Schooner Jakatan


Earlier I said the keelson was the first thing that Jespersen made. Well that wasn't completely true. At the same time they started making the male plug for the lead ballast.
Next they built a box around the plug (you can see some rebar in the box), poured in concrete, and then removed the plug. A small electric heater was then left running in the mold for several months. This was to get all the moisture out of the concrete before pouring in the liquid lead, otherwise the concrete could crack.
The ballast mold is shipped off to a foundry to have the lead poured in. This isn't the kind of thing to do at home, at least not with12,000 lbs. of lead.
The deadwood of the future keel is laminated in the shop.
The finished deadwood and the lead ballast are placed in a nearby yard waiting for assembly. Notice the stainless steel bolts and matching holes in the deadwood.
My brother Bob, his wife Dorian, and my daughter Anne enjoying the keel ready to be mounted to the hull. That's a big keel! This boat can take a serious grounding.
These are custom cast bronze hangers for the keel bolts. The lips hang on the floor beams to which they are also bolted. The stainless rods from the keel go through a hole in the hanger (not yet drilled) and are capped with two nuts. These hangers were sitting on the floor of the shop during a storm that caused the tide to rise and flood the bottom inch of the shop floor, hence the discoloration of the bottom inch.
Now all you have to do is slide the boat out of the shed, lift it up and over the keel, and lower it down while aligning all 12 bolts into snug holes. Easy!
Back in the shed and back to work. The keel is ready to be glassed and the bottom painted.