I am doing an image of the shelling of Island No 10. I did not reuse my mortar raft from my Arkansas image as I learned that it's just not correct so I wanted to make a version that was as correct as possible. There seems to be all sorts of opinions as to how these looked. I am basing my current model on the one in the image here. I am going with the round rotating platform for two reasons. First, personally I find it the more appealing in the absence of absolute certainty. Secondly, the drawings have most pointed straight ahead and a few have the mortar firing over the sides. In the photo, there is one straight ahead and the one on the raft in the back (red circle) is pointing sideways. I realize that these are probably getting dismantled and that's why they are in the current state and may have nothing to do with how they were originally made.
These are most likely the 2nd "Porter" version. They have the rounded deck and I was going with the flat ends. I can do either since it is no big deal to swap out the decks. I'm not terribly concerned with the draft even though it seems to range from 4 or 5 to 7. The Simplot sketch of the rafts being built has the deeper draft. I read the deal where the "drop down" doors at the stern were blown off but I was just going with the swinging doors towards the middle and sliding panels for the sides. Again I can switch that pretty easily on the model. I am speculating that the wire in the photo ( blue circle ) that goes all the way around the top was for something to hold onto while moving around outside of the casemate. It's also bent and the end there where a person might grab it and use it to swing their way back into the opening there. It seems too stiff to be rope but I had not seen that addition before.
Additionally, the sketches all seem to show close fitting metal planks for the sides but these appear to be larger plates riveted together with additional seams added to the openings at the front, rear and the four corners. The artists cant all be wrong but the photo says something else.
Thanks for any insight you can provide. I am probably over-thinking this project but I want it to be as correct as possible.