Noah’s Shipyard

 Noah’s Shipyard

Timber, either grown locally or purchased, was cut, hewn, stacked, and dried under roof at the site.
Timber, either grown locally or purchased, was cut, hewn, stacked, and dried under roof at the site.

If one is to discover Noah’s shipbuilding site, one should first know what is required to build such a ship.  First, it is not possible to build a 300 cubit long ship without planning.  Noah did not just begin attaching boards together until his creation was big enough to be called a ship.  He did not bend a stand of trees over forming the shape of a ship.  This was a real construction site not a fairy tale.

Once a plan was designed, a suitably flat site was selected.  Timber, either grown in a suitable location or purchased, was transported to the shipyard, cut, hewn, stacked, and dried under roof at the site.  In addition to wooden structures used for shelter and for dry storage of materials, Noah had to have a solid support structure, or foundation, for his ship.  So next, or simultaneously, stones for use as a foundation for the ship were quarried and then moved to the site.  While wooden shipyard structures, such as shelter, have rotted away, the foundation stones for the ship should still exist.

Figure 3b. Noah's shipyard layout. This shows a foundation stone layout for his ship.
Figure 3b. Noah’s shipyard layout. This shows a foundation stone layout for his ship.

It is possible to recreate the layout of Noah’s shipyard, or at least some semblance of it.  In Figure 3b, a minimal layout or arrangement of stones that would work to support Noah’s ship are shown.  The stones had to be close enough to prevent the ship’s hull from sagging and settling between the stones.  They had to simulate the continuous water pressure the ship would experience while floating.  If the foundation did not simulate those pressures well enough, the planks would shift as the ship began to float causing the ship to leak and sink.

As shown, the stones are about 10 feet (6 cubits) apart.  Except for a smooth rope hole in the largest stones, they were rough-cut.  The rope holes had to be smooth enough not to chaff and cut ropes.  The stones were cut to suit Noah‘s height requirements accommodating the ships contour and the uneven ground at the shipyard site.  The stones would vary in height and would offset hills and dips on the ground providing a properly contoured solid foundation.  They would run most of the length of the ship.  In addition to the stones, Noah would have wooden blocking and wooden wedges between the stones and the ship.  The wooden blocking and wedges allowed Noah to temporarily remove support in any area of the ship as planks were added to that area.  Later, wedges allowed support to be restored and the amount of the support to be adjusted.  It is not possible to build a 300 cubit long ship that will eventually float without a foundation as described.

The holes shown in the bigger stones of Figure 3b, served multiple purposes.  During construction, the stones with holes were used for rigging to tie off vertical beams while they provided the essential support for the outer edges of the ship.  After construction, the stones were used as temporary ballast as the flood event began (explained later).  Modern shipyards commonly use concrete slabs 4ftx4ftx8ft in size during construction for mooring, tie off points, and ships’ support.  The modern shipyard “stones” have rope or cable holes in them similar to the stones Noah used.

Figure 3c. A section of Noah's ship tied down and sitting on a stone foundation. Necessary wooden blocking and wedges shown on the left side and center only.
Figure 3c. A section of Noah’s ship tied down and sitting on a stone foundation. Necessary wooden blocking and wedges shown on the left side and center only.

The foundation stones would support the ship as shown in Figure 3c.  Figure 3c shows a cross section of Noah’s ship, or at least one reasonable possibility, sitting on a foundation of stones.  (Note: the joints of the planks would not be sloped as shown.  I was attempting to add a V-joint but exceeded my CAD system’s capacity.  The joints should be square, rabbit, or shiplap joints.)  Just before the flood event began, the ship would be tied tightly to the heaviest stones to add temporary ballast to the ship.

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