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Clipper Western Shore 1874 by rwierrich - 1/96


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Among many other things..I plan on building the clipper ship Western Shore.  She has a most wonderful and exciting...not to mention short history.  She was the only clipper to have been built on the West coast of the US...in Coos Bay Oregon over 20 years after the last clipper was built on the East coast. She set world speed records and holds the fastest time from Portland Oregon to Liverpool England to this day of 97 days. She was involved in a high stakes bet race between the clippers, *Three Brothers, and the *British King*.  they all left SanFransisco the same day and both the Three Brothers and the British King consumed over 150 days passage, while the Western Shore passed them both and moored at the Liverpool docks in 104 days.

 

Built for Asa Simpson in Coos Bay/North Bend Yards by John Kruse...the Western Shore will be a grand addition to my Donald McKay collection.  One note....the WS was sporting 6 yards per mast and the main mast yards were the same size as the fore and both main and for masts were the same height. This calculation was probably the reason she was known as the fastest clipper ever built...beating clippers easily that were 20 years her junior.

 

A couple photos(Paintings)..were as there are no actual photographs of the ship. Steve Priske in his soon to be published book will provide the hull and line drawings.

 

Scale will be decided at a later date...but I will probably stay close to 1/96...for special reasons.

 

 

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Hi there

 

Your clipper looks like it'll be a beauty and I'll be following along. I'm just wondering why the 1/96 scale is suitable because of 'special reasons'. Is it because of limited space to be displayed?

 

Cheers

 

Patrick

That is correct Patrick. I would like to make her a bit larger...but space has become a premium..since I already display 3 large clipper models...not to mention the plethora of smaller scale ships.  I still have the Great Republic to make in the future as well....so things are tight.

 

Rob 

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Arrrrgggg 

  you beat me to the punch! I'm gathering research for the Western Shore, I have a connection with the ship as some of my family live in Coos Bay. I'm waiting for the Priske book- I e-mailed him just a few weeks ago and he indicated it would be in publishing soon. Can't wait to see your build.

  thanks

  Steve

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Sorry Steve...just got done talking to Priske and after his cross country move he will tackle his book and hopefully the plans will become available.

 

Interesting note concerning the Western Shore...Concerning her overall look,  as model shipwrights (Well anyone for that matter) need to keep
 in mind this ship was an aberration, being built on ways and by shipwrights who only built Schooners and Barkentines. The Simpson’s down
 in San Francisco designed the ship after ‘looking’ over all the clippers at anchor in the bay, and then ‘commanded’ the fellows at coos bay to
 built it (it was really out of their league). The ship was so large compared to all previous (and subsequent) builds, that she ‘stuck’
 to the ways on launching (and needed a tug boat to yank her off the ways). She was then towed down to San Francisco
 without masts as the builders in coos bay were not qualified to rig a square rigger (they had never built one). Things like the ship steering gear
 was designed from an 1850’s whaling ship block and tackle used at the time,  whereas in the 1870’s ‘all’ ships used ‘gear’
 steering, and the like.

 

One side note...her deck plan was not unlike that of Donald McKay's Glory of the Seas.....so building her will be even more so of an enjoyment.

 

I think I will reverse engineer my first build from Steve Priske's own builds.

 

I hope you too begin your build of her soon and maybe we can share techniques and ideas. What *connection* do you have?  More then family?

 

Rob
 

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It's funny, but as I go through my notes on the Western Shore...a Particular incident comes to mind and was possibly a good reason why Asa Simpson built the Shore.  In a newspaper interview Asa gives a detailed account of ‘why’ he built the ‘shore’ and it all centered around an east coast Captain leaning over the handrail of his ‘clipper’ ship (could have been a Mckay or Webb ship?) shouting to one of Asa’s captains in command of one of their Barkentines, “nice yacht”!That friendly insult along with what must have been constant chiding at their many dinner parties, inspired Asa to ‘prove’ his west coast yards could indeed built a true clipper ship (there’s a whole bunch more to the east coast skepticism, a whole bunch of which centers around using Oregon Cedars and Fir, rather
then east coast hardwoods to build premium ships).  Great American know-how and a streak of competitiveness....

 

Great story.  The discovery of this vessel and its record breaking runs...will forever change the history books according to clipper design and history.

 

Rob
 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Further study reveals that the Western Shore had a simple(whaler) tiller style steering gear...unlike the mechanical designs of clippers a decade earlier and since.

 

Here are some examples of the wheel and tiller rigging the Western Shore emulated.

 

Asa Simpson wanted his ships as modern as possible..but  sturdy and sometimes the simpler the design the better.

 

He never insured his vessels since he owned and operated them for his own particulars.....and when they wrecked that was it.

 

Rob

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I will be watching with interest.  At 1/96 the parts will be rough to produce I speak from experience and will give you some good times but I fully understand size restrictions.  I like the cut of her.  Good luck.

David B

Edited by dgbot
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Thanks......I will probably be building several copies of the Western Shore...one by way of using a heavily modified hull of an existing CS hull and then later after I am given permission from the owner of the plans...a plank on bulkhead version.  As some may know from previous builds of mine..I like to use inexpensive 1/96 polystyrene hulls and then modify them as much as possible to the correct dimensions. Saves time.

 

This will be tricky.....however, since only carpenter drawings are all that remain of her hull.  Her deck fixtures and fittings are not unlike that of the McKay, Glory of the Seas, and her forecastle is not unlike that of the Flying fish.  Asa Simpsen simply went aboard vessels at anchor and took measurements and ideas, from what I gather.

 

Rob

Edited by rwiederrich
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I wish I had gotten a better image.  I hand laid the individual planks...stained and then they required ample sanding to bring them to a smooth finish.

 

Some  accounts suggests that the Western Shore sported a single tree bowsprit/jib-boom unlike many clippers that had a bowsprit, cap and separate jib-boom.  Others suggest a bit less typical with the bowsprit of square dimensions and a jib-boom of typical round configuration. 

 

I will continue my research, until I am confident of this.

 

Rob

Edited by rwiederrich
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  • 1 year later...

Sorry had not made any new entries for this log...I've been so distracted with work and the need to finish up a few other models before completely delving into the Western Shore.  Plus..my connections to acquire a set of plans has been detained.  So, I'll wait.    \

 

Rob(sorry)

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I feel like I've been in the no build desert the last year.  Now I'm entertaining prepping to build the Great Republic...from scratch...solid wood hull.

 

I must be nuts.  Next week I begin a 2 month build session to get the Glory of the Seas back on track with all her yards finished and her back stays set....maybe more.   Not to mention I still have to work on the Donald McKay(Just the hull finished) and the new Western Shore I finished the deck for.

Plus I am planning(the hull s painted) to build the 1/96 Constitution when she was a receiving vessel.

 

And if that isn't all...I still need to rig a few more stays on the Ferreira and rig lifts and running rigging for the foremast.

 

With all that said, I will need to relocate the Charles W Morgan and my whaling section in my library(Man cave) to make room for the new Great Republic :huh:

 

What have I become??????

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  • 6 years later...

What a whirlwind of building adventure since I began this log for the Western Shore.

The Great Republic is finished.....I abandoned the old Glory of the Seas and built an entirely new one from scratch.  Waiting for confermation from the museum I've contacted about her display.....and now.......

 

Speaking to Steve Priske concerning his own builds of the Western Shore......I'm getting excited.  there is still much more research to be done and supplies to be acquired but she is in the *Que*.

 

Another painting of her.

 

87CF1293-DBD8-4A4B-86DD-CEB45A677AB1.jpeg

Edited by rwiederrich
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Another nice clipper you're building Rob - I will follow with much interest.  Not sure if you have seen this line drawing/sketch of your steering system (Figs. 2, 6 & 7).   Your ship probably used the lighter form as at Fig.2?  These were usually a form of the Rapson Steering for which a patent was granted and was exhibited in 1840.   This is from a book of Patented Inventions for that year.  A similar system was used in the Victoria.  If you want more detail on the system just holler.

 

cheers

 

Pat

1214045607_RapsonStgGearPatentDrawing-RepofPatents1840.jpg.f409a74c0541852fca6ed18678e8a0f3.jpg

Edited by BANYAN
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On 10/22/2022 at 4:10 PM, BANYAN said:

Another nice clipper you're building Rob - I will follow with much interest.  Not sure if you have seen this line drawing/sketch of your steering system (Figs. 2, 6 & 7).   Your ship probably used the lighter form as at Fig.2?  These were usually a form of the Rapson Steering for which a patent was granted and was exhibited in 1840.   This is from a book of Patented Inventions for that year.  A similar system was used in the Victoria.  If you want more detail on the system just holler.

 

cheers

 

Pat

1214045607_RapsonStgGearPatentDrawing-RepofPatents1840.jpg.f409a74c0541852fca6ed18678e8a0f3.jpg

Thanks Pat.

I'm taking a great deal of my leanings from Mike Preske.  He did the initial research on her and I want to glean heavely from his input.

What I find most intrigueing about Western Shore, is that Mr Simpson NEVER insured his vessels.  He owned them flat out and took full responsibility of them.  His ships were built for his own particular use...so there was no *contractor* as was expected with most East coast clippers.  Donald McKay acted in similar fasion on several occasions with several of his own clippers...where he flipped the construction bill...owned it flat out..with full intention of selling later...so insurance was a necessity for him.

 

I'm, impresses with Mr Simpsons ability to reverse engineer his ships.  A practice I tend to use myself.  Going aboard vessels in port and adopting systems and structures he liked...taking measurments and then adopting them to his own vessels.  That is a man who knows what he wants and skips the *middleman* to get the desired goal he seeks.

The open helm design he selected is a very simple but efficient design.

 

One thing I noticed about this design, is that the rudder post is much further forward then on the typical East coast clipper designs...suggesting that there was a greater fantail length to her stern then on those East Coast clippers...permitting her tiller or yoke to extend aft where the control lines can engage it via the control line drum.

 

Your Victoria must have the hardware mounted under deck. The image of your helm is quite different.   It looks more like the helm on the Charles W Morgan but without it being mounted on the tiller itself.  
 

 

Rob

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Edited by rwiederrich
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On 4/11/2015 at 10:31 PM, historyguysteve said:

Arrrrgggg 

  you beat me to the punch! I'm gathering research for the Western Shore, I have a connection with the ship as some of my family live in Coos Bay. I'm waiting for the Priske book- I e-mailed him just a few weeks ago and he indicated it would be in publishing soon. Can't wait to see your build.

  thanks

  Steve

Steve.......have you made any progress on your build?  Its been some time since we talked...and I assume you may have started before I.

I was wondering what *connections* you may have and what if any information you may have on the Western Shore.

 

Rob

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On 10/22/2022 at 2:59 PM, rwiederrich said:

My friend Steve Priske who first introduced me to the Western Shore built this model of her.    Simpson built her not sparing any modern comfort……..and Steve represented her well in this model. 
 

Rob

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Rob,

From this image of Steve Priske's beautifully crafted Western Shore model, she's very reminiscent of the McKay hulls of his extreme Clippers Lightning and Flying Cloud at least from viewing her bow and particularly the extreme rake of her underwater prow. I remember viewing many lovely scenes of Steve's build about a decade ago which apparently are no longer available. Your mention of the fellow Mike Preske's research intrigues me, as until I read about him in your post, I never heard his of name before. 

Do you think Steve's pending book will include more particulars about his own model build or put a bigger emphasis on the sadly all too brief history of "The Oregon Clipper?" I ask because, depending on interest level, I could possibly use it as a guideline for our own possible publication on your recently completed beauty Glory of the Seas.

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Steve has been working on his book for over a decade at least.  He and his family's health, has taken turns over the years and he is currently off-line attending important family matters.

Well over, 14 years ago, I became aware of Steves findings and about the history of Cooz Bay Oregon and the deep water ships that were built there.  I have been coroborating with him for some time now and most of his information and data will not be released until his book is published.  Steve has completed 4 models of the Western Shore himself...the one I posted was his largest scale to date and it now resides (I believe) at the North Bend visitors center.  Steve is not unlike Michael Mjelde.....in that he has spent a great portion of his active modeling years researching the Cooz Bay phenomena and the activities at the Simpson Shipyard.  He and I have been communicating since around 2008.   Steve's been on TV ,featured in magazine articles, given interviews concerning his finds...I'm sure he would be thrilled to know we have shown such interest.  Unfortunately...I don't know the time frame for his book publication. 

 

Rob

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Just now, ClipperFan said:

Rob,

From this image of Steve Priske's beautifully crafted Western Shore model, she's very reminiscent of the McKay hulls of his extreme Clippers Lightning and Flying Cloud at least from viewing her bow and particularly the extreme rake of her underwater prow. I remember viewing many lovely scenes of Steve's build about a decade ago which apparently are no longer available. Your mention of the fellow Mike Preske's research intrigues me, as until I read about him in your post, I never heard of his name before. 

Do you think Steve's pending book will include more particulars about his own model build or put a bigger emphasis on the sadly all too brief history of "The Oregon Clipper?" I ask because, depending on interest level, I could possibly use it as a guideline for our own possible publication on your recently completed beauty Glory of the Seas.

 

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