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USRC Ranger by trippwj - Corel - 1:64 scale


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The United States Coast Guard's official history began on 4 August 1790 when President George Washington signed the Tariff Act that authorized the construction of ten vessels, referred to as "cutters," to enforce federal tariff and trade laws and to prevent smuggling.  Known variously through the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as the "revenue cutters," the "system of cutters," and finally the Revenue Cutter Service, it expanded in size and responsibilities as the nation grew.

 

The United States Revenue Cutter Service was originally established as the Revenue-Marine, and so named for over one hundred years, by then-Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in 1790, to serve as an armed maritime law enforcement service. Throughout its entire existence, the service operated under the authority of the United States Department of the Treasury.

 

Between 1790 and 1798, the Revenue-Marine was the only armed maritime service of the United States, as the Navy had been disbanded. Each cutter captain was answerable to and received his sailing orders directly from the Collector of Customs of the port to which his ship was assigned.

 

Good records on many of the earliest Revenue Cutters are hard to find.  I am using information provided on the USCG Historian's website as well as in Howard Chapelle The History of American Sailing Ships and Donald Canney's U.S. Coast Guard and Revenue Cutters, 1790-1935 as primary historical resources, and will mention other references as I move through the build.

 

I originally started this build last summer and have gotten to the stage of planking the hull. I do not have any early photo's unfortunately. 

 

One of the earliest challenges was deciding upon the scale - the plans indicate that they are at 1:64 scale, while the instruction book is listed as 1:50 scale.  Hmmm...first disconnect was figuring out which scale to use!  If I converted the length on deck at each scale, the 1:50 was far smaller than the known cutters of the time period built to the Doughty plans.  The dimension checked out at 1:64, so first decision point passed.  Now I just need to be careful when i use any of the instruction drawings that are, supposedly, to scale for the build!

 

Next was deciding on the actual cutter to build.  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.

 

Here, then, is my progress to date on the Detector.  i work on her a little at a time when I hit a roadblock on the Harriet Lane.

 

Enjoy!


post-18-0-43467100-1361913327.jpg

 

 

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I had to re-plank the aft section as the original planking started to converge following the deck shape not straight from the foreward planking.

 

post-18-0-38394600-1361913329.jpg

 

 

post-18-0-17402100-1361913331.jpg

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Hi Wayne,

 

I was rooting around in the ships locker trying to figure out what my next build should be and thought you might like to see a comparrison between the deck of a 1:50 AL Dallas and the Corel 1:64 Ranger.

 

post-218-0-73725600-1367276123_thumb.jpg

 

The Dallas is in the running for the next build after seeing Dubz' USRC Alert!

 

 

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Dang - that's a bigger difference than I would have thunk! Wonder if the actual Dallas was a larger plan (Doughty had 3 - 30, 51 & 74 ton if memory serves).

 

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 picture below, the Ranger deck plan is above the yellow yardstick and the Dallas deck plan is below that.

 

post-218-0-36803400-1367372514_thumb.jpg

 

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. I don't know if this is helps, but it was fun to open the boxes and look stuff over! :D

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Had some time on my hands this evening sitting in the hotel so went back and looked through my long dormant log for the Ranger.  I have come to realize that the reason it has been dormant so long and the skeleton sitting forlornly on a shelf is that I am intimidated by the thought of planking this hull.  I got 3 planks on (note it will be double planked) and do not like the look - is this clinker effect something that aggressive application of sandpaper and bondo will smooth out to allow for a smooth second planking, or is this doomed to failure?  Not really sure why they did this or, for that matter, if I even got them lined up right to begin with.

 

Help?????

 

post-18-0-44474000-1385005803_thumb.jpg

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Hey Wayne!

 

I'm no expert on this but what I think you have there are the 2 lower planks collapsing because they didn't 'take the bend' well.  If you had solid fillers in the bow to support the planks, this may not have happened.  Did you thoroughly soak these planks prior to bending or use some other method?

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OK.  So the next question is did you let them dry out in a jig or somehow taped to the outline of the hull before you glued them to the frames.  I think your seeing where I'm going.  If they were pre dried in the approximate shape, then you should be able to get the smooth bend you need even without bulkhead 'fillers'

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Yes, it takes a lot longer to dry then to wet.  I guess you can't experiment now in the hotel room....but perhaps give a long dry time to a few when you get home and play with the flex.  You might be surprised how much of a nice even bow you can get and it'll hold it once it's dry and you glue it up.

 

I don't think there are many of us who don't have headaches up in that area.  I use that homemade bending jig Chuck suggested and actually overbend just a hair.  I let them dry 6+ hours and have had pretty good luck.

 

Safe trip home.....

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Thanks, Augie - will try that out this weekend.  Would that bend problem translate to the misfit for about half of the length?  The bend at the stern to lay across the bottom of the transom worked better, but that is a twist rather than a bend.

 

Time to drag this one off the shelf as a way to learn planking so I can do the Emma C. Berry the right way.  Long day ahead - meetings til 2pm, then a 7 pm flight home, get to the airport about midnight then a 2 1/2 hour drive home.  AND I need to work Friday.  Come to think of it, the planking may need to wait another week.  I think I need to hibernate for the weekend!

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I think it Would Wayne.  You've got quite a curve there with that bluff bow.  That bulkhead puts a lot of stress on that plank at that point and, if a plank is going to collapse or 'fold' it will give way right at that point.  You're double planked so you might be able to cover it.  But play with a few planks after you come out of 'hibernation'.  Let us know!

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For what it is worth Wayne, I have actually started to become kind of fond of Windex as a "wetter" to bend the wood.  I typically just pop the top off the bottle, sink the wood in there, let it sit there a few minutes take it out, bend and wait a few minutes.   I MAY perhaps be a bit of an impatient person in some cases and found Windex bends nice, dries pretty quick and does not retain the blue tint from the liquid (at least so far it hasn't). IF that is a concern, there is clear as well.

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