I am curious as to where shipyards get their wood used for repair and ship building. Most of the wood available now is second growth (not the old growth that would have been used for ships built 100 or more years ago). With this second growth wood, I could see it not lasting more than 6 years. I had some old birch plywood (not marine grade) that I was going to throw away (full of dry wood termites), had it sitting in the yard exposed to rain and sun on daily basis. After a week it had delaminated and was covered in black mold.
The old growth wood had very tight grain structure, as the trees grew very slowly in the well shaded dense forest. Todays lumber trees are farmed to grow very rapidly and have large grain that soaks up water like a sponge.
Chef, sorry if I missed it but why was the ballast of Bounty changed to lead?
The wood used was second cut wood only for the stuff above the water line. The oak used for the below water line came from Tennessee and they went down to supervise it being cut to insure the lengths were as long as possible so there would be less butts to caulk.
The fir was also top grade. From the PCNW. He bought them as timbers and then had them cut. He picked them out personally. He went into detail about the knotting and such. He said it was second growth, but he looked for tighter grain. The fir was used for the deck as well as the planks above the waterline. He picked out the woods himself making sure he wasnt using sap wood vs center wood. he talked about the glucose levels. The expectation was that these timbers would would last way more than 6 years. However he thought the ventilation and the fact the Bounty was kept in the south took away from it lifespan as ity was a perfect laboratory for growth. Thats why he pushed for ventilation
The lead was added in 2006/7 to try and increase the stability of the vessel. It already had some lead in the keel. He also mentioned that the fir was 15 lbs lighter per 12 board ft and saved about 5000 lbs when put in.
He was complimentry about the build quality of the boat built in Ludenberg originally and that when he got it first to refit in 2001 he was totallly suprised at the techniques and complicated build. when asked if it was a prop, he laughed and said no, the techniques were used as the old traditional ships were. He never looked at it as a movie prop nor did he feel the build quality was shortcutted as in a movie prop. In fact he went into detail how string the builkd had to be for the extra fuel tanks needed for the filmeing in the remote south pacific far away from supplies..
He said the owner as well as Walbridge wanted the CG to inspect and to make things as safe as possible as they were going to eventually have it inspected for passengers. He said the owners asked the CG at various time to look at stuff and they did it completely voluntarily.
He was suprised that the vesesel was still intact in the pictures when they left it. Not a picture of a poorly constructed vessel which had failed due to it coming apart. he said deck, chainplates and all structures appeared to be intact that the ship hadnt broken up even a day later was still partially afloat.
He said when he saw the Bounty had left the dock at New London he said OH My God. He had a relationship with Walbridge and was suprised he left