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The Jeroboam by josh44 - Ship in Bottle - FINISHED

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I wanted to work on skills for a square rigged SIB, which I think is more of a challenge than fore & aft rigged.


The story of the Jeroboam in Moby Dick was one I liked, with weird ship qurantines and doomy prophecies. I also like building fictional ships in bottles; as if i've captured part of the mystery.


I found no illustration of the actual fictional Jeroboam, so I looked for Nantucket or New England Whaling ships from the first half pf the 19 the century. 


This painting by Salvatore Colacicco really caught my eye, and I used it as my muse!


I especially liked how only the lower topsails were unfurled - would make it easier for my job!


For anyone reading, I need to break the news to you now, that the ship in the bottle (as usual) did NOT come out a crisp and neat as I (always) had hoped.  Ans If you dont like wonky SIB, then read no further, but please enjoy S Colacicco's beautiful oil painting!! 🤔



I picked a bottle of Tullamore Dew for its broad, square shape; it seemed a good fit!


thumbnail_IMG_4553.jpg.9c55de65a38467660488948f7282d029.jpg sagital cuts for better shapping of the hull

thumbnail_IMG_4554.jpg.a795c9a235f4349333c335104f3db1b8.jpg Used a table top jig saw to cut athwart for the gun ports.

thumbnail_IMG_4556.jpg.b04c9bc64eb0fd135c17f975b80fc89c.jpgThe three holed are for the mast axles ( to be painted over later).

thumbnail_IMG_4559.jpg.e41f589dd30987fccd0c0d0f6c547378.jpgLove the mini belt sander - a gift from big bother Harry!


thumbnail_IMG_4562.jpg.731bc1dc2f330f5f0c32d7299a5316d7.jpgMy new thing: A longitudinal trench in which the folded masts lay.

thumbnail_IMG_4572.jpg.bb5da530a10d00e4d4a635d77ffeb8e0.jpgPrimed, and with three brass masts, of pleasing proportion.


thumbnail_IMG_4573.jpg.63cc8af351aea529cc4ed6c73b5da23e.jpgThey fold back nicely.

For me the biggest challenge with square rigged SIBs, is how to have the yards turn for the folding.

I still havent figured it out completely, but am experimenting with


thumbnail_IMG_4576.jpg.5e23be5f3ad3852995059c2426eaa494.jpgtiny beads, lashed to the back of the masts.



thumbnail_IMG_4578.jpg.7dd0be0d6fff5ca7c1c6030b9eeb86da.jpgWith bead caps at the top and a coat of paint.

thumbnail_IMG_4580.jpg.a29285ebe37a79a59e94e8bbe8a71dfc.jpgFolding back well with the bare rigging.

thumbnail_IMG_4601.jpg.4ec18aef4d66bb890b3569aad27e1c3a.jpgKind of where she begins to fall apart. 


I need to find new sail material - this satin frays and shrinks way too much.  


thumbnail_IMG_4608.jpg.30babe7e6d43c037845835bdfd2a78dc.jpgThe furled upper topsails and top gallant sails did not stay neatly furled.


For the standing rigging I used organic thread which takes CA better.

For the running rigging I used nylon - not a bad idea, but I didnt plan out the running rigging as well as I will next time!

Until the sails were up, it was hard to predict which would need to be tugged pulled aft or fore.  

Cord end caps were added onto the deck for pass-throughs for all the runningn rigging.  


thumbnail_IMG_4609.jpg.1d332a7045f409ec845f55bd4a6c5cca.jpgIt got to be quite a traffic jam of line.

At first I labekled the 30 or so lines with taped paper and number - but it didnt work well.

thumbnail_IMG_4615.jpg.5bea2f3862eef9c8f0a79f4a6fbfa3c8.jpg Then I tried color coding, eg yellow- green - yellow.


Cute idea, but needs to be done better. Also, need fewer lines next time.

thumbnail_IMG_4612.jpg.270532a0afe83dbeca2605ce013f5fc6.jpgA simple base in the bottle - not a stand and no silicone sea.


thumbnail_IMG_4625.jpg.3d1dd07bc2c79c1bdeeb9c688fb3b22e.jpgShe launches quite gracefully!

thumbnail_IMG_4629.jpg.efc9a65ee623b1d45e8d820b396e52d4.jpgOh Brother!

Fast forward, and  afterabout 3 hours later of glueing, and snipping, and snapping, and pulling....










All in all, I learned a lot, and she looks well enough to the casual observer, but I still wished she came out a bit closer to perfection.. Hmmm... Maybe its like the whale the Pequod was chasing?  


Thanks for viewing!




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20 hours ago, mtaylor said:

The final result looks good, Josh.  Don't beat yourself up because we are our own worst critics.

Thanks Mark!

Yes, the greatest pleasure I get is in the planning and building - how it comes out is just gravy!

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On 8/30/2020 at 9:57 PM, Moab said:

Josh....looks excellent. I keep telling myself I’m going to do a ship in a bottle but haven’t tried one yet.  Tell me about that “sander” if you have a minute ....it really looks neat and useful...Moab

Thanks Moab! Ships in Bottle are very satisfying.  I like how in a few weeks I can be done with it, and either stare at it on the shelf, or give it a away as a gift(!) , or even scrap it if necessary (although i've never done the last!).  By the time i'm finishing one, I'm already thinking about the next.  It suits my temperment well.  Probably a very different process than with the big ships most of you make.  


the sander was a gift from my brother Harry; it is not branded or labeled, and according to my search on the web appears to be a no-name product from Hong Kong.  If you look up mini belt sander or polisher you will see it. 







it works veyr well to grind and sand down the small hull blank from very crude to less crude. Then I use a dremel for finer touches.



By the way, if you decide to make a SIB, I would consider starting with a kit or two: There are the Japanese (imai, woody joe),  italian(amati) , Dutch (authentic models), and American (woodcrafters and more) brand kits. I way prefer the Japanese and the italian kits. After a few, it gives you a good idea of what you can do.  


Thanks again,


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10 hours ago, Omega1234 said:


Hi Josh!


She looks perfectly fine to me. I fact, I reckon anyone who has the guts to do SIBs deserves a medal, particularly when it comes to figuring out all of the riggings lines.  I don't think I could even try!





Ha! Thanks Patrick.  Quite the opposite.

Looking forward to the next Luxury Yacht!

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