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German Cutter 1910 by DSiemens - FINISHED - 1:300 - Bottle

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Seems as though I need to run into a rough patch before I hit some inspiration.  Or maybe I'm just better at the 1:300 to 500 scale.  In either case my current bottle build was giving me a lot of trouble and I hit a road block.  So while I was thinking of how to fix that I went on to another project.  I chose this one because I think I need to get back to basics again before proceeding.  Also like so many of my best work it's for some one else.  I may explain the story behind that later.  Here's the ship.  




She's simple but beautiful.  The only one in existence today is the Mariquita which I have based a lot of this model on.  Still debating if I should break down and just call her the Mariquita but we'll see.  






I actually tried some thing new and did some rough measuring.  The ship is a bit thin but she needs to fit in the bottle.  I'm off less then a millimeter so I think it's okay even for this scale.  This was actually pretty fascinating to see and I suggest trying it out just for fun.  I measured out the center line and then lines on the plans.  I counted twelve on the plans but the photo now shows more like 16.  It's 1:300 scale kind of hard to see.  Any ways.  I divided the ships length by twelve and drew a line for each section.  I then drew the center line.  From there I went back and forth from the plans measuring each line from the center line and marking it on both sides of the center line on the wood.  As I progressed the deck shape just appeared.  This is probably the most fun I've ever had with a set of plans.  





 I then carved out the hull and I apologize for not having more pictures because I tried a new technique for that as well.  I've been looking at pictures of some of my favorite ship in bottle builders for a long time.  One that has always intrigued me is Heather Rogers.  I've posted a few pictures of her work and if you would like to see more click link.

As I looked at her photo's I've found she carves ships very differently.  She also did a model of the Mariquita so being I had a reference I decided to try it her way.  What I found was incredible.  I cut out the large pieces around the hull and then went to my usual dremel work.  The proved difficult as the base got in the way.  So I looked back and found that she uses chisels.  I pulled out my chisels and started working with it.  The grove between the base and the ship created a perfect guide.  I place one end of the chisel in the groove, angled it to where I wanted to cut and slid the chisel against the hull.  It was almost to easy.  This hull is almost completely cut from a chisel and touched off with some sanding.  I noticed though that Heather uses what appears to be harder woods.  I think I may try that in the future as the bass wood is soft and dents easily.  






I then added the trim on the sides and the deck furniture.  The ships wheel is made from a piece of a watch I bought from a jeweler for the spare parts.  The deck house, hatches, skylights and dory are cut from match sticks.






What's also interesting is that I'm about four hours into this build and I'm ready for masts yards and rigging.  She's a quick fun build.  Actually if any one wants to try ship in bottle building for the first time this ship would be a good one to start on.   

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Thanks Michael.  I hope I will but I think I'm more having fun with this one then anything else.  She's simple enough to try new things on and so far they've worked well.  


Thanks Bob.  She's turning out nice.  I'll have to get more photo's up.  I have the mast, gaff and boom and and it really brings her to life.  I need the rigging to hold them in place though so I may build just a bit more.    

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Rigging is almost done.  Just one or two more little things.  I have a question actually I hope some one can help me with.  Looking at the plans she has some back stays that come from the top of the mast to the back of the ship.  Once I got them on there I noticed how they really get in the way of the boom.  I had heard once of ships that had removable back stays and wondered if that may be the case wit this one. It would make sense since with the way the back stays separate near the bottom like there's a block there.  If that is the case I"m thinking of possibly taking a stay out so that she can tack properly.  I just would like to know if that's right before I do it.  









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I know that on cutters and schooners from 50 to 150 years earlier the breast backstays were slacked on the lee side to allow the boom and gaff to swing out when necessary. I suspect this would apply to this racing/day sailing yacht as well.


I think that the boom topping lift (the tan line you have from the boom to the mast doubling) needs to be doubled with one on each side of the sail. The lee side lift would be slacked so it didn't rub a hole in the sail. Again, I don't know with certainty this would apply to your project.


I couldn't stand not knowing for sure, so I did a Google search for Mariquita and found literally dozens of photos of her (including our mutual friend's SiB which I hadn't seen before). Photos from the lee side show both of the lee backstays and the boom topping lift slacked and also three shrouds, not just one. Photos from the windward side also show a slack boom topping lift. The photos show that she has a one-piece mast but that may have been a change made during her 2001 to 2004 restoration performed at the same boatyard where she was built, by a descendant of the original builder. She is the only one of six 19-meter International Class racing yachts still in existence and competes very regularly in classic yacht races which rules require she be exactly as she was except for safety, navigation and sail and rigging material upgrades. This suggests that her original mast was one piece. Her as-built name was Ladybird. By the way, mariquita is Spanish for ladybug.



Note the starboard aft backstay is quite taught while the lee backstay is slack even when close-hauled on a starboard tack.





Enlarged detail showing how the topsail is rigged with two attached spars and the rigging of the peak halliards.



Mariquita before the wind with a spinnaker spread to starboard and the mainsails swung to larboard. When not in use the spinnaker boom is stowed vertically just forward of the mast; the tip of that boom is visible in the detail photo above. The other end of that boom appears to be attached to the mast.


I hope this helps,



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I saw the radar blip and rushed right over!   my.........what a cute little boat!   very nice ;)  I think you should name her the Mariquita...you already have the hull color down ;)      gee.......a few days into it and your this far already :o ......amazing!


wonderful job Daniel.........looking really sweet!

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David that helps a lot.  I did notice in other photo's there seemed to be multiple booms tied parallel to the mast when not in use.  So that makes sense.  I'm not going to go to crazy with it but I think I will put some slack in one of the aft back stays to give the sail more room.  


Dgbot I am a member of the Rocky Mountain Shipwrights.  Ralph is helping me with my Elsie build.  John has lent me a dozen or so books I wish I had time to read.  I've met Steve but don't know him quiet as well. I'm actually giving a ship in bottle presentation in March.  I think I'll build this ship in different stages and present it as a first build.  It is an incredibly simple ship and would be great for anyone wanting to try ship in bottles for the first time.  


Popeye thanks!  I decided I needed something simple to get back to basics.  Your right I should just change the name.  The color and the deck furniture are totally the Mariquita.  The plans just don't say that exactly.    

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Come on over to Manitowoc  you might be able to hitch a ride with Ralph the only SIBs we get that are nice are by John Fox III  but he only comes every now and then.  Ask Ralph about the fun he has.  You might have a blast.  PS bring your models.

David B

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David that does sound like a lot of fun.  It would be really neat to meet John Fox III in person.  I've spoken with him on a SIB forum and seen his work on his website and in the Bottle Shipwright magazine.  He's an incredible ship in bottle builder.  It is harder to get away with two young kiddos though.  Maybe one of these day's I'll make it out.  I don't know if they allow you to send models to be judged with out me being there.  If that were the case I'd make one to send with Ralph.  I think it would be fun to have a critique like that.    

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Thanks Popeye.   :)  She is pretty small just the way I like em.   :D I'm actually going to build three or four more of these in different stages.  The Rocky Mountain Shipwrights want me to give a presentation on the third week of March.  This ship has been such a fun quick build I thought it would be fun to teach as a good first ship in bottle.  Most people in the club have never built a ship in bottle before.  A few tell me, "better you then me."  That's alright it's not for every one.  So while I'm almost done with this ship I have a few more to get together yet.  


I ran into a problem yesterday that I got to figure out.  I did a quick test fit and noticed that with the back stays the way they are I can't wrap the main mast around the hull like I'm used to doing.  I think I can swing it but she'll take some ingenuity.  As I've said before, "We're ship in bottle builders, it's an occupational hazard."     

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David, I do like the top shelf liquor bottles.  Their clarity is matched only by light bulbs and scientific containers.  I prefer a good Barqs on the rocks but I have plenty of friends willing and happy to empty liquor bottles for me.   :cheers:​  To be honest if I had one that wasn't planned for another project I would use it.  This ship I built in the exact same scale as in the book "The Story of Sail" where I got the plans.  The bottle happened to be the only one I had that would properly accommodate the ship as in not to big or to small.  Good SIB's fill the bottle and doesn't leave a lot of empty space.  This is why it's better to pick a bottle first and build the ship in a scale to fit it.  The ones I'm building the the Rocky Mountain Shipwrights have been scaled down about an eighth of an inch.  That way if I decide to bottle them later I have a bottle picked out.  

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Augie,  There's a challenge.  I was just going to do seagulls and allow perspective to dictate sizing ie: Seagulls closer up are large then seagulls far away.  Now it makes me wonder.  Seagulls wings spans are 100 cm according to Google.  1:300 has them at just over 3 mm.....that may be do able.    

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That may be true for the 'average' seagull.  But very common in the North Atlantic is the Great Black Backed Seagull with a wingspan of 5.0-5.5 feet which would give you a 5mm span at your scale.  I'd think a 4mm representation would be quite realistic.  But what's a mm or two between friends.

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