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Has any one here Built theThomas W Lawson?


J Haines
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Just curious if any one has attempted a build up of the Lawson, the only seven masted schooner ever built. Her wreck lays off   

 the Isle Of Scilly, south west of the UK., sinking after the anchor chains let go in a major gale. 

 

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I worked up some drawings for a ship in a bottle model of her once but never built it. Her long hull with all those sails would have really filled the inside of a long bottle but all that rigging! I have seen models of her, shes famous so there are models of her out there. I can not imagine what it was like going about on a breezy day aboard her, all that canvas shivering and sheets slatting around, it must have been pandimonium. My understanding is that they named the masts after the days of the week.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I built her in a long narrow bottle many years ago. I remember some of my research at that time (pre-internet).  She had a crew of 16 to 18 and was equipped with a number of steam powered winches.  She could not enter many ports when fully loaded so was forced to sail at about 70% capacity.  She was designed by a yacht designer and as a result either her hull was too large or her rig too small (depending on which way you look at her) for good sailing qualities.  The gaff mainsails were identical on masts 2 thru 6, the 7 gaff topsails and 6 staysails were also identical.  The crew usually referred to the masts by number.

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I have a great book written By an author from Scituate Ma, where The real Thomas Lawson built his "dream wold" estate. it mentions that vessel almost capsized at a texas port when unloading.

do you have pics of your Lawson in a bottle?

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Sorry, no. No digital cameras at the time and I couldn't afford a good SLR camera. I also didn't care for the expense of film and developing. Learning photography at the time burned up a lot of film (and money) and I had little ones at the time. I also lost interest in finished SIBs at that time and gave most of them away. 

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  • 5 months later...
  • 1 month later...

This is my story and I am sticking to it. My Grandfather often took me on his visits to downtown N.Y.City. On one of our trips we went by a building

 with a ship model in the window. The ship model was of the Lawson. I was told by my grandfather that it was his fathers ship and that it was a

bad sailer and his father hated the ship and never sailed on her again. I am 74 and that was a long time ago. My grandfather was a Tug boat captain

New York harbour. There also is a model of her in one of the  museums in Searsport Maine.  Amazing what one remembers from childhood.

Joe

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  • 3 weeks later...

My understanding is that her masts were called, in order from forward aft, Fore, Main, Mizzen, Jigger, Driver, Spanker, and Pusher. I tend to think this more plausible than the days of the week or numbers because sailors are such sticklers for terminology. Why change the name of the fore, main and mizzen? Big four posters had a jigger mast. That is, I believe, one of the only pictures of her and she's in ballast. As such, she is showing way more freeboard than when loaded. She would have settled much deeper in the water and that would improve her looks remarkably. A low freeboard always looks better than a tall wall sided ship. It wouldn't however improve her sailing qualities and she likely was a very unhandy ship. The fact that no other was built with 7 masts likely tells something of how good a sailer she was or how sucessful a business venture.

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AMAZING!

How much of the wreck is still there? I have a book about the Lawson, few wreck photos, hard to make out. Did you take photos when you dived? 

I have never learned to scuba dive...on my list of things to do... there is a U-boat sunk off the state of  Rhode Island, not far from me. popular dive site... it was sunk after Germany surrendered in WWII. The U boat torpedoed a collier called the Black Point, and the Navy and US coast guard sank the Uboat. Unknown if the U boat captain was a  renegade... or never received orders to seize fire. 

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  • 3 months later...

I have been interested in the Thomas Lawson for many years and ran across a fine man named Herb Scott who drew up the lines of the Thomas Lawson for the Nautical Research Guild. I got a copy of 1/8" scale loft lines and 1/16" scale sail plan. I started on a 1/16" scale hull but put it on the shelf for over twenty years.

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