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Pelican, later renamed as Golden Hind, by Backer - scale 1/45 - Galleon late 16th century

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On 4/25/2021 at 10:31 AM, G.L. said:

Looks like you've had a busy week, Patrick.

Indeed, the past weeks have been very productive.


Weekly update. The ratlines are ready on one side of the main mast.

Work in progress.

"freshly tarred" and ready.


This week most of the time went to the rope serving tool.

The improvised workshop (The hay is for our goats, not for sleeping 🤣)

A worn grinding disc is the basis for the drive

Copper tube bearings

Determine the center distance of the gears.


A  first test with white rope and black serving.

The device works, but  the operator still needs to gain more experience...


My home made rope serving tool. So from now on no more excuses for not making a served rope... 😉


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Posted (edited)

Further on the standing rigging.


Foremast question :

What is the angle at which the ratlines of the foremastge are placed?
On 2 of my "live examples", they have problems keeping the same distance from the deadeyes

Looking at drawings, the ratlines are in line with the railing and the deadeyes. So we go for the latter method.

Oops forgot this one (but this is not on Breughel's drawing)


Probably wrong

Hopefully correct



Ratlines done work in progress


Blocks for the main mast forestay


Rope serving exercise, looks good so far 




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Edited by Backer
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  • 2 weeks later...

Completing the  fore stays

The forestay from the mizzen mast is replaced by a served  one (looks better)








Mast top



Next item the shrouds of the top masts. As always, think first, then act. And maybe redo them...😉


???? difficult choices...

My  example (Vasa) may not be that reliable in this rigging area after all
Since few or no iron objects were found, they also had to search and guess.



Great info about  17th century rigging (free  download)



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The futtock shrouds (indeed, the further you go back in time, the less you can do wrong 😉)


I chose to place an eye bolt with hook. More work to make eyebolts but easier to mount the rope to the deadeye.


The build of kirrill's Spanish Galleon was very helpfull



Replace one ratline with a futtock stave. It wasn't uncommon that there were still ratlines above this futtock stave


Work in progress




And work started on a display stand


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  • 2 weeks later...

Small update

The shrouds on the upper masts are ready.


Next ratlines



Books, as extra support for my elbow when applying the ratlines (now I understand why some of us rigg the masts as much as possible before mounting them on the model)

Jules Verne , my support in difficult times 😉


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  • 3 weeks later...

Very small update (Lots of things to do in and around the house).


All ratlines are ready now. Only 2 more forestays to do.
I have to study these first because there are many possibilities (at first sight most of them are completely wrong) and, i have to make blocks.


So just a few general photos. Did also more work on the display stand. 

And all the hedges need to be trimmed first (see arrow)


At the rear in the garden are 4 "environmentally friendly" lawn mowers that also trim the bushes around 🤣.


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The fore stay of the fore topmast.


After comparing what options there are.
A lot ...



2 things are usually present.

Work in progress


My only option to attach is to the bowsprit.


Now, the fore stay of the main topmast.
If I understand the English text correctly (pinrail translated to dutch is... pin rail :default_wallbash: )

Then I can tie up here. 

English speaking members : help, is this translation correct??


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20 hours ago, Roger Pellett said:

I would call that a bitt.


7 hours ago, G.L. said:

Hello Patrick.

A pin rail in Dutch is a 'nagelbank' in which belaying pins ('korvijnnagels') are placed.

Thanks. I thought it was something like this.


But attach a part of the standing rigging to a pin rail??  I think that is something "not done".
This part of the standings is on hold for now (think first, do later 😉)

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The fore stay of the main topmast.


Drilled a hole (0.7mm) in the deck 

Put a dot of CA gel on an eye bolt and hammered it into the hole. 


Eye bolt in place. The single block is attached to this eye bolt.


I chose a single block and a violin block (same method as the backstays)

Rope coils are fitted to all stays.
Still not happy with my rope coils. I know how they make. And there are many good examples of making them to be found on this forum.
But it doesn't work for me (yet). And the lack of belaying pins doesn't make it easy either.



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The base plate ( with the name of ship)


Tis plate is made of oak.  Leftovers of course (what else 😉)

The bottom is made from 3 planks glued together. With plastic 4 supports at the bottom.


Determining the shape of the 2 support plates was some fitting and measuring.


The support plates are ready and attached.


The nameplate Pelican or Golden Hind?
Because the figure head has already been chosen, It will be the Pelican. As she hopefully looked when she sailed out in 1577.


The text is first printed in Word (Old English) And glued on plastic sheet.20210702_185651.thumb.jpg.d61e1b278152ebd8c643bea6644ac88b.jpg

Drilling and cutting 



Name and year glued on a 2nd plastic sheet


Current status


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Next to do : Making the yards


So, what is the correct length??
Many drawings, many paintings. And they all have one thing in common the lengths of the yards are almost all different in proportion to the masts.

There is a description of the "correct length" of masts and yards. According to this, the yard of the main sail would be about the same length as the main sail
The yard of the mizzen sail is even a little longer.

If you then look at the drawing of the same ship, the ratio mainmast to main yard is not about 1/1 but about 5/8.


So, it's going to be "trail and error" again...

Calculate the lengths according to the table (old) With a very long main and mizzen yard.


Then see if all these dimensions are believable. With a simple presentation of bamboo sticks, paper sails and tape (please don't laugh 😉)

We immediately see that the yard of the mizzen mast is too long. the rest seem to be good at first sight20210707_202336.thumb.jpg.0c0ce3e755ffb7ae490214e6d0e23384.jpg20210707_202222.thumb.jpg.8a697e16fa8f7722629ed8fa416a2240.jpg20210707_202200.thumb.jpg.46e3cc5b6bb0b90ecf7c248201f04ff5.jpg20210707_202250.thumb.jpg.487cb7b72a6c2d95aa634dfde5ebd364.jpg

to be continued.

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Hi Patrick,

The book "The Rigging of Ships in the days of the Spritsail Topmast 1600-1720 by R.C.Anderson may be of much help to you. There are 9 and a half pages  in the Yards and Stunsail booms section which should cover some of the info info you seek. Although from a slightly later period much of the info should be relevant to Pelican. There is one copy for sale on Abebooks in the UK for €11,45 at the moment. I can tell you that the Mizzen Yard should be roughly the same length as the Fore Yard.


You are making a super job of this build,


Dave :dancetl6:

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On 7/9/2021 at 8:19 PM, davyboy said:

Hi Patrick,

The book "The Rigging of Ships in the days of the Spritsail Topmast 1600-1720 by R.C.Anderson may be of much help to you. There are 9 and a half pages  in the Yards and Stunsail booms section which should cover some of the info info you seek. Although from a slightly later period much of the info should be relevant to Pelican. There is one copy for sale on Abebooks in the UK for €11,45 at the moment. I can tell you that the Mizzen Yard should be roughly the same length as the Fore Yard.


You are making a super job of this build,


Dave :dancetl6:

Thanks Dave,

Looks like an interesting book. I had already bought a book from abebooks in the UK.
They are correct and deliver quickly.
But since Brexit, buying something in the UK and having it shipped to the EU can sometimes be complex. 😟

On 7/10/2021 at 4:59 AM, Jeff T said:

Very nice! 👍

Thanks  Jeff.


Meanwhile, the "yard length study" continues. And the solution may be near i think (hope 😉)


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  • 2 weeks later...

Continue with the Yards.

An important difference between 16th century (and earlier) and 17th century (and later). Is that in the 16th century the main and fore sails were larger than their topsails.
The well-known drawing by Mathew Baker is used as the basis for the length of the yards. And yes, the masts and yards were probably added later in the drawing.
Here comes the yard/mast ratio to 8/9.

Because this drawing shows a four master and this is a three master, the San Juan used as an example for the mizzen mast.

Therefore the mizzen yard has approximately the same length as the main yard.



And this gives following measures.



The mizzen yard on the San Juan is sometimes in 2 parts (depending on the model)


General test


A sketch, to not forget the dimensions..

As a test, some running rigging was fitted to the main sail.  20210713_122559.thumb.jpg.539848f0dd7ef7bb66acae62d5855375.jpg20210713_122615.thumb.jpg.1c95490bd7c129c7652191df2565d71f.jpgLooks good with the main yard of 40cm length. 45 cm would be too wide compared to the width of the hull.


Making the yards  with the home made lathe. (Had to saw longer pieces first for the main and mizzen)


Yards and the "outlicker" almost ready


Cut to length and colored


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The idea was to have a model with masts and standing rigging by September this year (after 5 years of building). We're going faster than planned 👍.


Before starting with the sails I need to make some templates first (Me, first drawing something before making it, an exceptional event...)
Drawings of the masts with the yards.


The drawings that wil serve to cut the templates for the sails. These are also useful to see if there is enough room for the runnin rigging.


And I have a large cotton sheet and a sewing machine older than m20210724_142526.thumb.jpg.87ec088d0eadc7bb3eb28a91af404bae.jpg20210724_141708.thumb.jpg.66504008a618400ff7e5566d28ffdfa9.jpg

Next to do.
Testing the sewing machine (has not been used for over 20 years)


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12 hours ago, G.L. said:

Making sails! I was afraid of it for a long time. But as with most things, once you start doing it, you start to like it. I am full of admiration for your Singer sewing machine, it will be quite an adventure to get it up and running again.

Sails... I intend not to rush to make them.
My mother's old sewing machine. She could sew anything with it, clothes, curtains, etc. Sewing the sails would have been an easy job for her

Bought in 1955 and motorized in 1963


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