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Secrets of WTC Shipwreck Sleuthed Out

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Author Topic: Secrets of WTC Shipwreck Sleuthed Out  (Read 659 times)
Michelle Jahn
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Posts: 5791

« on: September 11, 2011, 01:12:10 am »

Curiously, the shipbuilder had the luxury of installing expensive iron fasteners instead of the typical wooden trunnels or treenails common during that time. A luxury, because of the price of iron then, but also a labor-saving trick that actually made the sailboat more vulnerable to storm damage and leaks. Marine archeologist Warren Riess of the University of Maine told Discovery News that for most sailing vessels of this period, shipbuilders typically drilled a hole through both the exterior and interior oak planks framing a boat's ribs and then pushed an octagonal trunnel, also made of oak, all the way through connecting both sets of planks. It was a labor intensive effort, but when the wooden planks expanded and contracted with changes in temperature the wooden trunnels did the same. Iron on the other hand was easier to install, but chewed through wooden hulls, perhaps just not as fast as the saltwater shipworms.

Riess speculates that the shipbuilder came into possession of the iron by chance, either from another "ship full of nails that came in from some place" needing fixing, or from iron captured during the revolution that made the metal suddenly cheap to buy.

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