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Croatian bracera

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Being a new member n'all, I suppose it's only fair I share some of my work with all of you.
With that in mind, here is my first project - a Croatian bracera - which I built in 2010.

First, let's start with some info:

the bracera was first mentioned in the Adriatic as early as 17th century. It was a single masted vessel of a full-form hull, which had a characteristic rounded bow. Her length was usually between 12 and 15 meters and her displacement was between 50-70 t. In Istria the term bracera also denoted a double masted vessel with similar features as the Dalmatian bracera. The bracera was used for coastal trading with wines, olive oil, other agricultural products and cattle, trading with timber, salt and sand, as well as for transportation.

As I said, this was my first real project, but there's also a twist - I started building it with a special purpose in mind - it was to serve in place of a wedding ring cushion at my wedding :D

In this thread I will outline the whole building process, but let's start with the blueprints first - I managed to procure them a few years back, when I had ideas about building wooden ships (which never happened in the end). I printed them on sheets of regular A4 printer paper, and then copied them on cardboard using carbon paper.
For the keel I was using 3mm thick cardboard, and 1.5mm for the frames.

I thought I would be using this deck, cut from 1mm cardboard, but later I decided on a different approach.

Next is hull boarding.
The method is probably not the best ever invented, but this was my first model.

For each side of the hull, I cut one 10mm wide strip of 1mm thick cardboard, plus another 13 which are 3mm wide. I glued the 10mm strip next to the keel. The 13mm wide strips were glued only to the middle frame, and then I glued them one by one to the next frame, narrowing and trimming the strip as necessary.

The end result was a mess. I had to fill a few gaps with CA glue, but I intended to cover it with paint later.
I also used CA glue to harden the entire hull on the inside.

Now we come to the problem of wedding rings placement.
I decided to place them on the deck, in the cargo area.

But first I had to make a cushion for them - and why not use the one from the original box?
The original cushion was made from a plush material glued on a card frame, and filled with two small pieces of sponge. It was a bit too long, so I had to shorten it. A few cuts, a drop of glue, and it was done.

Then I made the cargo area (basically, a box), but I still had to enlarge it slightly in regards to the blueprints, to fit the cushion in.
All good so far.

Then, a problem - the cargo box was 15mm high, so if I glued it directly on the deck, it would protrude too much. That meant I had to put it deeper in the hull, which meant I had to cut into the keel and two of the frames - this is what happens when you don't plan ahead.
It wasn't easy, but I managed it.

Next is the deck, but I have no more time today so I will continue this thread tomorrow.


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