History Comes Alive – Blanca, 10Oct2013

We finally got to Mystic Seaport in August.  We spent two days walking around the museum.  What a great place!  I highly recommend a visit.

The designer of Ballena Blanca, Philip L. Rhodes, had a long and distinguished career designing everything from dinghies up to cargo ships.  When he died in the early ’70s, his family donated his entire collection of ships plans and design notes to the Mystic Seaport museum.

For Blanca, his design #816 “Discoverer”, they had a folder with about 50 pages of notes, with everything: hull-speed calculations, equipment model numbers, etc.  I can’t understand most of it (things like calculations of the flexibility and strength of fiberglass panels, for example), but I got a copy of every page, in case I need the information some day.

They also had 18 large sheets of ship’s plans.  Copies of those were more expensive, so I didn’t copy things like wiring diagrams (which I’m redoing from scratch anyway), or the cast iron keel profile.  I did get 6 important sheets copied:

  • Inboard Cutaway
  • Profile and Cross Sections
  • Structural Laying Down Plan
  • Deck Plan
  • Rigging Schedule
  • Mast and Boom


Also, I had the staff at Mystic make me a decorative copy of the all-importand Sail Plan.  We’re going to have it framed and hang it over the mantle!

Next up: starboard engine update!