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New Bedford Whaleboat by Mike_In_RI - FINISHED - Model Shipways MS2033 - Scale 1:16 - Small

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Thank you Mario, Fentone & Brad for the compliments. Is it me, or is this project taking forever? (Don't answer that.)


I saw a whaleboat model a while back ... can't remember where, that used chafing mats on the crane supports. So, here is  an attempt at weaving sword mats from .012" light brown Syren rope. I followed a youtube video by 'Mark The Braider' with the main difference being that I wanted closed loops at both top & bottom so it could be tied to the crane support mode neatly.



The sides of the jig should be out of the way so the rope can go in and out from those directions. The final size is ~ 1/2" x 5/8".



Loose ends and any mistakes are tucked in the back. ;)




The boat gripes ... ropes that fasten the boat to the crane support, need lengthy serving. It's hard to tell from the plans if they should be served entirely or only partially. In any case, I'm waiting on some gears, bearings, etc. to arrive for a DIY rope serving machine build. In the meantime, I'm sure there are some overlooked items to work on.

Thanks again to for your support.




Edited by Mike_In_RI
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On 11/2/2020 at 10:14 AM, catman42 said:

Hey Mike


I was wondering what you used for the pins in the oar locks in your picture they look like something that was supplied? or did you make them your self. There was nothing in my kit that looked like that.


thanks again




Hi Brad, I made the pin with the larger stem on the lathe (attached) and used the supplied etched oar lock.


Sorry the shot is out of focus. The drawing in the plan set match the whaleboats in the New Bedford Whaling museum. So I turned

the brass to roughly match.



Thank you for looking in,


Edited by Mike_In_RI
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  • 3 weeks later...

Although I like the look of the sword mat, I decided to give "baggy wrinkle" a try instead. Baggy wrinkle is a more authentic anti-chaffing material for the whaleboat contact points with the cranes and the crane support.




... two weeks and a dozen material trials later I finally settled on un-layed rope, which just so happens to be the material that baggy wrinkle is classically  made with anyway.




This sequence shows the method used. Make a small wooden jig to hold the ~1/2" cut pieces of un-layed rope including a small wooden piece to close off the end of the slot in the jig. Note: the rope strands could be wound on one arm of the jig and then cut all at once to save time but would use up a lot more rope.



The strands are stuffed in the jig slot sticking out on both sides. Tweezers can be used to pack it down until the slot is full.




One side of the material should be trimmed as flat as possible leaving the ends a standing  up a bit from the jig.  Apply enough glue to touch all the strand ends. A hypo needle glue applicator works well in this case.



It's finish up with some lines for attachment to the the cranes and a small piece of craft paper is place on the end to hold it altogether. Finally, the displayed side should be flattened out a bit and trimmed to scale thickness.




Thank you for looking in.




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Thanks guys for the likes. I appreciate them.


The boat gripe lines need a lot of  serving so I decided to make a rope serving machine for this project and any future projects. Searching this forum,  I really liked the  "archjofo" design so I put this one together (no motor) with some left over acrylic and about $50 in gears and hubs. The left drive has a long telescoping brass tube while both sides have interchangeable tips to grab the rope.




The gripes are temporarily tied to the crane supports for now.





The baggy wrinkle can just about be seen in this shot. I only mention that because it took forever to make it!! The pulley system is next and with that and a little housekeeping, the project is winding (slowly) down.




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Thank you guys for the thumbs up. I do appreciate them. Here are a couple of shots of the davit fall, block, hook & pigtail. The pigtail is used to quickly yank out the hook once it is loose.



Although a fairly small assembly it includes a block with pulleys and shank, a hook, thimble, modified short splice, eye splice, stopper knot and home made rope. A visit to the optometrist is already scheduled!



Thanks again for your support.





Edited by Mike_In_RI
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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks guys. Again, I really appreciate you looking in.


I'm just wrapping things up these last few days. There is so much temptation to go back and re-do things that I might be able to improve. But, I think I've dragged this out long enough. So, the boat axe with line is the last piece I'll make for this project. I came across this photo taken 4 years ago at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. The axe is on a full scale Alaskan whale boat showing a length of line seemingly long enough to extend all the way aft.




... and my attempt at the smallest eye splice to date (for me). It's made with .018" 3 strand, Syren rope. My home made cotton rope wasn't sturdy enough to work without fraying while the Syren material held up nicely. I soldered a pin point to the tip of my DIY Swedish FID to be able to stick the strands.





On to the display....


Thank you again,




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Hi Bruce. Thank you for your comments. I’m lucky to live close to the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Many photos were take while I was there and it went a long way helping me visualize what might go into the model that I wouldn’t have seen by just looking at the plans. In any case I’m happy to say…

…It’s a wrap! One year(net) working on this project and we finally have a whaleboat. Whew!

This kit is ideal for either a starter project or one that you can really put everything into. It was the first model ship that I really spent a lot of time learning some skills before jumping off to another project. As many others have said, this forum has been a great resource for me for learning… materials, methods, paint, soldering, oxidizing, rope, knots, adhesives, etc.

My photography skills still need improving but here are the final shots. The simplified davit display is based on a model by Jim Shoesmith. I took a photo of his whaleboat during a visit to the New Bedford Whaling Museum a few years ago.

















... my wife took this shot. I hope she is as supportive on my next project. ;)


Thank you one more time for all the help and encouragement.



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Wow, I woke up this morning with nothing on my workbench! Something's wrong.


4 hours ago, JpR62 said:

Already an idea?

Jean-Paul, thank you for asking. I was going to post up on your AVS log,  which is phenomenal by the way,  to ask a few questions. Generally I like the scale I have been working at and except for the bulkheads and two or three etched parts, the whaleboat is scratch built. After looking at your Armed Virginia Sloop, I like the idea of a scratch AVS. Are the kit plans and build manual sufficient for a scratch AVS in your opinion?


Also, I live fairly close to the Mystic Seaport Museum so there are some nice choices there with a lot of documentation... maybe a kit/scratch Morgan (my wife's preference) or Emma C Berry. Others I'm curious about would be the NRG half hull and USN Picket Boat.


3 hours ago, bruce d said:

... and it was worth the wait.

Nice touch with the equipment display.


Thanks Bruce. The whaleboat display is always a trade-off between realism of all the equipment in the boat but then blocking all the small detail.  I was also considering a wharf setting and repair setting but I liked the Jim Shoesmith idea.


Thanks again guys for hanging in there with my project.








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Thank you for your kind comment on the construction of the AVS.
This sloop is indeed a nice little model, ideal for beginners. I do not regret having chosen it because there are many build logs.


The plans published by Model Shipways are very complete (7 sheets) They also include all the bulkheads on the sheet 1.
You can also get them from Modelexpo at the following address:


The price seems reasonable to me.


I have more doubts about the manual because it is a bit dated. We are very far from the quality of the manuals supplied with the Syren kits for example.
But the easiest way to form an opinion is to consult it on the Modelexpo site:



On the other hand, Clayton A. Feldman's book 'Modeling an Armed Virginia Sloop of 1768' is very interesting because it has for subject the construction of the basic model having served as model for the kit.
By searching the web, you should be able to find an excerpt from the book in order to form an opinion before purchasing it.


I also really like the Emma C Berry which can also be found at Model Shipways at the scale 1:32 and it is of the True Plank-on frame type. Very interesting subject.

Whatever your next model is, I have no doubt that I would have a lot of fun following it.

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On 11/2/2020 at 10:14 AM, catman42 said:

Hey Mike


I was wondering what you used for the pins in the oar locks in your picture they look like something that was supplied? or did you make them your self. There was nothing in my kit that looked like that.


thanks again




Hi Brad, this is the original shot from the Whaling Museum. The oarlock has a casted look to it including that bulge that rests on the oarlock plate.



The top curved portion is from the etched parts include in the kit. The lower pin portion was made on the lathe. You can see it roughed out in this shot. Then soldered in.





... hope that helps.



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I always seem to stumble onto these beautiful builds too late!


I made a note regarding your comment on bending maple versus boxwood in post #12.  This is helpful info.


I am also a fan of modifying the nose of wood clothespins to clamp in difficult spaces. Your long nose version in post #24 is something I hadn't envisioned and it will also be a handy addition to my collection.


The wrapping of the tangs of the oarlocks with small stuff was something I hadn't seen before.  I imagine it saved the oars from wearing prematurely rubbing against the harder metal surface.  I do know that the holes at the ends of the oarlock tangs were to close the gap with waxed whipping (small stuff) so the oar would not bounce out in rough weather.  In my limited experience (sailing and pulling 27 foot whalers and 32 foot cutters) the post of the oarlock had a hole also and small stuff  was secured to it and the other end to riser (that the thwart rests on) so they did not get lost at sea.  The line was long enough that the oarlock could be removed and stored dangling inboard.  I can see in the sketch in your post #93 that yours had this hole.


Your metal work is amazing, from the pail and barrel bands to the anchor!  Then you actually did and eye splice in the bow rope!

Thank you for sharing.  I learnt quite a bit.

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On 12/13/2020 at 11:35 AM, AON said:

Then you actually did and eye splice in the bow rope!

Hi Alan, thank you for mentioning the eye splice. I became a little anal about knots back in July or so. I really knew very little over the decades about knots, splices, hitches, etc so I ordered the Ashley Book of knots and boy did that slooooow things down. First, learning certain splices at full scale and then trying to replicate them at modeling scale took lots of time. You can actually pin down the time I bought the book. Prior to getting ABK, you can see faux eye splices on the lances and harpoons. After getting ABK, the whale line, drogue bucket, grapnel and the steering oar brace lines have eye splices. Here is a shot of the smallest one for the boat axe. It's made with .018" three strand Syren rope..



Thanks again for checking in.




Edited by Mike_In_RI
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15 hours ago, Tigersteve said:

Fantastic. Enjoyed following you on this one!



Thank you Steve for following. I was just pouring over your Mayflower work... especially the planking. After seeing that, I'll be sure to do a practice planking project before a the next serious build! Very nice.



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Your mini splices are impressive.


As a sea cadet I was taught to roll my finished splices on the floor under the sole of my shoe to tighten it up.  You might try this with a piece of wood on top to see how it changes things.


On second thought, due to the reduced scale, possibly just rolling it between your thumb and forefinger 4 to 6 times might do the trick!

Edited by AON
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On 12/15/2020 at 7:04 AM, AON said:

possibly just rolling it between your thumb and forefinger 4 to 6 times might do the trick!

Hi Alan, actually, I saw the idea of rolling the splice in one of you posts earlier this year and have been doing that ever since! My compliments.. it also balances out  lumps & bumps.


Thanks for looking in ... I've been taking a look at your Bellerophon CAD project. That is quit an undertaking! The learning curve for those programs is quite steep... again my compliments. I use some CAD software now and then for electronic circuit hobby projects and tried FreeCAD for the project enclosure.



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  • 1 month later...
5 minutes ago, lesterpalifka said:

need any referencce pics email me... 

Many thanks Lester, may take you up on that 😊.

Just a bit of advice: to keep the scalliwags out of your life I suggest you edit out your email address, there is a really good PM function on MSW.

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On 2/16/2021 at 8:26 AM, lesterpalifka said:

harpoon i did while working in the shipsmith at Mystic Seaport Museum. I was on the Charles w Morgan restoration for 5 years for the 38 Th VOYAGE.

That's fantastic ... and scary looking! And thanks for the time you spent at Mystic. The volunteers there are great. My wife and I go there a lot.... well, I drop her off for shopping at the Village while I go into the into the Seaport. I'm considering the Morgan as a next project since it is so close but the thought of so many blocks, etc. does not really appeal to me. Possibly a scratch admiralty model with below decks cut away may work. ... not sure.


One question re: the harpoon. Is the shank of the harpoon hammer welded to the cone or is fashioned somehow as one piece? The cone part on the model was hard to make.


Thanks, Mike

Edited by Mike_In_RI
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