Wooden planks covered the outside of the ship. These planks were 4 inches thick and up to 13 inches wide. Wooden pegs, called trunnels, and iron bolts attached the hull planks to frames. The pegs were approximately 1.75 inches in diameter. Analysis showed the hull planks and pegs to be made of white oak.


     Another layer of wood was often used to reduce worm damage to the hull. Shipbuilders spread tar, often mixed with animal hair, on the hull and then covered it with the wood sheathing. Sheathing made from 1-inch-thick spruce boards was found attached to El Nuevo Constante's hull. Most of the lower hull probably once had this sheathing, though it remained in only a few places.


     Several hundred metal and wooden artifacts came from El Nuevo Constante. Most relate to the structure and outfitting of the ship.


     Divers recovered two bases of wooden bilge pumps from the middle part of the ship. They were found on either side of the keelson. This was the typical location for pumps on ships of this size. The pieces are the bottoms of the long pump shafts that extended from the low, inner part of the hull to an upper deck. The outside shape of each shaft is hexagonal, and the central, circular hole is 3.5 inches in diameter. They are made of elm. Each specimen has a lead screen nailed to the base.

(Top) Lead strainers like the one seen above were used to strain debris that could clog the ship's bilge pumps. Bilge pumps were used to pump water out of the ship.


(Bottom) The lead screen can be seen on the base of one bilge pump (left) and the circular hole can be seen in the center of the other (right).



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