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    What have I got?
    by Bryan-the-pirate πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ ( Chief Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    29 Posts 28 Replies 12 Photos 44 Likes
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    DodgyGeezer
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    Lighter DXF file now on the web page.

    Note:

    1 - I run vintage everything here. Consequently the DXF file was generated by software from the 1980s, and may have compatibility issues with modern code. If you have problems, tell me, and I'll find a way to update it...

    http://eezebilt.tk/lightplan.html

    2 - The plan was designed for 16"-20" barges to go with the EeZeBilt Beaver. If you go much bigger you will need thicker material or some extra support in the centre to stop a long run of thin material bending. But I guess that you know that anyway...

    3 - Modern lighters - as the Spittalfields reference on the web site illustrates - typically carry freight (usually garbage) in boxes like shipping containers. Perhaps I should make up a plan for those too - but they are a fairly simple shape anyway...
    http://eezebilt.tk/lightplan.html
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    Nerys
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    Hi Doug,

    Good idea to build a couple of lighters for your tug to tow, that would seem about the right size. As far as cargo/ballast is concerned, I think you could make modules simulating different cargoes to fit into the hold. The hatches were rarely covered up. Timber for instance would be stowed in the hold and then quite a high stack above the deck, but even with bulk cargoes there was usually a bit peering over the top. They were, as sailing barges, loaded down to 3" freeboard when in the river. Even if they were being towed round to the Medway from the Thames, they would still have the same 3" freeboard. There are many tales to be told of illegal activities involving lighters, -----perhaps one day!

    Nerys
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    When the winds before the rain, soon you may make sail again, but when the rain's before the wind, tops'l sheets and halyards mind
    Nerys
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    What an interesting article about lighters and lightermen in Spitalfields Life. Thank you DodgyGeezer. Really told how it is and to a great extent was on the London River.
    One thing it didn't mention was the way lighters were the bane of a sailing barge's life in the docks. Long strings of them would be towed in and then seemingly left without mooring in roughly the place they were wanted. They would then drift around colliding with vulnerable wooden sailing barges, often causing damage. I remember Centaur having a couple of planks in her side stove in by drifting lighters.
    When the winds before the rain, soon you may make sail again, but when the rain's before the wind, tops'l sheets and halyards mind
    RNinMunich
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    Thanks DodgyπŸ‘ Look forward to that.
    Might try balsa and harden it with EzeKote anyway.
    Like Martin haven't worked with balsa for years, apart from the new stern for my fish cutter.
    And a similar technique worked for my destroyer all those years ago😊
    Re water ballast - I'll think about that!
    Was pondering using the load modules as ballast.
    Cheers, Doug 😎
    PS I don't mind doing the cutting out myself, the table fret saw will help there.
    Besides, I don't know of any equivalent of Maker Space around her.
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    Young at heart - slightly older in other places πŸ˜‰ Cheers Doug
    DodgyGeezer
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    At 30" you probably want to make them out of 1/8" ply. If you just expand the plans you'll need to redraw a few slots and clearances - but that would be easy.

    They have to have a load for ballast - I found that water did a reasonable job and if it sloshed around a bit that made things even more fun to control...

    I'll just stick a dxf download on the website for anyone who wants one...
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    RNinMunich
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    Hi Dodgy,
    A dxf Auto-Cad file would be excellentπŸ‘
    I can import that into my Corel Designer Tech Suite and scale to suit.
    Cheers, Doug 😎
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    Young at heart - slightly older in other places πŸ˜‰ Cheers Doug
    RNinMunich
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    Thanks NerysπŸ‘
    My tug is about 1/36, so a 90footer would give a model lighter about 30" (76cm).
    So would look pretty good behind a 56cm tugπŸ˜‰
    Now to start fantasising about the load module possibilities😁
    Cheers, Doug😎
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    Young at heart - slightly older in other places πŸ˜‰ Cheers Doug
    DodgyGeezer
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    This is how they work nowadays - http://spitalfieldslife.com/2011/09/28/among-the-lightermen/
    http://spitalfieldslife.com/2011/09/28/among-the-lightermen/
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    Nerys
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    Hi Doug,
    A Thames lighter varied in size , there were some quite small, only about 70ft but the majority were about 90ft long with about 24 ft beam. The proportions of the Eezebilt plan looks about right to me.
    Nerys
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    When the winds before the rain, soon you may make sail again, but when the rain's before the wind, tops'l sheets and halyards mind
    DodgyGeezer
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    "That is a good model of a Thames lighter and I imagine the boat that started this post was very much like it before the wheelhouse was put on.
    Is it available as a kit, or just the plan?"

    It's a standard EeZeBilt 50+ model. That means it's been designed to be cut out of balsa sheet and assembled in the simple EeZeBilt fashion, and the plan has been put out for free download. It's capable of being made at any size or any material, but making it at 16" just nicely uses a single 1m sheet of 1/8"balsa. The idea was to produce simple, quick, cheap model barges so that the tug boys had no excuse not to be pulling a whole string of them.

    If you want it as a kit, I can send you a .dxf file and you can get someone with a CNC machine to do the cutting for you. Do you have a MakerSpace anywhere near you?
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