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Sharpie Schooner by hopeful - FINISHED - Midwest - Scale 1:32

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Hi Mates.


(Post #1 of  my Sharpie Schooner Build Log)


The purspose of this log is to repost my  Midwest Sharpie Schooner build log. The project was my first build and the kit is considered an entry level project. 


The vessel is characterized by having a flat bottom and a skeg rather than a keel. I enjoyed the build immensely for many reasons. I had a lot of help from the forum while building the vessel and any success that I had along the way was in great part due to their kind and patient assistance.


Photo 1 - Box art and kit components. The drawings and plans were very good and easy to follow. The price of the kit is approx. $75 USD.





Photo 2 - Finished vessel arrived at by following the prepared plans and instructions. Photo is from box art.




Along the way I decided to bash the kit by trying to more closely replicate an ocean going Sharpie Schooner of the mid 19th century that sailed the eastern coast of the USA from New England to Florida. Two photos of the type vessel gained from research are posted for reference.


Photo 3




Photo 4




At this point I would like to show a few pics of my completed vessel.


Photo 5




Photo 6



Photo 7




I will post, lol, an album of the completed vessel in the Gallery shortly.


From here I will post the build log as to how the vessel  was constructed including how to make the sails.


Thank you for looking in on the build.



Hopeful aka David


"there is wisdom in many voices"


Completed: Midwest Sharpie Schooner, kit bash

Current:       MSW Sultana

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(Post #2 of my Sharpie Schooner Build log.)


Russ:  Thanks for stopping by.  It is always good to hear from you and thanks for reposting your ongoing Biloxi Schooner build. I enjoy looking and learning from your builds. Perhaps we will see some of your small boat builds reposted as well.  BTW, thanks to you, I  have all my photos saved at photobucket. My photos from the site transfer easily to the new MSW site, though I am having problems uploading them to the gallery. Will figure that out along the way.


Since this is a repost I will continue to number the posts and each photo. In the event a new builder of the Sharpie Schooner wants to ask questions they can refer to a post number as well as a photo number, e.g., regarding your post #2,  photo 7, etc.


Familiarise yourself with the instructions and refer to them often.......that goes for the drawings as well. Take your time and be patient with yourself. The adage "haste makes waste" is never more true than when building a boat!


Photo 8


Shows the false keel and bulkheads removed from the die-cut part sheets from the kit.  Use care when removing the parts and number each part and where they are located on the false keel. Check to make sure the false keel is perfectly straight. If not, you must take action to make it straight. 




Photo 9


When gluing, I use PVA white glue, the bulkheads to the false keel make certain they are square. Time and patience with this step will reward you later.




Photo 10


Shows the false keel is perfectly straight, yeah!




Photo 11


The bulkheads are square to the false keel and ready for the next step in the build.........adding the deck





Thanks for looking in and happy building.


Bye for now,

Hopeful aka David


"there is wisdom in many voices"

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Hi All,


Post #3 of my Sharpie Schooner Build Log


Russ:  Gee, how did I miss your completed projects list. I went through your Skiff build log and enjoyed it all over again, super stuff. I am hopeful in a years time to see all the former build logs re posted!!!


Here we go again with some more steps in the build:


First, before doing any work on the deck make sure that step 9 on page 9 of the instructios is completed. The step requires the builder to add two strips of wood to the deck side of the false keel behind bulkhead f-3. The purpose of the wood strip is to force the deck to bend when glued to the tops of the  of  bulkheads. The curve of the deck enables water to run off the deck and out through the scupers.


Now to the deck.


Photo 12 


The instructions are very clear about how to remove, finish and attach the deck to the vessel. I used a pair of dividers to mark the distance between the deck boards, a flat 12 inch steel rule, and a mechanical pencil to scribe the lines on the deck.  Tip.......practice on the reverse side of the deck to get a feel for the task at hand. Do not remove the scribed deck pieces until after all the lines are scribed on the front side of the deck.




Photo 13


Shows the finished deck with which was stained with minwax golden oak and protected by two wipe-on/wipe-off coats matt polyurethane. Tip....to protect the deck add the color and the poly finish before gluing it to the deck. That way if you get PVA white glue on the deck it will wipe away with water easily without harming the deck.




Photo 14


Shows the deck glued to the bulkheads. Tip......PVA glue takes a bit of time to dry so have some rubber bands available to help hold the deck down. You may also use Yellow PVA Carpenters glue which dry much quicker than the PVA white glue. I use both types of PVA glue.




Photo 15


Tip...... protect the deck going forward by applying blue painters low tack tape. it is readily available at big box stores like Home Depot and at harware stores. Read the label and make sure you buy low tack tape........it is clearly marked. The tape should be removed and replaced once a month.





Net step is to add the transom.


Keep on and BFN.



Hopeful aka David

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Hey Buck,


Thanks for your kind comments.


Great to hear from you and thanks for reposting your whale boat build.....love the little hatchet!!!!!  We all have learned a lot from you...great tips and techniques. Need to see more from you!


Stay in touch!



Hopeful aka David

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Hi John,


Thanks for looking in and the encouragement. I remember way back when you were helping with the biuid of the vessel.Your guiding hand and advice was much appreciated. Though time consuming it is important to repopulate the site with as many build logs as possible.


After posting the Sharpie Schooner I will post my Sultana Build log.


Bye for now!



Hopeful aka David

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Hi Mates,


Post #4 of my Sharpie Schooner Build Log


Gerty:  Thanks for you kind comments....too bad my thumbnails  will not enlarge to anything worth viewing, sad.  Am following your Willie L Bennett Skipjack build.....nice work!


Pete:  Thanks for your visit. Regarding sails, the best all around modeling book I have come accross is Ship Modeling from Stem to Stern by Milton Roth ISBN 978-0-8306-2844--5. Book is available from Amazon.com at about $20USD. Best book investment I have made on the subject of boat building. Chapter 15 is all about sail making. Highly recommend the book.


This post is about adding the transom to the vessel.


The builder is faced with several challenges when attaching the transom properly. Took me two trys. I had to make second transom out of scrap stock!.



1. carefuly remove the transom from the diecast sheet.

2. Dry fit and sand the top surface of the transom until it fits the curvature of the deck as perfectly as you can make it. See photos 17 & 18. Fitting the tansom correctly to the underside of the deck will prevent many problems later.

3. Carefully attach the transome to the false keel and to the underside of the deck making sure it is square. I used Super Glue which was a mistake. Better to user PVA yellow carpenters glue which sets quickly but can be removed if necessary with water.  Tip..... add a block to each side of the false keel following its angle. By doing so,you will have creaded a broader surface to provide stability when attaching the transom and bending the deck at the same time.

4. Do not sand the edge deck surface to meet the transom at this time.



Photo 16


Shows proper angle of the transom when installed. Note how far the deck extends beyond the transom on my model.





Photo 17




Photo 18








Good luck installying the transom. Take time and get it as perfect as you can to avoid problems when adding the chines.


Next step 21 on page 11 on the instructions.........Cockpit floor.





Hopeful AKA David


“there is wisdom in many voices”


Completed: Midwest Sharpie Schooner (Reposting the build log at present)[/size]


In progress: MSW Sultana (Need to repost the log and keep on with the build)[/size]

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Hi Mates,


Post #5 of my Sharpie Schooner Build Log


This is where I began to deviate from the kit instructions regarding the order of assembly.  I intend to bash the kit to build a Sharpie vessel with more details to reflect and ocean going sharpie as stated previously.


Here goes....


Build next step:  Add the main and foremast steps per instructions 33-36 located on pages 14 and 15. See them installed in photo 23 below.


At this point I made a jig to hold the vessl to help with the build. The jig when fitted to a 360 degree revolving vise is excellent for topside work. The vise shown is about 10 lbs. and stays put. The vise is mounted to a board that can be clamped to my work bench, or, be moved out of the way when not clamped.


Photo 20


Jig made from scrap wood pieces from the kit. Check out photos 23 & 24 below for a good visual reference to help dimension the jig. The slot is the exact width of the false keel.



Photo 21




Photo 22





Photo 23







Photo 24   Red clips tension the jig against the false keel.




Let me know if you have any questions about the jig.



Hopeful aka David

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To the staff Admirals and Moderators,


After working with the new site for a few days I really like it alot, well done! Many improvements over the old site for sure.


I save my photos to Photobucket (free hosting site) and then upload them to my build log. Have not yet figured how to get the photos from Photobucket into the gallery at this point but will keep on trying.


Keep on, you are appreciated!


Hopeful aka David

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Hi Mates,


Post #6 of my Sharpie Schooner Build Log


My second jig allowed me to work hands free on the bottom up side of the vessel.


The jig was made from scrap. The dowels are the same diameter as the masts. Note the pin holes high on the dowels and well as those located lower down.




Photo 26



The pins prevent the dowels from moving downward as I work on the vessel. The distance betwees the dowels is the same as the distance between the mast holes. See the ships plans. Note I marked a line on both the base and dowels to locate the dowels properly if I ever want to remove the pins.




Photo 28



Photo 29


The top of the dowels pass through the mast steps and stop as the base of the mast holes.





Let me know if you have any questions.





Hopeful aka David


"there is wisdom in many voices"

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Hey Gerty,


Thanks for looking in. Agree that the larger photos are better for helping other builders. Just had to figure out how to make them larger but not too large. I guess they are about the same size as yours.....800 X 600 is what I am using which is the same as the old site.


Thanks for the compliments of my finished build.





Hopeful aka David

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Hi Mates,


Post #6 of my Sharpie Schooner Build


Next Step is to add the keel strips and the chines. See steps 37-48 of the instructions.


Photo 30


Dry fitting the components.




Photo 31


Nice smooth run of the chine from bow to stern.




photo 32


Keel stirps and chines glued in place and trimed to length. I also faired the outer edge of the bulkheads and chines at this time (see page 18 regarding fairing).




Photo 33


Transom cap (step 49 instructions) set in place and glued.  Trim the stern end of the deck flush with the transom cap at this time.




Photo 34


Time to add the stem piece (see steps 62 & 63 page 20).




Photo 35


Stem added.




Photo 36


Before I forget, add a short piece of wood to build up the false keel just behind the botton of the skeg and running to the top center of the transon.  Otherwise you will have trouble installing the bottom boards later. This piece of wood is not on the plans.




See you later with the next post.



Hopeful aka David

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HI Mates,


Thia continues my repost.


Post # 6 of my Sharpie Schooner Build Log


Returned to complete steps 24-32 of the instructions to  build the cargo hold and the cabin.


Photo 37




Photo 38




Photo 39


A Nanook shows up at the building site for the first time intent to follow the build. Looks to be a 1500 pound male.


To make the black window openings for the interior of the cabin and storage areas I painted strips of wood black and glued them in place before gluing on the hatch covers. Used white gesso as primer followed by egg shell white (white with a hint of grey) acrylic paint. Used gesso followed by black acrylic paint fot the black srips.




Photo 40




Photo 41




Repost of build will continue shortly.



Hopeful aka David

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HI All,


POST #7 of my Sharpie Build Log


The blue tape has been readded to the deck for protection.


Next, the hatch covers were added, see steps 66-69 and 135-137.The hatch slides and covers are painted with gesso followed by egg shell white before being glued to vessel. I painted the companioway door medium grey as well. Again follow instructions colors as you prefer.


Photo 42




Short post.



Hopeful aka David





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Hi Mates,


Post #8 of my Sharpie Build Log


Photo shows the additon of the starboard side strake followed by the port side strake, see step 52-56.


Photo 43




Photo 44




Next Step was to add the two bottom planks, see  steps 57 & 58.


Photo 45




Photo 46


At this point I was getting a bit impatient so I went ahead a worked on the masts, booms, gaffs, bowsprit,and sampson post. I just wanted to see the build looking like a vessel. All the components were dry amd removed prior to continuing on.





More to come.



Hopeful aka David

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The repost saga continues and I thank all builders who have taken the time to repost their logs!!!


Post #9 of my Sharpie Schooner Build


Time to build a simple cradle to work the vessel from here.


Photo 47




Photo 48




Now to make the toe rail. Take a look at steps 89-92 of the instructions as to how to make the toe rail per kit instructions. The toe rail I made is different from the one in the instructions as it employs many more scuppers similiar a real vessel.


Photo 49


Toe rail prior to be added to the vessel.




Photo 50


Jig made to make the toe rail.




Photo 51


Bending the toe rail.




Photo 52


Gluing toe rail to vessel.




Photo 53






More to follow......................



Hopeful aka David

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Hi Dave,


Thanks for the kind comments. At the time of the build it was anything but easy for me to build but I muddled through with a lot of help from the forum.


Thanks fo following the build. 




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Hi Mates,


Post #10 of my Sharpie Schooner Build Log


Photo 54


Adding the rub rail, combing, and gammoning iron.




Photo 55


Making the gammoning iron from a piece of copper tube. A great exercise. I now make metal parts from sheet brass, much easier.




Photo 56


I changed the design of the tiller and rudder from an inboard to outboard design. After a few tries this photo shows the final design.




Photo 57


Time to add the water line.




Photo 58


Add the functional rudder and waterline. The main boom horse is also finished. Note I added sliders to the window openings and combing around the forward storage locker and the main cabin.




Next comes paint, me thinks!



Hopeful aka David

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Hi Mates,


Post #11 of my Sharpie schooner Build Log


Hull painting continues.....


Photo 59


Please note that I laid Timiya tape, comes in many different widths, to keep the paint below the water line. To avoid the paint from bleeding under the tape, I first applied a very light coat of clear acrylic at the lower edge of the tape.....keep it a thin coat!!!! 




Photo 60


First of 3 coats of red oxide acrylic paint.  Each coat was sanded to 400 grit before poceeding with the following coat.  In the end the paint was as smooth as glass without any imperfections.  Haste makes wast when not taking time to get it right.




Photo 61


Hull and rudder paintwork completed.




Photo 62




One must be very patient with paint work. Some of the builders on the site are masters at brush painting; so good  their paintwork looks like air brush work.


More to come......



Hopeful aka David

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Post #12 of my Sharpie Build Log


Photo 63


At this pont I began to make metal parts. Photo shows my equipment all of which was bought for under $75USD. Do not be afraid to learn to silver solder.  All it takes is some practice.  Check out Russ's practicum on the subject and get started.





Here are the steps I took to make the ring for the end of the bow sprit. Most other metal parts were made using the same approach.


Photo 64




Photo 65




Photo 66




Photo 67




Photo 68




Photo 68A


Metal parts for masts.




Photo 69




More to come......



Hopeful aka David

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Post #13 of my Sharpie Schooner Build Log


Photo 70


Added chainplates and bob stays.....brass parts primed and painted!




Photo 71


Deck compoments added including eye bolts, cleats, and main and fore mast boom horses (travelers).




Photo 72


Two methods of making rings to connect the deadeyes to the chain plates.


First twisted wire




Photo 73


Second was making a ring with solver soldered joint crimped around deadeye. I used this method. Bright piece is a dime to show scale.




Photo 74



Made mast hoops and mast coats. The mast hoops were mde of edge grain pine, the mast hoops of basswood.  Mast hoops can also be made of card with wonderful results. 




Photo 75


To show scale of mast hoops!




Sails are next.



Hoperful aka David

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