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Modelexpo Fair American Rigging issues

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  • 6 years later...

Sorry for the late reply. Hope this is still useful.


Plans don't show any sail handling gear but are stated to have been developed from “Steels Elements of Mastmaking, Sailmaking, and Rigging”, David Steel, 1794. Cheap reprints are available and will answer all your questions. Other references with more illustrations include:

“Modeling the Brig of War Irene” EW Petrejus, 1970

“The Masting and Rigging of English Ships of War 1625-1860” James Lees, 1984

“Young Sea Officers Sheet Anchor” Darcy Lever, 1819

“The Fully Framed Model, Volume 4, Rigging a Sixth Rate Sloop of War 1767-1780”, David Antscherl, 2010


Also check out reprints of Model Ship Builder magazine (Articles available on CD at Nautical Research Guild website.)


Completing the Fair American, Clayton Feldman,               Part 1, #47: pp 13-22

                                                                                                                Part 2, #48: pp 14-23

                                                                                                                Part 3, #49: pp 16-26

                                                                                                                Part 4, #50: pp 37-45

                                                                                                                Part 5, #51: pp 3-17

                                                                                                                Part 6, #52: pp 50-55

                                                                                                                Part 7, #53: pp 48-56

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The Fair American kit, of course builds a model of a model; the one owned by the Naval Academy Museum.  Although the model is rigged, there is considerable controversy regarding the accuracy and age of the rigging.  I believe that the famous or infamous Charles Davis, depending on your viewpoint, gets into the act.  Our own Nautical Research Journal published a series of articles years ago discussing this.


I believe that the “new” Fair American Kit was developed by Eric Ronnberg, a noted rigorous researcher.  Being aware of the problems with the Navy’s Fair American Model he probably decided to use Steele to reconstruct the rig.





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Art Herrick found some interesting info about the Fair American restorations of Fred Avery and Chas Davis i921 and 1937(?).


Nautical Research Journal (article reprints available from their website)

The Fair American (comments), M. Edson, vol 30: pp 206-208

Additional Comments on Fair American, E. Ronnberg Jr, vol 31: p 30


In Search of Fair American, Art Herrick    Part 1, vol 45: pp 133-140

                                                                                Part 2, vol 45: pp 213-232

                                                                                Part 3, vol 46: pp 3-11

Fair American Sails, Sid Siegel, vol 46: pp 240

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