Rebuild Independence Group sailing ship almost ready for planking on Kangaroo Island

RIG project planner David Churchill shows off the almost completed keel on the replica sailing ship being built at American River, Kangaroo Island.
RIG project planner David Churchill shows off the almost completed keel on the replica sailing ship being built at American River, Kangaroo Island.

Work on the replica of the Independence sailing ship at American River continued through the bushfires and COVID-19.

The original 45-foot, top-sail schooner was built between in 1803 by the crew of the visiting American sealing brig "Union".

Rebuild Independence Group president Tony Klieve said volunteers were currently working on the transom or rear of the ship.

The keel was almost complete with just a few bolts to go.

"Once we get the transom done, we can move onto the planking," Mr Klieve said. "We've already got a lot of the planking made and joined up ready to go."

The hull of the 45-foot replica schooner is almost ready for planking.

The hull of the 45-foot replica schooner is almost ready for planking.

The ship's skin will consist of three layers of marine ply and epoxy and then the external planks.

The planking process is expected to take several months and it will probably be next year when the hull us complete.

It will then be wheeled outside and turned around so that the volunteers can start working on the topsides.

Mr Klieve said all the planking had purchased and donations continued to come in, including the "buy a plank" program.

The group hoped to start up the regular Thursday evening working nights soon to get volunteers working on the planking, he said.

The first St. Ayles Skiff built by the Rebuild Independence Group is almost ready to be tested on the water.

The first St. Ayles Skiff built by the Rebuild Independence Group is almost ready to be tested on the water.

In other RIG news, the first of the St. Ayles Skiffs being built by Dave Hinves and Grant Millard is almost complete.

It will be lowered from the upstairs area of the RIG shed and given a test run on the estuary in coming weeks.

Work would begin on the next skiff as the kit had already been purchased and was ready to start building.

Clicks the links below to see our previous updates:

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