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Mark Pearse

28 foot Ranger type yacht by Mark Pearse - 1:12 scratch built, plank on frame, small

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Hi everyone,


I've been working on the model boat but haven't posted due to some other projects.


Technical Advisor to my daughter on her build:



& repainting the 1:1 boat:




But on the model I've finished & mounted the gooseneck/spider band. The ageing of the brass is not entirely successful but can probably be improved by removing some.



The mast cap, bow side on the right:



& spreaders were painted silver to replicate SS. Not sure on that one either but we'll see 



Bowsprit is shaped. From drawings that I drew it was quite a bit longer, but when I made it that size it just didn't look right - so I reduced it by about 300mm actual size. The boat design drawings don't give rigging, but I reasoned that it could be longish as the boat was designed for harbour racing with picnicking & some near coastal cruising - but not 'romantically' long. There's the temptation to do it solely on looks, & there's not many things that beat the visual flourish that a nice bowsprit gives to a yacht....so it was one of those decisions.  Anyway, this is what I came up with:





I also reduced the height of the aft ends of the cutwaters, they were just too high, about 75mm actual is enough. It doesn't really show in the photo, but they taper downwards from the forward end.


And after some biblical-grade trials, the detail connecting the (bought) turnbuckles to the chainplates was completed. I'm thinking of a simpler detail for most other shroud end details, where the wire terminates at a tang with a hole. 











Edited by Mark Pearse

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thanks John,


a good suggestion & I that's what I did initially on my sketch drawing of the rig. However, Cherub's bowsprit is very long as it was lengthened by about 350mm when we converted her back to a gaff rig, to improve the balance on a rig that was larger than the original (with the mast position staying in place, a larger main was going to worsen a weather helm that in polite company is called "heavy"). When I saw that length on this model, I realised that it was almost certainly longer than what would have been in Cliff Gale's mind when he penned this last iteration of the design, & decided that I had better stick to a length that was more historically consistent.



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thank you Egen, I appreciate your interest. 


I'd previously thought the bowsprit looked good, but after looking longer it looked too thick - & also the entasis looked wrong. Rather than a straight taper it was a curved taper & thickest at the stem. So now it's looking better, but it doesn't really show in the photos. It's also finished now too, my usual technique of wiping with a rag dipped in varnish to give a satin finish. As with the other spars the timber is Kauri Pine.


The bowsprit cap fitting (correct name anyone?) is done as well, & that photographs well. The drama of shiny brass is interesting but I feel it makes the part look larger, so darkening it will have it looking a little less noticeable & a little more like a practical fitting.










The whisker stay chainplates are almost done as well. Simulated rivets, which will also help with fixing to the hull.



thanks, Mark


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On 1/30/2018 at 9:33 PM, Jim Lad said:

More very nice blacksmithing, Mark! :)



Not that the items are very black, but excellent smithing nonetheless. ;-)

Missed your recent updates somehow. The bowsprit came out fine after your trimming.


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Hi Mark


The quality of your workmanship...just amazing!  This is, without without a doubt, one of my most favourite Build Logs on MSW.


On another note, I can only say that you’re probably doing an even better job than the full-sized boat builder’s would have...and that’s saying a lot!





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I managed a couple of hours today of happy modelling & made the whisker stay turnbuckle connections. And this time I thought I'd photograph how I made them, I doubt the technique is original but it is interesting to see how others do things & I've been a bit reluctant considering the refined techniques that others here are masters of - but it's time to be "out & proud" as they say....no more being sheepish about using mediaeval technology.


The whisker stay chainplates were already made, & I had purchased some very nice - & well scaled - turnbuckles. The turnbuckles had previously had one end converted from an eyelet to a T end, to allow this junction. The point of the junction is to have the turnbuckle directly connected to the chainplate, similar to an actual rigging detail.


The basic equipment - rod, think flat bar & a thicker flat bar for use as a spacer:



Bend the thin flat bar, the rod is what I used for the T end of the turnbuckle so it's the correct diameter for the inside of the U:



Drill the U bend in the flat bar, the turnbuckle shaft will go through here:



Clean up the inside of the U (the sanding block is on 1.5mm styrene, with a rounded edge):



Clamp the spacer & squeeze the U closed a bit more, the thickness of the spacer matches the width of the chain plate eyelet:



Drill through both:



Make a rivet, thicken the end with some gentle taps:



Roughly assembled:



Cleaned up & fully assembled:



15 seconds in the darkening solution, then installed on the hull by glueing the chainplate rivets into holes in the hull:




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Don't bother 'bout the fancy methods from others Mark. I would be thrilled to bits to get it as spiffy as you did. A real good looking piece of brass engineering ...

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thanks all.

Keith, I stabbed myself with a piece of brass & was bleeding, (& I won't say what I was using as a hammer but it's right up there with using a chisel as a screwdriver).


Sailor - thanks, yes that does sound familiar now. Do you recall what the name of the fitting at the top of the stem would be? Gammon....?

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yes, that's it - the fitting at the top of the stem - like this, in this case it also has some bow rollers - but I'm not sure it's needed to hold the bowsprit down in all cases, assuming the bowsprit is housed into the samson post


thanks for clarifying - & what do you mean by "gammoning is the rope"?


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turnbuckle for the whisker stay done & coloured:



I was in a quandary about the bobstay chainplate.... the type I want to use has the base part faired to the stem shape; or the alternative is that sometimes the fitting has two plates in a Y, surface mounted on the hull but I am not so keen on that type, I think it would be better to bolt through the stem timbers for this most significant fitting, than laterally through it & planking (maybe solid blocking was used). If the protruding flange was all I made (& pretend the rest was there but just painted over), then fixing it would be tricky as there would be some load on the model fitting. But the base part & flange all in one seemed tough. In the end I shaped it all, cut & shaped down from some brass flat bar about 2mm thick.



Then fixed in place. The rivets are glued into holes, & when the glue is dried I will sand the heads down a bit, they stick out a bit too much. Then fill around the sides a bit & paint it, & do the bobstay itself. I haven't gone through it completely in my head yet but I think that then I can do the stays & shrouds.


The actual fitting would have a central cast bolt also, behind the flange, but the two end ones must be loose because the three bolts would not be parallel. The fitting is about 20mm long, so 240mm actual, & about 25mm thick actual dimension.




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I just stumbled upon this thread and have read every word in the last hour or so. May I say as a complete novice what an inspiration this kind of work is. Sadly I have taken up this great hobby too late in life to hope to achieve this level of competence. However I can still admire great work like this when the opportunity comes along.


Thank you for sharing your wonderful work.


Best regards,

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Greetings Mark,

I recently discovered your log on the Ranger 28. In my younger days I was in love with a Ranger 29 so I excitedly jumped into reading your log. I quickly found that there was probably 40 years or so between my heart throb Ranger 29 and your masterpiece 28. I was never able to acquire the 29 but I'm glad I found your build log. Truly great work. Your metal work is

just remarkable and your photography is first class.

Thanks for sharing.

Cheers, Harley

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thanks, it's been great learning how to do metalwork & soldering & the interest is heartening. 


Art, thanks for that, but I feel that your work on your own current model is beautiful indeed. 


thanks also Harley, & I looked up what a Ranger 29 is, a new yacht type to me. They are very nicely proportioned & I hope that you did get to sail in one. This yacht will have a large mainsail by comparison, which is good & bad....a 28' gaffer is powerful but maybe getting close to a handful.


Sailor, thank you, that's good information. I asked a friend who remembers well many yachts racing before WWII & confirmed that they all had some sort of gammon iron; but interestingly his father's yacht was built without whisker stays because it was easier to drop & retrieve the anchor. Ultimately they did put whisker stays on, as they did more racing & preferred the bowsprit in one piece.



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I've been paying around with alternative swages for the rigging wire. They aren't really needed for the model, but actual rigging would have them, & they - at a model level - join the wire (jewellery SS braid, nylon coated, thank you brains trust) to the chain plates or turnbuckles. There would be other ways of doing it but I wanted something neat & not fussy. I experimented with heat-shrink tubing, but it looked too old fashioned for this yacht; & settled on using some aluminium tube & brass rod. The tube replicates a swaged joint & the rod tries v hard to look like a neat eye joint. You can see below the parts (ends of swages are chamfered) & the heat-shrink results, which don't look mechanical enough. Glue is CA.IMG_9627.thumb.JPG.4115725e1b7bae9bcf2dd504e0385ac4.JPG

Brass rod into a eyelet, the other end of the rod gets glued into the aluminium tube.


The cranse iron :


Bobstay chainplate:


Whisker stay chainplate:


The overall. I'm especially pleased with this photo, the rigging joints should not jump out at you, so I think it's more or less in scale visually.




thank you

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