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You do not provide much information about your purpose or goal.


One place to start - and this is about designing a 17th century English warship - using methods of the time.


From a copy of

CONWAY MARITIME PRESS                       

(Among other places, Amazon has links to used copies.)


Follow the exercises that Anthony Dean presents and it will give you the grounding that the 18th century designers and copy draftsmen greatly expanded and refined - and the 19th century further polished.

It would also help to get several plans from The Smithsonian - $10 / sheet usually -  if late 18th to mid 19th century is your interest.

In France L'AAMM  has plans for sale at not unreasonable prices - covering 17th to 20th century.

The most extensive collection is in England - NMM - but the cost - well you better be in love with the vessel.  And a lot of the lines - well, they did not have much of the Science, so they were flailing around - trying to find the formula to predict the sailing characteristics of the various hull shapes.

NRG member 50 years




HMS Ajax 1767 - 74-gun 3rd rate - 1:192 POF exploration - works but too intense -no margin for error

HMS Centurion 1732 - 60-gun 4th rate - POF Navall Timber framing

HMS Beagle 1831 refiit  10-gun brig with a small mizzen - POF Navall (ish) Timber framing

The U.S. Ex. Ex. 1838-1842
Flying Fish 1838  pilot schooner - POF framed - ready for stern timbers
Porpose II  1836  brigantine/brig - POF framed - ready for hawse and stern timbers
Vincennes  1825  Sloop-of-War  - POF timbers assembled, need shaping
Peacock  1828  Sloop-of -War  - POF timbers ready for assembly
Sea Gull  1838  pilot schooner - POF timbers ready for assembly
Relief  1835 packet hull USN ship - POF timbers ready for assembly


Portsmouth  1843  Sloop-of-War  - POF timbers ready for assembly
Le Commerce de Marseilles  1788   118 cannons - POF framed

La Renommee 1744 Frigate - POF framed - ready for hawse and stern timbers


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If what you want to learn are the basics on how to do ship drafting, then try this book:


H. I. Chapelle  "Yacht Designng and Planning - for yachtsmen, students and amateurs" W W Norton and Co, 1956 .      

ISBN 0 393 03169 1


It will give you a good introduction as well as give you an idea of what equipment is needed, keeping in mind the date of publication.   Try your local library first to see if they can locate a copy for you on interlibrary loan.


Good luck!



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If you're interested in English ship design from say 1780 -1820, I would suggest Steel's "The Shipwrights Vade Mecum" easily found on Google and Ree's "Naval Architecture" which you can find at Abe books or similar rare book stores, also Peter Goodwin's "Construction and Fitting of the English Man of War" and Scantlings of Royal Navy Ships which comprises the Repository and Steel's "Elements of Naval Architecture" by Allan Yedlinsky. Also, Deanes Doctrine of Naval Architecture which has been mentioned already, though Deanes work starts around 1670 if I recall.  The Ree's and Steel works mentioned above use a lot of the same language, nearly verbatim in some paragraphs. 


You could also pop on over and read thru my post "Scantling Questions" http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/4080-scantling-questions/  


I'm currently under taking the task of drafting plans for a 74 gun ship from scratch, this is not a tracing or redrawing of existing plans, but real drafting using the sources mentioned above. You'll find references to many of the sources mentioned so far plus a few more.


I would recommend that you pick a subject (ship) and a time period because English ship design changed over the years and what was done in one century might not be what was done a century earlier. 

Edited by Don9of11

Current project: Retired



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I would like to learn how to convert ship plans to model plans.  I have read a number of topics here and on other sites, but am not grasping the information.  Do they make "Dummies creating model plans from ship plans"?  LOL



Current Build:       Model Shipways MS2015 - Fair American Kit bash

Previous Build:     J-Class Endeavor

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