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JerseyCity Frankie posted a topic in Build Logs for SCRATCH SHIP MODEL PROJECTSThe fictional vessel Dulcibella is the vessel the protagonists use in the sailing spy novel The Riddle of the Sands: A Record of Secret Service written in 1903 by Erskine Childers (born1870, executed1922). here is the wikipedia page for the novel:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Riddle_of_the_Sands A brief synopsis of the novel is that Charles Caruthers is summoned by his old school friend Arthur Davies to accompany him on a sailing excursion to the Frisien Islands in the North Sea just off the coast of Germany near Wilhelmshaven- the German North Sea naval base. Skulduggery ensues. Caruthers is played by Michal York in the film version and that tells you all you need to know about his charachter- kind of a white glove rich guy who brings too much luggage and is more suited to larger fancy yachts. Davies is more salt of the earth and is an enthusiastic self reliant practical seaman, not the yachty type at all. Childers was an enthusiastic yachtsman and owned a vessel called the Vixen, which was a converted lifeboat. At the time it was not an uncommon practice to acquire and then convert a surplus lifeboat by adding a transom and decking over the otherwise simple laminated plywood open boat hull. Fortunately, photographs exist of the Vixen on the hard at the end of her career. Erskine fictionalized the Vixen and made her the Dulcibella of the novel. We learn in the novel that Davies has recently converted Dulcibella from a Sloop to a Yawl by adding a mizzen, and all the action in the novel takes place in the very shallow waters of the many small, sandy, hard to navigete Frisian Islands. Sailors have always loved the novel because it is clearly written in their language, Childers loved sailing and his comprehension of the subject brings authentic detail and atmosphere to the novel. Dulcibella becomes a character in the book and by the end of the novel you have a very good feel for what she is and how she handles.To this day its hard to find a fictional craft that comes across so clearly to the reader. So I decided to try to build a model of her.
JerseyCity Frankie posted a topic in Nautical General DiscussionThe 1903 novel The Riddle of the Sands by Erskin Childers is considered by many a classic of the sea and "the first spy novel" to boot. The vessel used by the protagonists is the Dulcibella, a converted 30' lifeboat. The cover of the first edition shows a nice looking yawl. Periodically throughout the novel we learn details of the yacht but never a very full description. The novel is well written and a typical descriptive passage looks like this: .….."She seemed very small (in point of fact she was seven tons), something over thirty feet in length and nine in beam, a size very suitable to week-ends in the Solent, for such as liked that sort of thing; but that she should have come from Dover to the Baltic suggested a world of physical endeavour of which I had never dreamed."…. Poking around on the web one finds mention of this fictional craft fairly easily and one learns that the Dulcibella was modeled on Erskine Childers' own converted lifeboat yacht the Vixen. The best source of information on this vessel appears to be this web page: http://www.yalumba.co.uk/Framesets/Dulcibella.htm What I find really odd is that I have NEVER found a photo of a model of the Dulcibella. Surely someone has built one by now, the novel is much loved and has remained in print for over a century, there must have been thousands of readers. Two film adaptations were made too. I guess with world enough and time I will build my own?