For years, I have sailed for my pleasure around the world, on many boats. And since I stopped my professional activity, I dedicate myself to the Sea. It goes through collections of boats and by reading writers of the Sea. I amassed, a large number of metal toy boats from the beginning of the last century and my new hobby is to build writer’s boat models.
The difficulty does not lie only in the construction, but first in the search of writers who have owned boats and even in the availability of their plans: kits exist for some, plans are available for others in French, English or American museums and, sometimes, you have to follow a breadcrumb trail to obtain the hull plans.
This passion led me to build 1/30th scale models, all different in their size, style or origin:
- PILAR to Ernest Hemingway
- SAINT-MICHEL III to Jules Verne
- ALTAÏR to Henry de Monfreid (under construction)
YAO to Eric Orsena (also in progress)
OSTROGOTH to Georges Simenon
The following projects are envisaged if hull plans (or kits) exist:
- CASCO from Robert Louis Stevenson
- SNARK to Jack London
- WESTERN FLYER to John Steinbeck
- RING DOVE from William Faulkner
- BEL AMI to Guy de Maupassant
- AMPHITRITE to J.K. ROWLING (Harry Potter)
Among these projects, there is one, very difficult and with a very poor documentation: it is the schooner EMMA to Alexandre Dumas (the Three Musketeers). Unfortunately, only two or three drawings are available, unreliable and insufficient to build a model. To get the hull plans, three "tracks" opened to me when I started my research.
- The first, by the shipyard that built the boat in Liverpool, UK. We are fortunate to have in our family an admiral of the Navy; he began research in the Admiralty and in British museums; but the research has yet been unsuccessful.
- The second by the silver prints of Gustave Le Gray, one of the first photographers, a friend of Dumas' time, but without having been able to discover Emma so far in his photos.
- The third by the books of Dumas himself. In "Viva Garibaldi", he delivers the origin of his Emma: she was built for the Duke of Gramont, his friend and from whom he had acquired her. I looked to see if I could locate his descendants.
Today, I don't have a solution.
My request is simple: among the readers of this blog, does anyone know that there are, about the above writers' boats, kits or plans (CASCO, SNARK, WESTERN FLYER, RING DOVE, BEL AMI, AMPHITRITE and EMMA). In addition, if a reader gave me information about a boat outside the list above, I would be grateful.
So here is my first request. Do any kits exist or, if not, could someone send me the plans for these boats.