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HMS Ballahoo by georgeband - Caldercraft - Haddock drawings

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I will be using the Caldercraft/Jotika kit of the Ballahoo schooner (Fish class) to build a model of her sister schooner Whiting. Why Whiting? Because she has an interesting history that I have researched in depth and I continue to study log books and other records.


We are blessed with several drawings of the Fish class and their fore-runners at the National Maritime Museum and the drawings of Haddock in particular are excellent (ZAZ6116 and ZAZ6117 are the best two). I am now trying to interpret some features on the drawings and already have several questions about aspects that confuse me. I hope that some of the experienced shipwrights here can help.


Height of the deck

This is a big issue where the Caldercraft kit seems to make a major simplification. The kit has a level deck from stem to stern, but the drawings show that the deck is higher over the commander's cabin and the 'entrance lobby'. The side profile is a bit fuzzy but the deck planking and the sections through the deck beams show where the deck is higher. The plan view shows where there are pairs of deck beams at the steps, one at the low level and one at the high level. Is this something that Caldercraft and other builders have missed, or am I misinterpreting the drawings?


(There are a couple of photos below that show extracts from the drawings.)


Windlass and catheads

The drawings do not show a windlass which is plausible for the size of anchor that this vessel would have carried. I have read that a couple of blocks would be set up in place of a windlass to raise the anchor, and then more blocks for the final lift because there are no catheads either. It all seems reasonable, if hard work for the crew, but an alternative explanation is that the drawing does not show the windlass or catheads but they would be fitted anyway. The builders might be expected to know to add these items, in the same way that they know about masts and yards even though the drawings do not show them. (There is an old saying that 'absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.) Any thoughts?


Holes in the deck for anchor cables

There are various names for these holes (Navel pipes?) which were used to route the cables from above deck down to the cable tier. The Haddock drawings do not show any and I guess that this is correct, the alternative being to cut away the fore corners on the grating over the main hatch. I suspect that the holes in the deck are later practice but have no real evidence to support this assertion. Does anyone have information from contemporary models or paintings?


More to come later...


George Bandurek

(Previous model is Sherbourne, completed 5 years ago)




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Yes, great to see another Ballahoo – if not Ballahoo.  :huh:  You seem to have done some research on this, so it will be interesting to see the changes you make.


As regards the windlass, I had wondered about this on Eamonn's build of Ballahoo. (I've actually wondered about Eamonn too, he doesn't seem to have been on the site for a little while). Anyway, I would have thought there was a windlass, and probably catheads, so I'd be inclined to add them – unless of course you find to the contrary.


I agree with you, that the 'naval pipes' would have been of a later period, but I'm not sure the cables would have passed down through the forward end of fore grating. Hemp cables were usually very heavy, so were often/usually stowed in the centre of the ship, even large ones, in order to distribute the weight (particularly if wet) and so that the ship was not excessively 'down by the bow'. On the Sherbourne the cable passes through the fore end of the main hatch, which effectively is in the centre of the vessel – so it might be worth checking that point. 


In passing I'm inclined to agree that your drawings are without many of the fittings shown.

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Tony, Kester,


Thanks for your comments.


I think it is right that the anchor cables enter through the corners of the main hatch; that is what I intended to say but was probably not very clear. The reasons you (Kester) give are a good justification for what feels right to me. The plan drawing for the lower deck on Haddock does label 'cables' at the sides, midship.


Christmas celebrations will keep me away from the laptop for a while. Enjoy your break.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi George

- regarding the windlass, would it be possible it was stored (as quite heavy piece of furniture) below the deck? And the anchor ropes were leading to it as said above via the holes in the main hatch grating? The windlass would not need to be so big- the anchors in the kit seem to be of a "generic" manufacturer type and quite over sized for this particular vessel -at least my impression.


-regarding the deck - could you please mark where do you see the "step"? from the prints (unfortunatelly I do not have printed papers from RMM) it seems to be all the same level from stem to stern?





Edited by juhu
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  • 2 weeks later...



I have not come across a windlass on the lower deck on other ships, so would suggest that this is unlikely. Larger vessels sometimes have two capstans, one above the other on the same shaft, so that more force can be applied to raise a heavy anchor, but I have not seen a single capstan below the deck. Part of the problem would be friction where the anchor cable is taken around a bend where it is fed down into the lower deck. The low ceiling height would also limit the length of the bars to turn the windlass, making it even harder to use. The other issue for Haddock is that the drawing shows no windlass above or below deck. I like your creative solution to the problem of 'no windlass', but unfortunately I don't think it would work. (Is this where someone finds a photo of a ship that has a buried windlass?) 


I have marked up a drawing of Haddock in red to show where the steps in the deck occur. They can be found fairly easily by looking for the cross sections of the deck beams. There is a NMM drawing for Cuckoo which shows the same features a little more clearly (it is meant to be a copy of the Haddock drawing sent to another builder in England). The photo also shows the various openings in the deck in green. The plan view of Haddock shows the deck beams, and the steps are where two beams are next to each other without a gap. 


If you want printed copies of the NMM drawings then copy the images from the NMM website and paste them into Word. You can then change the size of the drawings to get the scale you want. They do not quite fit onto A4 paper in 1/64 scale. 







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Hi George,

thanks for explanation. I was not able to clearly recognise the deck step, particularly fore one from the available pics. Well, it is quite common that Jotika, while most of their kits is truly based on Admiralty plans, tends to omitt some of their features - sometimes even much more distinctive than in this case...


Regarding the windlass I do not know, I have some other plans from NMM and in that case also one can only guess where it was positioned and if they would really skip it from drawings. I still think if it was possible on such a small vessels the anchor was handled just by pure arm work?


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...and one more thing: check the publication of La Jacinthe. Thi book is considered as a true research, not a commercial simplified model kit, so we can consider it very accurate. Still, there is no windlass on the deck and this is two masted topsail schooner!




Is it possible, adding how many admiralty plans do not show fore windlass, that really on smaller ships the anchor could have been hoisted just manually by pulling the ropes?

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Thanks for the link about La Jacinthe which I have not seen previously. I find it reassuring when other drawings support my conclusions! 


There is another thread that is about windlasses and catheads, where I have given some calculations about how many men are needed to raise an anchor. I estimate that one man can pull about 200lb (call it 100kg) using a set of blocks that gives a x4 mechanical advantage. A one ton anchor is quite achievable. This link should take you there, or just search for 'windlass'. 




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Hi George

in the meantime I have also contacted one very experienced guy for his opinion. Independently from what is written in the other thread you mentioned, he also replied that on the Haddock preview some pencil drawing resembling a windlass is shown.... I believe it is also mentioned in the other thread you are mentioning...




so it may be not so easy. If I were you, I guess I would put the windlass there as you draw. But that Jacinthe really makes me uncertain about the only one universal truth :)


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Interesting discussion on the Jacinthe. I happened to buy the monograph by Jean Boudriot on La Jacinthe last week, and none of the plans of that class of ship show windlass or capstan. There is a lot of discussion about La Jacinthe on the French modelling forum Marine et Modélisme d'Arsenal at http://5500.forumactif.org/f82-la-jacinthe-1823-plans-jean-boudriot, so you might like to ask the question there.


See my PM



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Coming into this discussion a bit late, but the rise in deckhead aft for the cabin overhead was not uncommon in smaller vessels. The step-up in Ballahoo/Haddock is a bit more unusual, but solves the same problem of restricted clearance. I note a gun port in line with this raised deck, so would not be workable.


Speaking of gun ports, their sides appear to be parallel to the sheer rather than the keel - most unusual.


George, were you aware of the nice section with scantlings for Haddock (ZAZ 6118) in the RMG collection?




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Thank you all for your comments. I had thought that this build would be well defined because of the abundant plans, but it is not so simple even when documents exist. 


The NMM drawings that I have downloaded are (all ZAZ numbers)

6110  Lines originally sent to Bermuda

6111  Early variant, side view

6112  A picture as much as a drawing, with a sailor and a boat and other bits. Not certain if it is a Fish class, but looks very similar. 

6113  Lines sent to Bermuda, side view

6114  Yet another variant, side and plan

6116  Haddock side

6117  Haddock plan

6118  Haddock section

6320  Cuckoo and Wagtail side and sections


My kit arrived from Model Dockyard last week (thank you to Nick Tonkin for quick delivery) and I have checked that all the pieces are there. I have also compared the central spine and the bulkheads and the stem and keel and rudder post with the Haddock and Cuckoo profiles and it is not all good news. 

The spine is mostly the right shape (!) and it lies well over the drawing if you align the fore mast, and the lower edge with the thick keel line, but it will need some changes and I have marked them below. The bow has to be cut back

The stern has to be cut back

The top edge is too high near the tiller and too low over the commander's cabin

The counter and transom will need work later

The angle of the main mast is wrong. I guess that Caldercraft made them parallel

A couple of bulkhead slots have to be nudged along.


In addition to the remedial work I will make cutouts below the hatches, and a big space for the main ladderway. I will also cut a couple of slots in the bottom for mounting points (brass tube to support the model and carry fibre optics for internal lighting). I would like to show the fore ladderway too but it is right over one of the bulkheads and I might leave it closed. 




The bulkheads are mostly OK compared to the sections on the drawings. A couple near the middle, 0 and 2, are too wide and most are too deep at the keel. Section 6 matches the drawing but is a little too far forward and will need to be made wider. It could be moved towards the rear, but is in the right place for its rear face to be the wall of the 'entrance lobby' so I will make it a little wider. Similarly, section D is the right shape but needs to be moved forward. The rearmost section, 12, is just wrong. (I have used the labels for the sections on the Haddock/Cuckoo drawings and not the kit numbers for the bulkheads.)


The fit between the spine and the bulkheads is very loose and will need to be packed, probably a couple of layers of ordinary paper will do the trick. 


The walnut pieces for the stem, keel and stern post are well oversize. I will replace the keel with a piece of 4x4, cut down the stern post, and probably use the kit stem as the basis for a new one. The outside edge of the stem is not a smooth curve and you can see how it was approximated by four sections: sloppy design of the CNC cutting plan. The bulkhead at section 12 shows steps in its 'curve'. 


Bearding and rabbets to come. I will probably concentrate on the bearding and trim back the spine to allow for the thickness of the planking to achieve a finished thickness of 4mm. The stem, keel and stern post can then be glued on. Comments on this approach?


Final point about the deck furniture. There is another thread about gunports where the discussion shows that they are not square. On Haddock there are lots of lines on the side view and it is easier to look at the plan view, and on the Cuckoo drawing, to decide which are the sides of the gunports. They are mostly perpendicular to the deck but not always. The drawing also shows hatches and the cover over the main ladderway (green on the photo) and these all follow the lines of the frames. So the carpenter building Cuckoo on the slips would have a horizontal keel, vertical frames, and according to the drawing the sides of the cover would also be vertical, while the roof slopes from rear to forward. Surely this cannot be right because when the schooner is afloat the sides of the cover would be sloping back, it would look a mess and the doors would be a right pain. Perhaps the cover (and hatches) are built after launching and the carpenters who work on a floating deck set their verticals with a plumb line, or with a set square perpendicular to the deck, and ignore the lines on the drawing. 


Building should start next weekend unless my wife has arranged some social engagements. I don't expect rapid progress on this log!



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Another week goes by and I have still not cut wood or applied adhesive. But I have been busy interpreting and measuring and planning, which should make the build a lot smoother when I finally begin. 



I used the sectional drawings in Haddock ZAZ6116 and with some copy-paste, cropping and reflected images I created full sections instead of half sections, making it much easier to compare the kit bulkheads. The useful extra step was to mark the position of the top of each deck on the drawing so that it was easier to align the parts. The photo shows in red where I will have to trim back the kit parts, mostly above the waterline.

Section 12 on the drawing, bulkhead 10 in the kit, is somewhat oversize compared to the drawing. 

Section D, bulkhead 3 in the kit, has two sets of lines on it. The inner set are a close match for the drawing, but the bulkhead is a couple of mm too far aft in the kit. I now intend to leave the mounting slot as it is in the kit which means that the bulkhead should be a little bigger than the drawn section: the outer set of red lines are my cutting guides. 


The horizontal pencil line about 5mm below the deck marks the edge of the main wale to make planking easier later. 




Deck camber

The deck on the bulkheads has a much steeper camber than that shown on ZAZ6118 especially near the bulwarks. I will pack the deep gullies with some scrap wood and then sand to shape to make them a bit flatter. According to the drawing the centre should be about 1.5mm higher than the edges at the waterways. 


Entrance lobby

Section 6, bulkhead 7 in the kit, requires major surgery because I want to leave the 'entrance lobby' visible through the cover over the hatch. There is a large asymmetric hole in it, the floor and ceiling are at different heights on either side, and it will be fragile for a while during modifications. I will cut a rectangular hole then build a couple of bridges/arches over it to represent the deck beams.

(The height from floor to ceiling is about 20mm in the main hold where the crew live. This translates to 1.28m or a bit over 4 feet, and even lower under the deck beams. Hardly comfortable.) 







Ears on bulkheads

The kit bulkheads have ears or tabs which are used to temporarily hold the bulwarks and then should be snapped off. The bulwarks have a curvature (tumble home) which is difficult to achieve with the supplied ply pieces and I am considering another approach:

  1. Finish the double planking of the hull
  2. Bend some 1x4mm planks and use them as frames, glued upright on the inside face of the hull planking
  3. Plank the outside faces of the uprights
  4. Plank around the gunports on the middle layer
  5. Plank the inside faces of the uprights

The total thickness is 3mm if I use 1mm planks and is only slightly over the true thickness shown on ZAZ6118. The steps at the wales will, I think, effectively mask the fact that the hull is double planked but the bulwarks are single planked on the outside face. 

Has anyone tried something like this previously?

Is there something that I have missed? 


(I still need to plan the positions for a couple of slots in the bottom edge of the spine for mounting rods, so not quite ready for building yet.)





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  • 2 months later...

Cutting and gluing at last after a long break. 

I cut back the spine to match the Haddock drawing: the deck aft, the stern post, the curve of the bow, and the slot for the main mast. I glued in a couple of strips of 1mm x 5mm limewood into the slot, ready to cut back later to fit the mast. The raised deck above the commanders cabin will wait until a little later, as will other cutouts that weaken the spine. 

The slots for joining the bulkheads to the spine were too wide giving a sloppy fit. I glued a couple of layers of newspaper onto the spine and onto each bulkhead to thicken the parts and give a snug fit. I chose newsprint because it does not have the glazing of 'better' paper and should adhere well to the wood and also be less likely to delaminate. I have noticed this as a problem on previous models where ordinary paper splits into layers. 





Shaping the bulkheads continues to be a lesson in patience. I marked the parts by holding them over the profile drawings in Haddock (and Cuckoo) and then cut and sanded to shape. It became difficult to check the shape against the drawings so I drew a couple, cut them out and glued them to the bulkheads, and then had a line for cutting on the part itself. Much easier and I should have done that first. 

Then I checked my copied and reversed drawings and found that the maximum width on the fore sections did not match that on the rear profiles. The only way ahead was to redraw them all and make sure that they followed the profiles in the drawings properly. I did that, and then thought about what the Haddock drawings really show: the lines are the outer sides of the frames without the planking (the 'breadth as moulded'). The planking on Haddock is about 0.5mm thick (in scale) and I estimate that the double planking on the model will be about 1.5mm thick after sanding. I then drew new lines inset 1mm from the actual profiles as my cut lines. 

Next step is to print them, cut them out, glue them to the bulkheads and begin sanding or packing out the profiles. This time they will be right. 




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  • 4 years later...

This build log for Whiting, a Ballahoo schooner using the Caldercraft kit, continues after a gap of nearly five years from when I started. Sometimes life gets in the way and mere cutting and gluing takes a lower priority. In this instance life was sometimes good (two wonderful grandchildren and finishing a novel), sometimes just time consuming (moving house and then building an extension), and sometimes not so easy. 

I have approached this build with the intention of making it as accurate as possible and showing a large part of the interior. The Admiralty drawings provide an excellent start and I have also spent many hours photographing log books for Whiting and then trying to read the handwriting. 
Currently I have just finished assembling the spine and bulkheads. The work included

  • Drawing templates for the existing bulkheads to allow for steps in the height of the deck and errors in the camber of the deck and the curves below the waterline. 
  • Drawing templates for new bulkheads which are not in the kit. 
  • Adjusting the shape of the spine where it deviates from the Admiralty drawings. 
  • Adjusting the rake of the main mast as set by the spine. 
  • Cutting rebates into the spine for hull planking. 
  • Cutting slots into the spine for posts to use as stands. 
  • Reducing the size of the stem post, stern post and keel. 
  • Cutting out the spaces for the captain's cabin, the entrance lobby below the main ladder way, and the interior below the fore ladder way. The joins between the spine and bulkheads are complicated and a bit ugly here with blocks of wood holding things together. 
  • Rebuilding the counter and transom which are quite wrong in the kit. 

The next step is planking the hull which raises issues around the bulwarks and gunports and the details of the transom. I hope to continue fairly soon and not wait for another few years. 


Happy New Year,


final bow top.jpg

final stern side.jpg

frame 10 cut 5.jpg

rebate prow.jpg

sketch spine aft major.jpg

spine cutout cabin_lobby.jpg

transom 3.jpg

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Thanks for your message, Eamonn. I have been looking at your build and the recent discussion about serving the rigging puts me on warning that there is a lot to do here. I hope to shortcut some of my research by following what you have done on your superb build. 


My novel is set on HMS Leander from 1802 to 1805 and is a coming of age story. It has illustrations which purport to be drawn by the principal character. The grand finale is when a small schooner crewed by boys takes on a French privateer. I have learned a lot about publishing and am still trying to find a literary agent to promote it for me. 





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I should love to read it when you get it out there George .. Please do let us know when it is available !


Yea, I couldn't blame you re research .. it got to the point that I researched pretty much every line I rigged..  I didn't include a windlass as you know, as she feels too small only 50 odd foot long and has a large crew .. other methods were in use to haul in Anchor Ropes on smaller vessels .. also the supplied anchor stock is way too big so it looks bigger than it actually is (If you follow) I trimmed the stock down considerably using a table of anchor dimensions from the period and a scaled down plan in Lavery's books ..  I have to dash off now (re watching Game of Thrones :) and Karen had just returned from making a cup of tea )


All The Very Best



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I agree with your comment about the anchor stock looking too big. References such as Marquardt's 'Global Schooner' which go back to Falconer or Steel say that the length of the stock should be the same as the length of the shank. The anchors in my kit have a stock that is 50mm and the shank is 41mm so the proportions are quite wrong.

Marquardt also quotes rules for the size of anchor and it works out that a Ballahoo should have anchors that weigh about 4cwt which is considerably less than the 12cwt in the kit. Their length is 7' 6" which translates to 36mm in our scale. I will probably buy a pair of Caldercraft's 3.5cwt anchors which are the right length, but it is a double shame that they provide the wrong size and with an oversized stock. 



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Thank you for your comments. Some of the action takes place in NS around Halifax and Shelburne - is that near to you?

HMS Whiting had a busy time around NS illegally press ganging in 1805 and Keith Mercer has written some excellent accounts of these histories. https://pc-gc.academia.edu/KeithMercer . My character joins Whiting for the next novel which is still only a faint image in my mind. 



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One of the first things I did was to make a scale 'man' to better get a feel for the relative sizes of fittings etc .. deffo one of the handiest things I did as we tend to over size so many things, I'm surrounded by boats in Arklow (all shapes, sizes & ages.. many historic visitors too not to mention a famous (now gone) wooden boat builder within 150 mtrs of where I live)   and modern materials excepting, they really do give a proper sense of just how small vessels like Ballahoo really are/were, those masts and bowsprit tend to make them look much more impressive them they perhaps were.. I even have a carronade the same size/lbs  as that aboard Ballahoo in a near-by historic gardens (Powerscourt) which brought my attention to the also vastly overscale kit versions..


All The Best George



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I have now fitted the first planking to the skeleton. Nothing particularly complicated here and it is mostly repeating the sequence of bend the plank and trim its ends, glue it in position and keep it in place while the glue sets. 


I set the datum line for my first plank with pins pushed into the bulkheads. The template drawings I had prepared have a couple of lines on them which show the wales and I used these instead of the ply bulwark pieces from the kit. Once the row of pins was firmly in place I prepared the first plank. Different people have their own preferred combinations of heat and water for bending: for lime wood I just soaked the planks for 15 minutes then bent them past the elastic limit to get them to shape. I put a drop of wood glue on each bulkhead then positioned the plank and held it with a couple of pins while I stretched strong elastic bands over the assembly. The elastic bands (courtesy of our friendly postman) provide firm pressure in the right place and direction, just make sure that there is a bulkhead beneath them otherwise that plank will bend where you want it to be straight. 



The other planks now have an edge to press against and be glued to. The first couple went down better with elastic bands and after them I could use pins alone to hold them down. I stuck the pins into the bulkheads at an angle so that they pushed the plank down and onto its neighbour. 




The picture above shows the stern tuck that you get if you follow the Admiralty drawings. The kit supplies a bulkhead and a  transom for a square tuck which is quite different and I don't know why Caldercraft took the approach they did. The pencil marks on the planks show where the bulkheads sit and I find them useful when bending and tapering the planks. 


Quite a few of the planks at the bow need stealers. For the first planking I did this the easy way with simple tapers on the planks (simple does not mean a straight line taper, just that it goes to a point).

I had expected stealers at the stern but there were only three per side that were big enough to need filling with little triangles of lime wood. Can you find them in the photo? 

The rear edge of the spine has a bearded rabbit to hold the hull planks. Near the keel the planks are nearly parallel to the spine so the spine is thin and the first and second planks will be sanded to give the correct total thickness. Near the counter the planks come in at an angle and I have put in a rebate (rabbet, rabbit...) to accommodate them. The transition between the two zones is either very complicated to mark and cut, or the ideal setting for a bodge job which looks good on the outside. Having spent many hours with a spreadsheet to calculate lines and angles for the bearded rabbit I am now tending towards sanding down to a desired thickness in the cross-over area. 




One mistake I made (several times) was to stretch some planks too tightly between the bulkheads instead of following a smooth flowing curve. These planks are recessed compared to their neighbours and I glued extra patches of lime wood over them to build up the thickness before sanding. I bent these planks to shape without heat or water, simply using round nosed pliers in little nibbles that show up as ripples on the photo. 



I have now sanded the hull, taking the opportunity of a dry spell to do it outside so that all the dust would blow away. Now I am waiting for a bright day to photograph it. 


The question that is bothering me for the next stage is the arrangement of the planks on the wales for the second planking. We have the Admiralty cross-section which helps but is not definitive about how the planks were fitted. I would like to fit them top-and-butt because it looks interesting. Marquardt in 'Global Schooner' says that the 'thick stuff' was often fitted top and butt and that is the best relevant advice that I can find.  I will copy and post the Admiralty drawing with my ideas for how to model the second planking later. 




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Bulwarks and wales...

Here are my ideas for the second planking. The majority from the wales to the keel will be in 4mm walnut as supplied in the Caldercraft kit and I do not imagine any unusual problems here. The interesting bits are around the wales and then the bulwarks. 

The picture below has an extract from the Admiralty drawing ZAZ6118 with my pencil lines to improve the contrast. The printed numbers are the widths/ heights of the various sections in millimetres at 1/64 scale. (Apologies to people in the USA who prefer inches.) 

The lower part of the wale is quite distinct and I will represent it with an extra layer of 4mm walnut. The upper parts are not clear on the drawing and could be of different thicknesses. The differences are small, less than 0.5mm at scale, and could be indicated with a coat of paint. 

I have put three options that I am considering next to the scan. The first (on the left) uses planks that are 2mm, 3mm and 4mm wide. Some careful pre-sanding of the 3mm plank could reduce its thickness to make it sit deeper than the two next to it. The second option has a 5mm wide plank in place of the 2mm and 3mm which could be easier for construction. The third (right end) option replaces the 3mm and 4mm planks with top-and-butt pairs cut from 5mm wide stock. 

I am tempted by the top-and-butt arrangement because it looks good. However, it does not replicate the small change in thickness shown on the Admiralty drawing. I also do not have evidence which says that top-and-butt was used on this part of a small vessel, apart from the Marquardt reference above. Most of the standard references say that top-and-butt was used for the main wale and on this schooner I am not certain whether that means the 4mm plank at the bottom or the whole, thicker area. Has anyone dug in this patch before and found the answer?




The bulwarks present a different problem because I did not use the ply sides from the kit. My plan is to bend some lengths of 4mm wide walnut and glue them vertically to the inside of the first planking. They will project 12mm above the top edge of the first planking and form the sides of the gun ports. I will plank them inside and out with 4mm wide planks: the bottom layer will be in continuous lengths with 2mm deep cut outs where the gun ports sit. The middle and upper layers will (probably) be from shorter lengths that fit between the gun ports. The novelty is that the outer layer is a continuation of the first planking. Has anyone got experience and words of advice about this method? 



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  • 3 weeks later...

I have now applied most of the second planking to the hull of Whiting.

The stealers at the bow are complicated because the hull section changes from rounded to a V and the natural lie of the wood pushes you to taper the planks to a point. I kept to a minimum width of 2mm (half the 4mm walnut planks) and had to put in several notched stealers. Above the waterline I have tried to follow good shipwright practice but below the waterline the notches are closer to each other than I would like. Copper plates will hide these transgressions. 

The planks also had to be bent across their width which can be a challenge and I inspected them for knots and flaws where a break would be likely. My variation on the theme of 'hot and wet' was to soak the planks for half an hour in room temperature water and then repeatedly apply small bends which took the plank past its elastic limit (where it springs back) but short of the breaking limit. The cumulative damage to the wood fibres was enough to achieve a bend radius of about 10cm / 4 inches. I found that twisting the wet planks was a good initial step forward with this technique, probably because it is easier to achieve the right amount of stress and strain on the wood. I had just one casualty among 30 planks. 

Plank 3 in the picture is the lower edge of the wale and will have another plank glued over it after sanding. Plank 17 is the garboard strake that fits into the rebate on the spine. There are lots of pencil marks that I used for alignment while bending and trimming the planks to shape. 



At the stern there were three stealers on each side where gaps formed between planks. I cut out a rectangular section, 2mm wide, from frame 10 to the stern on the planks where the gap appeared. This gap widened to 4mm at the stern post and will be filled with a tapered plank. 


The middle stealer at the stern fits into a rebate between the first planking and the spine. The other two overlap either the counter or the spine. 


My next job after the stern stealers is to attach planks 1 and 2 on the wales. I have decided to make them top-and-butt fashion because it looks interesting and is quite plausible for Whiting. I am making a jig from brass angle section so that the profiles will be correct and consistent. These planks will be 114.3mm long, equivalent to 24 feet, and have a maximum width of 5mm. 



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Top-and-butt planks.

It took me about 5 hours to make a jig out of brass angle section for cutting these planks and then 10 minutes to cut the 12 planks that I needed for Whiting. It could have been quicker to cut each plank individually but I suspect that the fettling needed to make them fit would have been time consuming. As it is, I have a jig for the next ship... 




The wales have two rows of these planks. The photo here has had the lower row fitted and shows the rising and falling line that will match with the next row. Photos with both rows fitted do not show the planks clearly; a later layer of varnish might highlight the joins between them. 



I have now sanded the hull and glued on the stem post at the bow. Current job is to glue some uprights to the inside face of the hull. These will be the sides of the gun ports and also support the bulwarks. 


Two issues are troubling me at the moment. 

1. Timberheads. 

The kit provides timberheads to fix to the gunwale but the Admiralty drawings do not show them, neither does Petersson's rigging book, neither do various other drawings. Is this a Caldercraft mistake, or do Admiralty drawings assume that the shipwright will add timberheads as part of normal practice? My inclination at the moment is to leave off the timberheads. 

2. Bowsprit mounting. 

I had assumed that the bowsprit was held down at the stem post with an iron ring, as for cutters. However, a drawing in Marquardt's Global Schooner shows gammoning that loops over the bowsprit. The lower turns of the gammoning go through a ring that attaches to the stem post. Does anyone have information about this?



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Hi George ..  I too was going to use the gammoning for the bowsprit too (Still might as it happens, it kinda feels right if you follow) I was tempted to use a similar set up to that on Pickle !

Great work on the Wales btw



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