So who makes or has made a ship or boat model from wood/sctratch-built,etc?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by souljour2000, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. latestarter
    Joined: Jul 2010
    Posts: 344
    Likes: 29, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 233
    Location: N.W. England

    latestarter Senior Member

    In the 1970s, one winter I built a radio controlled Marblehead yacht.
    It was balsa plank on frames then coated with polyester and fibreglass tissue with some carbon fibres from the chain plates to the keel.
    The frames were then removed and deck beams added plus plywood deck. Apart from ties from the keel to the area of the chain plates there is no internal structure.
    I assembled the transmitter and receiver from a kit and built a sail winch which was not up to the job so bought a commercial winch.
    It has not been sailed since the 1980s. I have misplaced the rudder, parts of the rigging and batteries.

    Attached Files:

    1 person likes this.
  2. ancient kayaker
    Joined: Aug 2006
    Posts: 3,497
    Likes: 146, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 2291
    Location: Alliston, Ontario, Canada

    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    Still looks good!
  3. Windships
    Joined: Sep 2019
    Posts: 3
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: STAR, ID

    Windships New Member

    Re: your Heel Tapper model. I am very interested in learning the basis of your drawings for this model, especially if it is done from an old builder's half-hull. Nearing completion of an article for the Nautical Research Journal which will run in 2020. The report investigates the origin and appearance of the famous Marblehead-owned schooner Hannah (1765-1775) and deals extensively with that type of vessel. If you have pictures of your completed model to share, that would be great as well. From your photos, it looks like you did a fine job.

    Eager to read your reply.
  4. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
    Posts: 3,051
    Likes: 237, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1279
    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    I have lost count of the number of models that I have built. Quite a few of them, but certainly not all of them, have been radio controlled boats in all sorts of configurations. Some were sailboats and a few were/are powerboats. Kayaks and rowing boats too.

    Most of my models are of small boats of less that 20 feet. I almost always use quarter scale but occasionally one eighth scale (3 inches to the foot, and/or one and a half inches to the foot) so that I can use cheap materials such as door skins for planking . Sometimes I slice off some thin strips of various woods with the table saw. I then glue the strips together side to side in order to simulate plywood or perhaps a prettily figured deck . Also parquetry is easy and fun for decorative stuff. For models with a lot of curves and rounded sections I use strips also cut on the table saw. These are used sometimes for carvel planking other times glued lapstrake. All of this is great fun at low cost and the time spent keeps me out of smoky bars or other disreputable places.

    I have built some pretty models that have nice lines and fancy finish work and I have also built some "dogs breath" models that did not look so good. Oddly or perhaps not so oddly, some of those ugly boats (think slab sided Bolger like boxes) performed very well. Yes, I sometimes play with them in the local lake. There have been occasions when people observed me playing with "toy" boats. They ask me whether I am in my second childhood. I cheerfully agree that that is the case. ( our forum administrator, to his credit, would not allow me to describe what I might have actually said in reply to those uninvited comments)
  5. viking north
    Joined: Dec 2010
    Posts: 1,865
    Likes: 88, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 1146
    Location: Newfoundland & Nova Scotia

    viking north VINLAND

    Thank You Windships for your kind words. First of all I should make a correction, Wanderer was built by my GGGG Grandfather. Going back in time their first names Grandfather Theodore-(1)- John Charles-(2) Timothy William(3) Thomas and finally(4) the builder Timothy. My ancient Grandfathers schooner was originally built from a half model which was last known to be in my Grandfather Theodore's possession but for some reason was not among his surviving estate items. For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated with and a builder of boats. My earliest models being nothing more than a flat stone keel embedded in a piece of drift wood with sea gull feathers for sails. My Grandfather being aware of this took time to fully educate me with the half model. Thus my familiarity with it's design. Some 20 years ago my promised contribution to our rather large family reunion was a model of the Wanderer. Considering the close historical ties New England had with Newfoundland,( Newfoundland being yearly visited and settled by Europeans some 75 to 100 years before the New England Colonies, was looked at as the Mother country on this side of the Atlantic.) lacking the missing half model, and knowing as brother fishermen they would have shared the same technology, I started my research. Among other books my most reliable information came from, "A History of Newfoundland" by Prouse isbn # 0-919302-44-0, where I located several fishing picture illustrations of the typical schooners of the time and from "American Fishing Schooners" by Chapelle isbn # 0-393-03123-3 I located what I considered a matching set of proper historical hull lines for that era. The "Heel Tapper" reference was a label my Grandfather used plus if I recall correctly also a described schooner type in Chapelle's. So that's it in a nut shell including my little historical dig on colonization :D--- Best of luck on your project.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
  6. alan craig
    Joined: Jul 2012
    Posts: 252
    Likes: 38, Points: 38, Legacy Rep: 14
    Location: s.e. england

    alan craig Senior Member

    What a nice thread! Here is a picture of my current model which has a thread elsewhere on this site. It will be gaff cutter rigged with one high torque servo controlling the headsails and another controlling the main.
    p.s. I've only just realised that this is an old thread. Apart from a few new posts above, anyone else building models in 2019?
  7. Windships
    Joined: Sep 2019
    Posts: 3
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: STAR, ID

    Windships New Member

    Hello Viking North, and thanks for taking time for such a useful and interesting reply. It's truly unfortunate that the half-hull disappeared. Such artifacts from so long ago are precious and rare. I found a photo of one recently, attributed to the collection of Myron Cowden of Amesbury, Mass, but like yours, this one has not been located since Myron passed. Not even his surviving lifelong friends had any idea where it might be today. I was able to download a copy of "A History of Newfoundland" but haven't yet found the illustrations you mentioned. It is not easily searchable online, so I may have to go through it one page at a time. As for Chapelle, (with whom I also corresponded in 1970) I have made a very extensive study of his writings for a book now under consideration for publication, about the origin of Chaleur (1763-1768). Chap's reconstruction of a "banks fishing schooner" is for a vessel of the late 1700s, which would make it--according to the late Chad Smith of the Peabody Essex Museum--a bit earlier than 1870 when "Heel Tapper" was first used as the moniker for Marblehead fishing schooners. How about spar and sail plan?

    No harm on the dig on Mom's McLeans came from Scotland to Ireland, to Chatham/Newcastle, New Brunswick and then to Boston where she was born. I carry her family name as my middle name. If you have photos of your completed model, please consider sending them to me as email attachments to: Thanks for the good wishes. All best. Keep building!
  8. Windships
    Joined: Sep 2019
    Posts: 3
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: STAR, ID

    Windships New Member

    Viking North, I paged through The History of Newfoundland, and am fairly certain, found the drawing you spoke of as the guide for your own sketch of the "Heel Tapper"


    Based on the 1896 publication date of the book, I suspect that the original inspiration for the drawing came from the model named "Rebecca of Marblehead 1798" which is even today, at the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass. A photograph of the model was also published in: Joseph William Collins, “The Evolution of the Fishing Schooner,” New England Magazine ~ An Illustrated Monthly (New Series) vol 18 (Old Series) vol 24 (May 1898). See model number 3, below. And, the picture of the smaller Dogbody schooner below that. I believe the 1798 date associated with the model is in error, because the use of stern davits on these fishing vessels did not come into common use until about 1825-1830. There is another model in the PEM which supports this. Anyway...I enjoy tracing the history of these models and images, and that effort proved very beneficial in my report about the schooner Hannah as discussed earlier. Be Well, and again, please send photos of your completed model if you can. Windships.


  9. W9GFO
    Joined: Dec 2014
    Posts: 208
    Likes: 16, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 39
    Location: Olalla, WA

    W9GFO Senior Member

    I've built quite a few models using laser cut card stock. I used the old DOS program "hulls" or FreeShip to create the developed plates. I've also used the exported files from FreeShip to 3d print some models. All of these models were just for being able to visualize a design, they were not for display purposes.

    If you want to see some really good display quality models check out Peter Kunst's work;

  10. The Q
    Joined: Feb 2014
    Posts: 159
    Likes: 12, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 21
    Location: Norfolk, UK

    The Q Senior Member

    As a railway modeller I'm used to using plasticard, so when I was designing my boat I built a couple of models for bathtub tests. thats what I used. you don't have to worry about grain with plasticard!!
    Sorry no pics though one of the models must be around somewhere..
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.