Replicating Historic Components

Gregg Powsland
The Boat House
Cornwall, P112 4QR

(Figure A) Collinette recreated. The picture shows the 1885 vessel, recreated from a hulk, sailing at Brest 96.

(Figure B) Marigold. Detail of Interior. All new work, but recreated from plans and photo's of the original boat.

The two lectures discussed the recreation of 19th Century artifacts from badly deteriorated originals using slides to describe the process of reconstruction.

The technical aspects are of interest in that such projects draw on the necessity to create continuity in traditional crafts. This is important because these crafts were contrived in close relation to nature and form a foundation for society perhaps somewhat lacking in todays programmed world. Thus these ships and old ways may have an important role to future generations only valid if the accuracy of restoration is maintained. Theme park recreations using modern materials on original vessels seams a pointless exercise since the integrity of a ships era is lost. Fiberglass replica figureheads for example never exemplify the crisp heard cut feel of an original carving and the old crafts become lost to obscurity. In the recreation of Collinette 1885 and Marigold 1895 both vessels were rebuilt using materials of their period and absolute attention to detail. Thus with cotton sails, hemp rope and properly caulked decks, etc. They grow to have a feeling for their period, an essential in maintaining ship preservation. Thus it was that the new figurehead for Balacutha was carved by eye using the original as a model. The ship gains by having a crisp accurate new figure produced as it may have been if the original had been lost at any time in the ships history. Also the original is able to be preserved for the future!

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Version 1.00, 18 Aug 1997