Jump to content

Muscongus Bay Lobster Smack by hexnut -Small- Midwest -1:24(1st wooden ship build)


Recommended Posts

It is with some trepidation that I start a build log, after seeing the other builds on this site. Where I've seen logs that instruct, document and amaze, I have to admit I'm doing this primarily as a venue for asking stupid questions of the esteemed members...I've been lurking for a couple of months, trying to sponge up a nautical "crash course" on making little wood boats, but I'm still staring up at the distant peaks of the learning curve...

 

Like many newbies, I saw the Midwest kit, (on sale at MicroMark) last November and said, "hmmm, wood boat model. sure, why not...?"

 

It's a very user friendly little kit, I finished basic construction of the deck and bulkeads in a few hours.  Unfortunately, I realized I knew basically nothing about these little boats, and started dabbling my toes into the deadly black hole of research...

Mrs. Admiral Claus was kind enough to get me Chappelle's American Small Sailing Craft for Christmas, and it solved some questions, but raised others. 

 

I used the plans to fake in a few details, such as the fake scantlings and cutting away part of the spine around the centerboard box, just so that it wouldn't be so sparse in the open cockpit and open companionway hatch.

 

I'm interested in making this as an actual workboat circa 1890-1900 or so, detailed imagery seems sparse, as one of sources I read stated that they had relatively short lives in the water.  They stated that the use of iron fasteners caused these boats, as they delightfully put it; "to succumb to nail-sickness" after a few years. 

 

Here are the first couple of pictures showing initial progress, still mostly box-stock, but with a working rudder/tiller and some faked-in partial frames.  (Also observable are some rather dismal construction techniques, featuring "firehose" CA glue application and other atrocities.  Yes, it will be painted, hopefully burying the worst of it...)

 

Regards,

 

Bob Marvin

post-964-0-12622100-1362505130.jpg

post-964-0-40298400-1362505158_thumb.jpg

post-964-0-85008500-1362505186_thumb.jpg

Edited by hexnut
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Bob,  

 

I’m also working on a Muscongus Smack and am at the exact same spot in the build.  I’m also using Chappelle’s book and added a working rudder, centerboard trunk deck access, fish wells with lids, cabin with centerboard tank.  I might have made a mistake by not adding the rudder before the deck, but I think I know how to fix that.  I also added a floor in the cabin and widened the cockpit floor.

 

Midwest boats are a great way to learn and fun to add detail.  Mario built numerous Midwest boats, here are some links to his builds:

 

Moscongus Lobster Smack

http://www.modelshipbuilder.com/e107_plugins/forum/forum_viewtopic.php?3900

 

Chesapeake Flattie

http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/988-chesapeake-bay-flattie-intarsia-124telemancompleted/

 

 

I’ll get some pics of my build posted later today.  

 

Dee Dee

 

 

(Edited to update link to Chesapeake Flattie)

Edited by Dee_Dee
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Bob,

    Looks good so far.

    I just finished the Midwest Peterboro canoe and loved it so much I've ordered this model and the Dinghy. Ive started the AL Swift and thought I'd stop her construction after planking and build the Muscongus Bay Lobster Smack as a riggimg tutorial. The canoe taught me alot about the planking process.

    Sounds like we caught the bug about the same time and as all good lurkers have started to share. Sometimes figuring out the mistakes and misfittings is the most fun part, once the sailor language practice ends. Looking forward to watching your build as I have one of these coming in the mail as I type. Its always easiest to learn from others no matter their experience. New minds something think of ingeniuous way around a problem. 

 

Shine On -/\=

Keith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting the links Dee Dee, now I want a flattie kit also.

When will it end?

Mario's done a beautiful job on those 2, especially with the wood accents. I think alot can be learned from these small kits before jumping into a Victory or Wasa. The completion rate seem to help with confidence also.

 

Looks like I need to maybe get a copy of Chappelle's American Small Sailing Craft book also.

 

Here's a great site I've found for books.

http://www.alibris.com/booksearch?qwork=280091&qsort=p&matches=16&cm_sp=works*listing*buyused

 

$21.98 and I have a 15% coupon for alibris. First Kits, then tools, now books.... does it ever stop?

 

Keith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Keith, no, I don't think it ever stops...  The canoe looks brilliant! (even before Al got in the act... :) )

Thanks, Dee Dee, I am very glad that you mentioned the fish wells, as those have been puzzling me.  The ergonomics of putting in and removing fiesty lobsters from the kit hatch locations seems a bit sketchy, as they are very narrow and far forward of the workspace.  They also seem like they would impede headroom for the bunk in the cuddy.  I have heard the wells referred to as "pyramid-shaped", and the single well in Chapelle's Friendship sloop drawing seems to bear that out.  It seems that Midwest may have taken that hatch real estate and simply bisected it with the centerboard trunk...

I have attached a rough sketch calling out some of my detail questions, I am very much looking forward to your build pictures!post-964-0-66149200-1362514302_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bob,

 

Great start!  This was also my very first model; at the time, I was unaware of the resources out there for detailing the kit. Nevertheless, it built up nicely mostly straight out of the box.  I love the addition of the cockpit ribs.  Looks like you will do a bang-up job in the end.

 

Cheers!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is my next build (after rigging the Midwest Sakonnet Daysailer). I built the daysailer (my first wooden boat build) strictly following the instructions. I am looking foward to following your lead and suggestions by others in bashing/customising the Smack. I especially want to ditch the plastic rigging pieces that came with the Daysailer.

Pete

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Bob

 

Is the drawing from Chapelle's or yours? (nice artwork, whomever did it)

I agree that the midwest lobster wells seem to be in an ackward position (placed far forward from the working edge). All that bending over would seem to be a bit much, especially when unloading. 

The kit also looks as though the lobster well in the kit are larger then in your drawing. Referring to Mario's (teleman's) build, the cabin/cuddy appear the same size lengthwise as the well space, where in your drawing the wells are smaller, which makes sense as people are much larger then lobster. There also appears to be more work space between the benchs and the well in your drawing, which would be important in a working vessel.

 

Keith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Bob,

   You have good start on your Lobster Smack. This is a very nice kit to have a lot of fun with. I still have several Midwest Kits I want to tinker with. I will watch your progress with great pleasure. I built mine with a day sailer in mind. My lobster wells are for beer and food....HAHA!

 

Take care and have fun

 

Mario(teleman)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Details on Muscongus Bay Lobster smacks are hard to find. The best I can find is "Friendship Sloops" by Roger Duncan. The Muscongus Bay smack was the predecessor to the Friendship sloop and shares some details. Roger has some info (but not much) in the front of the book.

 

Other places to check would be the Friendship Town Musuem, the Maine Maritime Museum, and the Penobscot Bay Marine Museum.

 

At one time I wanted to build a full size Muscongus Bay Lobster boat, but bought a used Friendship Sloop instead. I'm glad I did. It brought the cost of ship modeling back into perspective (what does BOAT stand for? Bring Out Another Thousand).

 

Hope that helps.

 

Thanks,

 

Harvey

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@ Mario,

how did you get that stripe effect on top of your cabin, in your built of this kit. Is it 2 kinds of wood or staining. Just Curious. Love the effect it gives, it really brings out the woods beauty.

 

Keith

Hi Keith,

    A combo of basswood and american mohagony, then finished with min wax sanding sealer. I hope this helps you out Keith

Have Fun!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bob,

 

Love your drawing!  Is this your drawing? 

 

Your build is looking great! 

 

Hope this helps.



1. Caprail & planking – I added planking, but my planking is horizontal. I’ll also be adding a cap rail.

 

2. Filler? Open Gap? Bilge Pump?  See the photo and notes in my build log about the cockpit floor.  Essentially, the floor is too small, I added width to my floor, but a lot of it was sanded off when fairing the frame  


3.  Eliminate Seating?  Can’t find anything definitive, however, I’m inclined to believe these boats DID have seating since you can’t

sit on the deck.  Also, the lobster traps (if used) would sit on the seats while baiting.


4.  Traveller, nailed to deck w/feet.  The traveler would threaded on both ends, the ends go down through the deck, another piece of lumber and then bolted with a wide washer.  The purpose of the additional piece of lumber is to distribute the load that the mainsail puts on the traveler.  If the  traveler was just nailed to the deck, it would rip out.    I’m going to be adding feet / trim to my traveler.

5.  Lobster wells.  The drawing on page 267 show the centerboard trunk is correct and it also shows the handle.  I like your idea of hinged doors, but they might be impractical since this is a no frill work boat.  I moved my wells closer to the cockpit.  As for ergonomics of the fish wells, these boats are long before ‘safety in the work place.’  

6. Centerboard hook – this is right, the hook is attached to a short length of chain which is attached to the centerboard

7.  Companion way.  The door is one piece, slides up and out and stored in the cabin.  At full size, this door is 15" - 18" high

8.  These centerboard boats did not have shouds (see page 266, second to last line.)  Shouds were added on the keeled boats.

9.  Stovepipe – It appears the stovepipe was not on this boat, but was added to the Friendship sloop.

 

Check out the windows on the drawing on page 267 – The windows appears to have a sliding cover and your drawing also appears to have a sliding cover. 


On your drawing, it looks like the bow spit would pivot on the Sampson post, which is common on European fishing boats

Again, love your drawing!

 


Dee Dee



 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dee dee and Mario, thanks for all the help.  Mario, you have already provided great inspiration for those of us stumbling along in your footsteps...

 

Sea Dog, thanks for the compliment--I draw stuff as part of my job, so I'm pretty used to working things out visually.(pixels are cheaper than wood) Although I've already accumulated a large scrap pile for what is supposed to be a beginner kit. (No fault of the manufacturer, just my inability to leave well-enough alone.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yippe, my Smack and Dinghy arrived yesterday. Now I'll be watching even more intently to your and Dee Dee's builds/bashing. Also with Marios completed pic's I love the bashing details going on.

Funny story. We went to the auction last night and some person bought this old wall clock. When everything was over it got dropped and the glass face plate broke, you could hear everyone sigh in sadness as the sound of glass breaking filled the room. Later while leaving I saw it sticking out of the trash. So... to my wifes dismay I pulled it out and it looks like its solid mahogany, so I snagged it to salvage wood. At least it won't become land fill.

 

Keith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

So... I haven't posted any progress on this thing lately, the usual litany of excuses.  I've been doing stuff on it, although not really advancing the completion of the actual build.

 

First, after blowing up the Chapelle plans to scale and going over them carefully, I realized there was a lot more I wanted to understand about the hull shape. So I made a toy:

post-964-0-78749300-1367708974_thumb.jpgpost-964-0-90521900-1367709004_thumb.jpg

 

This then allowed me to hack out some balsa plugs to get a feel for some of the features like the slight tumblehome toward the transom and the curved transitional sections from the counter down through the bearding line...post-964-0-57394500-1367709213_thumb.jpgpost-964-0-40651300-1367709231_thumb.jpg

 

Now that I had a feel for the basic forms, I could get into some of the nuances, like the keel not being the same width along the entire run, but bulging out in a smooth curve around the centerboard trunk and getting the deck camber, as well as getting the stations, buttocks and waterlines agreeing.  I then went to some cad, first, redrawing the plans:

post-964-0-06718600-1367709512_thumb.jpg

 

Laying them out in 3-D:

 

post-964-0-54629300-1367709565_thumb.jpg

 

Building the hull form:

 

post-964-0-87539600-1367709618_thumb.jpg

 

creating a "watertight" solid model:

 

post-964-0-59813300-1367709708_thumb.jpg

 

I could then cut ribs (scale 6" 0n cntr per a scantling diagram for a friendship sloop), for printing out:

 

post-964-0-19996100-1367709884_thumb.jpg

 

I could then start making actual wood bits, here's the rough-cut cabin section for a preliminary dry fit:

 

post-964-0-47840200-1367710007_thumb.jpgpost-964-0-63698900-1367710016_thumb.jpg

 

So I've actually taken some steps backward, but I'm having fun!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steps backward? looks forward to me, amazing work. I'm really looking forward to seeing you plank on Frame this beautiful hulled smack. It's such an awesome vessel and deserves to be built as you are. Meanwhile I'll be taking notes and learning everything I can. I havew always wished I knew CAD. I took drafting back in high school, but that was when they still used Papyrus and pencil to create drawings...

 

Hexnut, you've taken us all to the next level, Thanks! :dancetl6:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the kind words, guys!

 

Mario, You are still one of the standards for this build.  I know you've been getting into more 'classic' builds-- are there more workboats in your future?

 

Harvey, in my ongoing research, I saw some of the work that you have done on the full-sized friendship sloop.  Beyond impressive!  Do you mind if I ask the occasional stupid question about these hull types?

 

Keith, the papyrus skills are core to everything.  I use cad because it's a big timesaver for my job and I'm familiar with it,  but I did the matboard stations and balsa mock-up so I could literally feel what the hull is doing.  I'm a strong believer that I really need to hand draw and carve stuff to get a baseline understanding of how it works, I only use the computer stuff once I've got some physical modeling and sketching under my belt. 

 

Of course I have a long way to go before my wood model-building skills are on the same planet as you folks, but all feedback (+&-) is much appreciated!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yea. I really like your card and balsa mockups also. Few would go to that kind of work to understand something. Its good to see someone going so deeply into understanding the subject matter. The CAD as you say is nice (think faster and time saving), especially for making plan prints. I'm a firm believer in the idea, if you cant do it in real life then you can't on a computer. I built my own instrument on which I did my MS chem work. That was a money issue though. 100k for a production CE (capillary electrophoresis) where I build mine for 15k

 

Its what I call the black box syndrome. In class I use to make my physics student use ticker tapes to calculate acceleration. Those accelerometer may give the acceleration but the student don't understand where it came from. Counting and measuring dots on tape helped make that connection.

CAD would be a nice tool in my tool belt, I just never saw a reason to learn it, until starting ship building. Now I'm thinking it may be worth the time to learn. First I want to learn Brass etching though, thats been my recent follly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hexnut,

 

Ask away! I don't know all that much, but I've loved Friendship Sloops since I first laid eyes on them. I've tried to find out as much about them and the Muscongus Bay Lobster smacks as possible. But there's always more to learn.

 

I still have my old blog up

 

http://www.bearsafloat.net/capnharv/

 

I haven't updated it in years, but it does have some of our pictures of rebuilding our boat's cabin top on it. And it's got a few more ship models. Who knows, I may start updating it again.

 

Thanks for posting pictures your fine work. It's certainly an inspiration to me.

 

Harvey

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bob, believe me it's an honor.  If this thing turns out a tenth as well as your cat or the Spray I will be very pleased.

 

Harvey, thanks for showing me your blog. That's one heck of a portfolio. 

Shots like the one of the Amie's bow showing how the planks curve up into the stem and the angles of the chainstay (bobstay?) plates are like gold for me.

Love the the Herreshoff 12 1/2.  Sailing the full-sized one must have been fun indeed. 

 

When you talked about your pumping adventures before the hull tightened up, it tallied perfectly with some of the research that I came across, talking about how many of these boats were in the water year 'round, fishing in the summer and lobstering in the winter.  It said they would last pretty well, but would start to detiorate instantly if taken out of the water...

 

Stupid question time-- Is the mast square or round at the step?

 

Another thing thats been bugging me.  I realize that your sloop is fitted out as a yacht, but I've been trying to figure out what kind of bilge-pumping system they used back in the 1890's?  The big pumps on the fishing schooners are well-documented, but I'm having a hard time finding info on set-ups for the smaller boats.  I haven't seen anything to indicate that the fishwells were vented via holes in the hole like the Emma C. Berry-type transport boats, but they must have carried a fair amount of water with live lobsters in them...

 

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Bob,

 

I'm glad you likes the pictures. The steaming of the cabintop side (1" x 15" x 20 feet) was a real challenge as well as fun and educational. Since those photos, we recaulked the seams and replaced 250 fasteners in the bottom. She went from leaking like a sieve to not taking on any water since the day we put her in.

 

One more thing about a wooden boat. The worst thing you can do to a wooden boat is seal her up and not use her. We've seen a lot of nice boats turn into piles of rot that way.

 

I don't have a good answer about historic bilge pumps. The best I've found so far are some examples of wooden manual pumps used in the 20's and 30's.

 

post-335-0-42217000-1367881973_thumb.gif

 

post-335-0-34315900-1367881986_thumb.jpg

 

I'll be away for a week or so, but I'll do some more checking when I get back. A couple other places to check would be the Maine Maritime Museum, the Penebscot Marine Museum and Mystic Seaport. No guarantees, but they are good sources (and fun places to visit if you can!).

 

Hope that helps.

 

Thanks,

 

Harvey

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well hello Hexnut. I'm late to this party and must say.... you are an artist! I find it fascinating that on your intro you talk of 'shyness' for lack of a better word regarding a build log. You shouldn't have worried so... I think we can all learn from your attention to the details. Impressive.

And so was the swift on the DSoTM on TMC's page... cool creative!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Bob,

   i liked your remark that you took a step back. Looks to me that you acually took a step forward not back. To answer your question yes i do have several more w. boats planned from the C.B. area. But I am switching to an ancient work for right now, it's the Sea of galilee work boat. Just about have my building room back together, then i will get things going with it...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Bob,

 

Let me start by saying you are doing an awsome job!  And welcome to Model Ship World, you did the right thing by adding your build here, as you can see there is limitless help from the members here at MSW, so never be afraid to ask a question.  The only dumb question is the one you didn't ask!  :722972270: 

 

Cheers,

Tim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...