In this post we look at the remainder of Buckminster Fuller's model boat collection that was recently donated to Penobscot Marine Museum. See our previous post for the first half of the collection.
|Deck beams extend through the sides of the house. Housetops are made of woven material, probably meant to represent bamboo or palm leaf matting.
|Details of mizzenmast, deckhouse, transom and the large balanced rudder of complex construction.
|Masthead device on foremast
|Masthead device on mainmast (mizzen is similar).
|Stern details, including painted transom design, unbalanced rudder, and heavy wales at the waterline.
|"Horse" aft of mainmast;, windlass; crossbeams beneath the aft deck extend through the sides of the hull. Is the pole-mounted device on the aft deck a lantern or a symbol identifying the vessel's port of call or purpose?
|Bow detail. The bow transom is painted red. Atop it is a heavy beam tying the gunwales together and extending beyond them: perhaps fishing nets would be drawn over it?
|Thai Market Boat. The model represents
a Thai market boat of the type used in the famous Bangkok floating market. Market
gardeners bring their produce to the market in these boats and sell directly
from them. The model shows the construction of this boat type fairly accurately.
It is a plank-built boat of sampan construction, with wide planks laid on deep
frames. An important function of the frames is to support the tall washstrakes. Boats like this are often built of teak, and the model may be as well.
Most photos of the Bangkok market show paddles being used for propulsion, but the model has a long oar or sweep that pivots on a waist-high post and that would be rowed in a standing, forward-facing position. Perhaps the oar is used for efficiency in open water, then removed in the close confines of the market, where a paddle then comes into play.
A teak Thai market boat very much like this model was restored by the Small Open Boats shop in Port Republic, Maryland.
|All the decks and floorboards of the model are loose and removable, notched to fit over the deep frames.
|The boat is steered by an underhung transom rudder of elegant shape. We speculate that when the oar is in use, the oarsman or -woman might operate the beautifully-curved tiller with one foot.