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Duyfken Construction Process
From February 2007

Date Photograph Memo

My daughter who lives in Australia sent me a picture postcard of replica Duyfken. Original Duyfken was launched about 1595 in the Netherlands and discovered Australia in 1606.
The beautiful shape attracted and tempted me to build this ship.

I sought a kit of this ship. But I could not find it. So, I decided to build her in scratch built. Then, I found the web site of "Duyfken 1606 Replica Foundation" and ordered the plans, and got a set of plans on February 2nd as shown in Memo1.

I decided to build this ship by plank-on-bulkhead method and started by making the keel in February. The keel is 5.5mm thick plywood.


The frames are 4mm thick plywood.


I decided to adopt the single planking method and started the hull planking with 1 mm thick walnut strips. But in this method it was not easy to remove the grooves because of the strong curve in planks on the bow.


The hull planking was completed except for bulwarks. The beakhead that was made in one piece with keel was broken in this work. So, I cut off the beakhead.

In addition, there were two kinds of troubles in my hull planking process as follows.
1. Frames were often splitted when I stuck the plank to the frame with a thumbtack.
2. It was difficult to eliminate a difference in level on the planks by sanding.

I think that the thickness of all of the boards I used was too thin.


The bulwark planking was completed.


The rudder and the guns at the stern were installed before deck planking.
The pintles and gudgeons were made of brass as shown in Memo2 and painted in black.
As cited in Memo3, Duyfken carried 8 cannons. However she has 8 gunports on the deck and 2 gunports at the stern. According to a photograph of replica Duyfken, the cannons are placed for the stern gunports. Therefore, I think that the gunports were not all used at the same time.
But I decided to place the cannons for all of the gunports of my model.


I made a deck base of plywood and inner linings for bulwarks.


I finished the deck planking using 0.5mm thick 5mm wide lime. But butt-seam-scribing and treenailing remain.


I could not find authentic information about the butt-system of ca.1600 Ducth vessels. I chose the three-butt-shift system.
After treenailing, I painted the deck with WATCO oil.

Then, I made the windlass.


I made two pumps and 8 guns.
Enlarged view of pumps is shown in Memo5. The blackening of gun barrels is described in Memo6.


I made the bulkhead after helmsman's space. The photo of the bulkhead, which is hidden after completion of the quarterdeck structure, is shown in Memo7.

Then I planked the forecastle deck and the quarterdeck with 2 mm thick Japanese cypress strips which I got from a neighborhood DIY shop. But, after painting these decks with WATOCO oil, I realized the difference between the color of these decks and the color of the upper deck of the lime strips.
Now I am thinking where I go from here.


I fortunately succeeded in removing brown color of these cypress decks with laundry bleach.
Then I made the steersman's hutch, the bulkhead and the knightheads.


I attached the rails.


I attached the ram.

2008.2.20/Figure-head, channels and chains

I made the lion figure-head, channels and chains.
Figure-heads are usually wood carvings. But I made it of clay and painted with an acrylic paint, since my skill of carving is poor.


I made the lowermasts.
The joint sections to the top masts are unfamilier structures. The topmasts are scarfed to the lower masts. The drawing by Mr. John. C. Hudoc is shown at Memo8.

2008.6.5/Shrouds and Forestays

I attached the shrouds and forestays of the lower masts. I am now fitting the rat-lines.


I attached the topmasts.
There is no rat-lines for the topmast shrouds and for the mizzen-mast shroud. In the photos of the replica Duyfken, these rat-lines are not shown.

2008.12.30/Lower yards

I attached the lower yards.

I could not find the way of halliards in the photos of Duyfken. I asked Mr. Nicholas Burningham, the designer of the replica Duyfken. His answer is "The doubled halliard tie goes through sheaves on either side of the mast in the cheeks at the hounds (just below the cross trees) ".
After his answer, I noticed that this is the same way as Susan Constant.
I made these following his indication.

2009.1.27/Topsail yards, spritsail yard and lateen yard

I made the fore and main topsail yards, spritsail yard and lateen yard.

2009.3.27/Rat-lines for topmast shrouds and for the mizzen-mast shroud

I attached the rat-lines for the topmast shrouds and for the mizzen-mast shroud.

There is no rat-lines for these shrouds in the replica Duyfken. The flags in the replica Duyfken are hoisted with flag halyards. Therefore these rat-lines are not needed.
But, in this age (ca. 1600), the flags were attached with rope or metal hanks to the pole and the flag halyard was not used5),6). So, I think that the rat-lines are essential to carry a flag pole to the top of the mast.

2009.4.10/Gunport lids and display stand

I made the gunport lids and display stand.

2009.4.25/Anchors and flags stand

I attached anchors and flags. The flags were painted with acrylic paint on a used white shirt cloth.