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Its been awhile but I am finally back to building. I recently moved and I don't have a workplace anymore at the moment, just a foldable table setup outside. that's why I got this kit which don't require as much room and I can pack away after I am done building for the day. So far I have already finished the first planking. I didn't take to many pics but I ll add them in the next post.
In 1988, at the age of 35, I bought the cross-section model kit of the Constitution from Mamoli, (which is still available). During a long illness at that time, I built the bulkhead, easily planked the 70mm length surface and carved the multi-deck furniture. I put it away at that stage, having returned to health and work. Admittedly, I was also intimidated by the rigging and mast/spar construction ahead. Over the years, I made sure to preserve the model, though not very delicately. I must have used good glue as I lost no parts or furniture. Now I'm 61 and returned to this Constitution about 8 months ago. I thoroughly enjoyed finishing up all the fittings and furniture. I then tackled the rigging. Other than some basic work, I left it without finishing the mast, spars, shrouds or sails. I am pleased and proud of it anyway as this was my first build. My second build was just finished - the Gretel by Mamoli. It is an 18th Dutch pleasure yacht, which was the early era of such vessels. The whole construction took me about 8 weeks. I now realize how rushed that time frame was. The planking was difficult but I pushed ahead without reading up on this skill. The finished product was flawed, with gaps and razor thin splines. But the decking, mast, spars, gaffs and wood fittings went very well. And this time I completed the rigging! Mamoli makes challenging models in my opinion, with skimpy supplies and inaccurate plans. I had to make a lot of emergency alterations because of some misleading illustrations and quality issues. I do have to say the wood was top quality (except one warped delaminated plywood deck). Now, on to my third build, which I share here. I'll need support and advice on this project! Pilar made by Constructo. I ordered the Pilar because it will require a lot of planking. I didn't do even a good job on the Gretel, so I now have an eighteen inch long model to be completely planked, top to bottom. Great practice! The romance of the Pilar being Ernest Hemingway's yacht also makes it even more interesting to build. The original boat still resides in a Hemingway museum in Cuba. I received the kit via UPS from Florida to Boston today in great condition. I opened the box and saw that all the plastic bags of parts had shifted out of their compartments. The attached pictures depict the contents that I had to reorganized by part number / step. Mamoli had a hard, transparent lid that sealed each compartment, so that parts were less likely to get lost. The first problem I am encountering was evident when I removed the timber. Other than the thicker lime for the first planking, the wood is a mystery. There is one bundle of a single species, which is encouraging if I can figure out what species it is and where it will go. The other two bundles contain a variety of unmarked wood in different shapes, thicknesses and species. These woods are exotic, not the standard walnut or mahogany. Very confusing and irritating. Signing off for now from this first post. Thanks for reading. I promise to be less wordy in the future as the build progresses. First thing is for me to read the instruction booklet and plans, then read it again, and then it read for the third time. No rushing!
I had a build log of Pilar before the content was lost and wanted to repost the photos. Pilar was Ernest Hemingway’s faithful yacht, notorious for chasing big Marlin, Tuna and German u-boats. Many people call it The Pilar or El Pilar, but it is just Pilar. I posted a history of Pilar on the Nautical History Forum for those who are interested. The plans come with color photos The kit includes Lime, Ayous, Mansonia, Mukali & Sapele First step is to fix the bulkheads to the keel.