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Splash Boards on 1815-1822 Revenue Cutters


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I have been Kit bashing the AL Dallas revenue cutter.  I have done a lot of research and collected a lot of materials on the Doughty revenue cutters circa 1815.  See Chapelle's History of American Sailing Ships, chapter four.   By the way, the AL kit is not the Dallas, as it dipicts the 79 ton cutter.  The Dallas was the 51 ton Doughty cutter.  I have also collected the plans of the the  Ranger,(a Corel kit) a non existant ship, which is also a Doughty revenue cutter circa 1815.  The Doughty cutters, 31 ton, 51 ton and 79 ton cutters have no bulwarks.  The AL kit and the Corel kit also have no bulwarks.  However, in the Bows, they have what in the AL kit are termed splash boards.  In the the Corel Kit, they are termed element #45.  Italian to English. a continuing problem.  In the Chapelle plans they are dipictied as solid boards.   In both kits they are dipicted as solid boards.  All three have 4 knight heads carved into the top of the splash boards.  It does not seem correct to me.    My question is,     In real ship building practice, how are they really built?  Are they solid pieces, most likely pine. That would be several feet long and several feet high solid pieces with knight heads carved or set into them,  OR------- are the knight heads extensions of  the forward cant frames and the splash boards planked like a bulwark?

 

Just how were they built in 1815?

 

Phil Roach

Director, Nautical Research Guild

President, Southwest Florida Ship Modeler's Guild.

Edited by roach101761

Phil Roach

Former Director, Nautical Research Guild

Member Shipmodeler's Guild Southwest Florida

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I don't know the answer to your question but I will be interested if someone else does know, I've just removed mine as part of the replacement of the deck planking.

 

So if it's not the Dallas, what is she to be called? I did some brief research when I restarted the build and came across a few anomalies around the date but had decided to go with the US Coast Guard's date for the Dallas at 1816 not 1815 (see http://www.uscg.mil/history/webcutters/Dallas1816.pdf, the same site gives 1815 as the date for the sister ship Surprise).

 

Measuring the length and beam of the plan at 1/50th scale the AL model does seem somewhat larger than the Dallas and Surprise (length 56'8", beam 17').

 

On page 77 of The global schooner : origins, development, design & construction 1695-1845 / Karl Heinz Marquardt, it states that the Surprise was built in 1815 but the Dallas was not built until 1821 and was then "lost" in 1822. Interestingly, it gives the following numbers; 79 ton, length 69' 6", beam 19'. This is much closer to the model size.

 

Looking at the list of cutters at http://www.uscg.mil/history/webcutters/CUTTERLIST.asp, some possibilities might be:

 

Alert 1818

Detector 1815

Eagle 1816

Search 1815

 

There are others in the list from around the same period (1815-25) with no size information. Detector and Search seem a little light.

 

Are you planning to put up a build log?

 

Richard

Richard

Current Build: Early 19th Century US Revenue Cutter (Artesania Latina "Dallas" - messed about)

Completed Build: Yakatabune - Japanese - Woody Joe mini

Member: Nautical Research Guild & Midwest Model Shipwrights

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Hello Phil,

 

I built the AL Dallas kit over 20 years ago and collected what information I could at that time including a copy of the Coast Guard Record of Movements for the ship. What information do you have that says Dallas was a 51-ton cutter? According to the book The Coast Guard Under Sail (not a primary research source, I know), it was suggested that the Dallas was built to Doughty's 79-ton design. So, I always took the AL kit as the Dallas of the 79-ton design.

 

Those "spash boards" I always assumed were like hawse timbers and were the timberheads of the cant frames and filler between them. It would appear that the anchor cables would run out over the top of them, so they did serve as hawse timbers and had to be quite strong.

 

 

Richard,

 

I am assuming that the vessel Marquardt mentions may actually be a replacement for the first Dallas, since that one was sold off in 1821.

 

 

 

Clare

Clare Hess

He's a -> "HE"

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This is from the Dallas AL plans:

 

post-12980-0-70946800-1404696935.png

 

This is from the Alert 1818 plans:

 

post-12980-0-46445000-1404696970.png

 

Richard.

Richard

Current Build: Early 19th Century US Revenue Cutter (Artesania Latina "Dallas" - messed about)

Completed Build: Yakatabune - Japanese - Woody Joe mini

Member: Nautical Research Guild & Midwest Model Shipwrights

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Sorry I could not post these pictures yesterday.   The attachments are a picture of the 80 ton cutter from Chapelle's book History of American Sailing Ships.  The second attachment is a page from Corel's Ranger showing the splash boards.   I look forward to everyone's contstruction interpretations.

 

Phil Roach

NRG Director

President Southwest Florida Ship Modeler's Guild.

 

Corel Ranger.pdf

Chapelle.pdf

Phil Roach

Former Director, Nautical Research Guild

Member Shipmodeler's Guild Southwest Florida

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Richard and Clare;

 

Prior to begining my build I collected a lot of research on Dallas.  Then one day I was Reading Don Canney's book US Coast Guard and Revenue Cutters and he stated that Dallas and It's sister Suprise were the 51 ton Daughty design cutter.  I was shocked.  Chapelle says 80 tons.  How could this be?  So I called him, told him of my shock and requested his source.  A few weeks later he called back and directed me to the David Gelston Papers at Mystic Seaport.  Gelston was the collector of revenue in NY City.  The papers contain the correspondence From Secretary Dallas that orders and directs its building by Adam and Noah Brown.  The papers contain the contract and later the certification of the ships mesurements.  I began researching more and collected a research partner along the way.  YUP  51 tons.     No doubt.  I am in the process of writting an article or two.  I have a very rough draft so far.   An other problem is that two vessels were built at the same time.  One went to Savanah.  The other went to Mass.   Not SC.  I now call my model the Ship that Is NOT the Dallas.  Still looking for data to determine a name for any 80 ton Cutter built to the Daughty large plan.    The Ship was contracted for in August of 1815,  Launched in Oct 1815, Delivered to its captain in NY City in Dec. 1815 and is reported at Savannah shortly before the end of the year.  The ship served until Nov. 1821 when it was sold out by public auction in Charleston SC.  I have a complete copy of the Record Of Movements.  For the early boats there are a lot of errors and inconsistencies.  King just references Chappel.  I called him up also and spoke with him.   As to a build log, probalbly not.  I build SLoooooooooooooooow.  It is also  at a reletively advanced stage.  Masting almost done, deck furniture almost done.  I had a lot of modifications.  Hull is complete but for coppering.   Contract says it was Coppered to the bends.  Other contracts for contemporary cutters called for copper plating the hulls.  Also have a reference in a letter regaring damage to the copper on the actual boat.  Perhaps some pictures, do not know yet.  I think that answered all of you questions.  If I missed one let me know.   However, I have a couple.

 

Where is the spell check on this thing?

 

How were those splash board made?  By the way I modified the stern.  I added stern timbers, planked it and then trimmed it in Ebony.

 

Phil Roach

NRG Director

President Southwest Florida Ship Modeler's Guild

Phil Roach

Former Director, Nautical Research Guild

Member Shipmodeler's Guild Southwest Florida

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Very interesting bit of data, Phil.  Thank you for sharing that!  Have been digging around on the Doughty cutters as well (starting when I found the Corel model of the USRC Ranger is totally fictitious!). 

 

I suspect, but have no proof, that the splashboards are actually a couple of separate construction items.  The bitts there would tend to indicate an extension of solid framing timbers (knightheads) - would need additional strength to do the job there.  The rest is likely solid planking (perhaps a bit heavier than normal bulwark planking would be) to both aid in diverting the spray since these cutters would have a tendency to want to ship water over the bow in a heavy sea, and also to provide stiffening between the bitts.

 

Of course, that is all conjecture - but it seems reasonable given the way similar size topsail schooners were built at the time.

 

There was no 1823 USRC Ranger (the kit name).  I had a choice of several similar topsail schooners, but opted for the Detector.  The Detector was built in 1825 by Fisher & Webster of North Yarmouth, Maine.  She was stationed in Portland Maine for her career. I like the USRC Detector - my Admiral was an instructor for several years on Radiation Detectors, so thought it would be a good way to pay her some honors.

 

I did some length on deck measuring on the two plans and worked the scale thing backwards to see how it worked out with Chapelle's descriptions. Using highly nautical terms, I measured the length along the centerline to the raised edge board thingies around the perimeter of the deck. I went to the closest 1/16".

 

In "The History of American Sailing Ships", Chapelle says the Dallas was a sister ship to the Surprise built to William Doughty's 69'-6" plan (pg 194). I measured 17.25" on the AL Dallas plan and at 1:50, that would be 17.25 divided by .24 = 71.875'. If the scale were really 1:48 instead of the more Euro 1:50, the 17.25 would be divided by .25 = 69' which matches Chapelle's info more closely.

 

On the Corel Ranger plans, I measured 10-15/16" to the perimeter board thingies. Dividing that by .1875 for the 1:64 scale, that ends up at 58'-4". On page 186, Chapelle describes the Massachusetts as being 58'-6-1/2".

 

So the Dallas would be the largest tonnage and the Ranger would be the mid-size one based on the model plans, at least. I don't know if this is helps, but it was fun to open the boxes and look stuff over!

Wayne

Neither should a ship rely on one small anchor, nor should life rest on a single hope.
Epictetus

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Wayne, Richard and Clare--  Thank you for your responses.

 

Wayne and Richard, Thanks for the math.  The Dallas kit does work out to be the large cutter and the Ranger Kit does work out to be the mid size cutter. Some one confirmed that a few years back, but I had lost the math.  Thanks for getting it back to me.

 

As to how to build the splash boards, based on your feed back I have decided to do the following.  It is unlikely those splash boards were one piece on Port or starboard.  They are probably cant frames extended above the deck level with filler pieces added  OR they are filler pieces made to extend above the deck and shaped like knight heads with more filler pieces placed between them.  Because the hull and deck are fully planked it will not matter which.  I also think that the splash boards would not have a flat profile as in those model plans or Chapelle's drawings. Perhaps I will shape them according to the contour of the hull.  Therefore I will shape four posts to look like knight heads, drill holes and or carve holes in the margin plank at the bow and insert them in the deck.  I may or may not make them with an upward curvature.  I will then attach filler pieces to them and shape the assembly to a curvature on the inside or not.  I will see. 

 

My next problem is what to build them from.  I have trimmed the whole boat in ebony.  I might do it here.  Knight heads with ebony with the filler pieces in cherry.

 

I did figure out the spell check.  Still trying to set up my signature block

 

Phil Roach

NRG Director

President Southwest Florida Ship Modeler's Guild

Edited by roach101761

Phil Roach

Former Director, Nautical Research Guild

Member Shipmodeler's Guild Southwest Florida

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I found a picture or two of the early stages of My ship that is not the Dallas.

 

post-9995-0-17610600-1404869663_thumb.jpg

 

This shows the deck lay out.  I used too much magic marker and it bled.  I am still working out a way to get some of it off.  I used curved and tapered deck planks.  There are only 20 butts in the planking.  10 each port and starboard.  The longest plank works out to 42 feet.  I do not believe that Americans hacked their pine trees into 20 foot pieces for deck planks.   It makes no sense.

 

post-9995-0-59517500-1404870247_thumb.jpg

 

For a comparison the deck displayed next to the deck plan from the AL kit.   You can see the ridiculously short planks have been eliminated. 

 

post-9995-0-00134600-1404869922_thumb.jpg

 

Profile view.  Trimmed in Ebony.  The stern shows the stern timbers I added in cherry and then planked in cherry and trimmed in ebony.

 

Phil Roach

NRG Director

President Southwest Florida Ship Modeler's Guild

Phil Roach

Former Director, Nautical Research Guild

Member Shipmodeler's Guild Southwest Florida

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Phil,

 

This is probably more info than what you wanted but it should give you the info you need on signatures: http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/760-how-to-add-a-build-log-link-to-your-signature/

Mark
"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

Current Build:                                                                                             
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                                                                                                                       USS Constellaton (kit bashed to 1854 Sloop of War  _(Gallery) Build Log

                                                                                Wasa (Gallery)

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Non-Ship Model:                                                                                         On hold, maybe forever:           

CH-53 Sikorsky - 1:48 - Revell - Completed                                                   Licorne - 1755 from Hahn Plans (Scratch) Version 2.0 (Abandoned)         

         

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

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  • 3 weeks later...

Wayne and Richard, Thanks for the math.  The Dallas kit does work out to be the large cutter and the Ranger Kit does work out to be the mid size cutter. Some one confirmed that a few years back, but I had lost the math.  Thanks for getting it back to me.

 

So does this mean the Dallas AL kit is the Dallas (maybe at 1/48)?  

 

Richard

Richard

Current Build: Early 19th Century US Revenue Cutter (Artesania Latina "Dallas" - messed about)

Completed Build: Yakatabune - Japanese - Woody Joe mini

Member: Nautical Research Guild & Midwest Model Shipwrights

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Hi!

 

After Irving King The Coast Guard under Sail 1989

80 tonner:
Surprise in 1815
Dallas 1821
Crawford 1821
all built in New York

51 tonner:
Louisiana 1819
Alabama 1819
all built in New York
and probably
Search 1815 Newport, Rhode Island
Detector 1815 Newport, Rhode Island
Wasp in 1815 and a second Detector 1815 Portland, Maine

Without warranty, because of the quick look I threw in the book.

King,
unlike Chapelle,.calls his sources. And these sources seem convincing to me.
 

An interesting book whose purchase is also worth due to small anecdotes from the life of the ships.

Edited by Chapman
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Richard and Chapman

 

The AL Kit Dallas is a model of the 80 ton revenue cutter plan.   However, the real Dallas was built on the 51 ton plan.  Its why I call my model the "The Ship that is NOT the Dallas".  Marc Mosco a few years back explained that the kit was created and marketed to take advantage of the popular TV series by the same name. 

 

As to the information provided by King, if you look at the sources he sites, he sites Howard Chapelle.  See my post above for my journey to identify the ship. 

 

Phil Roach

NRG Director

President, Southwest Florida Ship Modeler's Guild

Phil Roach

Former Director, Nautical Research Guild

Member Shipmodeler's Guild Southwest Florida

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  • 6 months later...

Crew

I see by the date this is a lost build,but thought I would ask a question and see what happens.

I am building the USRC Craawford using Doughty 79 ton drawings however I can not find the Frame spacing,have reseached with no luck, does any one known

where I can find the frame spacing for a USRC?

Thanks

Bill Bibeault

Athens Ga.

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Bill

 

Good to hear from you.  What a genuine surprise.  From your question I take it that you are doing a fully framed model.   I also see that this is your first post.   I think that the frame spacing question will have a general practices answer.  It of course is not in the contract for Dallas we have.  I will see what I can find on the site and let you know.  I am still learning the site.  I know it can be searched.   Will get back to you.

 

Phil Roach

Phil Roach

Former Director, Nautical Research Guild

Member Shipmodeler's Guild Southwest Florida

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Your splash boards look to me as if they could very well be extensions of the hawse timbers and top timbers.  Where the hawse holes are would be between two timbers, with half the hole in each timber.

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Joel

 

I agree.  I have not yet attempted to fashion them yet.  It involves drilling holes in the margin plank at the bow.  I will try to make them look like extension of the timbers, but however on the model they will not actually be extensions because it is a plank no bulkhead model.   Thanks for your input. 

 

Phil

Phil Roach

Former Director, Nautical Research Guild

Member Shipmodeler's Guild Southwest Florida

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  • 5 years later...

The vigilant was renamed the Dallas and was twice the size of Active which was 30+ tons. So likely there was a 51 and 69 ton Dallas. 

Build on hold: HM Sultana 1/64th scale

 

Current Build: 31 ton Doughty revenue cutter as USRC Active 1/64th scale (in progress)

 

Future Interests: Ballahoo, Diligence, Halifax and beyond...

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