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Sep 24, 2011, 10:12 PM
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Rakiura's Avatar

Scaling Plans

Given this thread is about scale model detail, I have a more fundamental issue of scale. I have a set of plans for a pilot cutter and I am wondering the best way to scale the plans up to make templates for frames etc. I have access to laser cutting and want to make the frames templates as true as possible. The actual vessel is 44 feet long and I am planning to make the model 44 inches long (1 foot = 1 inch). The plans are way smaller than a one-for-one match with the 44 inches (plan views on A4 sheets) and it occurs to me scaling up the shape of the frames is going to need to be accurate to preserve the ships lines. Can anyone point me in the right direction to take the plans to actual template size for frames etc.

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Sep 25, 2011, 11:31 AM
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DanL's Avatar
Enlarge on a good copier. I've found that enlargements and reductions both can be pretty good at maintaining true dimensions.
Sep 30, 2011, 11:52 PM
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Rakiura's Avatar
I did try that but because of the scale I have selected even A3 size does not fit the cross section width of the frames. A3 is the largest paper size the copier can handle. I'm seeking other ideas where to start...
Oct 03, 2011, 11:37 AM
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DanL's Avatar
Right - I understand the size limitations.

Try drawing some reference points on the original. Then enlarge it, making as many copies as necessary to cover the full area in the enlargemens. Then trim the enlarged pages and use a gluestick to assemble the page sections to make the complete enlarged pattern, lined up using the reference points you drew.

"Cut and paste" works really well to make single, large templates/patterns.
Oct 07, 2011, 02:54 PM
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Rakiura's Avatar
It pays to share with the family on hobby matters!! My son has a CAD package whereby he can trace over an imported picture of the plans. Apparently he can then upscale to maintain the relationship between the frames to fit the size I want. It justs squeaks in using A3 in landscape. It's the height deck to keel at the deepest frame, and not the beam, that's the tightest fit. But I understand your suggestion. I was being lazy looking for a quick scaling method. The CAD method is quite laborious so he tells me. Making enough reference points on each frame to maintain the true shape. But he believes it will be near 100% true to the plan image. I'd tried using DelftShip but the learning curve to use it was frustrating and I gave that idea up.

Thanks for your suggestion.
Jan 11, 2012, 11:11 AM
SCALE Sailor
JerryTodd's Avatar
Thread OP
I've actually rescaled and printed drawing from MS Paint. When you print from Paint it automatically tiles the image onto multiple pages - I can't even get Paint Shop Pro to do that!
The other option is to output the rescaled drawing to a PDF. The free reader doesn't do it, but there are other PDF readers that will tile large drawings onto multiple sheets.
Last edited by JerryTodd; Nov 19, 2016 at 08:01 AM.
Sep 29, 2013, 01:28 PM
SCALE Sailor
JerryTodd's Avatar
Thread OP
America's new navy had no officially sanctioned form for identifying ships with a prefix, such as the British use of H.M.S. for "His Majesty's Ship." Instead, a wide variety of prefixes were used in correspondence and documents.

Ships were often identified by their type, such as “U.S. Frigate” by their rig, such as “United States Barque” by their function such as “United States Flag-Ship” or they might just identify themselves as "the Frigate" or "Ship." “United States Ship” was used about as often as the others, as was "United States Ships" when referring to multiple vessels.

As the 19th century wound down, the term “United States Ship” grew in usage, though new terms were also in use; like: “U.S. Screw Frigate” or “U.S. Ironclad.”

President Theodore Roosevelt issued an executive order in 1907 that officially established the present usage:

Originally Posted by Executive Order 549, 8 January 1907
In order that there shall be uniformity in the matter of designating naval vessels, it is hereby directed that the official designation of vessels of war, and other vessels of the Navy of the United States, shall be the name of such vessel, preceded by the words, United States Ship, or the letters U.S.S., and by no other words or letters.
Apr 16, 2014, 04:43 PM
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beneteau3's Avatar
Dan, somewhere I saw a post by you that gave a reference to a graphic service, but I'll be danged if I can find it again. If you could pleeze pass it on again………….
Apr 17, 2014, 08:07 AM
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DanL's Avatar
Originally Posted by beneteau3
Dan, somewhere I saw a post by you that gave a reference to a graphic service, but I'll be danged if I can find it again. If you could pleeze pass it on again………….
Hey Don, good morning.
It's called Bedlam Creations. They make all sorts of decals. I think you need to send them a drawing, but maybe they can do the graphics too. Call them. The guy is really helpful.

Hope this is what you referred to.
Apr 17, 2014, 10:55 AM
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beneteau3's Avatar
Yup, thanks Dan. Got snow? Bill Uhl was on the pond last weekend pushing icebergs around.
Oct 17, 2014, 08:35 AM
SCALE Sailor
JerryTodd's Avatar
Thread OP

Self-Tending Bowlines

Square riggers more often than not, has a set of lines attached to either leech of each square sail called bowlines (bow-linz). Basically a set of slings controlled by a line leading forward. The knot used to attach this rig is the bowline knot we all know, or ought to know, and why it has that name.
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Bowlines pull the windward edge of the sail forward when sailing on the wind (close-hauled) to keel the edge from getting back-winded and backing the sail entirely.

On a model square rigger, bowlines not only add to the scale appearance, but improve the model's performance. What's more, they can be added without requiring a radio channel, servo, or any real mechanics to speak of.

The sling portion of the bowlines attached to the sail's leech, commonly known as "crows feet," are a sort of telescoping set of lines with open eyes to allow the sling to self-adjust in order to pull evenly. Sails were made with grommets along the leech specifically for attaching bowlines, usually on it's lower half.
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Blowlines normally lead forward to a block and then down to be belayed on deck. On the model, lead the bowline from the block back to the sail's yard on the side opposite the bowline; ie the port bowline leads to the starboard end of the yard.
Adjust the bowlines so they are only just slack when the yards are squared.
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The bowline can be attached to it's own yard, or the yard below, whichever seems to work and/or look better for you. You should use light strong lines for bowlines. On a real ship the line would be as small as a 1/2" diameter.

The blocks you run the bowlines to should allow very easy movement through them and should be sheaved, made of glass beads, Delrin, or something slippery. Where they mount depends on how scale you want your boat. They typically mount to cross-trees, under tops, on mast caps, but always forward, and generally lower than where they attach to the sail.

You didn't typically find bowlines on split sails, like double-tops'ls, or on sails above the t'gallants - though there are always exceptions, and you can make your own exceptions, of course.
May 31, 2015, 09:46 AM
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DanL's Avatar
NOTE: Edited after re-checking actual weight of Syren and re-figuring the correct volume factor. Corrected factor is 0.47, not the 0.55 originally used.

Jerry .... here's a corrected example calculation...

I calculated a ca. 1800 brig "hull factor" for Syren of 0.47 for correcting the hull volume from a rectangular block shape to an estimation of hull shape.

For Constellation:
Hull "block" volume: 60"LWL x 14"Beam x 7" Draft = 5880 cu in
Corrected hull volume: 5880 cu in x 0.47 = 2764 cu in
Displacement (Hull vol. x density of water): 2764 cu in x 0.036 lbs/cu in = 99.5 lbs
99.5 lbs makes sense cuz Syren is only 48"LWL and draft of 6", much smaller than Connie, and Syren weighs out at over68 lbs.
Will be interesting to see where weights actually end up.
Last edited by DanL; Jun 04, 2015 at 11:41 AM.
Jul 22, 2016, 10:17 AM
SCALE Sailor
JerryTodd's Avatar
Thread OP

Jiffy Reefing

Reefing fore-n-aft sails need not be a big deal, and can be done using a simple set-up used on full size boats, my own 16 foot day-sailer for instance, called Jiffy Reefing

This can work on a model boat exactly the same way it works on the real ones. On a full-size boat, this makes reefing simple and quick, and doable by one person from one spot.

A reef-line is attached to a D-ring mounted on one side of the boom directly below the reef-clew. It runs through the reef-clew and down to a cheek-block (a pulley mounted by it's side.) on the other side of the boom. The cheek-block is mounted a little aft of the reef-clew so the reef-line pulls the sail out and down when in use, and it also doesn't pull the sail to one side, but more centered over the boom.
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The reef line is made fast at a cleat near the goose-neck on the same side as the cheek-block.
A strong hook is mounted on the boom facing out, on the same side as the cheek-block. The halyard, usually cleated near-by, is eased to lower the sail and the reef-tack eye is hooked. The halyard is taken up again to set the sail. At this point, the sail is reefed, though the lower part may need to be rolled up and reef-points tied to keep it from ballooning about.

On a model, this may only require one or two reef-points to do the job.

Taking out the reef is as simple as taking it in. Untie the reef-points, cast loose the reef-line.
(Many cleats have a fairlead built into them. This line is often run through this hole in the cleat and a stopper knot tied in the end so when the line is cast-off, it stays at the cleat and isn't flailing about loose - see the inset in the diagram)
The halyard is eased, the reef-tack unhooked, and the sail hauled up and set.

This is easily implemented on most models. The D-ring and cheek-block can both simply be eyes set into the boom. The tack-hook can be just a downward angled pin. I saw a model that had a dress-hook lashed to the boom, and the eye portion sewn onto the sail.

Cleats can be difficult, even impossible at smaller scales, but it too can be substituted with a forward angled pin and an eye tied in the reef-line at the correct place, or an eye with a bowser on the reef-line the way some model yachts adjust sheets.
Last edited by JerryTodd; Jul 22, 2016 at 10:27 AM.
Jul 22, 2016, 10:35 AM
SCALE Sailor
JerryTodd's Avatar
Thread OP

Ashley's Book of Knots

Seems the link is broken, sorry folks
Ashley's Book of Knots is available as a PDF here. There's plenty of useful knots, not just for the boater or modeler, but for a lot of day-to-day things.
Last edited by JerryTodd; Dec 23, 2017 at 09:34 PM.
Oct 25, 2018, 09:36 AM
Big Boats Rule!
boater_dave's Avatar
OK, I've got a question that you experts should be able to answer. On Tuesday I had the opportunity to walk around Milwaukee's Discovery World Museum. A very neat place that I have visited several times. One of their prominent displays is a full size replica Great Lakes lumber schooner suspended in the second floor. On the first floor, you walk under the hull, the second floor is deck level.

Anyway, while on deck I was looking at the manual anchor windlass near the bow. An interesting device that used a see-saw type of hand bar, and a ratchet type system on the ends of the chain spool. While I was inspecting this, a museum person asked me a trivia question. "What does this device do?", and pointed to another winch, mounted mid deck with chains running straight down. I told her that's used to raise/lower the center board. She was shocked that I knew that. But here is my question. She had a name for the winch that I had never heard before, and I can't recall what it was. Any of you know what it would be called? If you need more info I'll do the best I can to describe it.


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