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Found 6 results

  1. Revision to the beginning and name of build I need to change the direction of the hull started in the first post and alter it to make the schooner the Ada Cliff. There were two similar schooners built in Boothbay in 1917. One in Boothbay Harbor and one in East Boothbay. Ada Cliff has been recorded to be 149 feet and the Priscilla Alden is apparently recorded at two different lengths. The local records all show 142, but a Boston based reference suggests 154. The Ada Cliff was a more standard schooner as per her pictures, built to spec for coal. She became the design basis of several four masted schooners built in the boom years that followed. There is no remaining half model or drawings for Ada Cliff that the late Jim Hunt was able to find in his research, but several photos for reference. More on that later I started off using a generic hull form described in the first post below. I then was able to find more references to the Priscilla Alden. Those references including surviving drawings showed a much sleeker hull. I have decided to use the framing I made in the first post to build the Ada Cliff and will hold back and start a total new hull later on for Priscilla. That will also give me the opportunity to study more about the disparity in the length. The following first post will lead into Priscilla and the next post will bring us back to Ada cheers Post 1 The beginning The beginning to a new project can often be a bit risky. For me at least I am typically a little tentative. Will this be small or large scale, plank on frames or bulkhead model or a diorama? In this case, I want to build a three masted Boothbay built coasting Schooner. What is interesting is that I rushed into it and started making sawdust before fully sorting out my research. First of all, I wanted to explore this design because after studying the bigger schooners, and learning firsthand the poor sailing aspects of the “too long” form, I wanted to get to what seems to have been the most reasonable solution. That is 3 may have been better than 4. Three masted Schooners a quick summary • The first 3-masted schooners evolved in the Chesapeake region around 1790 • The three masts were adjusted to be the same height around 1850 • 1840-1865 full rigged ships looking for speed evolved into clipperships • As steamships took over for long hauls, coasting schooners, with less labor costs, took on coastal routes • 1865-1880 coastal trade blossomed as the US government required US flag vessels for inter-city trade • The coastline favored long narrow fore and aft rigs (like clipper) with small crews • Coastal schooner construction grew quickly, and the 3-masted fleet competed with steam ships along the coast These beauties became prolific in the decades after the civil War. Then, as human nature and business models dictated, they grew until the sails became too big. Then the plans changed, and a fourth mast was added to improve the sail handling and keep the sizes growing. As we know that cycle repeated itself across Maine until we ended up with nearly ten 6-masted schooners and one steel hulled 7-masted schooner by around 1910. Then, except for the World War I short termed boom, steam took over . 01a Looking at the local Boothbay market, we learned that through this period schooners built here were prolific in the two masted fishing arenas. From 1873 to 1903, nine bigger schooners built. In East Boothbay, four masted Schooners were launched from the Adam’s yard in 1890 and 1903. Jim Stevens, one of the area gurus, put together a story listing 21 3 and 4 masted schooners built on the peninsula. There was a complete void until in 1917, when it all came back in a roar. ' 01b In the main harbor in the year 1917 the Ada Cliff was being built at the I R Reed yard. That year the Mayor of Sommerville, Mr Cliff himself, and lots of investors came, bought that yard, and built four 4-masted schooners over the next few years. They took the partially built Schooner Ida Cliff lines and simply stretched them 40 feet in the middle and then added a fourth mast. Anyway, someday I hope to build a diorama of all that stuff. It is not for this build. What is of interest is that in 1917 the IDA Cliff was a 149 foot long three masted schooner and that was pretty much as big as they got. Just beyond the big roof in the phot, on the other side of the harbor, the Atlantic Company was set up and they built 6 more 4-masted schooners before then end of the era in about 1921. More on that when I get back my next 4-masted build. I am now focused on East Boothbay. I have selected a 1918 Schooner, the Priscilla Alden. I chose after searching all the names on the list I had and found at Maine Maritime Museum an authentic copy of her sail plan to use as a basis. Their list advised the schooner to be.... Length 142.8’. Traced from Charles Sayle original by George S. Parker, 1982. In that late year she was built at the end of the era of three masted schooners. Those built later would have been an exception. Fishing schooners continued to be launched into the 1930’s but three and four masted pretty much stopped in the early 1920’s in the post war era of steam. The Priscilla Alden comes up in a few publications. The late Jim Stevens of Boothbay wrote an informative article, Boothbay Schooners in Downeast Magazine published in Sept 1968. At the end he listed Priscilla to be 142 feet. I suspect with his working often with the Maine Maritime Museum that they shared sources and that is why they agreed. It is the length I plan to build. A challenge was to find a hull plan big enough to use in cad to match up with the sail plan. Here some artistic license in needed. I found in the Maine Maritime Archive the hull lines for several three masted schooners. One, the Kate Hilton was built in Bath and had remarkably similar characteristics. She was 140 feet, so I chose her and down loaded the drawing. Maybe a False Start I thought that this data was enough information to go go go A month in and the local Historical Society has reopened for us hobbyist to come in and do research. I signed up right away and this week went down to spend time going through several files. Most important however was photocopied pages out of a book. The book John Alden and His Yacht Designs written by Robert Carrick and Richard Henderson. On pages 86-88 there is a set of plans that include, sail plan, lines, deck arrangement, cross section bow to stern as well as an amid ship cross section. There is enough information here to build anything. Unfortunately to scan the line drawings, approximately one inch square, and to blow them up in cad got a bit fuzzy mess. I found the book on Amazon and await a better original for scanning. The problem I discovered however is they declare the schooner to have been much bigger. WHAT??? We’ll see So let’s start off with the steps I took to rough out and make bulkheads for a good start. Design 02a here is the sail plan published by the Maine Maritime Museum. There are dimensions on all the sails. There is a little variance[ between 1-2%] between vertical and horizontal found while measuring the image with CAD. 02b here is the source as printed on the drawing. Key word for me is blueprint. 03 here is the selected hull plan for Maine built schooner in the same size. I made offsets from both the sail plan and the bull plan and in scale the difference was the sail plan forward shear line rises about 1/8th inch higher than the hull plan. That is close enough for me. Maybe when I get there, I add that 1/8 inch in…we’ll see 04 here is the source of the kate hilton hull lines 05 here is the Jim Stevens chart from the 1968 article in Down East magazine. It clearly shows Priscilla to be 142 feet. Of more interest is the low tonnage. IDA Cliff at 149 feet built the same year in the main Harbor was 25% heavier [ volume that is] as she was made for maximum coal transport. Priscilla was lighter and most likely a faster sailor. More on this argument later 06 here I have laid out the cross sections the rectangle that will be used to support the bulkheads to the building board, making the waterline 4.4 inches above the board. That will come in handy at the time of marking the water line. 07 here all the layers are turned on for the forward sections. 08 here is what the pattern looks like for one of the bulkheads. The keel/keelson slot is important to the assembly. I did not sit for a while and add the extra cut line for the planking thickness. It takes me much longer that striking a line by eye . 09 the patterns are all glued to a simple Luan plywood from Lowe’s. They are ready for cutting out . I will adjust later for the thickness of the planks. All for now [jd1]
  2. Hello all, I’d like to share a project I’ve been working on for the past month. I chose to start with the USS Maine in 1/72 scale but in truth I’m captivated by just about any pre-dreadnaught design especially some of the tumblehome hulls like the USS Brooklyn and the French Massena, Carnot, etc. Most of the work accomplished thus far has been in the cad program (fusion 360) but I’m just about to start printing parts as I move through and complete the design. I am including the torpedo boats that were meant for the Maine, and hope to eventually figure out a way to launch them while underway.
  3. Another Laughing Whale vintage kit. Found this one, of all places, on Etsy. I seem to have become addicted to rescuing these forgotten kits. This one has found it’s way back to Maine from Florida… 😩 Sold in the 80’s it’s now going to be built. Blue prints a bit yellowed but have survived well. Two pages of typewriter written, hand drawings. These kit were produced here in Maine. Just up the road here in Wiscasset, Maine. Nice materials in the original packaging. Framing parts have been hand cut. Scribed Decking and Sail Cloth also provided. Paper templates provided for the sheet planking and deck materials. All in all a nice little package. Time to get this one started. Cheers 🍻
  4. Post 1 early November, the process begins Superb log a 1:24 kit bash This project is intended to celebrate the building of the first Schooner by the Hodgdon family, now in its fifth generation of ship building on the Boothbay Peninsula. There are several firsts that could have been chosen as the builder started in 1816 and then migrated east across the peninsula and then south to the East Boothbay Mill area over these first ten years. Before we make any decisions, we must first thank and give credit to Barbara Rumsey who tirelessly researched, and fortunately for us published her work tracing this history around Boothbay. In the Book Hodgdon Shipbuilding and Mills, A documentary History of the first hundred years, 1816-1916, published in 1995, Barbara tells us the story. To help with this upcoming exhibit, my first thought is to build a diorama depicting the final stages of building this schooner in the late spring of 1816. To do this work I have expanded research into re reading sections from some favorite authors. There are no surviving half hulls and many of the Hodgdon firm’s records were burned in a fire many years ago. I felt that it would be safe to take the plans created by Howard Chapelle. Even better I found that there is a recent kit using Howard’s design for the 1939 version of the pinky that was built and he apparently sailed before WWII. As I begin this project, I am in the process of moving to a new home and needing to rebuild a shop from scratch. That means lots of good news in the opportunity to improve the working environment. but an obvious crunch in time for me to have this done by next May. I bought the Glad Tidings kit with its great set of his plans. At the 1:24 scale it represents 39 feet long deck and 40 +/- top of rails and if I go back to the peak of the stern I can get to 42ft.?. This is one of those rationalization conversations. The first decision is what convention to use for hull length. I will quickly take a leap of faith that these history books and lists use the length of deck from inside the taff rail to the forward most point of deck. That was pretty well confirmed in the schooner books I read while researching earlier builds. But what records did they keep confirming what they meant for the tax records, used in Ms. Rumsey’s research, to determine lengths of vessels. If I want 42 feet, I have some choices: Do I build it as is? If I am wrong, it is only a few percent…so it should be ok. But then a diorama with a schooner roughly 29 inches long including all rigging is tough to do. On the other hand, I do not have time to recreate too much. This is not a build to go to frames unless I want to show something under construction. Do I scan the mold plans and adjust the scale to replicate a 42-foot schooner? I could drop to 3/8 scale = 16 inches +/- on deck or even ¼ scale = 10 inches deck to roughly 15 inches +/- overall which I think in the end is easier to do in a diorama if I want to show the launch. · The second decision is …am I building the first schooner built in Boothbay or by the first builder of Boothbay. Superb was not built in Boothbay but next door by a Boothbay builder… the first schooner he built in Boothbay was Ruby in 1823 maybe or Betsy 1824 surely. Both were pinky shaped and of similar size. So, we have the boat, we just need to settle on the name and town. Diorama option 1: build at 1:24 To build the kit hull through the deck. Then to show construction activities around the schooner. Perhaps rigging a mast and or the rudder. This would use up the kit material and get to a timely delivery. The problem is with the large size there will be little room to have things around. Think of the huge figures etc. Diorama option 2: build the above in 1:48 There are other considerations. If I simply use the plans for this build, what do I do with the kit. I find that Hodgdon built a 59-footer just 13 years later after they had arrived in east Boothbay. The largest Pinkies were built around 1831 at 69 feet. I would say looking at the list however that was an odd ball and not the norm. Also one does not just up the scale, one needs to research what was stretched to add 20-25 feet to a 40 foot schooner. After that large build, the “pinky’ classification stayed around the 39-42-foot version. That all makes sense to me because Howard Chapelle was a lot smarted than me, and he chose this size for his developed plan. Even so to build bigger would extend middle sections of the hull in some way that cannot be my design, so do I use kit parts for my material inventory and trash the molds or go ahead with one at 1:24. Diorama Option 3 only use the plans and raw material. I am considering to build at 1:48 or 1:64 Superb was believed to have been built on Westport Island. That is about three miles west of us. At the time it was part of the town of Edgecomb, which is the northern third of the Boothbay peninsula. Since after the move to East Boothbay in about 1823, the Hodgdon boat works remained there until today. 01 Here we have a modern google image of the east Boothbay harbor with the active Hodgdon boat works. This property was purchased much later than the period we are discussing. It was infact sold again last year to Washburn and Doughty. In the 19th century the Hodgdon boat works included all the land where the marina is now located. That was sold in 1970. Not long after that ventrue it became ocean Point Marina. The adjacent ship builders park is the once owned by the Reeds but changed hands a few times. The famous Adams yard where two four masted schooners were built in 1893 and 1890. was located where today Washburn and Doughty builds large sea going tugs and fire boats for offshore oil rigs. Caleb Hodgdon both the builder of Superb and its owner relocated to start the Hodgdon Mills in what is East Boothbay today. He also maintained ownership of the 42-foot Superb for many years. So perhaps I scale down and scratch build a 1:48 or 1:64 inch water line model resting on a mooring to be Superb and then a partially framed hull in the yard being build and I change the year to 1824 and call it Betsey or Ruby that were built there. I would use the rigging on the moored vessel and have the deck and a few things completed on the model. I might just bread and butter water line up the build up everything I am not building on the new one. If the new one is under construction, I can have incomplete planking and not worry about copper and all the other niceties that I see in the painting I have been studying done by Lane As to the look, I am going to depend on artists views of the mid 19th century and not the new reconstructions of brightly colored Pinkies that sail today. 02 Here we see one of many internet photos of models and that closely follow the paintings on coloring. 03 Here is an internet image of the proper coloring of the era. I say that because there are several contemporary paintings by lane also posted that clearly show the conservative coloring [black] with the copper bottoms and dark green under the wales. It is interesting to see all the bright colors of the later versions. Action for November I am entering a month of moving from one house to another and building a shop. I need to put together the frame from the kit and get going. No mater what option this build ends up with, the kit needs to be built up through the hull basically as intended, so here we go. RC follow up options. This is my overall plan to have scaled details static models at sensible scale and the simple built up RC versions. No more Bluenoses too detailed to sail at 7 feet long Since I may also build a 1:12 radio sail pinky after this diorama, I even suggest three possible builds all on one log. 1 build out the kit to have something to show next spring likely to be built through the deck and men working above deck 2 build the diorama at 1:48 or 1:64 with two boats. With enough time I could draw the fill in frames and have some areas without deck and planking as a better view of the building of a schooner. 3 build the rc. At 1:12 I plan a similar rebuild of Bowdoin as RC but that is another story. Much to think about I think time will be the ultimate factor in this decision. I have no tools now, so thinking and sketching is what I have. This writing as usual helps, me focus and draw conclusions. The plans are even packed in a box, and I have no idea in which one, so I have nothing to scan to play with in cad. I have no idea if this is a kit bash or a scratch diorama within which I use some of the kit. I am not building Glad Tidings as advertised, but will surely give them credit. I spoke about this posting question to colleagues at the New Bedford NRG Conference, and they agreed it is sometimes perplexing but not too important. My conclusion is I am kit bashing of Superb into a diorama as per option 1......we'll see Cheers
  5. I always thought of the USS MAINE. The unique gun arrangement and hull designs of that period are fascinating in looks. I decided to play around with the scrap sheet metal I could find and began hammering and bending plates tig welding them together. After many months of sporadic work time I finished the hull. I made no drawings and it is very scratch built. Just using pictures I decided to make the MAINE and please don't look at this as absolute accurate. It's just a love for maritime history and ships and testing out this idea. I am working much more now as I want to see a finished product. Stay tuned as I get more done!
  6. Well after 3 kits I think I am up to the challenge. The Maine was commissioned in 1895. She was sent to Cuba during their revolt against Spain to protect US interests. Despite being out of date when built the Mainh was considered an advance in American naval design. In 1898 the Maine suffered an explosion which killed most of the crew. At the time the explosion was used as an excuse for the US to enter the conflict. Now it is believed that dust from the coal bunkers caused a flash explosion. The first thing I did was look over the plans and the instructions. David B
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