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18th Century Longboat by jct - FINISHED - Model Shipways - mod moved

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Hey all,

This will be my second build log.  After spending a little more then a year on my Half Moon I thought I'd do something a little smaller.  I had picked up the 18th Century Longboat from Model Shipways last year and thought it would fit the bill, this kit was designed for Model Shipways by our own Chuck Passaro.


The kit consists of laser cut basswood parts, basswood planking, dowels and all the fittings and hardware.  Also included are some nice printed decorations to apply to the sides and transom, two pages of in scale plans and a excellent practicum written by Chuck.


Before I get into the details of the build I'd like to share a recent experience.

  You may know that Chuck has a business making and selling model ship fittings, Syren Ship Model Company.  I recently ordered some brass cannon barrels for a future scratch build project, and looked forward to their arrival.  Which never occurred...seems the Post Office lost my order.

  I contacted Chuck to find out what kind of package was used as I needed that info for a lost package claim, well imagine my surprise when they arrived today...not my original order but a second shipment Chuck had sent, totally unsolicited, to replace my lost order.

   In this day and age this type of customer service is unheard of...and I believe noteworthy, this gentlemen has earned my future business and I hope my tale will prompt you to visit his site and maybe place an order, excellent product line and as I've stated superb customer service.  Give the site a visit. http://www.syrenshipmodelcompany.com/


The Longboat build:

I plan this build to be pretty much be out of the box...with the exception of the paint scheme and the supplied decorations.  I'm also toying with the idea of adding sails, billowing ones! but we'll see.


I started by cutting the rabbit into the false keel and gluing the keel to it, the frames were then separated from their backings and test fit... all of mine had a distinct stbd cant to them...this was easily fixed with some light file work.  The frames were then glued up, once dry they were marked with a compass to indicate where the first stark will lay. 

THX for your time and attention...Pics follow











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Hi all,

Time for another update...

The planking of the hull is complete and the bulkheads removed.

  Like my Half Moon log, I'm planning to share my successes and failures here for the benefit of anyone interested, so with that said...one of the things I did early on was to add some extra blocking to the bow area to help shaping and fairing the hull planks...and it worked great for that, unfortunately I didn't think about this being an open boat!! so now I've alot of cleanup in the bow area to do.

  Another point to watch is the garboard length, Chuck's instructions call for it to end just beyond the splice in the keel I ran mine a little long and had a bit of an issue with plank crowding at the bow.  I manage to get everything in place with tapering and spilling but made it a lot harder then it had to be!

   Care needs to be taken when your breaking out the bulkheads as they are fragile, I snapped off a few and will need to repair them.  The primary cause was glue seepage...I used CA all throughout this process and some had crept into the laser cut lines, I like CA but I do have problems with it, I'm always gluing my fingers to parts or not using enough to hold.

  I'm debating doing a full painted finish on the longboat...the decorations supplied with the kit are top notch, but I'd like my longboat to be a little different from all the others out there.  I'll keep some natural wood finishes on the inside...the thwarts and side-rails at least...still trying to decide on the color scheme, I'll post when I make up my mind...in the interim Pics follow, as always thanks for your time and interest.









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Hello all,

Another update on the longboat, got all the bulkheads broken out, you can see the mess in the bow from the extra blocking I had installed and the repair on the busted ribs. Followed this with a good sanding/fairing of the interior of the boat, take care here...to aggressive and you'll break more ribs leading to more repair (yea... I know from experience).


Once I was happy with the sanded finish I moved on to the cap rail, here I deviated from the instructions and made the template with card stock instead of directly on the basswood, that way I could trace it out as many times as I needed to get it right and not mess up the kit supplied wood. Glad I did cause it took three tries to get something I was satisfied with. The patterns were then cut out and transferred to the basswood sheet. The rails were cut oversize and applied then sanded to the finished dimensions supplied in the instructions.


The 1/32 x 1/32 trim was applied next, I used a compass set to the correct dimension to provide a guideline on the hull. This was followed by more sanding and a coat of primer. The hull was set aside to dry...while waiting I made the fore and aft platforms following the practicum, I added some battens to the undersides though, just to add more strength. These were then sanded and notches filled to fit around the respective ribs. I'm debating whether to stain these pieces or just use an oil finish on them...haven’t decided yet...


That's all for now, as always thanks for your time and attention, Pic follow













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Finally decided on a paint scheme and got it on the hull, yellow ocher, red ocher, black and white.   The risers and thwarts, platforms and floorboards are stained a light cherry, though not yet installed, I need to seal the hull yet and wanted the paint to cure for at least 24.  Pics follow




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J, I'm joining the party a little bit late. Wow, it's amazing how quickly this boat is going together. The combination of paint and stain is very eye-pleasing. These longboats are so complicated inside--so many different strata. I find them fascinating to look at. Thanks for sharing.



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Managed to get a few things done, got the rudder shaped and the pintles and gudreons made and installed, tiller mounted and the rudder painted out, also installed the oarlocks and the lift rings.  Started turning down the dowels for the bowsprit, gaff, boom, and mast. Just chucked them in the drill and used various sandpaper grits to taper...all went well till the mast...it literally blew apart broke in about 3 sections...it looks like the grain is just flaking away internally...not sure if I can salvage it or not?  THX for your interest, pics follow






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I'm late in making a comment as well.  I have been watching along, and am quite impressed.

I have one on the shelf and am very interested in the process.

She is beautiful.

Thanks for sharing.

Hope I am able to do as well when I get a "roundtuit"


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Dowel's can be had cheaply at your local hardware store or home-improvement box store, I'd just get a new dowel or use square stock and cut it down instead of trying to use wood as brittle as your mast seems to be from the description.


Beautiful work on this boat, love to see these small boats come together.

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@ Salt- welcome and thanks much...I'm sure you'll enjoy your kit as much as I am mine

@ Brian - I'm still toying with the options...the kit supplied is 5/32 or 4mm, I cant locate any thing close in size all is much to large, square stock may be the best option

@Steve thanks much...I'm enjoying this little boat, hey when are you gonna start your sails on your Shenandoah, I'm waiting to be tutored!



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Hi J. You know, it's typical for me with my addiction to vintage machines, but after I finished restoring that old White sewing machine, I'm starting to think about using vellum for the sails. Maybe I'm just reluctant to bring the build to a close. Please don't wait on me! You go first.



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Vellum is an interesting chose, I had read an article somewhere that it has the right translucence and you can pencil the seams in. I'm probably gonna go with an old pillow case the Admiral  donated to the cause, I'll stain it with coffee first and probably pencil the seams in...that's all I've figured out so far, not sure if these little boats had mast rings or not?



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Hello everyone,

another update...I ended up gluing up some of the leftovers from the kit and turning a new main mast...came out better then I had hoped it would, after that all the masts and spars were drilled for the false sheaves, brass was bent, soldered, and blacken and everything painted.

  I turned my attention to the sails...laid out the sail pattern on an old cotton pillow sheet that the wife donated, just set it on top of the plans and penciled them out, I decided to pencil the seams in as opposed to stitching them for a few reasons...In this scale the stitches would be to large and I don't know my way around a sewing machine and I couldn't talk my better half into doing them :P 

They'll get dyed with old coffee sometime this week, I'll probably spin up some bolt rope on the ropewalk.

That's it for now Pics follow, as always thanks for your interest















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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey everyone,

Another update, I've made some progress with construction of the sails, after dyeing them in coffee I needed to seam them with wire imbedded so they would hold their shape, that proved to be a bit more of a challenge then I had originally thought it would.


 The wire I'm using is stripped floral wire, twisted to stiffen it some.  The first method I tried was to use some craft glue and to place the wire and the fold the seam...seems simple enough in theory but proved to be anything but...the wire wouldn't stay where I wanted it, the fabric would not fold evenly and showed a ragged and frayed edge when It did.  Just wasn't happy with the results.


 The second method was a bit more successful...after ordering double sided tape in 1/8in width from Amazon, the tape itself is very thin and clear once the backing is removed and the backing is heavy enough to help the tape stay where it needs to be and to hold it while the any ragged edges are trimmed.  The tape was set just to the inside of the seam edge, a wire was placed at its back edge and then the seam was folded over on itself, capturing the wire at what is now the outside edge or the sail.  The tape is supposed to be permanent but we'll see if it losses its adhesive qualities over time, I still to stitch a bolt rope around the perimeters and attach hanks to the jib sail, and as you can see it the following pics the color is a bit blotchy, this occurred when I sprayed the sails with water to iron them flat, I'm hoping to even out the color with another dip in some java!


 Sorry to be so wordy...pics follow, thanks for your interest and time












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