Got down to some work over the weekend.

I had made a mistake fitting the gundeck beams before fitting to gun supports on the gundeck. Problem was the last bulkhead should have had the gun support fitted before the deck beam as the gun support fits under the deck beam. Some hacking and regluing of the beam required.

Fitted all the gun supports. A lot of filing of the tabs to get a nice tight fit and had to use a g-clamp to ‘encourage’ them into place. All done, apart from the last bulkhead beam, straightforward – even if the pups did keep thinking that the blanks were food.

Spent some time drawing up the deck planking design on the 3 decks, upper gundeck, poop and main deck. Messed up the gundeck so one half will need to be rubbed out and redone.

Planked the beakhead deck. The actual deck planking is 1mmx 4mm, significantly thicker than I’ve been experimenting with the cotton caulking so had to go back to the 6B pencil caulking. Doesn’t look quite as good but passable. So that’s done. Needs trimming up and trunneling.

There are two supports for the beak decking (21) which will need about 5mm taking off them to make them fit. Bit of an inconsistency there between the bow fillers (20) and the length of the beak deck supports. But it’s wood and we can handle it. Must remember to make copies before cutting, just in case.

Fitted a king plank on the main deck and fitted the first five strakes on the poop. Need to be careful going too far with the decking as I want to fit waterways and nibbing. But working with the thicker planking is easier although I will say that the ‘tanganyika’ strip provided is rather brittle and has a good side and a bad side. Just need to be careful using the right side. Looking forward to the trunneling.

Will need to be careful cutting the gundeck in 2. Really I should’ve started with the gundeck planking, it is the next in order on the build.

If I’m honest deck planking is probably my favourite part of a build. Need to stop getting carried away as there are other things that need to be done first.

So order of things to do this weekend (as I got a new A2 cutting mat):

  • Tidy shed
  • Beakhead planking clean-up, trunnleing and supports (21)
  • Under gundeck supports
  • Transom Supports
  • Stem, Keel, Stern
  • Upper Gundeck planking
    • Cut in half
    • Offer up to the frames
    • Mark expected curve of the waterways
    • Plan waterways and nibbing strip
    • Remove
    • Make waterways
    • Fit waterways
    • Make nibbing strip
    • Fit nibbing strip
    • Plank

Do so enjoy this hobby as there is so much to do and so much problem solving. Keeps the mind active.

Fitted the spacer braces (17) between the last two bulkheads (15, 16). Also fitted the two bow fillers on either side of the keel (19,20). Bit of a tight fit on the last two but ok with a bit of clamping.

Keel, stem-, sternpost, transom, gun and gundeck-supports next.

Before fairing I’m thinking about blocking in either side of the stem and stern to give a better run. Will probably use balsa wood as I don’t really want to be sanding too much plywood although it could be done with that medium as well.

Hoping for poor weather over the weekend so I’ll not fly but not so poor that the pups can’t play in the garden. Then I’ll be cracking on with some planking on the upper gundeck and beakhead.


Been an awfully long time since I did anything on the ships, one word: puppies. Finally they are of a size and the weather good enough that I can work in the shed and keep an eye on them at the same time.

Holes were drilled in the cannon blanks a few weeks ago.

Fitted and glued all the bulkheads. All went in fairly easily even though the dampness of the shed has swelled the plywood somewhat. The ‘square’ guides weren’t an overwhelming success as they got glued as well and took a hammering to remove.

Dry fitted the gundeck, but as the entire thing has expanded due to the dampness in the air I had to hammer it into place and forgot to add the glue. Will have to put chocks in place to secure it all properly.

The hammering of the gundeck dislodged the beam pillars so had to re-glue them all.

Fitted the upper gundeck beams and painted them black. I appear to be missing beam 8a which I’ll need to make based on the 6a piece. Sure I received it but now can’t find it. Have to say it looks like it is coming together nicely.

Next plans:

  • Glue keel, stem, keelson
    • Will need to sand the 2 foremost bulkhead slots to fit the stem
    • Need to be careful ensuring squareness of the entire build when fitting the keel, don’t want the Swift’s bulge. Do this prior to gluing the chocks. Need to have a look at the build board’s squareness.
    • Did think about, as with the Swift, building a proper stem and keel but as the entire thing will be painted and coppered decided against it.
  • Glue chocks under the gundeck and attached to the keel/bulkheads for extra strength as I forgot to add glue when I fitted the gundeck. Could use the 9mm square walnut I have. Will need to see how much I actually need. Might just use the spare plywood I have (all those offcuts – sensible re-use).
  • Fit the cannon blanks
    • All need sanding to fit the gundeck slots
    • sternmost sets will need to have some wood taken out of the final upper gundeck beam
  • Fitting of beak and stern fillers
  • Fairing of beak and stern bulkheads ready for first planking, will use the Dremel to start then hand fair to finish
  • Heads deck planking
    • first real planking of the build using 4mm planks and cotton caulking
    • really small part to be planked so will plank first before determining whether to do trunnelling or not.
    • Question – waterway? I’m thinking so, will need to get a bigger picture of how this piece fits into the beakhead assembly
    • Quick look at the pics and it appears the planking is transverse and there is internal planking to factor in – more analysis required.
  • Decking of upper gundeck,
    • need to check waterways and gunnels and edging strips
    • Apparently this will need to be cut in half if I want to plank off the boat. Be interesting, but I’ll have to do it if I am to trunnel it correctly
  • Decking of fo’c’sle and poop
    • need to check waterways and gunnels and edging strips


  • First planking
    • Will take my time planning this hoping to be far more precise than previously especially with the rabbet

Although before I start first planking I want to complete the second planking on the Swift which could take a few weeks.

No build update but realised after reading the instructions I’ve missed a couple of parts from the last two bulkheads designed to add strength (those two odd bits on the gun supports). Praying I can get them fitted retrospectively.


Nothing done last night except more gundeck planning.

Hopefully, tonight we’ll do some of the gundeck furniture as I think that there is enough varnish on the deck now. Could also start looking at trimming and drilling the gun supports. Question I have is whether the coaming is tall enough. But then, as no one will ever see it close up, I think it will do.


Nothing done over the last couple of weeks due to Lillie’s passing to Hengistbury in the sky.

Did work Saturday and Sunday on the gundeck though.

Saturday finished the gratings and the coamings. Made 4 pumps, beam supports, railings, steps, bits and shot garlands. Painted all and glued them to the deck. Have to say, surprisingly good for things that will never be seen.

Sunday spent painting the gundeck, the underside of the upper deck, the cannon blanks and the bulkheads black. Used the airbrush which kept cutting out on me as it was overheating and spitting an awful lot of water.

Final thing I did was to cut out the cannon blanks and square them.


  • Drill holes in the cannon blanks. They need to be dead square. Will need some practice.
  • Re-fairing of the bulkhead/gundeck slots as some are a little tight (probably the dampness affecting them)
  • Fairing the last couple of bulkheads prior to final fitting and gluing
  • Making a couple of ‘square’ guides for the gluing of the bulkheads – they need to be square – the ideal would be to use the gundeck itself, but by the time I glue the last bulkhead and fit the gundeck the first bulkhead will be distorted. Or at least work out how I can ensure their squareness.
  • Glue keel, stem, keelson, bulkheads and gundeck
  • Fit the cannon blanks