You may wonder why you are not receiving more blog updates.. but frankly, I have to be careful of what I post so as not to succumb to the many opportunities to go public and make big money.

Well probably not.. most likely it is because I am becoming lazy.  But here is an interesting blog.

As the title says.. I am making progress on the model of The Mathew that will go to Meagan and Jorg.  I am at the fiddly stage that I love.

This one is about the pumps that go on the deck.  Every wooden sailing ship leaks and gathers water in the bilge.  If you do not do anything you would eventually sink.  So a daily job for the crew was to pump out the bilge.  Remember The Mathew was from 1497 so there were no battery-powered bilge pumps.

It depended on the fitness of the hull as to how many leaks they had.  If you remember the song by Stan Rogers, Barrett’s Privateers .. he mentions the Antelope and as they sailed south “they pumped like mad men all the way”.  Obviously a leaky hull.

So how do you pump out a boat?  The same kind of pumps that were on farms, with a handle that you handled up and down with some effort.

The first picture is the pumps I made.  They actually pump (well not really) but if you push the handle up and down they move.

Second picture is of the pumps mounted in the model.  I kind of like this detail.  When the model is on display in the many years ahead, no one will notice this … but I will.  If you ever see this model in the future at M&J’s home, reach in and give the pump handle a wiggle.

Still, on the actual Mathew on its voyage to North America, I suspect this required hours of effort from some low life member of the crew….