Quanzhou Ship - Chinese Junk 13th Century 1:54 by Schrader

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3B6C0539-E2CF-451B-A88A-F1FD190DA321.jpegIn the last days, I’ve been studying a lot of things about the Chinese Junks at the same time, thinking about which could be my next project. Finally I reached the conclusion that the Quanzhou Ship, which was discovered in 1973 and dated from the 13th century, would be a real challenge, as well a really interesting way to understand these magnificent vessels.

This ship contradicts several theories that were known for certain by then, and with this log, I’ll do my best to show them all to you

I’ve chosen 1:54 scale, since (according with estimations) this ship was about 28 m length and 10 m beam. So with the convention the model will be aprox. 52 cm long, “matching” my preference about model size.


Let’s start !!!!!

Some Pictures

2485EF35-E3A0-4B6F-81FF-D3E07D839966.jpeg6A87A48F-760C-4F26-A4BF-883A35AC3E4F.jpeg13C8651D-7129-4CF8-A3DE-4BFF287708AA.jpegEEB2A245-1C79-4560-A3E9-DFC057E99F3F.jpeg2AEA9765-BCBD-4EAE-A028-7253E6A8F6DC.jpeg
 

Heinrich

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Hello Hellmuht. This project of yours has me really excited. For a long time I have thought of building a Chinese ship - but my interest tends to focus more on the Junks and Sampans of the Yangtze. The fact that I am living in Nantong which is right next to the Yangtze, probably has something to do with that! :D I think it is absolutely wonderful that you will be venturing into unchartered territory - so to speak. I still cannot understand that Chinese model ship companies show very little interest in their own ships - there is a far greater status attached to building a Western-style ship. Figure that out. I will most certainly be following along!
 

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By the way Hellmuht, if you are ever interested in building a VERY special Sampan (for want of a better word) PM me. I have some very rare drawings, sketches and even some CAD interpretations.
 
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Thanks a lot!!! Of course I’ll appreciate all the help you can give me

since the Quanzhou is a ship that nobody has seen ever.... I’ll need to work with you all to get a really nice final product.....

so go ahead!!!!
 
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The Quanzhou Ship is (from my point of view) like a break point of pretty much all the concepts that the people had about the ancient ships from China. In the Article

CHINA’S QUANZHOU SHIP FULL OF SURPRISES article by Bob Holtzman we will find a lot of really interesting information....

http://indigenousboats.blogspot.com/2012/08/chinas-quanzhou-ship-full-of-surprises.html

This ship is considered a large Ocean-Going ship. Was discovered in 1973 and as I mentioned before, forced a reconsideration of the Chinese shipbuilding history, and definitely so different from all modern examples of Junks.

The part that was found, suppose to be the hull up to the waterline. I has 24 m Lenght and 9 m beam. Its projection could be a total of 34 m LOA and 11 m broad ( 112 x 36 feet). According with the article, could had 380 tons displacement, and had evidence about three Chinese lug sails. Comparing with the European standards, could be considered “HUGE SHIP”.

Some of the amazing discovering were:

  1. Several layers and very complicated system of planking. According with Marco Polo, when a Chinese ship needed some planking work, the procedure was to add new layers of plank right atop the old ones. Some times put to six layers.B625AD26-7607-4597-B091-07D5F07DE691.jpeg
  2. It was built with a keel and V Shaped bottom, This is one of the most important one. Ever since The Europeans and Americans began studying the Chinese vessels (mostly in the 19th Century), the invariable norm had been Keel-less construction with flat bottomsFC8967E7-80BE-4D91-ABC3-207DAE153559.jpeg
  3. Since then, the Chinese were using the bulkheads system. In this case there were 12 creating 13 compartments roughly equal size. This is the time to bring our old friend Marco Polo to the scene......according with him the compartments were used for different kind of merchant....like a modern containers!!! Today..... such compartments were always observed to have been watertight...... (today we still use this “technology” invented by the Chinese). In the Quanzhou the bulkheads were pierced with “limber holes” that would have allowed water to flow from one compartment to another, creating a possible advantage that the water could be popped from a singular point. Personally believe in the “container” theory.61665692-B901-49C8-8E30-CF7A73FBDF85.jpeg

    The ship was discovered in 1973 and excavated during the summer 1974. The parts above the waterline had perished but the lower parts of the hull have been preserved fairly well in mud and water.

    Is been located in the 13th century, since first.... is thought that in that time a shipping channel ran that area ( Quanzhou was one of the China major sea ports). Second.....and the main evidence to dating this vessel comes from 504 copper coins found inside the hull. Seventy of them date to Song Dynasty ( dated 1272 AC). Let’s remember that about that time the Song Dynasty fell to Mongols.
 
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Here I am......

I’ve been looking around for documentation and find some......

F725683C-D2BA-4531-9AC0-0284CE0F9E20.png
......and I’ve lucky ( a lot ) to have the possibility to be in contact directly with NICK BURNINGHAM the author of this one.....

348FC2A9-1F9D-4691-B4C6-7C8CE0E546E7.jpeg
...he has been so kind with me ( a lot of patience because I tending to be intense ). Since this is a ship that no one has seen before, we will need to bring a lot of imagination to complete it.

Let’s start with the basic lines plan, this one came from Nick

B15AB1FB-2FEC-43CD-AFDA-0EEC05D3FCE6.jpeg

And from this.... I’ll need to bring our ship alive!!!!!
 
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A friend of mine from Spain.... Ricard Llorens has this book

704C66BB-36CB-4F21-9D39-575417945A3E.jpeg
Since has been too difficult for me to get it.... he is sending photos from some chapters

for instance..... look these
A85A3869-B0C8-40AE-8B1E-BBAE30F4FBB5.jpeg280EC19A-110B-4EF7-9EFD-555F8240B70D.jpeg
it is a box of surprises. Those are rudders all depends on where are they from. The “century” etc.... all differents

or these.....



8AEDFEAB-8BD0-4747-8EF6-3855FE79BE8D.jpeg84436CA2-068F-4129-9A08-CFAEC210A83E.jpeg
anchors. Same thing..

now. To investigate which one is the most adequate :oops:
 
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Thanks to you all. I hope we all (included you all) will get there. I decided to start with the hull forms decision so here we go again.....

Starting from this.... the Nick projections ( he has been really clear about the sails...they must be squared not like he suggested in this picture)

7C6DB990-0DBE-49B4-BCE1-F636A9B5096E.jpeg

Imported to Autocad and “built” the hull....

B8E6849D-04A4-4803-82B5-6EDA4EFAF3BD.jpeg

This is giving me the Idea about the hull, bow and stern. Again... this is a ship that no one has seen before.

I have to count on the junk construction methodology ..... I am really surprise by the “plank first frames after”. We can see that in Egyptian, Vikings and now the Chinese. Having this in consideration I decided to build a “mold” upside down, also using the Nick plan, I went to the Autocad and....

5CDA237D-35DE-4AA2-B34F-72752A86F907.jpeg
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As you can see I “installed the keel already”. And also I was able to “install” the bow form. The stern is something that I still thinking about. But when you see the picture above, you can bring the conclusion that the stern had like two levels (I’ll figure it out later).

Let’s talk a little bit about the keel.....”The keel is constructed in three parts: the forward and aft portions are made of pine, and the central member is made of camphor wood. The forward and aft keel portions are scarfed to the central member. The central member is 12-57m long by 420 mm wide and 270 mm deep”.......

AACDAFAB-AE61-4595-AF61-1D9AC64B8D33.jpeg

There are some “imperfections” that need to be fixed in the construction phase.

We are getting close!!!!! To start, but unfortunately the holidays are going to stop my job a little bit.

By the way!!!! I have not seen my kids (Seattle, Atlanta and Carmel Indiana) in almost 20 months, We are traveling this coming Tuesday from Colombia!!! Very exited and .... we know is not the best time to do it. God help us to be safe and good health.
 
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Once I sent this mold to the expert......guess what.....It was not that right.....

172F0D4F-05F0-4931-8386-E5DF6EC077AF.jpeg
If you take a look the blue line in very end of the bow is what I have. The thick gray line is what should be. So I made the correction....

E5E1954B-78D2-49F9-A8EB-736851822901.jpegE5E1954B-78D2-49F9-A8EB-736851822901.jpeg

Now I can move forward. Since I’m not an Autocad expert..... I usually check the forms with the LOFT function.....

E0E9E5C8-24F3-4BFE-9B02-EFCEF88F7B6B.jpeg

I realized that the false frame 4 front is not right....... son another correction...... and finally we are ready to go!!!!!

B7FEE996-54F3-484B-879B-741F5FE67122.jpegA820C9FF-F42F-4A44-858D-09256C477FF0.jpeg3E3898E3-2612-4D8E-8FB4-161DDC1C12E9.jpeg8444A356-3EF6-41B4-B4CF-E85EA92F8DBF.jpeg

These are the false frames (all but the master). With this one I’ll move forward to build my mold.
 
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Building the mold I’ll make the base first

37B75706-06CE-42B0-8430-2ADF7BFD66CD.jpeg

The false frames

DBB2C633-E7B8-44FF-848F-E3FC041F65E9.jpeg2CA6B4E1-6823-4797-8D1D-01CA0CABE9D4.jpeg

Then assembled

16EC8115-BEC1-4249-A1DF-D0589C217493.jpeg

Interesting to see that since now the clinker planking is already marked in false frames.... let’s remember that this ship has a very special planking process.......several layers with different joint systems

3A6622F9-149F-43A7-8A8A-EF8CF959C624.jpeg
 
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Let’s talk about the stern transom......

Binging the Nick document this is what he says.....


The stern transom
The stern transom appears to be composed of baulks of timber in three layers plus a layer of thin sheathing on the outside. The timber is fairly degraded and it may be that the inner layer has split neatly in two, in which case there are only two layers plus the sheathing. The inner layer(s) are fitted inside the main planking; presumably the ends of the strakes are fastened to this inner transom. The outer layer is aft of the end of the main planking but inside the outer planking layer. The outer planking layer is extended aft of the transom to form a kind of false counter. The outer layer of the transom has a slot cut in it for the rudder stock and is made of baulks of timber only slightly thicker than the diameter of the rudder slot, thus the slot almost cuts them in half and the strength of the transom relies on the inner layer(s). The uppermost of the extant outer transom baulks appears to have its ends cut square, so it did not extend right out to the sheathing planking at its upper face. This suggests that the outer transom did not continue above this height though there would need to have been baulks forming brackets to hold the rudder stock higher in the transom, as there are on traditional vessels of the region today


So..... Let’s try to understand this.....

  • It says that the ship has two layers in the stern transom . Where the external transom is wider. It is talking about RUDDER SLOT and let’s think about its diameter. I could not find specs about it but having in consideration its length that could be 6-7 m its should be thicker than I was expecting....... I went to this photo
1E7D8F40-CFCA-4ABD-AAF4-B18CE4F471C4.jpeg

...........and having the keel with 40 cm. Then the ruder at least must have 40 cm as well. That gave me how thick should be the external transom 40 cm. And the 2 or one inner transom should also 40 cm. In total.

  • This ship has two-three plank layers. The inner planks are, according with the same document 8 cm....
... The inner planking of the Quanzhou ship is 80 mm thick

So.... the outer transom should be 8 cm wider.....at the end we will end up in something like this....

7452D55E-65BB-4BCD-B6AC-8F98F2F468DB.jpeg
5C96A8F0-2498-4320-AB8E-5E06A49C5977.jpeg

  • It also says that probably has a third layer of very thin set of lumbers...... I’ll wait because the ruder in these ships has the possibility to move up and down to be able too navigate different water depths so the channel should be open, at least part of its length....

This photo is not accurate for this ship but explain really well how the rudder works.....

2A648740-057A-4F13-BA3B-4B7C8A8DF347.jpeg
Regards
 
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Long time since my last posting...... I’ve been working in my Rhino skills....at the same time understanding new subjects about the way these ships works.

here my new reproduction in Rhino....

9D141980-A51D-4851-9F01-33824F448541.jpeg

It looks much better. In the frames you can see two different lines. The red ones are the false frames to build the mold... The blue ones are the Bulkheads-frames. And this is how those elements are going to look like....

42715431-E092-4C2B-B588-65419D85C193.jpeg

The frames that in reality are half frames, work as a connectors between bulkheads and planks. Because the bulkheads “planks” grain direction, the connection with the hull wouldn’t be that effective so the needed the half frames to serve as a connectors.

The real hull resistance is in these three elements

PLANKS - FRAMES - BULHEADS

THE KEEL.....

69E8D893-8A35-497D-A747-7EA0680A942A.jpeg

It has three elements.... the middle one the is originally made of camphor wood and has 12.57 m long (aprox). The forward part is 4.5 m long made in pine and slopes upwards 35º and the aft keel were made also in pine and slopes upwards 27º.

The section of the keel is 42 cm by 27 cm. In their joints there was an special scarf....that we were trying to replicate....

F3295983-49A9-4F16-82A5-41434C72CB38.jpeg
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D729BA47-6D84-451A-8D20-9EA0F5769BB2.jpeg
90301E86-87EC-4698-BE32-F8090B1D3B38.jpeg

Next we are going to talk about Stern and bow transoms and how start the planking....
 
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Hello Hellmuht,
I just came across your log by chance and had to stop in order to take a closer look. When I first came onto the seen of learning how to scratch build ships, my attention was drawn to the Vietnamese Junk you could find on the internet. It was such an appealing looking vessel that I could not contain myself and decided to build her. I did a lot of research in order to better understand the concept of junks in general and dove in ( while a lot of people tend to go to the gym with the mentality, "No Pain, No Gain" I tend to build ships with the mentality, "Sink or Swim").

You are correct that once you decide to work on something, you tend to research and learn more then you would have thought possible. I really enjoyed my time with my build and I know you will too. I look forward to seeing more updates on your build. In the event you would like to see my build you can see it on the following link; http://www.modelshipbuilder.com/e107_plugins/forum/forum_viewtopic.php?15670.0

Also, when you are ready to work on rigging the following site should supplement what you probably already have; http://www.thecheappages.com/junk/platt/platt_chinese_sail.html

Kind Regards,
Raymond
 
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Raymond

it is really a pleasure for me going through your log. Thanks for the links. By the way there are a lot of information in those articles apart from the one you sent me. THANKS A LOT

This particular ship is from the south of China and date from 1270 aprox. So there are a lot of missing info. I’m not working alone “it is above from my paycheck ”:). This is the person. “ really good man” that is helping me


As you mention, the investigation part has been really fun, and I’m here to learn from all of you
 
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