Steel work, welding Rebecca’s hull
All in all, 1976 had been an eventful year and with the arrival of 1977 a similar routine followed. The hull shell had been welded ensuring there was a full penetration weld into the 5/8” diameter chine bars. Then on the inside of the hull the chine bars were seal welded to prevent water penetrating the joint with the possibility of causing corrosion. From the beginning of the job there was a lot of grinding and even though I wore safety glasses it was not unusual to get a speck of rust or steel in the eye; I remember I had several visits to the Mater Hospital, late on Sunday evenings, to have specks removed. The trouble was that you were not aware of it until you lay down and tried to sleep. At work they must have wondered what I was doing to myself coming in with my arm in plaster, then on crutches with a busted ankle and now with a patch over my eye. I could not see the point in staying home when I could still do my work in the office.
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Preparing the build site
After moving all my gear from 8 St. James Street to Hemmant, I left there at the end of November and took recreation leave for all of December to really get going on the site.
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The first build of Rebecca – 1/12 inch model
Now I had the plans I had to plan the work schedule, buy tools and put my money where my mouth was. My first project was to build a model of the hull on a scale of 1 inch to 1 foot or 1/12. To do this I cut the frames out of balsa wood, stood them upside down on a strong back frame fixed to a plank the same way I would build the hull and braced the frames. Then the hull sheeting was secured to the frames, overlapping the cine position.
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Thank you Enrico Casorzo for the idea of constructing a steel yacht using the multi chine method and thank you Len Hedges for the plans for Rebecca.
While up in Darwin I met Enrico Casorzo, a technical officer from Sydney Office. Enrico and his family came from Chile and had settled in Sydney. He was building a steel yacht on the outskirts of Sydney and was describing it’s method of construction. Instead of rolling the plates to get a round bilge yacht, this design was multi chine to get a comparable effect.
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Project Management is conceived and birthed
In August 1971 I was approached and offered secondment to Head Office for a period of three months as part of a Head Office committee to review the Technical Organisation of the Department. There were three Assistant Directors, an Architect from Perth and myself from Brisbane. I feel the two of us were included to do the collating of information and be like secretaries and gophers as well as a symbol that the staff was represented.
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