Model Racing Yacht

Although galleons, clipper ships, and barks serve as the subjects for most decorative models, there is another, perhaps simpler craft, that is gaining in popularity with ship modelers. Almost every ship model collection now boasts of at least one miniature of some famous racing yacht. Their flowing lines and trim expanse of snow-white canvas lend themselves well to decorative purposes. What, for instance, could be more graceful than a carefully made scale model of Enterprise, the trim and speedy yacht that won the eventful races against the late Sir Thomas Lipton's challenger Shamrock V in the fall of 1930. Such a model can be built in a very short time from the authentic hull and rigging plans given in Figs. 1 and 2. First, of course, it will be necessary to decide on some convenient scale for the model. This will depend on the amount of space you have available for displaying the finished yacht. In the drawings, the full-size dimensions are given, but by following the method of scale reduction explained in Chapter IV you will find it a simple matter to arrange any scale desired. As given, the dimensions are in feet, but for the purpose of model making they can be considered as representing inches. Built full size to this scale (1 in. equals 1 ft.), the model will be 120 in. long and 160 in. high above the water line. A more suitable scale, perhaps, will be 1/4 in. equals 1 ft., giving an overall length of 30 in. and a height of approximately 40 in. Once you have decided on your scale, redraw the body and half-breadth plans full size for the scale chosen. This can be done by following the squares.

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Fig. 1
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Fig. 2

Although shown as full size (2 ft. by 2 ft.) for the original yacht, they can be reduced to give the correct scale. For instance, if the 1/4 in. equals 1 ft. scale is chosen, make the squares 1/2 in. by 1/2 in. on the reduced drawings. The hull can be built by the common "bread and butter" method of lifts as outlined in Chapter II. The sizes of the lifts can be obtained from the half-breadth plan redrawn to agree with the reduced scale. Cut away the extra stock on the glued-up hull carefully, testing the shape from time to time with cardboard templates made from the lines given in the body plan. In studying the half-breadth and body plans, you will note that some of the original water lines have been omitted. This was done to simplify the lines for model construction. The original Enterprise hull was painted white above the water line and left unpainted below. Since the hull was fabricated from bronze plates, this effect can be simulated on a decorative model by painting the hull white above the water line and bronze below. The spars and boom also should be white. As to the deck fittings, these also are shown in the drawings. They consist principally of a wheel, two binnacles, seven winches, a skylight and hatch, and two grab rails. The mast can be oval to agree with the first mast used on the original yacht or twelve-sided to imitate the metal mast that was substituted just before the yacht entered the races. To complete the effect of realism, scribe lines along the deck to imitate planking and apply a coat of clear varnish. The sails can be made according to the general method outlined in Chapter V. Four sails will be needed for an accurate reproduction: a mainsail, a staysail, a jib, and a jib topsail. The sheets for these sails are rigged as shown in the sail plan. Three sets of spreaders should be spaced along the mast. These are fitted with shrouds as indicated.

A Racing Model of "Enterprise"
These same plans also can be used by the racing model enthusiast. Of course, some simplification will be necessary. The rigging can be made more conventional, the smaller deck fittings eliminated, and some of the unnecessary rigging omitted. For a sailing model, a lead keel also will be needed. This can be the same size as that shown for the original in the reduced plans. When completed, it should bring the hull down in the water to approximately the load water line. The process of making or casting a keel is more or less the same for any racing yacht model. First, fashion a model or pattern of the keel in white pine. As lead weighs approximately twenty-six times as much as pine, you can calculate easily what the weight of the lead will be. To make a test, float your hull model, distribute that much weight on the deck, and check to see that the hull sinks to the proper level and has the proper trim. Then build up or shave down the keel pattern accordingly. Finally, sandpaper the wood. In order to cast the lead keel, you will need some sort of mold. This can be made of plaster of Paris. Screw together 1/2-in. or thicker boards to form a strong rectangular box similar to that shown in Fig. 3. It should be large enough to house the keel and leave at leastin. in all directions except the top.

Model Racing
Yacht 3
Fig. 3

With the box upside down, remove the cover (bottom) and insert the pattern as at B. Coat the sides of the wood with a soft mixture of plaster of Paris, finally packing it full. Screw on the cover and leave the box as at B for an hour or more to allow the plaster to harden thoroughly. When the plaster is dry, remove the cover and carefully lift out the wooden keel pattern. A grip for removing the wooden keel can be made by driving screws into the top edge of the pattern near the ends. A perfect impression of the keel should be formed in the plaster. If any rough projections have been formed remove them. To save the trouble of drilling the finished lead keel for the mounting bolts, two improvised cores should be placed in the mold before the lead is poured. These can be sections of 3/8 in. metal curtain rods or other tubes, as indicated at C. Obtain the exact positions by placing the wooden keel pattern on the boat and marking carefully both where the bolts should go and their proper angle. The tubes or rods should be sunk at least 1/4 in. into the bottom of the mold. Also, they should project through the cover of the box to hold them rigidly in place. Be sure that they are centered accurately and stand at the proper angle.

Model Racing
Yacht 4
Figures: 4, 5

In preparing for the actual pouring, the cover should be so placed that 11/2 in. of the mold is left open. This will form a gate for the lead. Set the mold at an angle of about 30 degrees as in Fig. 4. Up to about 14 lb., it is satisfactory to bolt the lead keel permanently to the hull as indicated in Fig. 5, waterproofing the bolt holes with white lead putty. For a heavier keel, however, it will be more convenient, from the standpoint of portability, to have tubes or wells extend from the keel to the deck so that the keel bolts go entirely through the hull. The keel then can be easily removed or attached at the deck. The original sail plan of Enterprise can be altered easily to meet the requirements of a sailing model. For instance, if a jib, topsail, and staysail are used, it will be best if they are made narrower so that each will swing clear of the luff side of the sail directly aft of it when a tack is made. A boom also should be added at the foot of each headsail. Of course, as is the practice with most sailing models, the jib, topsail, and staysail can be replaced with a single jib.