Greek Bireme

I ebayed this kit too. Oh, didn't mention that above? Yah, the Harvey was an Ebay find. New, unopened boxes, the kits 25-50% off retail - if you dig. Kickass.

If Artesania Latina is an example of a perfect company, with detailed instructions, how to's, wonderful plans, instructions matching plans matching box pics, Amati isn't.

The box shows light wood stained light red for the hull - the kit comes with dark walnut.

The plans are 2 sheets, with a sentence here and there. About 1.5 paragraphs total, very sketchy about what you're using. A pain, when the box shows a light wood used, the kit has bass and walnut, and the plans don't say which...

The plans shows wales under the oar shims, "Then apply the wales which must be shaped from mm 1.5x5 strips". Box pic doesn't show that. Pics online of other people's creations don't show that. Unless.... the wales are the brass strips!

Plans show the wales (?) of the rectilinear design (I don't know the name for that pattern), curved up at the stern. Box pic shows the rounded trim. The rectilinear pattern can't be curved the way the plans show - at least not by me, and I haven't seen anyone doing it. So then I though, maybe I'll run it along the waterline and not up - the trim is too short to run the length of the boat anyway!

I quite this project 3 times before I gave up on much of the plans and figured out my own way...

The walnut is 2x thicker than the wood for the Harvey - bent along tighter curves. ummmmm

As for that last - looking online, people have managed to curve the walnut in those curves around the stern. I couldn't. A week of soaking, and the wood would break. So.... I cheated! Spliced parts, and curved wood the easy way, laminated, and carved down. Which I had thought of that laminate idea earlier.

Screwed up the bottom hull. But it still looks damn good. Come to think of it... With the troubles I was having, i looked around online fr some pics. Damn greeks. Come to find out, 3000 years ago they weren't interested in taking photographs of their boats.

Planking the side was a pain. This boat is a very stable design - which meant that propped up on the side, she'd fall sternal. I'd wedge her between blocks, shed levitate herself on top of them, right side up. Quite impressive.

In the pic, they nailed the planks on, then removed them. The resulting holes imitate nails nicely - but I wanted something a little different. I decided to leave the nails in. First off - not enough nails. Not even enough for me to nail planks in and take out to reuse, as I'd lose some in the process. So I bought a bunch. Big change from the Harvey, where there were more nails than needed... Second... put those nails through the planks on the oar shims, and they're big enough so split the frames. I should have looked further, and seen how other people built her...

Ok.... PICS!

Damn that's a fine looking boat. Once I figured out to take the plans with a grain of salt, t'was fun. Interestingly enough, this is rated as *simpler* than the Harvey.

images copyright David Zucker
photos/bireme

:)