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Mar 06, 2019, 04:36 AM
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1:25 Endeavour II - project of 30 years


So, after exact 30 years, I am now in the final stages of finishing up my built-from-scratch 1:25 Endeavour II .....

It all started in the middle 1980's, when some friends and me got kind of lost in the lowlands of The Netherlands, ending up at the Huisman Shipyard in Vollenhoven.
The yard had just received the bare hull of the Endeavour from the UK, and she was still standing outside on a minimalist cradle.
I will never forget the impression I got from standing under the hull, with her huge overhangs on both sides, way too large to see them at the same time.
Although never done anything like that before, I there and then decided that I wanted to build a model of her, initially to be R/C model.
And of course it needed to be huge, so 1:25 it was.

Problem was that there was very little information, internet did not really exist for these things, so all I had was a copy of a French magazine with a lines plan, however from the Endeavour II.
Luckily, I was a last year Naval Architecture student, so with a lot of measuring and scaling, I drafter the lines plan on the 1:25 scale after school hours.

The plan was to make a counter plug from polyester, so to be able to make the final lay-up hull in the counter plug.
The day after graduation, I bought lots of triplex and other materials, I turned my fathers garage into a shipyard, cut all frames and boards, and planked the wooden plug in a couple of weeks.

And there it kind of stopped.
I did manage to fit a temporary deck, a mast from some PVC pipe, and painted her up so I could display her, but that was about it for 29 years.
I went for an other year of studying Industrial Sales, started working, started travelling, moved to Asia at the end of the nineties, and never really had the time nor interest to do anything on her.
I did bring the hull with me though, she went from Holland to Taiwan, then to China, and then finally back to Taiwan some years ago.
Last edited by ericjansen; Mar 06, 2019 at 09:29 PM.
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Mar 06, 2019, 04:51 AM
Rock the boat ...
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So, until the end of last year, that same hull had been standing as a unfinished model, or just packed up in one of her many transport boxes.
Together with the heat and humidity here, it had taken a toll, she had lost her nose, some of the support was loose, she started to loose her shape, etc.
I considered to scrap her altogether, but frankly could not come to that.

So instead, I decided to change my initial plan, forget about R/C, and finish her as a static model.
I removed the deck, removed most of the internals like frames, and reinstalled sufficient support to re-fair the hull.
Fairing a hull like this is a very pleasant experience, and I think that got all of my enthusiasm for this project back again.
Last edited by ericjansen; Mar 06, 2019 at 09:31 PM.
Mar 06, 2019, 09:27 PM
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With the hull saved from destruction, I had to make a decision on what I wanted to do:

1. a model of the authentic Endeavour II as she was in the 1937 America's Cup, or

2. a model of the present "Endeavour II", the 2009 Royal Huisman built Hanuman.

After some consideration, I set my goal on a representation of the 1937 version.
An additional challenge I gave myself is to work out the deck layout exactly as it was then, with each and every line going exactly as it was (this opposite of most models I have seen, where there is very little detail on this aspect).

There was/is plenty of information / pictures of the Endeavour I (I was even involved in her deck outfitting in 1989 while working for Lewmar, the winch company), but there was/is very few info on the Endeavour II.
All in all, I found about ~20 black and white pictures, 2 videos (although mostly showing the I, not the II), and of course the info in the books about the J class.

So, with this limited info I had to figure out how it was all done in the nineteen thirties, when winches were used, but in a totally different way than on board today's yachts.

The first thing I made were 2 scale figures, representing the sizes of a male and female, to be able to scale back and check the pictures.
Last edited by ericjansen; Jun 30, 2019 at 03:55 AM.
May 13, 2019, 10:26 PM
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So with the decision for the 1937 version made, it was back to the drawing board, working out the details.

Added longitudinal stiffening and extra brackets to combine some stiffening of the hull with the support for the deck, the mast and the rigging.
Further, as the deck has both camber and sheer, I needed some real stiff base to clamp the one piece deck on.

The only recess in the deck was for the floor of the pilot house cockpit, so prepared for that as well.
May 13, 2019, 10:37 PM
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As I decided to make it a static model only, I closed the deck without any further access.
So, before closing, I painted all internal woodwork several times, then added ~1kg of ballast in the lower aft part of the keel (to keep her balanced on the stand).

After a firm round of fairing the deck beams in the final deck camber + sheer, I glued the deck, using Gorilla glue.
I used the same bubbling glue ~30 years ago for the hull planking, and it seems to last forever.

It is hard to see on the pictures, but there is quite a bit of deck camber on these vintage ships, so , it needed quite a bit of strength to keep it all together while hardening.
After that, it was just a matter of cleaning up and grinding the overlapping deck to shape.
Last edited by ericjansen; May 18, 2019 at 09:16 PM.
May 13, 2019, 10:49 PM
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With the hull now one solid piece, it was back to the roof for a final fairing session, then some layers of white paint for the hull and deck surrounds.

Adding correct water lines is always a lot of fiddling, but with a large flat table and a lot of measuring they came out correctly.

Then, after 30 years, it was time for her final layers of paint, quite satisfying.
The blue for the hull is pretty close to the real thing (showing light in sunshine, rather dark if not), the anti fouling red was just a guess (and the only spray bottle color which came close).
May 13, 2019, 11:02 PM
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In order to get the most accurate deck layout (one of my targets as mentioned before), I did several mock up sessions to determine the exact location of all fixed and running gear, especially in relation to each other .

As mentioned, there is only one slightly accurate plan of the Endeavour II, so I mainly worked it out by comparing this plan to vintage pictures, then to how it looked on this model.

As a 1936/-37 racing yacht, things changed constantly on board, but my final representation mimics the America's Cup participation fairly closely.
May 13, 2019, 11:29 PM
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I had no information of any of the deck structures of the Endeavour II, and only had the drawings of the Endevour I in its modern, restored version.

So I spent hours to redesign them, again using the vintage pictures to scale down on the exact dimensions.

Used dimensions of the human foot, of legs, of corpses and skulls to determine actual sizes, then cross checking against the scale models of Mrs. Sopwith and me.
Last edited by ericjansen; May 15, 2019 at 02:33 AM.
May 13, 2019, 11:38 PM
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Then, with the basic structure in place, I used a very nice sheet of veneer to cover them, adding some details in the process.

It was a painstakingly slow process, and a first-time ever, but I was quite satisfied with the results.
Last edited by ericjansen; May 13, 2019 at 11:59 PM.
May 13, 2019, 11:58 PM
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All J-Class yachts had a tender on board.
Some stored them at the transom, but on both Endeavour's, they were stored upside down over the main saloon's skylight, in front of the doghouse and coffee grinder.

That was quite a bit of a challenge to replicate on this model, as I had not sufficient structural integrity without making the tender too bulky.
The first attempt to make the tender hollow failed, so I ended up making it solid, using waterlines as a reference for the shape, then veneering it.
There is a longitudinal recess in the tender to fit over the skylight, and can be removed together with the frame.

Still, this is my least satisfying part of this project, and I might give it an other try this winter.
May 14, 2019, 12:07 AM
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With all skylights and hatches done, I decided to finish up the deck.
My initial plan was to plank the deck just as on any other model.

However, it seemed impossible to buy suitable wood here in the correct dimensions, and importing is a no-no.

So I settled for an other sheet of thin veneer, cut it to fit, and glued it as 2 pieces.
The deck camber + sheer did not let me fit it in one piece due to severe bubbling, but it worked out nice at the end.
May 14, 2019, 12:22 AM
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With the deck in place, I had to concentrate on the smaller items.
Here I spent lots of time for a final check on correct placement, like lining up the center of the coffee grinder with the front base gear of the winches.
(The large winches operated with coffee grinders were a first on the Endeavour II).

As said, we do not have those model shops with a million parts for vessels, so basically everything I made myself.

- The winch bases are made from 2 steel washers glued together with a third one, then covered in veneer and sanded down to shape.
- The winch drums are also made from washers, with a plastic ballpoint cut into the right length in between ...
- The coffee grinders were assembled from some left over wood , and the usual tooth picks.
May 14, 2019, 06:28 AM
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With the main deck equipment done, it was time to get started on the running rigging.
I managed to buy 2 sizes of blocks, as well as 2 sizes of clamps, and with those I basically did everything.

To overcome the immense rigging forces, Endeavour II was equipped with Main Runner winches.
Made those out some old curtain rail sliders.

The immense long sheet for the mainsail was kind of "endless", operable on both sides, going underdecks midships, stored on reels there.
It had a adjustable traveler, allowing better trimming at close haul / light winds.
Tensioning was by means of clamps, connected to tackles. laying on deck.
Complicated spaghetti ...

The runners (3 on each side) were all different, depending the loads.
- The No. 1 were fitted with a quick disconnect, with a 1:2:4 tackle, then lead to the runner winches.
- The No. 2 were fitted with a quick disconnect, with a 1:2:3 tackle, then operated with an additional 1:4 tackle.
- The no. 3 were just a simple runner, with a 1:2 tackle.

- The Main runner
Last edited by ericjansen; May 15, 2019 at 02:35 AM.
May 14, 2019, 06:36 AM
Often afloat
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That's a lovely model, and I applaud your commitment to scale accuracy. Shame it won't be RC - perhaps you could do another one with full RC when this one is done?
May 14, 2019, 06:39 AM
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I then made 2 masts, one full size with 4 spreaders (as in the 1937 America's Cup), one approx. half length, for display purposes.
Made them out of wood, which allowed me to taper the mast above the 4th spreader.
All further rigging was fixed to the mast as well, so mounting was just like you step a mast in the real world.

Also made the 2 spinnaker booms, which I tapered, then veneered for the correct color.

I prepared all standing rigging sliding through bushes, then used a dot of superglue to secure everything after lining up and tensioning.


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