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  1. Way back in 1978 and 1979 I had the privilege of crewing on board an old Portuguese Grand Banks fishing vessel turned sail training ship, the barkentine Gazela Primeiro. Of all the boats I sailed for pay or pleasure, Gazela is my favorite and my fondest memory. It was a combination of a sturdy and trust-worthy vessel combined with a crew of wonderful people; that made me feel at home and safer than any other boat I've known. <= an 18 year old me after morning wash-down on Gazela. A bit of the ship's history is available on My site. I've always dreamt of building a model of Gazela but I could never find her lines. I spent a lot of time searching, contacting people like the builder of the model in Philadelphia. Six sheets of plans were drawn up around the time I had sailed her and a profile from that set was included in a book by Allison Saville about the ship. This was printed on a tabloid sized sheet, and while not perfect, was usable, but I still didn't have a body plan. One contact had built an old Scientific kit of the boat and still had the instruction sheets. He photo graphed these for me. Another contact who had the plans, sent me a a paper photocopy on a tabloid sized sheet. I scoured the Internet for any images of the boat I could find, especially those of her hauled out of the water. I tried to reconcile what I had to each other to come up with a working set of plans in the 1:36 scale I wanted. It was very tedious with all the photography and scanning distortions. I was getting near to something I could use, but wasn't there yet. I eventual found the plans drawn up in the 70's at Mystic Seaport. They were very expensive, but I set my teeth and ordered them, only to hear they they were restricted in making copies. They steered me towards the Independence Seaport Museum who apparently hold the originals. These folks are not set up to provide copies of plans. They offered to digitally photograph the plans for me, or send them out to be digitally scanned. The cost they estimate for that would be astronomical. In trying to get across what I'm after, they told me the plans were missing! Since then they've found two of the six sheets and sent sample photos; they are the same two sheets I show you above. At this moment, I'm still negotiating with the Museum to get usable copies of Gazela's plans. If this doesn't work, I'll have to resort to my make-do attempt detailed above.

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If you enjoy building ship models that are historically accurate as well as beautiful, then The Nautical Research Guild (NRG) is just right for you.

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