts, servos and everything else will add, then I'll look into adding a copper bar or something to the bottom of the keel. She now weighs 11.4 pounds, so the finished model should weigh over twenty pounds.
Sanded down the rim of the hull as flat as I could get it with my primitive woodworking skills and glued the deck support on. Weighed the whole thing down with about 80 pounds of weights while the glue dried.
Used wood filler to fill in any gaps and lined with waterproof wood glue inside and out. Not sure if I'm going to put drain spouts (scuppers) through the side of the deck or not (maybe a bilge pump wouldn't be a bad idea).
After crunching the numbers I placed the order for basswood sheets and copper tape for planking the hull, side rail and deck. Also ordered some 1/2 inch brass hinges for the rudder and maybe a try at the gunports.