Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Boats as Weathervanes

I have worked on a fair few boats in my days as a weathervane maker. Boats are the second most popular theme amongst historic 3D vanes in England, so there is plenty of inspiration pieces. Usually it is the ornate detail, the rigging & abundance of sail that makes a showstopping boat, and usually it helps if the design is based on a famous and beautiful ship in the first place! 

But ornate design has some drawbacks. Rigging, whilst elegant & beautiful, is also the most likely to show stress over time.  In the case of this client's Swan 431, the whole design was simplified:  a wedge shaped hull, stainless steel sleeving through the whole length of the mast, heavier guage copper for the sails and a few hardy stays. A ship pared back to only the most necessary aesthetic elements, all to prepare it for a life fighting the wicked winds of the Florida keys...

The boat currently on the workbench  will face similar weather, being destined for one of the islands in the Inner Hebrides in Scotland . Here are some snaps of the design being developed. The final image shows the "lymphad" with a red undercoat, in preparation for full gilding.

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