Maine’s First Vessel
This was a ballast project for a reproduction of the 1607 “Virginia”. She was the first vessel made in Maine.
The ballast required for the reproduction was made in 6 custom cast lead sections. The total weight of the project was approximately 18,142 lbs. The shape of the ballast section was rectangular with a scarf joint on each end (except for the forward section that had one) interconnecting them. As can be seen in the photos below.
The sections were held together and onto the keelson of the vessel by keel bolts that will be drilled and installed by the customer on-site. It was difficult to locate keel bolts in wooden handmade vessels since nothing was exactly built as it was designed. The positioning of the bolts is best done to match what has been built, not was designed, there is always a difference.
The lifting eyes and brackets on the top of each section were there so the parts could be removed from the molds and handled during finishing and packaging. They were placed to stay away from the position of the actual keel bolts. They were removed by the customer when they were ready to be installed.
The shown dry fit was done to ensure that the cast ends and scarf joints engaged the way they were supposed to. Any modifications were done at this point before they were finished.
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