Things are warming up and new projects are rolling into the boatyard. On a nice day, I can even open the windows and hear the birds chipping. Yes Spring is near!
With a few other projects occupying my time work has slowed on my Chesapeake scene, but it is always on my mind, and I manage to squeeze in a little work while paint dries on other projects.
The Skipjack E. Collier is nearly ready to set sail...that is, as soon as I get her jib hoisted, but she looks mighty fine.
With a brand new coat of red bottom paint she was ready to be cut from the block of wood out of which she was carved. That's right, there are no special tools here, just a handy japanese pull saw, and a good eye. Then it was up with her mast and massive main sail. The mainsail is made out of a fine linen material, which I stain with polyurethane to suit. Unlike using coffee, I can stain certain areas lighter or darker, by applying more or less stain with a brush. This creates the weathered appearance of the old cotton sails that dirtied easily. Next, I sewed on each mast hoop, and threaded all those reefing lines. The foot of the sail is lashed down through fittings on the boom. Another unique detail of the Skipjack, and I imagine quite practical is the lazy jacks. These are a web of lines that run down from a block at the top of the mast and finish at the boom. This kept the sail from falling all over the deck with the crew lowered it. I even found the time to fabricate the dredge, and prep the trailing boards. The rollers are installed for running out the dredging lines, the jib track is in place, and her capstan secured to the sampson post...she'll be ready for drudgin' 'fore ya know it!
But let's move on! The Collier wasn't the only one to receive some well deserved attention. I made some nice advances on the Ferdinand Desoto Crockett (to use her full name). She too got a a couple coats of the classic red bottom paint before being cut from her block of wood.
After a fresh coat of paint on the deck, the cabins and hatches,were installed. I also added all the doors to the pilot house, and even achieved raised paneling by applying thin archival paper before painting them white. Her spars were turned out of bamboo and I fixed up the boom jaw to fit nicely around the mast. She almost looks too pretty to be a work boat! She still needs a little work on her rigging and some of the addition features like trailing boards and her flag staff, but in no time fast, she'll be hauling oysters and making her pay.
I still haven't been able to find time to start carving the bugeye...looks like my winter project is gonna roll over into the Spring, but all in good time. She'll be coming along shortly...as soon as I get some of those other projects out of the way!
Thanks for visiting!
Heather Gabrielle Rogers: Shipwright for bottled miniature models.