Model Yacht Building, A Sloop Yacht
The boat here described is a model of a sloop-yacht of about fifteen
tons measurement, forty-four feet long, and fifteen feet beam; the
model, on a scale of half an inch to the foot, being consequently
twenty-two inches long, on the water-line, and seven and a half inches
wide. The wood should be a block of clear dry pine, twenty-five inches
long, seven and a half inches wide, and five inches thick, the sides
being first planed square; then on one of the five-inch sides lines are
drawn two inches apart across the block; the water-line (W L, Fig. 2) is
drawn two inches and thirteen-sixteenths from the top at the end
selected for the bow, and two inches and five-sixteenths at the stern;
the stern-post (s t) is laid off, and the outer line of the stern (t
f); and finally the curved lines a f and a v are drawn, completing
what is called the sheer plan.
In copying from the drawings it must be kept in mind that they are
exactly one-fourth the full size, so that any distance taken from them
with the dividers must be laid off four times on the block.
To copy the curved lines, their distance from some line, as A B or W L,
is measured on each of the two-inch lines, by which a number of points
on the curve are found, and a line drawn as nearly as possible through
all of them by means of a flexible ruler, held in place by pins.
The block must now be cut away to the outline a f t s v, after which
lines two inches apart are drawn on the top, the line A B drawn entirely
around the block in the centre of the top, bottom, and ends, and Fig. 1
drawn on top, both halves being of course the same.
The block is next cut to the line a b c d, Fig. 1, the widest part
being, not on deck, but along the line c d, as there is some "tumble
home" from b to the stern.
The outline of the deck is a b e f, the stern being a segment of a
circle of five inches radius.
A piece of thin board must be cut of the shape of Fig. 5 (which is half
size), which is the widest part of the boat, and is fourteen inches from
the bow, and by using it for a guide, both sides may be cut out exactly
The stem piece, half an inch thick, and the stern-post, five-sixteenths
of an inch, are sawed out, and tacked in place temporarily, and a wooden
keel of the shape shown in Fig. 4 (marked "Lead Keel"), half an inch
thick, tapering to five-sixteenths where it joins the stern-post, is
fitted in between them.
The shaping of the hull may now be completed, using a gouge, spokeshave,
and rasp, keeping the midship section for a guide, and running the
curved surfaces smoothly and evenly into the sides of the keel, stern,
and stem, the latter tapering to five-sixteenths of an inch forward.
The hole for the rudder-stock is next bored, one-fourth of an inch in
diameter, and burned out with a moderately hot iron to five-sixteenths
of an inch; then, should the stock swell when wet, it will not stick in
the charred wood, but will still turn freely.
The keel, stem, and stern are removed, to avoid injury to them, and the
line l m n o p, Fig. 1, is drawn, after which the wood inside is cut
away with a large gouge or carving tool, until it is one-fourth of an
inch thick, care being taken to have it all an even thickness, and not
to cut through at any point, and also to leave the wood solid around the
After the hollowing out is completed, a rabbet one-eighth of an inch
wide and deep is cut to receive the deck, its outer line being g h i
k, Fig. 1. Then a light deck beam is set in amidships, the mast step
put in, and the inside of the hull and the bottom of the deck painted.
The deck is of pine, one-eighth of an inch thick, and after being cut
out should have lines scratched in with the compasses three-eighths of
an inch from each edge to represent the water-ways, and parallel lines
one-fourth of an inch apart scratched in to represent the joints of the
Now the deck is laid and tacked down, and the joints painted, and calked
if needed, the stem and stern-post replaced permanently, and the
bowsprit screwed to the deck and stem.
The length of the bowsprit is eight and a half inches from the point
a, Fig. 4, to the outer end, three-sixteenths of an inch in diameter,
and three inches from a to the inner end, where it is framed into the
bitts, the inner end being half an inch square.
A piece (x, Fig. 4) is next fitted on deck at the stern, forming the
after portion of the bulwarks, which on the sides are one-eighth of an
inch thick, flaring out at the bow, where they are nailed to the
bowsprit, and tumbling in aft, where they are nailed to the piece x, a
strip one-eighth of an inch thick (shown in Fig. 5) being first tacked
to the deck, and the bulwarks nailed against it. Small brads should be
used in nailing.
The rail is of walnut or mahogany, one-fourth by three-thirty-secondths
of an inch, nailed on top of the bulwarks, and running out on the
bowsprit to a point (Fig. 3).
For a sailing model a leaden keel of about two pounds is needed, a mould
being made in plaster of Paris from the wooden pattern, and the melted
lead poured in, after which it is smoothed with a plane. It is put on
temporarily, and the boat, when rigged, put in the water; then enough
may be planed off to make her trim properly, and the keel put on
The mast is twenty-one inches from deck, where it is half an inch in
diameter, to cap, where it is a quarter of an inch square, and the
topmast is eleven inches long, projecting eight inches above the lower
The boom is twenty-two inches long, fitted to the mast by wire staples;
and the gaff, fourteen inches long, has two jaws embracing the mast.
All spars are of yellow pine; the rigging is of fishing-line; and the
blocks, five-sixteenths of an inch long, and the dead-eyes, one-fourth
of an inch in diameter, are cut out of any hard wood. The lower one of
each pair of dead-eyes has a wire looped around it, the other end being
turned up, and driven into the boat's side, as in Fig. 5.
The upper end of each shroud has a loop spliced in, which goes over the
mast-head, and a dead-eye is spliced into the lower end.
The forestay has a loop at the top, and runs through the bowsprit,
forming a bobstay.
Davits are placed on each bow for the anchor, and two on each side for
the boats, and a capstan stands just forward of the mast.
The sky-lights and companion way are of mahogany, and with the decks,
spars, and rail, are varnished, the rest of the hull being painted
black, white, or green, and that portion below the water-line being
varnished, and dusted over with bronze powder, and when perfectly dry,
varnished again, giving the appearance of metal sheathing.
The sails are of muslin or lawn, and are laced to the boom and gaff and
to curtain-rings on the mast, or for the jibs the common "eye" used for
dresses makes a capital jib hank, and will slip readily up and down the
The drawings show all the remaining details, and by following them
carefully a handsome and able boat may be built.