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Topsail Schooner "Eagle" 1847 by Pete Jaquith - Finished


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The Topsail Schooner “Eagle” had a length of 81’ 7”, beam of 22’ 8”, depth of 7’ 10”, and tonnage of 140 tons. Both the “Eagle” and her sistership “Arrowsic” were built in Arrowsic Island on the Kennebec River (near the present shipbuilding city of Bath, ME) in 1847 for the lumber and ice trade by builder Samuel Pattee. During the mid-19th century small schooners of this sort were widely employed in the East Coast trade; their schooner rigs an easy adaption to the prevailing westerly winds and economy in crew size.

 

The model was scratch built to a scale of 3/16” to the foot (1:64) using old Model Shipways plans by William Zakambell. Additional research was conducted at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, ME where a large scale model of the “Arrowsic” is on display. The model is plank on solid construction, with built up bulwarks, planked decks and topsides, coppered bottom, and scratch built deck furniture/fittings. Limited commercial fittings were utilized where appropriate, and the rigging is proportional linen line with Warner Woods’ blocks. The Topsail Schooner “Eagle” is my 3rd wooden ship model and my 1st scratch build.

 

Pete Jaquith

Shipbuilder

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Welcome to Topsail Schooner "Eagle" 1847 build log,

 

The Topsail Schooner "Eagle" 1847 is a 3/16" scale plank on solid scratch build. The construction sequence is similar to my "Newsboy" 1854 build. The hull was carved from basswood laminations. Key Points include:

 

>>> Laminations were glued (dark wood glue) and doweled together

>>> Deck shear and camber was carved 1st

>>> Poop deck lifts were left loose until the fore deck was complete

>>> Inverted hull was attached to a building board giving a common base for hull templates

>>> Upper hull was recessed 3/64" for hull planking (lower hull will be coppered)

>>> Stem, keel, stern post, and rudder were fitted

>>> Mounting pedestals were fitted and mounting holes drilled

 

Pete Jaquith

Shipbuilder

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Welcome to the Topsail Schooner "Eagle" 1847 build log,

 

With the hull block prepared, next step is the deck planking. Key points include:

 

>>> Hatch/house coamings, bowsprit, jibboom, and anchor windlass were fabricated 1st as they control the deck planking layout

>>> House/hatch coamings were constructed with 1/2 lapped corners

>>> Anchor windlass kitbashed from Bluejacket windlass casting kit

>>> Deck planking fitted to coamings, poop bulkhead coaming, and planksheer

>>> Deck planking nibbed into margin/nibbing strake

>>> Thick plank fitted to support anchor windlass

>>> Coamings, planksheer, and poop bulkhead coaming will be removed for finishing/paint

 

Note that this sequence is somewhat different than "Newsboy" because of the built up bulwarks.

 

Pete Jaquith

Shipbuilder

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Continuing the "Eagle" 1847 build log,

 

With the main deck planking fitted, I continued with the poop bulkhead and poop deck planking. Key points include:

 

>>> Poop deck planking was fitted with a tapered king plank (planking parallel to deck at side and house coaming, change from the model plans as this was typical of the period)

>>> Provision made for poop deck margin planks and thick planks for rooster tails (boat davits)

>>> Deck planking stained with oil stain and finished with wiping varnish

>>> After painting, poop bulkhead coaming and planksheers were installed

>>> Poop bulkhead was planked and painted

>>> Poop deck scuppers were fitted (fine brass tubing)

 

Next steps will include planking the transom and constructing the built up bulwarks. Then the construction sequence will be similar to "Newsboy" 1854.

 

 

Pete Jaquith

Shipbuilder

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Thank you for your interest in "Eagle" 1847,

 

With deck planking complete, next steps are transom planking, bulwark framing, and upper hull planking. Key points include:

 

Transom Planking

>>> Transom planking was cut from 3/64" sheet stock to provide the expanded shape

>>> Fancy pieces were final shaped in place

>>> Transom planking was sequenced prior to hull/bulwark planking

 

Bulwark Framing

>>> Planksheer/covering boards were fabricated with slots for timberheads

>>> Every 3rd timberhead was slotted into hull block; slots were easly cut with a sharp razor blade and fine chisel

>>> A single inner plank and upper bulwark plank were used to fair the timberheads

>>> Space between above planks filled with sq stock to provide a solid base for cap rails

>>> Bulwark planks 1/32" x 3/32"

>>> Hull planks 3/64" x 1/8"

>>> LESSONS LEARNED - SLOT EVERY TIMBERHEAD INTO THE HULL BLOCK (every 2nd will work on side)

>>> LESSONS LEARNED - LEAVE ADDED MATERIAL ON THE FORWARD TIMBERHEADS TO FAIR IN PLACE

 

Pete Jaquith

Shipbuilder

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Thank you for your interest in "Eagle" 1847,

 

Additional pictures of bulwark and upper hull planking. Key points include:

 

>>> Forward bulwark/hull planks have a significant downward curve when expanded

>>> Curved planks cut with a single edge razor blade and ships curves

>>> Hull planking extends ~1/8" below the waterline (copper line)

>>> 1/32" bulwark and 3/64" hull planks leave a slight ledge at the deck at side (typical of the period)

>>> Allowance made for 3/64" half round white bulwark molding (to be added after painting)

>>> Lower bulwark plank include slots for scuppers

 

Regards,

Pete Jaquith

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Welcome to the Topsail Schooner "Eagle" 1847 build log,

 

Continuing with hull planking; key points include:

 

>>> Double timberheads fitted in way of catheads

>>> Bulwark and upper hull planking continued to below copper line

>>> Joint between planking and hull block faired with wood filler

>>> Anchor stowage pad installed on forward bulwarks (note gap for trim molding)

>>> Anchor bolsters/inner pads fitted

>>> Trim moldings fitted from stem to anchor bolsters

>>> Hause pipes drilled out

>>> Chain plates fitted with assistance of temporary mast

 

Pete Jaquith

Shipbuilder

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Thank you for your interest in "Eagle" 1847,

 

Work continues on bulwark/hull painting, cap rails, trim pieces, etc. Key points include:

 

>>> Inner bulwarks painted (unpainted areas left for fore staysail horse and catheads)

>>> Exterior bulwarks/upper hull painted

>>> Cap rails/poop planksheer painted/fitted

>>> Forward caprail pieces left loose for bowsprit installation

>>> Thick pads for rooster tails (boat davits) fitted

>>> Bulwark molding trim painted/fitted

>>> Transom molding trim/fancy piece painted/fitted

>>> Ships name/hailing port installed on transom

>>> LESSONS LEARNED - FUTURE BUILDS, HEAD RAILS SHOULD BE FITTED PRIOR TO HULL PAINT

>>> LESSONS LEARNED - FUTURE BUILDS, WHITE FOR SHIP's NAME/HAILING PORT WOULD STAND OUT BETTER

 

Pete Jaquith

Shipbuilder

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Welcome to the "Eagle" 1847 build log,

 

Next steps include the design and installation of copper sheathing. Key points include:

 

>>> Copper layout includes upper/lower gore strakes with no WL dressing belt (typical of small trading and whaling vessels)

>>> Copper layout similar to whaling Brig "Cate Cory"

>>> Copper plates 1/4" x 3/4" (16" x 4' 0") copper tape cut on rotary card cutter

>>> Copper plates embossed on two edges with fine pounce wheel

>>> Waterline located with use of surface guage

>>> Blue painters tape strips used to layout/guide plate installation

>>> Plates cut to shape at gore and waterlines

>>> Some trimming of plates required at WL under counter

>>> LESSON LEARNED - Brigantine "Newsboy" 1854 COPPERED WITH PLAIN PLATES; I PREFER THAT LOOK OVER EMBOSSED PLATES

 

 

Pete Jaquith

Shipbuilder

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Welcome to the "Eagle" 1847 build log,

 

Next steps include installing the bowsprit, Samson post, anchor windlass, spray rails, etc. Key points include:

 

>>> Bowsprit setup with cap bands, cleats, etc.

>>> Bowsprit sub-assembled with Sampson post and anchor windlass components

>>> Bowsprit sub-assembly fitted

>>> Anchor windlass fitted

>>> Foward cap rail sections fitted

>>> Catheads fitted

>>> Spray rails fabricated / fitted from basswood sheet stock

>>> Ship's name fitted on spray rails

 

Pete Jaquith

Shipbuilder

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Welcome to the "Eagle" 1847 build log,

 

Next steps include the head rails. Key points include:

 

>>> Head structure fabricated from basswood stock

>>> Stem scroll work done with fine gold paint pens

>>> LESSON LEARNED - FIT HEAD STRUCTURE BEFORE HULL PAINTING

 

Pete Jaquith

Shipbuilder

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Welcome to the "Eagle" 1847 build log,

 

Next steps address installation of deadeyes and poop rails. Key points include:

 

>>> Deadeyes were Bluejacket castings

>>> Poop rails fabricated from bass strip wood (counter rails fabricated from sheet stock)

>>> Poop rail stanctions were Bluejacket castings

>>> Rooster tails (boat davit) fabricated from bass strip wood

>>> Poop front rail was an addition to original plans

 

Pete Jaquith

Shipbuilder

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Floyd,

 

As best I can recall, the poop rails were constructed as follows:

 

>>> Rail base sits on poop deck planksheer, a continuation of the cap rails

>>> Caprails/planksheers were fabricated from 3/64" x 3/16" stripwood w 3/64" double bead trim (curved counter planksheer fabricated from 3/64" sheet wood)

>>> Rail bases were fabricated from 3/32" x 3/32" stripwood (counter base fabricated from sheet wood)

>>> Rail stanctions were Bluejacket castings

>>> Upper rail were fabricated from 3/64" x 1/18" stripwood (counter rail fabricated from strip wood)

>>> Corners were half lapped

>>> Rooster tails (boat davits were integrated into the rail base)

>>> Care should be taken to keep rail stanctions vertical although P/S rails lean inboard forward (to clear main shrouds)

>>> I believe I drilled stanction holes in base using upper rails as a template

>>> Poop rails were assembled in place

 

Regards,

Pete

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Welcome to the Topsail Schooner "Eagle" 1847 build log,

 

In my Topsail Schooner "Eagle" 1847 and Brigantine "Newsboy" 1854 build logs you can observe my interest in mid 1800's merchant sail.  I see these as beautiful ships and an excellent focus for my ship modeling.  Time permitting, future plans for this series include:

  • Topsail Schooner "Eagle" 1847 - scratch build, complete
  • Brigantine "Newsboy" 1854 - kit bash, in process, ready to set up rigging
  • Merchant Brig "Volante" 1853 - scratch build, future
  • Whaling Brig "Kate Cory" 1856 - kit bash, future
  • Clipper Ship "Flying Fish" 1851 - kit bash, future
  • Pilot Schooner "Mary Taylor" 1851 - kit bash, future
  • Pilot Schooner "Phantom" 1868 - scratch build, future

Other competing build candidates include:

  • 14 Gun Brig "Fair American" circa 1780 - kit bash, in process, hull planking working
  • Steam Salvage Tug "Foundation Franklin" 1918 - scratch build, future
  • Steam Tug "Seguin" 1884 - kit bash, future

Pete Jaquith

Shipbuilder

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Thank you for your interest in the "Eagle" 1847 build log,

 

With the hull, bulwarks, rails, and hull outfit complete; the following posts will address deck furniture and associated deck outfit. These chapters of the build will work from the bow aft and include the following:

 

>>> Fwd companionway & smokepipe

>>> Hatch covers & coamings

>>> Fife rails

>>> Fore staysail, fore sail, and main horses

>>> Poop ladders

>>> Anchors, anchor chain & rigging, etc.

>>> Main house

>>> Elm tree pumps

>>> Water cask

>>> Steering gear

 

Pete Jaquith

Shipbuilder

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Welcome to the "Eagle" 1847 build log,

 

Proceeding with the deck furniture. Key Points include:

 

>>> Fwd companionway dimensions critical as it fitts between the anchor windlass and fore staysail sheet horse

>>> Hatch boards fitted to sub bases set into coamings

>>> Fife rails constructed from laminated stripwood

>>> Fife rail stanctions Bluejacket castings

>>> Aft house bulkheads laminated on sub bases (see separate notes on deckhouse construction, similar to "Newsboy" 1854)

>>> Sub asemblies designed to fit together and left loose to facilate painting

>>> Final assembly / installation after painting

 

Pete Jaquith

Shipbuilder

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Welcome to the "Eagle" 1847 build log,

 

Additional details on deck furniture include:

 

>>> Coamings, house bulkhead assembly, house top, and companionway top left loose to facilate painting

>>> House top planking run parallel to house sides (vs. parallel CL on original plans)

>>> Stove pipe added (not on original plans)

>>> Two elm tree pumps fitted (one shown on plans but it would not work effectively with CL keel assembly)

>>> Water cask fitted on CL

>>> Water cask planked over solid basswood plug

>>> Mahogany binnacle fitted to aft house bulkhead

 

Pete Jaquith

Shipbuilder

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