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About mikiek

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  1. Have been caught in one of those Catch 22 situations. I'm down to the last sail but I wanted to shoot some pix before I put it in. Been trying for almost 3 weeks to get some shots but everything came out really crappy. So tonite I went back to the point & shoot and below is the results. Still pretty crappy. Anyway, here's the story. I had to disagree with the manual on installing the sails. Don't know what common wisdom has to say, but the instructions wanted me to start with the lower sails and work up. This didn't make a lot of sense to me as all the ropes from the sails go down and many fasten to the pin rails on the masts. If the lower sails were there - with all their ropes installed - it would have made the upper sails a real bitch to do. Trying to take all those ropes down, working in between the lower ropes and sails. It made no sense to me. So I started at the tops and worked down. The main mast is all fore/aft sails so those went fairly easy. The fore mast has both fore/aft & square rigged. I am left with the main sail to do there. I'm planning on completing all sail rigging beforehand while there is still room to reach in. You may see from the pix a lot of loose ropes and rope ends still around. I did not glue any of the masts in place, so I decided to leave all the seizings loose until the very end so that I could adjust the masts & spars and tighten/loosen ropes as needed to keep everything straight. I like this approach and it paid off as masts & yards moved around quite a bit while putting up the sails. As I have mentioned before, there is a minimal amount of paint on this build. While the color of materials do not give a realistic representation of a sailing ship, I found them to be very attractive so I'm going with not much more that lacquer on most surfaces. So here's a few - well more than a few - pix of Enterprise before I put in the last sail. I hate coiled up rope on the deck. Just looks too contrived for my taste. I worked on making neat piles of extra rope instead. Looks better in person. These brass rings were a bitch to put into the sail and then close them around the stays. So I opened them up, stuffed them thru a small hole in the sail leaving the open ends pointing up. Then I put a dot of CA on the rings to hold them in place on the sail edge. It was then very easy to put each ring over the stay and close it up. Now I can get on with finishing this thing up.........
  2. Your deadeyes will be fine when you get that strip glued to the channel edge. Don't do that until you get the deadeye straps fastened to the hull. fyi - I used Syrens deadeyes and have to say those may be the one product from them that I don't care for. You have to assemble them which was not too difficult, but you are then supposed to put them in a block sander to rough up and wear down the edges a little. Many of them broke in that process. On the flip side, all the holes are perfectly drilled and each piece is very consistent.
  3. Hello Elijah - it is an interesting game, but I have found (just as I always knew) the internet can bring out the worst in some people. Hiding behind their monitor with no accountability. No wonder it sometimes seems like the whole world is headed south. As to your problem, sometimes you do need to walk away for a while. I have confidence that you will work things out. Thanks for checking in.
  4. Hello Tom - it's been a long time since I checked in with you. Wow - moving the shipyard, I can't imagine. What a headache. Glad it seems to be working out and falling into place. Will try to keep closer tabs with you and your Niagara.
  5. Geez - can't believe it's been this long since a post. For those following I apologize. On a side note - don't know how many of you play online computer games. I allowed myself to get sucked into one called Naval Action. First online game I have ever played. I was attracted from several angles. The fact that it related to ships we build didn't help. But I went way overboard in my involvement. Many things got pushed back in my priority line including finishing this build. It was almost an addiction that I could not resist. People and things that should have been first in my life got relegated to lesser importance. Again, I went way overboard in my involvement. Finally realizing this mess I am attempting to put the games aside and get back to business. And while this build doesn't take #1 in priorities I am returning focus to it as my "passtime". So much for the personal note. Looking at the last post, I was surprised. Coulda sworn i had some more recent pix. And I recall that was my last endeavor, working on some real images of the build instead of "boaties" from a cell phone. Will recheck my photo folders to see if there is something more current. If not will produce some soon. The build progresses. Most of the sails are hung and I have learned some tricks along the way. Hope to pass them on soon. Hang in there guys, Enterprise will be completed. Honestly it may be sooner than I think. Although there are a few more sails to hang, that's about the last of it.
  6. Fantastic information! Thanks JFC! - was wondering how a tack would be handled regardless of whether the sail tack was run thru some tackle or just straight down to the deck. Kinda clumsy either way. Your pix were great! Spelled it all out perfectly.
  7. This should be easy. Working USS Enterprise 1797 and beginning to put in some sails. My first time with gaff rigged. There is a top gaff sail above the main - its 4 sided not 3 sided. Most of it is in place except what I believe is called the tack. The lowermost corner. I can't see from the instructions or plans how this is supposed to be rigged. The rigging plan just shows the sail foot running to the mast and then it disappears. I would expect some sort of tackle and eventually a downhaul of some sort but thats just a guess..
  8. If you havent already completed - spray sizing works well. Iron afterwards and while the sail is still hot you can add some shape the usually keeps when the sail cools off. I am finding that running wire inside the hems from one corner to another is a great way to shape your sails - from the barely a breeze look to the 20 knots look.
  9. Gary - I was blessed to have the guidance of a builder who convinced me to go with a historical representation rather than a copy of todays version. Of course that required learning a lot about the history of the build and the times. While there were no plans and it is debatable what boats were actually dredged up in the several "restoration" efforts, given the need for an urgent completion, one can only surmise that only what was absolutely necessary was included in the build. I can't find the exact quote, but it is recorded that the head of the project told a builder that excellence was not required. Good, was good enough. Everyone knew that win or lose, the boat would fight one fight only, so there was no point in "extras". Joel and I took the approach that other than a capstan none of the other deck furniture was required. As quoted in an article he wrote - "Commodore Perry would have to read by candle light." The grate placements were completely a guess on my part. The positions of 2 of them were just to make easy the trick that I did adding stairs leading to the 2nd deck. You can see that here - post #167 MESSIS - thanks! It was fun working thru that side project.
  10. Tom - you should be very proud of your progress so far. And nothing wrong with smelling up the place with good food as long as you can keep the crew at a distance.....
  11. Tom - re: your compass - in those days a compass (or several) were usually mounted into a cabinet called a binnacle. The binnacle was set in front of the wheel/tiller. There were several typical requirements: 1. all cabinet hardware to be made of brass or copper - iron could confuse a compass 2. there should be a place to set candles next to the compass - for night vision 3. the cabinet had to be able to completely enclose the candles else they might be seen from a distance. If you Google binnacle there is not much on binnacles before about 1850 and the styles changed radically after that. Here is a pic of what I did - it was fun to build - just like miniature furniture Of course you could just put a satellite disk up in the main top 😉 Whether Niagara had any of these features is debatable. Remember they were in a race to complete before the Brits completed their build. No frills. What you had to have and nothing more. A compass on the ocean would have been mandatory. On a big lake, eh.
  12. Getting some progress made on the rigging. Shrouds & ratlines are in. Got a few more stays to put in. The instructions are getting worse - the book is just too general for rigging steps and the rig plan is very inaccurate and incomplete. Shrouds & stays are pretty much common sense - not too hard to figure how they should run. Running rig is a different animal however. The thing i don't like is the plans say to drill holes in the upper masts to run the stays thru. IMO drilling 3-4 .35mm holes in close proximity in a .5mm stick is not a wise thing to do. I have elected to seize all shrouds & stays instead. I'm thinking ahead to the sails also. I was dreading having to stitch a hem around each of them like I had to do the last time I did sails. Lucked out here. I guess I ordered the deluxe sail kit with the boat. I have to say these sails look quite nice and come already hemmed with the rope (dont know the proper term) stitched around the edge. All very professionally done! That saves a month or more of work and I doubt I could have matched the way they came. The only additional thing I'm doing is inserting a piece of wire into the hems. This will allow me to shape the sails somewhat and they will hold the shape. I'll post pix of that as I get more serious with the sails. At the moment I'm just inserting all the wire. On the philosophical side. I've always used Syren rope for every build. None can argue it's quality or the extra bang it adds to a build. I use tan for running rigging and black for standing. A while back Syren made the decision to discontinue black rope and offer a dark brown instead. I didn't think much of it at the time except that I like to seize my black rope with a dark brown fly line. I liked that there was enough contrast to see the seizing but it didnt stick out like a sore thumb like seizing black with tan does. Unfortunately, my brown fly line becomes invisible on the dark brown rope. So I guess when I make the switch to brown rope I'll have to find a new seizing color. Now for the philosophy - if you think about it Syren has a lot of influence on how our builds look. Granted using Syren products is totally the builders choice, but I think many, many of us do. I try to imagine all the builds that must be on display with Syren ropes & blocks. And we have used black rope for standing rigging almost as a best practice. Now just like that, black is out, brown is in. Within a year, there will be no more boats built with black rope - at least black Syren rope. Brown is the new black and just like that black standing rigging disappears. I will say, after my soapbox rant, that this is not an indictment of Syren or Chuck in any way. Obviously they are free to offer what they choose. I will continue to buy Syren products (brown rope included) and support them. It was just an observation I had that I wanted to share. Now for a few pix. All the new camera gear and photography research I am doing is beginning to make me think in a different way as I take boat pix now. There's a lot more to it than just snapping away. Lens, light, distance, depth of field all must be considered. These pix may be a slight improvement over previous ones, but I think I am seeing the light on what it takes to produce something better than a snapshot. To me the photo side of our hobby is overlooked but is critical. A good photo can make a crappy build look good. A bad photo makes the best build look mediocre. This was my first attempt at a shoot of Enterprise. I think things will get better. One thing I haven't worked out is size, so I apologize if your viewer makes you scroll around to see it all.
  13. Man - you guys are amazing! Great feedback. I happen to have the Roosevelt book gathering dust somewhere. The NWAOS link took me to Amazon where they have that book plus several more. They'll be taking more of my $$$. Haven't chatted with a few of you in a while. It's good to hear from you all! Thanks again....
  14. OK - I'll narrow it down a bit - although anything would be a start. My interest was ships of sail, and I don't really care about galley warfare - ramming, etc. Lets keep it between 1600 and 1825. I have come up with zilch so I am not going to be picky when it comes to British tactics, French, Spanish or whatever. If you know of anything, let me know.
  15. Has anyone come across any books or literature that describe typical tactics when ships like ours went into action? I'm curious from a fleet perspective and also just solo.

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