Virginia Midship Section

This design shows the construction of the frames which form the ribs of the pinnace. They are constructed from multiple shorter sections called futtucks to form the U shape frame which connects to the keel and provides the base to connect the planking and bullwarks. 

To ensure the strength of the frames, they are constructed from two sets of futtocks that overlap and are bolted together with trunnels. This is known as double futtocks. The entire frame is built and then set into place. This type of construction was not used until the early 18th century. In the early 17th century when Virginia was built, single (or loose) futtocks were used. This allows the sections of the frame to be assembled in place, with a scarf joint between sections. The double futtocks design is used for the reconstruction as it meets the US Coast Guard requirements for wooden boats, and loose futtocks do not.

Each frame is 8 inches wide and they are placed at 18-inch centers. Virginia has 31 frames, 14 fore of the midship bend, and 16 aft. The midship bend represents the widest and deepest frame. The 2 frames on either side of the midship bend are the same size as the midship bend, but each of the 26 other frames is a different size and shape. These dimentions are computed based on the location of the frame in the “Lines” design.

This design also shows the camber of the deck, the bilge planking, the channel construction, and the ballast and lead keel. The even frames relative to the midship bend extend up to act as supports for the bulwarks. Odd frame only extend to the deck line.

To build the double frames for the reconstruction, paper templates were placed on the floor of the freight shed, plywood molds of each piece was cut, and then the frame pieces were cut from the 4 inch oak planks.  These pieces were then bolted together using trunnels. The frames are very heavy and require multiple people to move them.

Building the midship section (2011)
The keel and the frame fractory before the boatshed was built (2011)