Rebating the keel

Now that the main components of the keel are in place  and the rain (one of the joys of  a British Summer) has finally stopped, the shipwrights are cutting a rebate into both sides of the keel.  The rebate is a groove that is put into the side of the keel to take the garboard, which is the first plank that will fit onto the frame (I call them ribs, but I think ‘frame’ is the proper term).

As you can see, the keel has been split at the scarph joint to allow the shipwrights to work on it. It has been turned on it’s side and they’ve been using various tools, including a ‘registered mortise chisel’ to get the rebate to the correct size and depth.

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The graphic below shows the keel end-on and gives an idea of how the keel, garboard and frame fit together.  The graphic shows the rebate on both sides of the keel and the garboard (first plank) sitting in it, which then gets fixed to the frame. You’ll have to imagine this being repeated along the keel as the planks get fixed between the frames. I’ve also included a close up shot of the rebate for you, with the sun casting a shadow off the plane, to give you an idea of the rebate’s depth and angle. Photography and content: James Kelly.

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One comment

  1. Paul

    I can’t wait to see the ship beginning to form it’s skeleton – it’s been a long time coming – this is not the end, not even the beginning of the end, but perhaps it is the end of the beginning !! (Winston Churchill)

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