Author: admin | 23.12.2015

The bulkhead had to be bent so i soaked it for a half hour and clamped it to the edge of a frying pan.Worked well! Well I used one of the supplied wood strips for the stiffeners (i mean the short vertical ones), they are mentioned in the instructions and on the plans.
Yeah but i decided to put the keel on first and see how it will work out.Hope it will be all right but I will see! The wooden working boats of the North coast of Vietnam cover a broad spectrum of styles from the elaborate but relatively un-seaworthy tourist boats of Halong Bay to the woven bamboo surf boats and bamboo rafts of Sam Son and the now extinct, large woven bamboo basket boats of Cua Lo.
The Northern coast of Vietnam stretches from the Chinese border at Mong Cai, past limestone mountains that run right out into the ocean in the bay of Bai Tu Long and Halong Bay. The peculiar conditions in the Halong Bay region (in which I would include the Bai Tu Long area just to the north) have produced the only fleet of large tourist cruise boats in Indochina, to carry the world’s vacationers into and through the incredibly beautiful scenery. There are also an enormous number of very distinctively designed motor and oar-powered woven bamboo basket boats in the area. Halong Bay is also the home of a traditionally built small motorboat directly descended from a Chinese style of sailing junk. This widened foredeck is always decked in and provides some really useful working space right forward for handling anchors or gear. The Halong Bay square heads are used in essentially all the trades in this part of the coast. Besides fishing directly, many of the smaller boats earn their living hauling the catch ashore from larger boats that want to stay out on the fishing grounds and continue working. Others are in the fruit and vegetable trade, an adjunct to the great number of tourist boats and houseboats scattered in anchorages through the islands. Through one of those improbable sequences of events that make life so interesting I've stumbled across the last remnants of those vanished boats. And so, in February 2012 I carried a letter of introduction to Tran Xuan Cuong in Halong City.
Although he built or worked on the traditional sailing vessels, he would rather be remembered I think, as an artist and an innovator.
The museum is still there and open to the public, but it is located far out of the way in a floating fishing village north and east of Halong City, Cua Van.
The museum floats on a raft of several hundred blue plastic barrels, all neatly corralled by a steel frame and decked with timber.
The fleet of models consists of six sailing vessels representing boats from about 20 feet to about 40 feet in length, two rowing boats, a dragon boat (racing canoe), a basket boat and a raft. The rest of the models are all one or two masted sailing vessels, rigged with classic Chinese junk sails, and, though they vary in the details of their arrangement and gear, they all share a very similar hull. They all have a prominent daggerboard, running in a waterproof trunk clear through from deck to bottom plank, to provide lateral plane for sailing to windward. The masts of these models are all stepped in tabernacles for easy lowering, and the standing rigging is set up with lanyards and large wooden thimbles like deadeyes.
The models were not built to a consistent scale so they are all much the same size in model form and you need to use the relative height of cabin top and other Human-linked dimensions to get a feel for their size. The one (perhaps unavoidable) inaccuracy in these models is that they are so neat and tidy. I have never seen a live boat that resembles these models or photographs either rigged to sail or equipped with a motor. In much of the Lower Red River Delta, although it seems as though most of the boats are heavy modern steel vessels, hauling sand, gravel, cement and bricks for the most part, there are also some fascinating oval basket boats, very close relatives to the Halong Bay baskets, but without the timber decking. The local versions of traditional boats that I’ve seen, range from about 30 feet to boats of 60 feet or thereabouts. The first time I saw one of these larger boats (about 60 feet long) she was beached on a misty, cool morning on the hotel–front beach of the town, with a stern anchor out offshore and a headline tied to a pole driven into the beach sand. She was well maintained and in excellent condition, obviously in daily service at sea as a fisherman, with great heaps of bundled up monofilament tangle net on deck.
The sailing version of the Ghe Manh from Voiliers d’Indochine, and its modern, motorized equivalent. However, between the old sailing vessel and the modern-day motorboat there are differences besides the missing sailing rig. Compared to a modern MFV of similar length, the traditional boat is much narrower and shallower, with a long raking bow and a nearly sharp stern. If it’s a bit difficult to find the mouth of the river and the large boat moorage at Sam Son, you cannot avoid finding the fascinating fleet of beach boats, some of which are woven baskets and some actually bamboo rafts with sail rigs and big diesel engines. The Sam Son basket boats are a distinct species, of a completely different sort from baskets further north, where all the basket boats that aren’t completely round are very symmetrically oval, and likewise completely different from the basket boats further south, which are long, narrow and sharp ended.
The larger boats are not that much larger, only about sixteen feet long and six feet wide, a little deeper and bulkier overall than the twelve-footers and are all powered by small inboard diesel engines.
The fleet seemed to all be working within a few miles of town, not very far offshore, fishing with anchored drift nets marked by flag buoys. The strong sense of cooperative community that was apparent among both the raft and basket boat people was interesting to see. Cua Lo (pronounced Koo-a-LAW), the town at the mouth of the river Lo, is about 60 miles south of Sam Son, near the major town of Vinh on the highway.


The basket boats in Cua Lo are very similar in design to the sixteen foot boats at Sam Son, but are substantially larger, twenty-four or twenty-six feet long, and fully decked with timber, presumably also with substantial timber framing inside, like the smaller Sam Son boats.
Besides the boat-like large baskets anchored in the harbor (which are probably the biggest woven basket boats anywhere), Cua Lo has the largest round baskets of any town on the coast.
The Ghe Manh (left) and the Ghe Ghia (right)Two Cua Lo boats identified by Pietri in 1943 but no longer to be found in Cua Lo. Cua Lo had a place in Jean Pietri’s 1943 book on Indochinese sailing boats with descriptions of a pair of representative types. The active fishing fleet now consists of motor boats that are built in the same general manner as many northern Vietnamese traditional boats. Those that have cabins (only the smallest of them don’t) keep their cabins low, really just engine room covers. A lot of their design specifics were dictated by the nature of the fishing harbor at Cua Lo, which is a broad but shallow tidal creek entering from the South bank of the main river mouth harbor where visiting ships and larger fishing vessels may moor. A boat rigged to push a net ahead, with the poles and net ready to fish, just leaving harbor. The boats can be rigged for several fisheries, opportunistically fishing for whatever is available when it’s in season.
At other times the larger boats make a living by hauling a small fleet of round basket boats out to sea to drop them off to fish independently with hook and line or tangle net. These boats are normally seen in a range of sizes, with the smallest being only about 22 feet long and almost eight feet wide, the middle size more nearly 32 or 34 feet long and ten to twelve feet in beam and the largest nearly 50 feet long and proportionately beamy, about 3 times as long as they are wide. In November I finally found a matched pair of the middle sized boats well started, one somewhat farther along than the other, both on the small marine ways in the boatyard near the bridge on the southern bank of the creek. The boat is only flat bottomed for a short ways aft of amidships, and all but a few of the lower frame pieces are actually sawn out to include the first chine each side.
With the stem and the four mold-frames braced off, a pair of upper planks and a pair to run along the upper chine are cut and permanently fastened, thus defining the eventual curve of the topsides.
Interestingly, in 2012 when I first saw new construction on the site, I saw no traces of flame–bending the wood and there was no fire smoldering under planks anywhere on the site. The boats have what is probably a vestigial two–transom arrangement, with an upper transom and a lower, inner one. Almost all these hulls are built with two closely spaced frames right forward, with their frame ends projecting well above the bulwarks. Very low coamings support the edges of the hatches through the decks, which are, as usual here, shipped loose, and clearly not intended to seal the deck against a boarding sea. The fore and aft cabin sides are provided with small sliding doors above deck level to give access to the engine room. Both these boats were being built as straightforward twin-screw vessels, with a pair of identical, new Chinese single cylinder diesels coupled to separate marine reverse-reduction gears. While the use of rough sawn and generally poor quality wood, and fastening with black iron seriously detract from the quality of the boats, the workmanship overall, and particularly the framing seems to me to be noticeably better than the typical Halong Bay (Cam Pha) small boat work. All told these broad beamed boats seem to be very sturdy little fishing vessels, well suited to their work and able to put to sea in any reasonable weather. Thats always scared me too, theres products out there to replicate water (even games workshop makes one) but i still think artists resin left to almost dry (till its just about past gooey) then attacking it with a crochet hook or something gives a good wake effect. This one is on a sheet of glass with a thin layer of resin over top for some surface texture.
FYI ~ After the conflict it was determined the average M16 fired 50 000 rounds per enemy KIA, sniper's in Vietnam had a impressive average of 1.5 bullets per enemy KIA! Watch out, this model is peppered with errors, some things, as shown in the plans, just don't make no sense at all, like for example the chain plates. Where I diverted from the instructions was to plank also the insides of the bulwarks - I didn't like to see plywood on my model. The bay is strewn with literally thousands of rocks and islands rising hundreds of feet straight out of the sea. Quy has painted some of these models black, with or without some colored trim, but others he painted brown as though they were natural finished. They are very graceful, with an unbroken sheer line springing far out over the water forward and ending well above the water aft.
Her sides stood nearly plumb and she had two chines each side above her flat bottom which rested on the sand. Most notably, the sailing vessel had her stern higher than her bow and the modern boat carries her bow out in a long, curved cutwater reaching higher over the sea. Oddly enough, there’s nothing like that boat in use in Cua Lo these days, Cua Lo has evolved yet another sort of boat. The twelve foot boats have no need for rudders, steering with their oars, but the larger boats have very traditional wooden barn door type rudders working in a slotted hole bored in a massive single chunk of wood bolted and lashed to the stern of the boat. Managing the heavy basket boats up that long beach and the successful beaching and turning around of the rafts would be entirely beyond any two or three-man crew, so crews from nearby boats or rafts and any number of wives and fishmongers (perhaps also wives, of course) cheerfully turned to, to help any incoming boat or raft, though never interrupting the constant vigorous discussions. Both were really attractive bat-winged sailing fish boats, but in the harbor today there is nothing that looks at all like them. You will see a scattering of identical, or very similar, boats in Sam Son (and I’ve seen a matched pair being built there) and very occasionally a stray up north in Halong Bay, but Cua Lo is the best place to see them, there’s almost nothing else in the harbor!


They pick them all up again with their catch at the end of the day, hauling the whole works back to port to sell the catch.
The four frames, evenly spaced along the length of the boat, are given upper frame pieces (secured with short sawn knees) to define the shape of the future hull. At that point, the run–by ends of the bottom and side planking can be trimmed off and the final outer transom fitted to cover the plank ends, and just incidentally, provide a space for some attractive, painted ornamentation on the finished boat.
There is a nicely fitted two-piece cap rail on top of the bulwarks around the cockpit and the work deck forward and the cabin top is finished with a sheet of herringbone woven split bamboo (the same material you’d make a basket boat from). These were all bolted down rigidly to heavy timber engine-bearers bolted to all the available frames: a necessary approach given the vibration of the heavy engines, even with their large flywheels. Either style is really rough compared to the best workmanship you’ll see in the country. I am building 2 Tamiya (sort of) PBRs that will eventually go with a Masterpeice Models ATC(H) and probably a Huey and a couple smaller craft (zodiac and Vietnamese junks) in a Mobile Riverine Force diorama.Here is how they started. That sort of R+R actually happened, just further out in the ocean away from the sight of higher ranks. It had a maximum range of around 400 yards, the projectile had to rotate 79 times to arm as its bore was rifled for spin stability. I still have to finish mine after five years (granted, I only build it in the summer), but maybe I could help you if you have any questions. But what you meant was probably the bulwark rail - I got that wood from my local exotic wood merchant for free, it's some kind of bamboo used as spacers between the planks they actually sell, so he gave it to me for free. At first glance you might think they are just larger and smaller versions of the same boat, but that’s not quite right. The tide had almost completely left her and it was possible to examine her lines quite well forward (though I couldn’t quite make out the details of her stern without getting wetter than I wanted). Her bottom was arched fore and aft such that her propeller appeared to be clear (or nearly clear) of the sand where she sat, and her wooden rudder, which was mounted in a well just forward of the transom, was hauled well up where it could come to no harm while she lay on the beach.
This is a rational evolution, since the sailing vessel could never sail directly into the waves, and the first thing a sailor loves about his engine is that he can proceed in any direction he chooses, wind or no. The first one, the Ghe Manh of Cua Lo, lives on as the most common motorized traditional fishing vessel in Sam Son and parts of Halong Bay, but not in Cua Lo. I prefer the theater release cut that was a shorter version of the movie, excluding both those boring scenes.
I cut it in thin strips and built the rail this way, replacing the kit's plywood parts. The sailing vessel can never poke her nose straight into the sea, but the motor boat has to. The second, the Ghe Ghia, is apparently extinct now, nothing resembling that boat is seen anywhere along the coast. Initially only four or five frames are fitted, including what will eventually be the lower part of the transom.
Sam Son is the closest beach resort to Hanoi, but more importantly for our purposes, a very interesting place to watch the comings and goings of a vigorous surfboat (and surf-raft!) fishing fleet as well as a densely packed river mouth harbor. Somewhat less common is a rig set up to allow a net to be pushed ahead of the boat in the top few feet of the sea, scooping whatever fish are swimming near the surface.
In any event, it is obvious that the basket boats from these two harbors come from the same tradition.
They have an upper deck for promenading, keeping stubby masts with ornamental sail rigs that are never set except for photographs. A separate rabbeted stem is bolted on to the central bottom plank and braced up early on and the third plank and each succeeding one on each side is fastened into the rabbet.
Today, the largest of them amount to small floating hotels, complete with oriental roofs, balcony gardens, potted palms, dining rooms and staterooms as well as fleets of plastic kayaks, all floating on what is still an old style sailing hull at heart. They’re almost round bilged to the casual glance, but, like many northern Vietnamese boats, they have two noticeable chines each side. I had the idea of vac-forming the missing parts for the second boat from the kit parts for the first boat. If you do find it however, you’ll find a great many of the local version of the ubiquitous Modern Motor Fishing Vessel (some of which have remarkably round bows) rafted up at the concrete piers or hauled out in the little shipyard just downstream.
Unlike other traditional boats in the North of Viet Nam, they are relatively broad beamed, and have a broad near–flat bottom with a wide transom stern. Other Halong Bay boats tow a net behind themselves, presumably dragging along the bottom, though, rocky as the bottom is, one has to wonder how the skipper keeps his net out of trouble. Quy was, after all, a boat builder, not a sailor, and may not have cared that much how the running rigging was set up. I then scratched the forward and rear gunwales and side plate armor on the cabin from sheet styrene.



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