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USS Washington by Mike 41 - (1776 row galley) Scale 1:48 - Finished

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Source DICTIONARY OF American Naval Fighting ships



There had been eight different ships named USS Washington.The third Washingtona lateen-rigged, two-masted galley—was built on Lake Champlain at Skenesboro N.Y., in the autumn of 1776. On 6 October 1776, the galley joined the small fleet established and commanded by Brigadier General Benedict Arnold.



Washington—commanded by Brigadier General David Waterbury, Arnold's second in command—was among Arnold's ships that anchored in the lee of Valcour Island to await the expected English move. When that lakeward push began, Capt. Thomas Pringle, RN, led a 25-ship fleet past Valcour Island on 11 October. Pringle sighted the American fleet after he had passed it and attacked from leeward. In the ensuing action, Washington suffered the heaviest damage of any ship in Arnold's fleet; Waterbury, her commander, subsequently reported that she was ". . . so torn to pieces that it was almost impossible to keep her above water."


Arnold regrouped his shattered fleet and slipped past the British on 12 October with muffled oars, the Americans slipping noiselessly past Pringle's fleet in a desperate attempt at escape. However, after a long chase, the British caught the retreating Continental force the following day, on 13 October, at Split Rock near Crown Point.


Arnold managed to beach and destroy four of the galleys and his own flagship, Congress, while most of the remaining ships escaped upriver. Only Washington —at the rear of the van—was captured by the enemy; she struck her colors, as Arnold reported later, "... after receiving a few broadsides."


Washington was eventually taken into British service, apparently retaining her name, and was re-rigged as a brig. Her subsequent fate, however, is unrecorded.


The Model:


The model was designed by Jeff Staudt and is one of several he designed in a series of models of ships used during the war of 1812.

The building board I use is a gantry type and I thought I would include a couple pictures of it with the framing plan in place.



Edited by Mike 41
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Hello Mike!


I have seen some pics on google and looks like a beatiful ship to build. Good luck with her.


Can I ask you where did you buy that red small and tiny level? Inet?...


Best wishes!




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Thanks Patrick, I will be posting a lot more pictures.


Hi Daniel,


Thanks she will make a nice looking model. I bought the level at Lowes and it is available thru the Inet.


The frames are all double frames made from European Beachwood. This set of photos shows the frames being assembled.








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Pretty "fatty" Mike! Quite different from the ships I use to see arround...


Was she design to low draught waters? and another, Are you going to bolt together the frames?


Happy modelling!




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Hi Daniel,

The US galleys were mostly designed to operate in coastal waters and rivers and had broad beams (a lot like my wife) LOL. I am using 20 gauge brass wire to bolt the frames together it does a nice job.


These photos show the framing plan and the frames being dry fitted in the keel.





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Hello Mike!


Even dry fitted on the keel plus the rising wood and that "ribband method" the whole set look fair and true. On my next project I´ll do it that way. Rising wood and the ribband... No jigs with iron bolts and sewers.


Are you going to fill the space between the frames to make the water go to the limber?


Beautyful work!




Edited by harvey1847
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Hi Daniel,


Thanks, I like to use ribbands on the amidships section and small jigs at the bow and stern. I won’t be filling the space between the frames on this ship but I will on my next build.


I made a small saw tooth jig to hold the bow cant frames in place while the glue dried. These photos show how I used it.












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The following set of photos show how I made the hawse pieces. I glued the hawse pieces into two blocks and roughed them out on the bandsaw and finished shaping them with a small drum sander.














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Thanks Joe,

I have used this building board for several builds and it has worked well on all of them.


This set of photos shows the half frames on the stern section. I used a very simple jig to align the stern pieces with it is not a thing of beauty but seemed to work well.












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Wow!  Very nice work!

 Current build: Syren : Kit- Model Shipways


Side project: HMS Bounty - Revel -(plastic)

On hold: Pre-owned, unfinished Mayflower (wood)


Past builds: Scottish Maid - AL- 1:50, USS North Carolina Battleship -1/350  (plastic),   Andromede - Dikar (wood),   Yatch Atlantic - 14" (wood),   Pirate Ship - 1:72 (plastic),   Custom built wood Brig from scratch - ?(3/4" =1'),   4 small scratch builds (wood),   Vietnamese fishing boat (wood)   & a Ship in a bottle






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Excellent presentation. You are also a good photographer. I enjoy seeing the progress you are making. Keep it coming and thanks.



New Bedford Whaleboat build. Kit by Model Shipways



I've been making progress on my model and according to the instruction booklet I should be painting it, at least parts of it.

Are acrylic's ok ? I did apply a sanding sealer. but I want to stain the untreated floor boards which are walnut.









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Hello Mike!


That stern looks pretty sturdy... What´s the thickness of the main stern posts? I am at this same point on my Triton and I am worry about how to "strength" more this part of the ship.


Happy modelling!




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Hi Daniel,

The thickness of the stern posts is 4 mm. The stern is not very sturdy at this point. It gets a lot stronger once the deadwood is in place. I will post some photos showing the installation of the deadwood today.


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Hi Daniel,


This set of photos shows where the main strength of the stern comes from and after it is planked it becomes very strong. I will be glad to answer any questions you have. I think the photos are fairly explanatory. I used another low tech jig to install the stern dead wood with.






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How does this compare to the row galleys used on Lake Champlain at the same time?

Chuck Seiler
San Diego Ship Modelers Guild
Nautical Research Guild

Current Build:
Continental Sloop PROVIDENCE, Colonial Schooner SULTANA (scratch from Model Expo Plans), Hanseatic Cog Wutender Hund

Missouri Riverboat FAR WEST (1876) Scratch, 1776 Gunboat PHILADELPHIA (Scratch 1/4 scale-Model Shipways plans)

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Hi Chuck,

I talked to Jeff Staudt the designer of the Washington model plans and he said there was eight different ships named USS Washington and his plans are for the third USS Washington. I had mistakenly listed the history for the second USS Washington and will revise her history to correct the mistake. The answer to your question is she was one of the galleys used on Lake Champlain.

Thanks for your question it is good to know which ship I am building. LOL


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