Jump to content

Swan 42 by Dan Pariser (shipmodel) - one-design racing yacht - Finished

Recommended Posts

Hi all -


Here is my first build log.  I'll try to make it complete and comprehensive, but please let me know if I don't explain things too well.


This is a commission from a group of owners and racers of this cutting edge design.  A one-design yacht is where an agreed upon design is built by all of the boat owners and then raced against each other.  This reduces the effect of technology and puts a premium on sailing tactics and boat handling.  The latest design that was chosen was a 42 foot version of the Swan line of boats built by Nautor of Finland and designed by Frers Design Office.  The first hull came off the ways in 2005, with about 45 more in the water today.


I was provided with some proprietary plans and drawings which are accurate down to the millimeter.  I cannot reproduce them, but here are some drawings that are available on the internet, and some photos of boats on the water.






Link to comment
Share on other sites


Welcome to our little (or not so little) on-line community. So now we have you and Chuck, do we get the rest of the Board?


Anyway, have you been on one of these 42's? Quite a racing machine. I'm assuming you're doing this for the NYYC? Do they specify the kind of presentation, or is that left up to the artist?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Bob -


Thanks.  I'll try to keep up the level of my work.


Here is the second installment:


The model was specified to be in 1:32 (3/8"=1') scale, so I first sized up the plans provided to the exact size of the model, just under 16 inches LOA.  Looking at the plans I determined that the best way to shape the hull was by a series of horizontal lifts.  I took the waterline lift half-plan, mirrored it in Photoshop and combined them to make a full plan that could be cut out to the exact shape of the lifts.  This was printed out and mounted on a stiff file folder.  The profile view provided the thickness of the lifts.  Below the waterline they are almost exactly 1/8", while above it they are double that thickness. 


As with most of my model hulls, I like to find a convenient horizontal level to use as a reference plane.  The hull below the line and above the line are shaped and treated as separate components until quite late in the build.  This allows me to lay each piece flat on a work board for ease in shaping it, or on the platen of a drill press to make precise holes or to do any milling that can be done.


The stiffened plan was cut out in sequentially larger lifts. Each was transferred to basswood of the appropriate thickness, and a centerline drawn on.  A perpendicular was drawn at station number 6 so each lift could be registered against its neighbors in both dimensions.  These were glued, one at a time, to make a stack up from the bottom of the hull to the separation plane, and down from the deck.  When everything was secure the shaping began with a small block plane.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Tom -


The model is not, directly, for the NYYC, although it may be donated by the owners' group to the Club.  Despite my photo, I am not a sailor, so I have never been aboard a boat in the water.  I had a chance to climb on deck of one in storage this winter to take lots of detail photos, and I will be getting aboard again once it is in the water this spring to photograph the mast, boom, and other running rigging details.


The build continued with the upper hull cut out.  The separation plane was chosen because it closely matches the floor of the cockpit, so the cockpit shape could be cut out of the upper lifts.  These were roughly shaped to match the lower hull, with final finishing to await the time when the pieces would be joined.   The sheer was created by laminating three more of the thin lifts of decreasing length to the top of the upper hull stack, then planed to the curve from the plans. 


The deckhouse/cabin was similarly cut and shaped, then refined with sanding blocks down to about 180 grit. Everything was left a little large to allow for final shaping.  Once refined and matched to the sheer curve it was installed on the upper hull stack.  At each step care was taken to draw centerlines and station lines.  If they were removed by sanding and shaping, they were redrawn before the developing shapes were checked with templates from the plans.  This was a process that was repeated at least 30 times during the shaping process.






Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now I turned back to the lower hull.  It was refined with templates and progressively finer sanding blocks.  After the 400 grit level I sealed it with Minwax Wood Hardener.  This product is designed to strengthen rotted wood, but I have found it to be perfect for sealing wood where I want a truly smooth surface.  The only drawback is that the wood becomes so hard that it is quite difficult to remove more than just a small amount - don't aske me how I know.  I now hold off on using it until I am quite satisfied that I have the proper shape.


After the hardener dried overnight it was sanded smooth to remove the raised grain, and the first coat of Krylon auto primer was sprayed on.  This revealed that there were small imperfections where the various lifts had been joined to each other.  These were filled by painting the entire lower hull with a thin solution of small-grained plaster.  After sanding with a sanding block you can see where the plaster has filled the voids.  The plaster was hardened and the next primer coat was applied, then sanded smooth.  Ultimately, seven coats of primer were laid on and progressively sanded off with up to 1000 grit paper. 


The keel fin and bulb were similarly shaped, hardened, filled and sanded.  Because the keel fin is so thin its connection points with the lower hull above and the keel bulb below would be incredibly fragile.  I therefore planned for and fitted a steel pin that goes into the hull about 2 inches and down below the keel bulb about the same amount.  I don't know how it will be displayed, but this should give them a great deal of flexibility in choosing the mounting for the model. 


So here is my progress to date.  The three major components - upper hull, lower hull, and keel - can be stacked to see how they line up and to refine them as needed.  More as the model develops.


Be well


Dan Pariser













Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dan, from pacific north west a warm welcome to MSW.

For me it is a pleasure seeing a different build such as Swan 42, somehow I think many of us are a little reluctant of starting such a project.

But this one looks very nice, I am following this one for sure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Great to see a log from you.  Having seen this model first hand,  I can tell you it is very sharp.  Its a really interesting project and something a bit different than we usually see here on MSW.


Thanks for sharing Dan.  Looking forward to those small details we were talking about!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just stumbled across your log Dan, and very glad I did. Excellent craftsmanship, and very informative posts on how you achieved it. I'll look forward to following the rest of this build!

Edited by gjdale
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi all -


The past week has been spent refining the cockpit area of the upper hull.  The first photo is of an actual yacht focusing on the cockpit.  You can see the compound planes and angles that form the integral bench, the seat back and the seatings for the two aft winches on each side.  The two guys in khaki shorts are sitting on the tops of the seat backs with their feet on the benches.  The aft cabin bulkhead is composed of several planes that meet at odd angles, with curves and fillets of assorted radius where they meet. 




You can see in the second photo how this has been carved into the wood.  No secrets here, just files, sanding blocks with rounded corners, and a sharp #10 blade for the corners. 




Once the planes were defined, the companionway was attacked. You can see its size and shape in the third photo.  It will be modeled closed.  




Alongside of the companionway roof are a pair of shallow angled ramps that lead down and forward.  At the front end of each there is a small raised lip, and a flat tunnel which extends under the cabin roof to a similar carved depression at the base of the mast.   On the ramp sit five line brakes for the various halyards and other rigging lines.  You can see this in the fourth photo.  In use the lines run down the mast, through blocks at the base, then into the tunnells leading aft, up and through the line brakes, then to the winches further aft.  I saw the boat in drydock so the lines weren't there, which actually made getting a view of the details a little easier. 




I drew out the shape and location of the companionway on the wood, then started cutting down from the top about 1/8" to make the socket where a plate of smoked plastic will ultimately sit.  It was roughly machined out using a milling bit in the miniature Dremel drill press (I'll get that Unimat one day).  Smaller bits were used to progressively approach the pencil lines.  Using a widely flared bitt I undercut the top, then used files to refine the undercut to match the look of the companionway roof. The vertical face of the companionway was cut down using side cutting bitts in a hand held Dremel.  That's why it is rougher than the top face.  The roughness will be hidden by the plastic door pieces and metal frames in the final model. The line brake seat on each side was carved out with sharp chisels, the raised lip was added and shaped, and the tunnel mouth was drilled out.  After much work photo five is the final carved look of the companionway and line brake seats. 




The mast seating area was similarly carved out and the tunnel mouths there were drilled out.  Finally, a pair of depressions were carved into the deck on either side of the cabin for small blocks that will be mounted later. 




Now the upper hull was temporarily mounted on the lower hull.  Holes were drilled through the upper hull at the mast location and through the space where the companionway roof will be.  The pieces were clamped together and screws were inserted and tightened, as you can see in photo six. 




With the two pieces locked together the sides of the upper hull were sanded to very close to their final shapes and matched to the lower hull.  With all of the wood shaping being very close to final, the upper hull was given a coating of wood hardener.  After drying, the whole hull was sanded smooth and then the upper hull was unscrewed from the lower.  The last two photos are of the first coat of primer on the upper hull.  I am using white here because the upper surfaces will be white in the final model.




Much more priming, sanding, re-priming, etc. before the upper hull is ready for me to start on the hatches and other details.


A biento, as the French say.





Edited by shipmodel
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good Evening Dan,


Great progress since the last time I saw it. The lift method is a favorite for me if you plan to do a completely planked hull. Keeping the upper and lower hull separate until you get most of the finishing done is also a good way to go. Welcome to the list.



Link to comment
Share on other sites


I'll echo what my colleagues have said about your perfect shaping/carving. But I'll also add that your ability to pull that off successfully requires not only an attention to detail but also an understanding of the bigger picture and how it all fits together...a rare talent!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...