Building a Gozabune (Kobaya) from Paris Plans – Part 8

So, I drilled out the rogui on which the ro, or sculling oars, pivot. I used a sharp point to start the hole and finished up using a small drill in a Dremel rotary tool. Because I’m starting to consider painting the model, I’m going to hold off on adding the pins to the rogui until some later time.

Also, I found more structural work to complete before I have to deal with the rails, so I’m putting that assembly off for the moment.

Finishing Mortises

Today, I finished the remaining mortises. I did these the same way as the ones done earlier, laying out strips of tape to maintain even spacing, but the mortises at the todate (transom) and the miyoshi (stem), were a little smaller and slightly closer together. 

On the real vessel, there would be other mortises, but at this scale, the only ones that really show are the ones that are covered with metal plates. I’ll have to deal with the plates later, but some were copper plates, while others appear to be gold colored. Probably, these were copper plates too, but painted with gold lacquer. More on that later.


Stern Details

There are some details aft of the todate that are difficult to discern from the plans.

From the French text, there may be a some kind enclosed structure, which may be indicated by the vertical lines in the side view cutaway. There is also what looks like some kind of beam at the bottom of the hull, just behind the todate and is crosses the open rudder well. I’ve never seen anything quite like this before.

Also, I’ve never really seen storage areas inside the bottom of this stern section before, though many larger vessels have some kind of deck at the height of the main deck that straddles the rudder well.

The best example of a rudder well interior I have are some photos I took of the kitamaebune Hakusan Maru during my visit to Sado island. This ship is the most accessible and best preserved of the bezaisen replica ships.

Bezaisen were large coastal transports. The Hakusan Maru measures about 80 feet long, which is about 25 feet longer than the Paris kobaya. There’s enough room for hull bracing, but not all that much space back here to store anything on the bezaisen and even less on the kobaya. I decided to go ahead and add similar bracing on the kobaya.

In addition to the bracing of the lower planks, I added the cross beam that appears in the plans. And, while the plans are not clear on this matter, I went ahead and added ledges for the laying down of deck planks on either side of the rudder well. Part of the decision was due to a photo of the model in the French national maritime museum, which shows deck planking here.

The final model will also have a decorate board at the stern that closes up this whole assembly and its details. With the deck planking in place, very little of this stern detail will be visible anyway, which is another reason I decided not to try to elaborate any further.


I’ll post more about painting next time, but I’m getting down to the point where I’m really going to need to start dealing with the paint job.

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