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"Scottish Maid" stern structure

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I've started building the Artesenia "Scottish Maid" kit and am having trouble interpreting the stern structure.

I've looked at pictures showing Google images search and there is a very wide difference in the way different modellers have interpreted this.

I've attached photos from the instructions that gives the Artesenia version. To my inexpert eye this looks odd. The transon bulwark has an open part to it, which seems strange and the "decorative enhancements" look strange also. The main hull planking curves fairly sharply upwards towards a rail at the bottom of the bulwark opening.

Some of the pictures I've found on the internet such as


show what to me looks like a more conventional stern.

Which is likely to be correct? Are there well authenticated plans of the "Scottish Maid" in existence or are the kit manufacturers working from outline details and making a guess at the rest?

I'm trying to work out what to do before starting my first layer of planking.




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I did find this bit difficult to understand when I built this model last year, I remember I had trouble sorting out the position of the gunwale, and over trimmed the pre-cut pieces and then had to add some filler pieces. I'm not sure mine was 100% correct when fitted but looks OK.


Have a look at my pictures



Edited by Glennard
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All indications are that the stern of the Scottish Maid was indeed open, as shown on the plans, with the top rail supported on wooden stanchions.


This was not at all unusual, and there are old photographs showing this on other vessels, although the ones I have seen have tended to be on smaller vessels, such as smacks. In fact the 1913 pilot cutter Jolie Brise, which I sailed on many years ago and (as far as I know) is still sailing, has this feature. So, what I'm saying here, is don't dismiss this as a design fault in the kit, because it is out of the norm.


Another thing worth mentioning is that shipbuilding was individual, and a shipbuilder would construct a vessel according to his way of thinking, and the conditions it was expected she would encounter. Scottish Maid was designed for the packet trade and was built to be fast, so her lines and some of her features are perhaps a little different than many other vessels of her time. 


I wouldn't particularly want to counter anything written by David MacGregor, a noted authority! I think the book Wefalck mentioned must be his Fast Sailing Ships, of which I have a copy. Chapter four covers the Scottish Maid in some detail, with about five pages given over to her. He doesn't specifically mention the open stern, or the reason for it, but one of his drawing of her shows this feature. Reading the other build features about her, reinforces the fact that she was something out of the ordinary and, as said, built for a particular trade. (The book is probably out of print now, but you might be able find it second hand, or through a library.)


The bottom line though, is that I don't exactly know what the open stern was for! The only thing I can think of is that because all these vessels, smacks, pilot cutters, schooners, etc., with this feature, were built for trades where speed was necessary, it was a means of letting any water that swilled aft, escape from the deck. 

Edited by Stockholm tar
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SCOTTISH MAID seems to have been one of the first 'clipper' style schooners with a closed gallion and very sharp lines for and aft. The fine lines mean that she wouldn't have had a lot of buyonancy there, resulting her dipping deep in when the sea was heavy. So it may have been vital to make provisions for shedding water fast, so that she would rise fast out of any waves. Partially open bulwarks seem to have been quite common (on smaller vessels) before swinging ports were introduced.


A vaguely remember having seen the half-model of her in the museum in Aberdeen some 15 years ago.



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Thanks for all the replies. I hadn't realised that the kit was based on Macgregor plans.

I found a picture of the half model of "Scottish Maid" in Aberdeen Museum, but this only appears to go up to deck level and doesn't include the bulwarks.

It's a shame that thepics of the John Heard model don't show the stern very well. Are there any drawings of the stern in the Macgregor book?

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It does show up on the lines drawing included in the illustrations, on the half breadth and body plans. There is also a painting and a drawing of the ship, both from the starboard side, the latter from slightly above. It's not particularly clear in either, but you can make out part of the stern rail with the open sections.


Incidentally, I looked up Abebooks UK, and the cheapest is £20. You might think it worth buying, for the informative five pages on the Scottish Maid alone, but it is a good book altogether. You might perhaps be able to find it a bit cheaper elsewhere.


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  • 2 months later...

I found this painting on the web:-



Which clearly shows the open stern. I'm just coming to the end of a 1/96th scratch-build of Scottish Maid. - http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/3255-sottish-maid-by-fraser-halls-1839-clipper-schooner-18th-scale/page-2


and one of the first things I noticed was that Artisania Latina have the stern wrong anyway. Probably for ease of construction, they left out the lower counter, which changes the look of the stern a lot. I'm not holding my build up as some sort of paragon :), but I've tried to get it as accurate as possible....still working on that!



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