1/10 Scale frigate...

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by volkswagen50, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. volkswagen50
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    volkswagen50 Junior Member

    I've always wanted to build a 1/10 scale frigate, maybe the Constitution or another. Something in the 18' LOD range. I figured that I would build a strongback, lamanate framing, notch for ribbands on the outside of the frames and strip build in two layers, first one up and down, then the second one front to back. A small Yanmar diesel would take care of the issues with sailing a square rigger into the wind. It would not be an exact replica because of all the rigging and practicality of sizing everything down, but it would have to look right to the eye.
    My questions are:
    What is a good wood for lamanated framing?
    Will 2x2 framing on 12" centers be overkill for coastal waters and large lakes?
    How do you determine the number of lamanates for a given thickness?
    What is a good wood for side planking, strip built?
    I see much about WRC, but will it be stable at 3/8 thick by 1 1/4 wide? I would like to glass only the outside as I feel the interior framing will give it enough strength.
    I live in the South East US, so I would like to deal with locally available wood if at all possible.
    thanks for the help, Greg
     
  2. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    These miniature version of sailing craft have to be scaled carefully, as they don't have the luxury of their full size counterpart's mass to keep them up right. It may seem counter intuitive, but boats don't scale down or up very well. One look at a pond model of an Americas Cup boat and you'll quickly see it needs a lot more appendage and ballast ratio just to sail and stay upright against it press.

    This said, yep, it can be done, but it's not an easy task for a novice designer to accomplish without a set of plans.

    It's easier to start with a proven hull form and "dress" it up to look like the specific era you're after. In this case you start with a hull form that's suitable for that general size boat and just have to balance a rig over the CLP.

    If I did it and started from scratch, I'd use a hull volume and shape typical for the size vessel, but incorporate the "styling" clues that make it an 18th century frigate (for example).

    In other words, if you took the dimensions of say the USS Constitution and reduced them to the size you want and built it. The result would flop over on it's side come launch day.

    I've seen a few of these over the years. A short video of one was posted over at Duck Works a year or so ago. It was able to tack and moved along fairly well. Interestingly, they decided to reef the topsails, so the skipper stood up and furled them by hand at arms length. This ability alone will eliminate a considerable amount of complexity to the running rig.

    Of course plans would also detail the materials and scantling questions you have too. Guessing at these things usually doesn't have a good result.
     
  3. volkswagen50
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    volkswagen50 Junior Member

    I suppose I should get into the particulars some more, and thanks for the words of advice, they mean a lot.
    I was thinking of about 18', with a 6'beam and slight tumblehome. That's about a 3-1 ratio compared to Constitutions 4.25 to one at the waterline. I was also thinking that if I used enough ballast in the keel, I could offset a taller rig. The main would have to be 22 feet from keel to top to be true 1/10, but with the way I was thinking of it, with a 2' draft, three foot to deck, and low cabin tops to get about 6' of headroom in the center, the main would be 16' off the deck. Making the top sails smaller would help, and I planned on making hollow spars using the birdsmouth design I found in WB mag to keep weight down up high.
    I still need some help on wood and laminates from my first post, so any help there would be great.
    I'm not afraid to make the keel as heavy as it takes, but with low wide sails down low, leverage up high will be diminished.
    I searched all over Duck Works for the video, and on youtube, but no luck so far.

    What I want to avoid besides the capsizing at lauch nightmare, is the "regular boat with tacked on stuff to look like something it isn't" look. So a existing hull deisign would have to be very close, and i will look hard to find one. Maybe a UK canal boat or even a Gallaway Hooker might work.
    Keep the thoughts and wood help coming, please!
     
  4. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    It would help if you were specific about your frigate selection. If one of the colonial frigates (the 36's or the 44's like Constitution) then a suitable hull can be had without looking dressed up.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkJW7So95YQ

    Years ago I made a 25' production 'glass sloop into a Baltimore pilot topsail schooner, which was along a similar idea. The actual hull shape was close, including some tumble home in the built up stern quarters, but it was a modern early IOR hull form below the waterline. Proportionately, the rig was undersize, but not noticeable by 99% of the people who saw it. The current version of the Pride of Baltimore has about half of the sail area of the boat she replaced, but doesn't look any less a pilot schooner for it.

    As far as you designing this type of vessel, I don't think you have the skills necessary, to address all the potential issues (some of which I've mentioned) that will arise in this unusual approach. I don't mean to offend you. Hell, I'm reasonably skilled and I'd have to drag out lots of pieces from my data base, to insure a level of confidence and security with a design like this.

    An 18' version would be quite small and a frigate difficult to rig, particularly the American colonial frigates, which had an extra set of sails, for war ships of their general class. At 20' you'd be over a ton in displacement and would have some latitude in regard to lofty rigs, more so as you increased in length of course. I think a very good representation could be made around 25'. Smaller then this and you end up with lots of strings without hull volume to handle it or cartoonish styling elements to accommodate humans.
     
  5. volkswagen50
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    volkswagen50 Junior Member

    I'm not insulted in the least! I know I'm not a naval architect. Years of Woodenboat magazine give me an idea of what the hull should look like, but looking for a solid plan is tough.
    I haven't narrowed down the ship to copy yet, but it's the ships from after the revolutionary war through the early 1800's that I'm looking the most at.

    I've watched the video, thanks for the link. That boat looks a bit light in the water, I would prefer a deeper draft for less rolling, but maybe my numbers are not very realistic. I would think that more outside ballast on that boat would help it not look so much like a cork bobber. I don't know what it looks like with all 14 sails, but as it is sailed in the video, it's a hermaphrodite brig, not a brigantine. It is a very good looking hull....

    I was thinking that I would use only three sails on each tall mast and two on the shorter one, with a few flying jibs. More like a sloop of war or a corvette. I'm just starting to look at ships to emulate.
    any suggestions on hulls to start with for looks, that would be helpfull too.
    Again, thanks for the words.
     
  6. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Dont be put off by the "roll" on this model. It looks like the only ballast on board was the movable bodies that were using the boat like a small sailing dinghy.

    If you wanted to get that ponderous, solid effect, you could mimic the tons of ballast that the real boats had, with lots of cement or lead "ingots" inside the hull of your boat.

    Obviously a real body on board is disproportionately heavy, and movement from side to side destroys the C of G.

    The closest thng I have seen to the effect I think you are striving for, is the heavy ballasting of 10 ft yachts used by disabled people - where they sit down very low, and have a very heavy keel - it gives that "stable" effect.

    Also, when they train supertanker captains, they have 20ft models with a superstructure that permits the "captain" to gaze out through a slot that mimics the view from the bridge. With the correct weighting and power and steering setup, it feels for all the world like they are conning a really big boat.

    So you should be able to get the genuine 'feel' in a model of the size you mention.

    Hey, make it a famous ship, and you might get paid to appear in a TV ad or a movie?

    ps. have you seen the movie "Master and Commander". it really does a great job of presenting life on the old square riggers.
     
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  7. volkswagen50
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    volkswagen50 Junior Member

    Since I posted this here I have found the site for the boat in the video, little leon. He has water ballast in a compartment under the seating deck. I have talked briefly with him about the boat as well. I don't think it quite floats on the waterline that was drawn in the websites pictures but haven't asked. I am curious about the program he used to design it. It's not a true replica, which he freely admits. It's beamier by a foot to make it actually work as a sailboat. It looks like good fun for sure.

    Those tanker trainer boats you speak of are what started this whole thought so many years ago, it sort of mutated into a square rigger in my mind over time. I would definitly use external ballast on the keel to get my designed waterline, as my usage will be different than his.

    I'm still searching for a good famous ship candidate that I can get offsets from as a starting point, though I won't build an exact replica for practicality reasons.

    I did get told by the builder of Little Leon of a yahoo group called "manned model ships international" and it's just like you would think it to be. Some of these are more than 20 feet long and very accurate models of battleships. there were also pics of the replica models used in the Hornblower TV show, though no one seems to know where the eneded up after the show ended. thanks again!
    Greg
     
  8. vhhjr
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    vhhjr Junior Member

    Miniature Square rigger

    Did you move forward with the 1/10 full rigged ship project?

    I have been looking a a 30' hermaphadite brig and built a 1:12 model of the design. The hull was based on a Benford design with teh assumption that a deeper keel and ballast would be needed. I'll try to post a photo of the model.

    VHHJR
     

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  9. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

  10. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    At 18' length,, 6' of headroom is way too much. The draft does not add directly to the depth of the hull for headroom. About 3'6" would be reasonable.
     
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  11. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Vhhjr, do yourself a favor and read my first post on this thread, with the understanding I was being kind to someone with a dream.

    A novice can't design a scaled down square rigger. A straight down scaling, will result in a boat that can't remain upright, without someone preventing it from instantly capsizing. The physical laws of mechanical similitude and relativity will prevent a true scale version of what ever ship you want. One look at successful pond yachts patterned after famous full size yachts will quickly reveal some of the issues.

    If you have a particular ship or yacht in mind and wish to have a scaled down version, then contact a designer or NA.
     
  12. ancient kayaker
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    I don’t know if VW50 is still pursuing this particular dream, but it is a topic that has come up before. VHHJR, if you are serious then chasing down those threads would be a good way to start, as well as re-reading the posts in this thread. If I wanted to do something like this, I would probably design it myself, because there are few comparable designs in this range and not many experts in this field.

    A step-wise plan is indicated, perhaps along these lines:

    1) Obviously a detailed theoretical study of the physics and review of the literature and current practice.
    2) A smaller model - perhaps 1/100 - to test my solutions to the physical problems of scaling.
    3) Pickup some experience of full-size boat building methods and practices, pehaps offer help to a builder.
    4) study traditional designs of comparable size for the details of construction, scantlings and rigging.
    5) Study modern construction methods to see how these can be applied to the 1/10 model.
    6) Engaging a NA to support the design process and vet the design would be a smart move.
     
  13. vhhjr
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    vhhjr Junior Member

    I'm back looking at this scaled square rigger and would be interested to hear of the originator of the thread has progressed any with his project.

    I have a question: The model I built uses a displacement powerboat hull (The Czarina) designed by Devlin as a stitch & glue project. If this hull was usable constructing it would be much be made easier because I could purchase professional plans for it. The model is a 1 inch/foot and is 30 in LOA. I could RC this model so it could be sailed. Finally the question, how big would a model have to be to give some usable data on the performance of the full size version? I know from some work scaling aircraft that very small model data isn't very useful. Most scale model aircraft used for testing are on the order of 1/4 to 1/2 scale. Would a 1/4 scale (7 1/2 ft LOA) model performance be representative of the full scale?

    VHHjr

    I mispoke: The Czarina is a Benford design.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
  14. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    After following a lot of discussion on these forums, 1:5 scale is the minimum that seems to be useful for realistic testing.

    I am currently doing my 28ft design in 1:5,

    I have come across the Contour Camera system that will record movies, is small enough to fit on the boat, and will show speed and distance on film based on it inbuilt GPS

    " http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RcWRlXaTK0
    Dashware software will enable you to imbed your speeds into the footage. "
     

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  15. vhhjr
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    vhhjr Junior Member

    What ship are you building? Sail or power?

    VHHjr
     
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