Random Jottings

More interesting research on wrecks

Or more accurately 'wreckage' or 'remains of wreckage'................

Readers may be aware that I have a 'Pet Project' and to that end I seem to be spending time researching older shipwrecks or what would remain of an old shipwreck in our storm-tossed nortern waters. With extra time on my hands I decided to look again at my bits and pieces that were picked up from a site near The Hopper this summer, I must stres that these pieces aren't of the correct vintage but interesting nevertheless!

Among the bits are small copper nails which would have been used to secure lead 'tingles' which would have formed patches over awkward areas, obvious so no further research needed......

Also a large number of pieces of brass rod, all about 20mm diameter and irregular lengths with no signs of heads or points, these parts had me baffled. I also recovered several brass pins each about 200mm long but with a distinct taper, a point and a head and the brass slugs just didn't look like broken pieces of the pins.

Lastly I had a huge amount of washers, well almost washers! These parts were slit like a spring washer and shaped into a cone, a bit like the European DIN washers used today.

After quite a bit of research (that's real research not wiki or google based) It became apparent that the brass rod and washers were linked.

When making the keel of a wooden ship it is very rare that a single piece of timber can be used in a vessel of any real size, so several length of timber tended to be selected, worked to shape and then joined together with scarph joints, each of which is secured by a clench bolt.

Now this clench bolt was a piece of brass, which was pushed through the hole in the joint, had a Rove or Clench Ring fitted and then had its end peined over, making sure that there was a tight fit.

Soooooo, there you have it the brass slugs and washers were used together to bolt together sections of keel, another question resolved. Now regarding the variety of brass fittings, well over the years there have been countless vessels met their fate on The Hopper so I am probably looking at the detritus of many old wooden vessels.

I am continuing my research with the next burning question being where can I get wood samples aged using dendrology......someone, somewhere must know!

On a final note, the first check following my PFO closure went very well so touch wood I will be diving again in the near future!

Dive safe


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