Yacht America - Scratch POB - 3/16" Scale

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catopower
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Yacht America - Scratch POB - 3/16" Scale

Postby catopower » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:31 pm

Yacht_America,_by_Currier_&_Ives.jpg


Back in 2011, I started scratch building the yacht America. Partly inspired by the coming America's Cup races on San Francisco Bay and partly by my Mary Taylor build, the original being the precursor to the America.

I had started a build log on the old MSW site, but took a long pause on the project since I had other projects that I wanted to put more energy into. But, now that a major commissioned project is out of the way and the USS Saginaw is again giving me design grief, I figured I'd slip this project to the front of the queue... at least for a while. Anyway, it's time to rebuild some kind of build log...


My Yacht America, 1851, is based primarily on the George Campbell plans done for Model Shipways oh so long ago. The kit was of solid hull design, but the old Model Shipways plans all were REAL plans. By that, I mean that they had all the basic plans one would want for scratch building: A sheer profile, half breadth plan, deck plan and body plan.

Since the lines of the plans are shown to the outside of the planking, I had to compensate to allow for the 1/16" planking. There are plenty of station lines drawn on the America plans, so I simply used these for my bulkheads.

For materials, I decided to simply use easy to get basswood for the hull. For the deck, I decided to go with boxwood and to use cherry for the deck furniture. This would give the model a look similar to the Mary Taylor model, which turned out nicely. Since they are both the same scale, I figured they'd be somewhat of a matching set.


Clare


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Re: Yacht America - Scratch POB - 3/16" Scale

Postby catopower » Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:39 am

Making Bulkheads

With the waterlines drawn onto the false keel, I decided to simply leave the paper template on the bulkheads as they had the waterlines already on them. I used a square to keep them at nice right angles to the false keel, and just use yellow Elmer’s glue for this structural stuff.

With this 1/2 bulkhead framing, it’s particularly critical to make sure to clearly mark which side of a bulkhead corresponds with the station lines, as it’s easy to glue a bulkhead on the wrong side of a station line without thinking. With full bulkheads that are slotted into the inner keel, once those slots are cut, you don’t have to think about this alignment again – of course you have to get the slots cut correctly...

What I did was to take the midship bulkhead where the bulkhead would need no beveling, and mark it so that it straddles that midship station line, with a line marking the alignment on either side of the bulkhead.

For the station lines forward of this, the station line would mark the alignment of the aft side of the bulkhead. I then drew in a dotted line to mark the alignment of the forward side of the bulkhead 1/4” forward of that.

For the bulkheads aft of midships, I did the opposite. The station line marks the forward side of the bulkhead and I drew in a dotted line 1/4” aft of that to mark the alignment of the aft side of the bulkhead.

I then flipped the false keel over and transferred the lines to the other side.


Clare
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Re: Yacht America - Scratch POB - 3/16" Scale

Postby Anja » Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:41 am

Hello Clare,

A beautiful yacht with sleak lines.
I think I have read somewhere that she will also be present at the 2013 America's Cup race?

I have never seen this 1/2 bulkhead framing being done before.
Is there a special reason for doing it this way?

And since you are doing a scratchbuild ..... Will you be doing any modifications or changes on the build?
For example, leave one side of the hull open so the construction and interior layout of the hull is visible?

Thank you in advance.
Good luck with your build.

Anja
Those we loved but lost are no longer where they were,
but are always where we are.


Current build - De Halve Maen by Corel
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Completed : Albatros 1840 by Constructo
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Re: Yacht America - Scratch POB - 3/16" Scale

Postby catopower » Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:01 pm

Hello Anja,

Thanks for your comments.

Since this is just plank-on-bulkhead and not plank-on-frame, it will be fully planked – no special features. The 1/2 bulkhead construction is actually much simpler than full bulkhead construction. There are no slots and that simplified alignment greatly. Since the bulkheads are in 2 pieces, it's also easy to stack the two piece on top of one another to make sure of perfect symmetry. Another advantage is that I can glue up the bulwarks on one side while the keel is laying flat and perfectly straight. I can then use machinists squares to make sure each bulkhead half is perfectly perpendicular to the keel much more simply – no special jigs or devices necessary to hold them in place.

When one side is done, it's also easy to add reinforcing pieces without bending the keel.

The second side has to be constructed in a more traditional fashion (for plank on bulkhead models), but now you have one side in place to help use as a guide for alignment. Beyond that, the method isn't anything special except that it generally makes for a more efficient use of sheet wood since I'm dealing with smaller pieces.

As for real yacht, she was broken up long ago. However, yes, I believe the replica is going to be present at the America's Cup competitions.


Clare
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Re: Yacht America - Scratch POB - 3/16" Scale

Postby Dida » Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:56 am

Beautiful lines of the ship! Very nice project.
Kind regards,
Hrvoje :)
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Re: Yacht America - Scratch POB - 3/16" Scale

Postby catopower » Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:50 am

Thank you Hrvoje!

Clare
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Re: Yacht America - Scratch POB - 3/16" Scale

Postby catopower » Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:54 am

Bearding Line and Keel

Once the bulkhead outlines were drawn in, I also drew in the lines marking the slots for the masts and also the bearding line. Neither of these sets of lines were on the plans for the solid hull model, so I had to create them from the mast outlines and the bulkhead edges respectively.

I also drew in the load waterline, but kept making mistakes in the measurements. Apparently, the large number of waterlines drawn on the plans managed to confuse me, and I had a hard time visually following the line from one end of the ship to the other. But, I finally got it worked out and all was fine after that.

Next step was to carve out the excess wood, tapering the inner keel from the bearding line out to the edge. I just use my large handled Xacto knife for that, nothing fancy. I had drawn a center line along the edge of the false keep to allow me to keep track of the carving progress, so it was easy to judge how much I had cut and how much was left to go.

Before gluing on the bulkheads, I wanted to shape the actual keel. I like to use a harder wood for the keel to help minimize dings and dents. I’d been practicing milling wood down from boards, so I had some beech that was about the right thickness, 3/16”.

This brings me to an issue with the Model Shipways plans. They look great for kit plans, but it was pretty hard for me to determine the exact extent of the keel or more that of the stem post. This might be less an issue with the plans and more of the shapely nature of the America’s keel.

Unlike most plans, which show the width of the inner edge of the keel and stem, these plans show the sharp outer edge of the stem, not the lines of the inner edge. That made it a lot more difficult to define the exact dimensions of the keel and stem and the inner keel. I basically muddled through it by using the sheer plans and side profile drawings. Anyway, I’m planning on coppering the hull, so, these details won’t be visible in the long run.

While I later regretted it, I didn't taper these pieces until after they were on the model and the planking was done. But more on that later.

Adding Bulkheads

The bulkhead outlines made it clear enough to keep me from screwing up the bulkhead alignments, and with this step complete, it was a pretty simple matter to glue the bulkheads into place. I did this on one side, gluing up the bulkheads one at a time, checking alignment carefully with a small machinist’s square and gluing them with simple Elmer's yellow wood glue.

When all the bulkheads of one side was done, I then glued up the other side, one bulkhead at a time, again checking alignment carefully. The second side required a little more care to keep symmetry between the two sides, but all went smoothly.

Once the glue dried, I added stiffeners. For this I used sheet basswood, 1/4" thick. I cut these pieces to length on my table saw and trimmed or sanded them so that they would exactly fit between frames without putting any pressure which might throw the inner keel out of true. I locate these stiffeners near the outer edges of the bulkheads, right up at the top, so that deck planking along the edge will have some support later.

Every step of the way, I sighted down the keel to make sure it stayed nice and straight, and eventually all the supports were in place. Without them, the next step, beveling the bulkheads, would be very difficult to do without snapping some of them.


Clare
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Re: Yacht America - Scratch POB - 3/16" Scale

Postby catopower » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:33 am

After framing, a couple pieces were added at the tip of the bow to serve as timberheads for the bow bulwarks planking.

Next, beveling the bulkheads was pretty straight forward. I just took a nice flexible strip of wood and laid it across several bulkheads. If it touched the edge of a bulkhead, but didn't lay flush again the whole edge, then that bulkhead edge where the plank was touching got trimmed or sanded down a little. Repeated until all the bulkheads were properly beveled.

Next, I cut the beech wood pieces for the keel, stem and stern post. I cut a scarf joint between the stem and the keel, but this will be covered by copper sheathing later.

A transom board was added at the stern which helped make sure that I was shaping the hull correctly. One of the most difficult parts was dealing with the stern since I didn’t really have a good grasp on it’s shape or how to frame it. So, I used a basswood block and shaped it to simply maintain a fair run of the planking across the hull and into the transom board.

The hull planking began at the deck and I began to work my way down a ways from there using 1/16” thick basswood strips.

Clare
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Re: Yacht America - Scratch POB - 3/16" Scale

Postby Dida » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:36 pm

Really beautiful hull form!
(Is basswood linden tree? )
Kind regards,
Hrvoje :)
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Re: Yacht America - Scratch POB - 3/16" Scale

Postby catopower » Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:51 am

Thanks Hrvoje!

And I believe you are correct – Basswood and Linden are the same.


Clare

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