Mikado – November 2018

The players of today’s “boatbuilding mikado” have already gathered around MARABU in the morning. The goal of the game is quickly explained: clamp of the deck beams and bilge-stringers could be restored to the delight of all. They are to be repainted white as in the original condition now again adapted and installed.

In spring, when they were removed and overhauled, the preparations for their insertion into the hull are almost complete. As stabilizers in the hull, they are – after priming with clamps provisionally fixed – first aligned with the new frames by wooden plywoods. They are only firmly screwed to the scaffold after the final white finish.

This doesn’t sound particularly complicated, but on closer inspection it becomes a balancing act for the boatbuilders. Even if the woods of massive Siberian larch are divided once over about a third of the distance by means of a hook tab, they remain very unwieldy, sometimes over 12 meters long and weighing about 60 kilograms.

Distributed between the middle and the front and rear ends, the three boatbuilders loosen the last screw clamps and now lift the full weight of the beam path. The already shiny painted keelson, covered with a fine layer of dust, offers them the stability of a freshly prepared artificial ice rink.
Fortunately there are holes in the old planks all over the ship’s side. Originally intended for the clamps that pulled the freshly glued timbers into the correct curvature, they are large enough to hold the toe of a foot.
Bearing the load on their shoulders, Axel and his helpers can stand like on a climbing wall. With red heads, breathing heavily, they still skilfully circle the first wayfarer past the cross struts distributed on the hull and lift him out of the ship over the bow. The second beam path follows without complications.
Everything that goes out also goes in – the second bilge-stringer is ready painted and as the last official action before the well-deserved breakfast break it takes its place at the waterline.

Conscientious preparation, precise agreements and successful cooperation have led to success – MARABU and her boatbuilders were able to win another game.