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Boothbay Maine 1853 ship Aphrodite 1:96 Post 1 The beginning A friend has been rebuilding his Bluenose schooner in my shop for three years. The other day he came over with a broken-down old ship model given away by the Maine Maritime Museum. So it stayed on a shelf since last fall. Now that we are on a quest to build up models of the schooners and ships built in Boothbay, I got an idea. Do some research and come up with a Boothbay ship or bark that in a known scale would be the same size as this model. There is a wonderful book called Shipping days of Old Boothbay. It is available at the Boothbay Region Historical Society. Not only does is follow families that sailed out of the harbor it lists in several sections much about interesting ships, barks and schooners built here. On the chapter about barks there was one candidate that at 800 tons could have worked. It was however not typical. Of the 6 barks built in the main period of the 1850’s listed in the book 5 were all 400 tons or less. The Charles Lewis was 745 tons and built in 1875. She had a long life too…maybe next time On the chapter about ships, again there are about 6. The first one, built in 1853 was the Aphrodite. She was 680 tons and 147 long, 31 wide and 15 deeps. She was built by a well-known builder Stephen Sargent. She sailed far a way and then was lost off the Azores. Perfect size as we took the measurements and found a match with our derelict hull at 1:96 Next up is to find some design. I was very impressed years ago buying a book by William Crothers on Clipper ships. After a little search I found he published a book…American Built Packets and Freighters of the 1850’s How perfect!! Oops it was pricey, but the hull was free so why not. I am so glad I got it…wow what would you like to know. In the index they identify Alna a ship of the same size built in Maine in the same year. So why not that is my data base. So off we go. This will not be a long build but a fun learning experience. We shall reuse what we can, but I suspect most above the deck will be new. Unfortunately, we forgot to take a picture of as is. Trust me it was ugly. The hull is a carved soft wood with minor applications. The cabins were just blocking and the rails 1/8th thick, so as the queen said, off with their heads. Here you see the dead eyes wire loops were wrapped with like No 17 brads. The figure head was a large clown…yes a clown… goneso. The record of Alna only listed the carved and gilded Billethead. so I will thicken the stem to form a billet and add some stick on tape with gold filligree The stern was sort of round. Looking through Crother's book, there is a rounded stern that was typical of the era and listed to be on Alna. Also there was no poop deck. So after days of reading and thinking, we are adding a ½ poop deck based on Crothers findings. Here we have removed most everything and are cleaning up an under-deck. You can see the crudeness of the remaining bow and taft rails removed after this photo Here a little of the glazing putty to try to smooth out an under deck. there are at least 40 toothpick tips glued into old large brad holes to be sanded as well. When I laid out Alna masts, two matched perfectly an the mizzen within a 1/16. adding the half poop pushes the hole aft so we match there too. the fore deck extends aft and that is good because we gain an overhang All for now jon
Well here we go! I have been reading many logs over the past few years and now am ready to jump in. I have several previous builds, but not many ready for the gallery. we can talk about a few of them later. They were meant to prepare me to build a series of Maine Schooners, some of which hopefully can sail in the local harbor during windjammer days festival. We are coming up to the centennial of the final and best built schooners, many which supported the World War I effort. There were 10 each 4 masted Schooners built here in Boothbay Harbor. Unfortunately there are no known plans, so much research is under way to achieve that goal. In the mean time I need a proto type, so this build is my proto type for the process. I chose 1/48 scale as it produces roughly a 5 foot hull length. [ normally a bit small to sail!] There will be a fight between accurate detail and making it function as a sailor. All this is to be a learning process. I started this build late last year and to date am almost through the hull building. I start this post with a catch up on the process in mind. stage 1: Research and Plans: Maine Maritime provides several different plans of Schooners built either in their facility, Percy and Small or others in Bath Me. There is a great book A Shipyard in Maine by Ralph Linwood Snow and Capt. Douglas Lee. Douglas Lee also produced plans for several Maine ships including this one. He also developed great details for all big Schooners based on his research of the Cora Cressy [ a five master also from Bath]. Another valuable book is The Schooner Berth L Downs by Basil Greenhill and Sam Manning. This book is labeled " Anatomy of the Ship" and shows what you need to fill in the gaps. Station templates: I took Photos of the Plans, as they were in 1/96 scale, and pasted them into Turbo CAD Deluxe 20. I then improved the grid lines and scaled up to the full size ship. I then traced each station on a separate layer. I set my viewports to 1/48 fixed scale and wiggled to get them all to fit on a portrait view @ 11x17. After printing them out , I had a view of every station. I glued them to a sheet of 3/16 luan plywood and cut them out on the band saw. A little sanding on the edges cleaned them up. I then set them in a vise and cleaned up the slots to fit over the laminated keelson and did a little pre fairing. When I drew the stations, I included a common extension leg, so that when they were set upside done on the building board they would all be at the right height. [ easier to see in the photos] I also predrilled holes all around the stations to simplify the cutting out of the stations after fiber glassing the hull. My plan is to leave roughly 1/2 inch ribs at each bulkhead for permanent reinforcing of the hull. The Keelson: This is my name for the whole assembly [ shoe , keel, keelson and riders as well as stems.] it consists of three pieces of 1/4" plywood laminated. this adds strength but helps in straightening and is very easy to work with. I took 4 photos of the line plan and again pasted it into the Turbo CAD. I set up the water lines and used offset to control correct positioning of all the stations. I then stretched and tweaked the photos and they came out OK. I created 4 each 11x17 landscape printouts and pasted them to the plywood. After cutting out the "Keelson" assemble center piece, I trimmed more plywood to form the two outer strips and was ready for laminating. Building board: I had some building boards left over from some Vintage Marblehead pond yachts built 10 years ago. I recovered the blocks and screws from two boats and had enough to lay out the stations. I prepared the blocks, pre drilling them for attachment to the stations [ horizontal screws] and then ready for installing. end of stage 1