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Jan 01, 2010, 11:50 AM
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Carrying handle for large SC&H hull

Attaching the keel is made easier by modifying the keel rods with the addition of cap screws as shown in the pics. A ball head allen wrench can be used from any convenient angle to turn the threaded rod into the threaded inserts in the lead keel. The rods are left in place. They are disguised by hollowed barrels placed over the head of the rods.
The rods can now also be used to attach a carrying handle that makes carrying the hull (after the keel is removed) much more convenient.
I made a very stiff bracket/handle that attaches to the rods and lets me easily lift and control the angle of the hull up or down - to navigate the stairs.
Handle was made starting with two, 1 x 5 90 deg, steel corner brackets, bent to attach to the two keel rods. The keel rods are secured below by wing nuts and steel and nylon washers (to protect the fiberglass hull ). The steel corner brackets are bolted to an oak handle.
Slots in the metal brackets allow handle to easily slip onto rods, under the nut on the rod just above the deck. Wing nuts are snugged-up from below to secure the handle.
I can easily carry the brig at my side with one hand. It angles slightly away from my body and helps keep me clear of the lower yards (kept in place).
Last edited by DanL; Jan 01, 2010 at 12:34 PM.
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Jan 01, 2010, 05:41 PM
Paratrooper's Avatar

New Anchors on Surprise

Shipmates: I finished the construction of my new anchors with aluminum shanks and Ash stocks according to the details in "The Frigate Diana" by David White.

The large anchors have aluminum flukes made from an old stop sign and the smaller anchors are made with brass plate. I wanted a lighter gauge fluke on the smaller anchors and the only thing I had was some .025 thick brass which actually worked out very well. On the larger anchors I drilled the flukes with the clearance drill and tapped the shank. This was extremely difficult because I was not sure of the holding power of the 2-56 flat head machine screw so I installed the screws through the flukes. This worked but I was not all that pleased with the end results.

On the smaller anchors I tapped the brass plate flukes and clearance drilled the shanks and counter drilled for the heads of the screws in the shanks. When the holes were later filled with LocTite two part epoxy (Similar to J-B Weld but I think it is tougher and when sanded it looks just like the metal) and the fasteners disappear all together.

I am extremly pleased with the end results of this work and the photo showing them catted up on the port side shows the details of the stocks which really show the grain of the wood.

The total weight of the new anchors is only 4 OZ more than the originals. I am not even going to try to trim the ship any more.
Last edited by Paratrooper; Jan 01, 2010 at 08:53 PM. Reason: Add a few words
Jan 03, 2010, 11:18 AM
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The seat of ease for Surprise

After the boarding attempt by Syren last September, we kept four of her crew that surrendered after getting aboard Surprise. Those four whined, winged, moaned, complained, and threw fits about not having a seat of ease, so Surprise was docked for refit during the artic winter that leaked out of Minnesota over the last 2 weeks and two seats of ease were fitted.

The whining as slowed somewhat but we plan to exchange prisoners the next time we find Syren in the open.
Last edited by Paratrooper; Jan 03, 2010 at 02:40 PM. Reason: Add a few photos
Jan 03, 2010, 11:01 PM
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8-10mm single and double blocks

I need well over 100 non-working blocks to rig 1/25 scale carrondes. I really can't spend the money for really nice blocks, but the simple rectangular lumps of wood I've gotten in the past aren't good looking enough.
I was thinking of maybe tumbling them in a rock grinding drum to improve their appearance. But even so, the proportions just look wrong.
Any other ideas on making them look better or on where to get a lot of decent looking blocks at fairly low cost?
Thanks much,
Jan 04, 2010, 08:48 AM
SCALE Sailor
JerryTodd's Avatar
Maybe it's the line and not the blocks?
Breeching was fairly heavy line, 4-5"" diameter (.16-.2" in 1:25), and training/retrieving tackle for 24 pdr carronades was probably in the order of 1.5-2" in diameter (.06-.08" in 1:25). The blocks would be c.7-8" long (.28-.32" in 1:25). Early 19th century blocks were more bead shaped and without hard edges than the strap iron framed blocks of the 1860s-.
Jan 14, 2010, 12:12 AM
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Sizing rigging for 1/24 carronades

Based on Petrejus, Jerry Todd info and SC&H info (see,
this is what I'll likely use to rig the Syren carronades:

Blocks - typical oval blocks ca 1806. Just the thought of making 100 blocks was mind numbing. So I ordered 7mm double blocks (about 7" full scale). A very reasonably priced source:

Breech lines = 8" circumference or D= 2.5" (64mm). At 1/24scale, D= 2.7mm

Gun tackle = likely will go to about 1.2mm (about 1.1" full scale).

Breech and tackle line will be twisted on a ropewalk.
Jan 16, 2010, 11:02 PM
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Drum winch servos for prototypical yard braces

The drum winch/brace rigging to yard arm system used on Syren works well and has held up for three years. But problems with warping and cracking of the CD's used for the large diameter drum flanges on Paratroopers Surprise and Jerry Todd's Constellation build mean that we need to find a better material. And Jerry has posted some great new ideas for brace tension control that make the Syren approches look complicated and clumsy. I'm going to try to post an extensive description here of the whole system and the options/approaches taken by Ray, Jerry and others as described in the various threads and posts on the SC&H and similar model builds. Then we can all add/edit/critique/test/summarize etc etc and get the best of the best ideas captured and results of actual sailing performance collected in one place as reference to describe some best practices/ guidelines for those interesred in taking this approach. Since I only have the SC&H brig experience, the focus will be specifically on SC&H ships and similar size and build approach square riggers.
I'll try to summarize:
Winch servo selection, servo power wiring and fusing, drum sizing, drum construction, brace rigging options, brace tension control, maximizing yard swing, crossover jib design, scale detail (blocks, twisted line, dummy lines, etc), various calculations and geometry diagrams, observed performance pros/cons, etc.
Any other key areas?
Jan 17, 2010, 01:43 AM
Registered User
I understand using CD's on sheeting drums. However CD's are expected to only have a 10 year life before the plastic starts breaking down. It's kind of ironic as recording tape whether Cassette or real to real was design to last about 10 years before degrading.

Anyway, back tot he issue. I have not made any sheeting drums but I have made various keels using wood, plastics & aluminum. I even made one out of 1/8" steel plate. Not a good idea. It was too soft and ended up bending during transport under the boats own weight.

I find 1/16" & 1/32" 6061-T6 aluminum works well. It is strong. It resists bending, I cuts easily. It files easily with wax. It drill nicely. It bonds well with various slow curing water proof glues. I bond two or three pieces together to make the thickness I need. After bonding I drill several holes through the plates and then counter sink both sides in to the first plate on each side. I then tape one side and fill the holes with the glue. This makes rivets of the glue.

After sanding everything smooth, a little primer and paint makes it all waterproof.

I have never had one separate.

So if I were to make long servo arms or drum reels I believe I would use the 1/16" aluminum sheet. I buy it in 12"x 24" pieces for the projects I use it for.

Not as cheap as CD's but I know it will do the job and I don't worry about failure.

Here's a link to a current build. "Alma" About half way down the page you will see the keel after laminating and with the glue rivets before sanding. A little father down you will see the painted keel. It is removable with two 1/4" rubber coated thumb nuts. The bolts where threaded in the the keel and bonded. The bolt is mostly exposed on each side. The threading was done with small files as a tape would not work here.
Jan 17, 2010, 05:55 PM
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Aluminum for winch servo drums

Great info on the aluminum. Sounds like a top choice for the flanges.
Where do you buy it?
Jan 17, 2010, 06:24 PM
Registered User
I've been in the fabrication business for many years. So I know which suppliers I use have aluminum sheet and shapes.

Anyway. A quick look through your local phone book yellow pages under...
Aluminum or Metal Suppliers will most likely give your several suppliers to choose from.

6061 T6
It's the T6 you're looking for. This has a high tensile and shear strength you're looking for.

Aluminum Grading
Jan 17, 2010, 06:59 PM
Paratrooper's Avatar
McMaster Carr has a lot of this stuff. I just bought some for my new anchors.
Jan 18, 2010, 11:35 AM
Damp and Dizzy member
Brooks's Avatar
I've done business with these folks:
Jan 19, 2010, 07:26 PM

New Member

Hi to all,

I am new to RCgroups, but I have followed what happens in those pages with great interest (and I have emailed to most of you). I edit the Catalog of RC Square-Riggers on
and I am particularly interested in 3-masted barques like
that hopefully I'll build a model of, if I can ever afford to retire!

If you have good theory and diagrams and drawings for the control of square sails and yards, please do send them to me for inclusion in the Catalog....

Jan Cocatre-Zilgien
Champaign, Illinois
Jan 24, 2010, 02:26 PM
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Syren Crossover Jib Design

"I'll try to summarize:
Winch servo selection, servo power wiring and fusing, drum sizing, drum construction, brace rigging options, brace tension control, maximizing yard swing, crossover jib design, scale detail (blocks, twisted line, dummy lines, etc), various calculations and geometry diagrams, observed performance pros/cons, etc."

Here's one of the topcs from the list. It shows details of the crossover headsails approach on the Syren.
Making a removeable cassette for any pulleys used really helps ease initial rigging and allows for later maintenance and repair.
For sheaves, I bought nylon spacer washers at the hardware store and simply cut a groove into the edge. I used a lathe, but a drill or even handheld can be used to cut the groove with a file. I used brass tubing as the axle as the washers have larger inside diameters (I think mine were 1/8" ID).
I used delrin for the cassette bodies, but wood or other matrials could be used. A simple slot, very slightly wider than the sheave to allow clearance, is cut to hold the sheave and to hold the sheet in place.
To use common sheet lines (where more than one set of P&S sheets is attached) to run below deck, the overlap distance of the sail clew over and around the interfering stay must be very nearly the same for all sails sharing the common sheets lines.
The fairleads need to be elevated so that he sheets don't snag on deck furniture, etc as they move side-to-side with the sail clews. The fairleads can come up under a pin rail to make the sheets look as if they are belayed.
The servo and common sheets need to be adjusted so that full port and full stbd settings can be reached without the sheet connectors hitting the fairleads.
To prevent snagging of the sheet clew attachments as they cross their interfering stay, use a clove hitch as shown to more cleanly move across the stay.
Hope this is all clear enough. System has worked very well for many outings. Once adjusted, really needs no attention.
Jan 24, 2010, 03:35 PM
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Thread OP

Syren Winch Servo Selection

"I'll try to summarize:
Winch servo selection, servo power wiring and fusing, drum sizing, drum construction, brace rigging options, brace tension control, maximizing yard swing, crossover jib design, scale detail (blocks, twisted line, dummy lines, etc), various calculations and geometry diagrams, observed performance pros/cons, etc."

Here's the sail winch servo info for Syren.

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