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"Breezin Thru" by Shore thing - Wye River Models - 1/2" scale

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“Breezin Thru” is a classic Chesapeake Bay charter boat.


Here is a quick historical review of the boat from the Wye River Models instruction manual.


“The “Breezin Thru” is a charter fishing boat that was built in Rock Hall Md. In 1949 by Andrew J. Stevens. It is 44’8” long and 13’6” wide. It has been in continuous service since it was built. The boat was originally owned and captained by Harry Carter, but is captained by it’s present owner Tilghman Hemsley. Tilghman is a renowned artist whose most notable work is the Maryland Waterman’s Monument displayed at Kent Narrows in Grasonville, MD”


This is my second wooden boat model and once again I chose a Wye River Models kit to build. There are several reasons for that decision. The main reason is that they offer models that are classic boats styles that have been primarily used on the Chesapeake Bay for decades. I also like to support local small businesses. After having built one of their most difficult models, (The Skipjack) I wanted an easier (no rigging) build. I also felt that the experience I gained from my first build would help me navigate thru their building style.


With that said, and in order to help others, an honest review and my opinion of the kit is necessary.


The kit.

Upon opening the box, I found exactly what I expected, another “jumble of sticks”. There was also a material list, instruction booklet, two sheets of full-size drawings/templates and a hardware packet. After reviewing the material list, I found several items to be missing. The hardware packet did not have the cleats (2) in it nor plexiglass for the windows. Scrap wood for the cradles and blocking was not included. Wood for the chine logs also seemed to be missing and wasn’t even mentioned on the material list. This will be discussed further as the build progresses.


The full-size drawings/templates were labeled NTS, not to scale. That in itself is not unusual. It is well known that during the printing process drawings can change size slightly. One of the problems is that there are very few measurements labeling the overall lengths, widths and heights of the components. Another is that the templates are not symmetrical. For example, the curve of the port side of the transom does not match the starboard. When the plan view of the boat was folded along the center line, it also did not match. As I build the model, special attention will need to be given to those issues in order to ensure the boat is symmetrical from side to side.


The instruction manual can best be described in two words, “woefully inadequate”. It is an eighteen-page booklet with twenty-nine black and white photos and several templates of items that would not fit on the full-size drawing sheets. There is one picture of the finished model on the cover and one of the actual boat afloat in its slip. There is also an artistic rendition of the boat at work on the back cover.


Irony, you never know when it will pop up.

My first wooden ship build was the “Skipjack” by Wye River models. Other than the Bugeye, it is one of their most advanced models. At the time of the build, I complained that the instruction manual that came with it was more of a guide than step by step directions. Boy was I wrong. And my successful build proves it. The instruction book, “The Skipjack” by Steve Rodgers and Patricia Staby – Rodgers was in fact an encyclopedia in comparison to the instructions supplied with this model. It is seventy- nine pages long and contains more than two hundred color photos and drawings. The irony is that I am referring to it while building this model. 


Now, on to the build.


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  • ccoyle changed the title to "Breezin Thru" by Shore thing - Wye River Models - 1/2" scale
3 hours ago, thibaultron said:

 I 'll be watching. Too bad about the plans.

As Forest once said, "You never know what you're going to get". Fortunately, this model is not that complex. The biggest problem is that it lacks the details that are needed to make it look as close as possible to the real boat. To quote my high school moto "Find a way or make one". A nd that is what I will do.

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This manufacturer uses a method where they have you produce what they call a “Keelson”. It starts by having you cut a ½” x ½” piece of wood at an angle to create an inverted scarf joint. This joint produces the angle of the stern section of the hull. After gluing, it needs to be sanded into its final shape and then have the transom attached. In this case a (roughly) precut transom was supplied. It was not symmetrical and did not match the template. To make matters worse, the template was not symmetrical either. I carefully sanded it into a symmetrical shape and attached it to the end of the keelson. Drawing from the experience I gained during my Skipjack build, I realized that simply gluing the transom to the end of the keelson would not create a strong joint. Nor would it hold the transom square to the keelson. My solution was to add additional blocking that would hold it square and increase its strength. I also added extra blocking to the inside perimeter of the transom in order to increase the gluing surface for when the bottom planking and decking were attached. None of these improvements were suggested in the directions




The forward end of the keelson has what they call a “Stem liner” attached to it. It is another ½” x ½” piece of wood that is cut on one end to achieve the angle of the rise of the bow. It also has angles cut on the port and starboard sides of it so that it provides a gluing surface for the hull planks. A block at the joint helps give it strength. At this point the keelson was built exactly to the template provided as possible. This is when I noticed another potential problem. The Keelson did not appear to be as long as the plan drawing of the deck. It was hard to tell for sure because the hull would eventually flare out wider and be a little bit longer. After carefully plotting out the finished height and positioning the keelson on the hull template it became obvious that it was a half inch short. I decided to go with what I had and make adjustments as I went along.


The fourth and final step to producing the keelson was to attach what they call a “strong back”. It is another stout piece of stock that is attached to the keelson at a right angle. It controls the width of the boat at its widest point and forms the shape of the hull when the first plank is attached. As you can see in the picture, the shape produced was not even close to the shape of the deck template.




The two hull planks were removed, and additional strong backs added to achieve a shape that was within reasonable parameters. It was a little tricky to determine what it should actually be because the hull would eventually flare out wider as it approached the deck height.




I'm much more satisfied with this shape.









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