It all started on a beach in Bira, Sulawesi…
On the beach at Bira, in the regency dubbed ‘butta panrita lopi’ (shipbuilders’ kampong), Lamima is emerging in the age-old way of the Bugis boat-builders, skin first!
Instead of first lofting frames and fitting planks to them in the way Dominique has seen all over the world, they’ve been shaping her ‘by eye’, crafting an amazing wooden shell on the water’s edge.
The difference in method employed by Haji Baso lies in the sequence of the hull’s assembly. After the keel-laying ceremony, Lamima’s stem and stern posts were erected in the usual way. The central stringer, an enormous beam called the ‘naga-naga’ or dragon, was bolted through to the keel plank. Next, however, rather than setting up a whole array of sawn frames to determine the shape of the hull, Haji Baso’s men began to attach planks to both sides of her keel. By means of wooden pegs or ‘passak’ driven in along the edges of these ‘garboard planks’, another row was pegged to them. One by one, day-by-day, rows of planks have been added until Lamima’s shape has begun to emerge, as Marcelo designed her.
As the planking progressed, ribs were fitted inside to strengthen the shell it formed. These were pegged to the planks, to the keel, and to each other where their segments join. And then come the ‘lepe lepe’ (ceiling stringers). These are longitudinal planks, fitted on top of the ribs to add strength to the hull along its length – ensuring that Lamima, once completed, will not only be elegant, but also an extremely sound and strongly-built vessel.
First month on the beach with the forest as a back-drop
The first planks are laid.
The shape of Lamima’s hull becomes evident
Fitting the “naga”
By February we start to get a good indication of Lamima’s eventual size
23 February 2012
The ribs are chiseled by hand before being fitted
Our quality controller
Lamima progressing through March
28 March 2012 – Lamima, nine months away from her launch into the tropical waters of Sulawesi
Balancing a solid mahogany rib section
Ribs almost in place
April 2012 – The hull is slowly catching up to the temporary roof
Getting ready to fit the” lepe, lepe” (longitudinal planks) on top of the ribs
May 2012 – “Lepe, lepe” being fitted
June 2012 – Reaching deck height
July 2012 – Securing the last few “lepe, lepe”.
July 2012 – Overdeck height
Ribs and “lepe, lepe” completed
July 2012 – Touching the roof
August 2012 – Deck beams in place
August 2012 – Superstructure posts in position.
View of the starboard aft-deck
September 2012 – The first of 2 layers of Marine plywood are laid out on the main deck. The teak will be added on top of these two layers.
September 2012 – View of the transom into which the deck is framed.