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Biloxi schooner by Russ - 1/48 scale POB

Biloxi fishing schooner POB scratch built

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#1
russ

russ

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Hello everyone.

When I first reposted this log, I did so in a hurried fashion and did not include any background details on this vessel type or the nature of this build. Here is a short thumbnail of the history behind this vessel type.

 

The Biloxi schooner is a two masted gaff rigged, centerboard working schooner. These schooners were built along the Mississippi coast as early as the 1830s and the last pure sailing schooner was built at Biloxi in 1929. The hull form is characterized by a markedly shallow draft, broad beam, with a midsection having a low, hard turn of bilge. The cross sections were most always rounded with no hard chine. The stern is usually flat or slightly curved across its face and set with a moderate rake. The stem is usually a clipper style stem with a stem head reaching out under the bowsprit. Sometimes, we see a more upright stem, and in a few cases, the stem was rounded and called a spoon bow. In the more usual clipper bows, there is a simple head trim. The sheer in the earlier schooners was more marked than in later boats.

 

These boats were used for fishing, harvesting mostly shrimp and oysters, but also some other types of seafood in local waters. With the development of the local seafood canning industry in the 1880s, fishing schooners were built larger over time. While earlier fishing schooners averaged about 40-45 ft in length, the later schooners of the 1920s averaged around 60-65 ft.

 

The fishing schooners were built in large numbers in the early 1900s because of a 1902 state law that prohibited oyster dredging under motor power. The Bowers oyster law shaped the way the seafood industry did business and inadvertently kept the fishing schooners around for another 30-40 years. The law allowed shrimping under motor power and so there was a trend towards building auxiliary schooners in the period beginning in the early 1900s, but the development of purely motor powered shrimpers developed alongside the schooners.

 

During the mid to late 19th century, freight schooners were built larger and heavier than the smaller fishing schooners, carrying, lumber, charcoal, and locally produced naval stores. They were either carried out to the deep water harbor at Ship Island, about 10 miles off the coast for shipment abroad, or over to New Orleans, by way of Lake Ponchartrain and the basin canals for local sale. With the development of railroads and trucking, these schooners lost their place in the coastal freight industry. Many of them were abandoned in local rivers etc, but some found a new life in the seafood industry in the 1920s and 30s.

 

Although this type of schooner was built in several different locations In Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida pan handle, Biloxi was a single place where more were built than anywhere else. That is why it became known as the Biloxi schooner. In fact, in the Smithsonian's National Watercraft Collection, Howard Chapelle applied that name to this type of schooner.

 

This model is a commission, but the client is a good friend of mine who is allowing me to build at my own speed. The model is intended as a gift and it will be named for the recipient. Thus I will withold the model's name until the end.

 

The plans were developed from a several years study of customs house records, local contemporary photographs, newspapers, builder's half models, various private collections, and some personal archaelogical studies. The most interesting and useful documents I have found are the old tonnage admeasurements from the customs house. These admeasurements contain detailed internal measurements of the hull that were used to determine tonnage. I have studied these documents and the federal regulations that governed them and I can now use them to "reconstruct" plans for some of these schooners. This is how the plans for this model were developed.

 

The model is loosely based on a design for a Biloxi fishing schooner built in 1900 by Martin Fountain, Sr., called American Girl. I have reduced the size of the model to fit what the client wants in an overal finished model. The plans for this model yield a schooner about 41 ft on deck and about 8 tons. This would be a typical schooner for the 1890s.

 

These are the framing components.

 

components1.jpg

 

Dry fitting the framing

 

Framing1.jpg

 

Centerboard slot cut

 

centerboardslot1.jpg

 

Mast socket

 

mastsocket1.jpg

 

Knighthead timbers

 

installingknighthead1.jpg

 

Transom

 

transom1.jpg

 

Stem head

 

stemrabbet1.jpg

 

The skeg built up out of scale timbers

 

sternrabbet1.jpg

 

Fitting the false deck

 

falsedeckfitting1.jpg

 

Planking is next.

 

Questions and comments welcomed.

 

Russ


Edited by russ, 07 April 2013 - 09:10 PM.

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#2
russ

russ

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Planking the hull was a fun experience.

 

Here are the first planks in the bow

 

secondstrake.jpg

 

The forward plank in he gardboard strake after shaping. Note the twist

 

garboardbowplank.jpg

 

Garboard plank installed

 

garboardbowplankinstalled.jpg

 

Clamping planks

 

plankclamping.jpg

 

Here is how I spile planks

 

spiling1.jpg

 

spiling2.jpg

 

plankspilemarked.jpg

 

spilingpattern.jpg

 

plankroughcut.jpg

 

plankfinishcut.jpg

 

Here is the upper belt completed

 

upperbeltbow.jpg

 

More to come.

 

Questions and comments welcomed.

 

Russ


Edited by russ, 17 February 2013 - 02:26 AM.

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#3
Chuck

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Well done Russ.  Its great to see the log being started again.   Its kind of nice to see your progress as if it was for the first time again.

 

Chuck


Chuck Passaro - MSW Admin - NRG Director 


Current build - HMS Winchelsea - POB scratch build

 

                        HM Cutter Cheerful - POB scratch build

 

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#4
russ

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Chuck:

Posting it like this makes me look really fast. That is a nice, although entirely erroneous, image. :)

 

Russ



#5
Elia

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Russ,

 

It is good to see you're Biloxi Schooner build again.  Thanks for rebuilding...

 

Cheers,

 

Elia


Elia

 

Rose Valley, PA

 

Arethusa: 1907 Gloucester Knockabout


#6
Jim Lad

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It's nice to see you back, Russ!

 

John



#7
russ

russ

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Here is some more planking.

 

Here is a side view of the upper belt

 

 

Here is a view of the upper belt at the stern

 

 

Here is a look at how the planks of the upper belt flow into the stern

 

 

lower belt panking

 

 

lower belt completed

 

 

more to come.

 

Questions and comments welcomed.

 

Russ


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#8
russ

russ

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Elia and John:

Thanks for looking in. This is fun, revisiting the progress thus far.

 

Russ



#9
russ

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Here is the middle band of planking.

 

 

the bow planking is complete

 

 

bow planking view

 

 

bow planking completed on both sides

 

 

model cradled

 

 

starboard side planking completed

 

 

More to come.

 

Questions and comments welcomed.

 

Russ


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#10
russ

russ

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Here is a look at the fitting of the spar blanks. You can see the overall scale of the model. The bowsprit has been shaped, but the others are just square stock of the proper length.

 

fittingsparblanks.jpg

 

More to come.

 

Questions and comments welcomed.

 

Russ


Edited by russ, 17 February 2013 - 02:27 AM.

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#11
michael mott

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Good to see your back up and running Russ.

 

Michael


Current builds  Bristol Pilot Cutter 1:8

 

                                Skipjack 19 foot Launch 1:8

 

Other projects   Pilot Cutter 1:500

 

                         Maria, Sloop 1:2

 

Anything you can imagine is possible, when you put your mind to it.


#12
mtaylor

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Russ,

 

I was hoping you'd put this back into the logs and finish it.  She's a sweet looking boat and I'm learning from you.


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#13
russ

russ

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Michael and Mark:

Thanks for looking in.

 

Here is a look at the bulwarks planking.

 

 

More to come.

 

Questions and comments welcomed.

 

Russ



#14
Sherry

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Great to see this log here again too!


Sherry

 

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Finished Builds: Mayflower Build Log

 

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#15
russ

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Sherry:

Thanks. I am hoping to get a little more done on this project in the not too distant future.

 

Russ


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