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I am in the process of restoring the Baltimore Clipper "Dapper Tom" a fictitious model of an 1815, 8-gun schooner. I have a copy of Model Shipways plans, copyright 1954, and the instruction manual for this model, copyright 2006. I was ask to repair/restore the model after it took a header off a shelf and broke most of the rigging. The original model dates from the 1960's. The original anchor line, stowed on deck, is 5/32" diameter. Scale of the  model is 5/32" = 1'.  I plan to reduce the size of the anchor line to 1/32" (3" dia.) but I cannot find the access to the anchor line locker. I cannot believe that they would store all that rope on the deck. I was thinking of two holes in the deck near the riding bit. Can anyone help me on how this was done. I have checked Chapelle's "The Baltimore Clipper" . No help. 

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Hi, Druxey has steered you in the right direction.  If the plans are just an upperdeck / general arrangement drawing, and the usual side profile etc I am not surprised the 'cable lockers' (cable storage compartments/wells) are not shown.  These were well down in the ship as they were long and heavy 'beasts', and usually located  either side of and as close to the centreline as possible, to assist in vessel stability.  


Generally, the heavier main cables were the most inboard, then the cablets/spares etc further away from the centreline.  All were usually accessed through the same access port or 'naval pipes' on the weather deck. 





If at first you do not suceed, try, and then try again!
Current build: HMCSS Victoria (Scratch)

Next build: HMAS Vampire (3D printed resin, scratch 1:350)

Built:          Battle Station (Scratch) and HM Bark Endeavour 1768 (kit 1:64)

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It raises interesting questions about ship size and Ground Tackle. And when exactly did sailors switch over to chain for the entire Rode? A rule of thumb kicking around these days is that the anchor rode needs to be eight times as long as the maximum depth in the waters you imagine you will be navigating. Nobody anchors offshore, so the amount needed is certainly finite. But what was considered a comfortable margin for error?

then there is ship size. I know large ships had a dedicated Cable Tier within the hull just for cable stowage. But as hull size diminishes,at a certain point the idea of a dedicated interior storage space becomes extravagant since interior space is scarce and the crew traditionally bunk in the Focastle’. They are NOT going to bunk with the wet muddy cable.

in my view, a schooner wouldn’t need the cable below decks if it’s a smaller vessel. But this is a guess and I wonder if anyone has a decent drawing of a schooner with a chain locker, or cable tier,  forward, below decks? 




 Niagara USS Constitution 


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I am currently building the MS "Benjamin W Latham" fishing schooner.  Sheet 1A of 4 showing the deck layout has a chain box located next to the foremast on the starboard side. 

Michael C. Warnick,



Current Build:  MS Fair American

Prior Builds:  AL Swift, AL San Francisco II, AL Mississippi

In the hanger:  MS Benjamin W. Latham

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I agree with Frank.  For a small, space limited vessel like this the cable would be stowed wherever space allowed.  I doubt if hemp anchor cables would have been stowed on deck as they could be easily washed overboard in a low freeboard wet craft like this.  I see no reason why the cable could not have been led down through a small opening in the main hatch.



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Thanks for the information & suggestions. The model Dapper Tom and Model Shipways kit and this model were built for a non-existent ship. I found an article on a capstan for the Victory by Glen Greico, Texas A&M showing lifting an anchor using messenger & nippers with the storing of the anchor cable through a hatch aft of the riding bitts. It also showed the capstan aft of the main mast. Checking my pictures of the forward deck of a Baltimore Clipper, I found rollers that the messenger cable would have been used to guide it to the anchor cable. The deck layout on the Dapper Tom has the capstan aft of the main mast so I improvised and placed two small openings in the deck between the riding bitts and the foremast.  I have attached the picture of the capstan from Grieco's Victory.




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