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from another hull
At the time my wife and I decided to offer our sloop to the Maritime Museum, I decided to make a hull as a very high quality copy of the original just to have the lines available in case I decided to make  a complete model or use the copy for more models of the sloop.

add keelThe hull replicas of my original 1880 model sloop - but without keels.

Both of these hulls to the left are a copies of the original above but I wanted to see the shape of the boat without a keel. The paint on the model is semi gloss (now) and the look of the hull is slightly different than the replicas and a different angle of view to the immediate left. The paint finish makes a big difference. The replica is within 1 mm in most places on the replica hull. For a short time I had both side by side and they are very nearly the same. And...the upper hull has a rail and the lower hull are to the deck line  (the blue line on the model.

The hull to the upper copy model is redwood finished with yacht varnish and a stub ready to take a bowsprit I will add the keel which I find much easier than trying to get the hull shape and the keel added at the same time.

Some Trickery...both models to the left are nearly identical!

The upper varnished model has "PhotoShoped keel". The keel was borrowed from the original above. Using Photoshop, I traced the shape of the keel below, copied it, and pasted it onto the varnished copy to the left and blended both. Take a look at the spotted damage of the keel below and then loot above. You will see most of the defects on the keel below in the keel above. And you will see a slight bend in the keel at the white waterline area of the above keel near  the lower keel.

no keel The was done to give you a better understanding of what the copies on this page will look as finished sloops. Presently my plan is to use the copy of a copy to make a fully rigged version of what I know from the sloop and by using information from some of the photos of small 2 masted schooners. You can also see how much easier it is to get a perfect hull shape, and then put the keel on.

Doghole schooners and commercial sloop lines.


This is another place to mention our need for documentation. We desperately need drawings or sketches of doghole schooners. All we have for a side view is the drawing I will make from the sloop and a half model I will have access to.

If you have an interesting hand made model or model parts or any kind or documentation on dodhole schooners please let me know. If you prefer, I will look at your photos and let you know what I think. If I have doubts, I now know several experts who would be glad to look at the photos of the model, or your documentation.

The side view of the model below shows a vertical red arrow. The red arrow represents the laser mark on the transom image below. Using Photoshop it is possible to show only the red laser line on the hull. This idea was mentioned earlier This is just a quick statement to emphasize the process. The red laser line can be converted to a black and white cross section. By showing a mirror image and combining the images you can PRINT on a stiff piece paper, a nice cross section which is the third image in this set. And by cutting the gray image in half and cutting the gray area out the piece of paper can be placed against the hull at the right point to measure and adjust the hull shape.

side measurements
transom view near max beam

The profile below comes from hand applied laser lines to the sloop above.


Note: the template is the light blue texturized area in this illustration.

Once I had enough profiles of the sloop model, I could make the full sized model out of a soft wood. The light blue texturized area is a thick paper template for the position measured on the sloop hull shape. I then adjusted each point of the hull according to each different template.

For me this was half engineering and half sculpturing sanding carefully and checking the template for each point on the hull on both sides. I worked very slowly using finer and finer sand paper until the hull looked and felt right. This porecess took me about a week to make a precision copy of the original hull. An example is shown below.


rough shaped anmd rough sanded early hull.jpgTo the left is an example of the start of hull work. The first stage is done with whatever tools will work. I used a band saw, an electric planer, a power sander, and a hand planer.

Sanding down to the left side shape was done with #36 grit sandpaper on a power sander. Then #80 grit, etc.

By the way, #36 grit on a random-orbit rotary hand sander is like a planer...more wood can be lost than you think!

As time consuming as this looks a rough shape can be done in an hour. The main trick is to stay over sized to get to a point for the use of the precision template sanding and final shaping. The wood in my examples is extremely dry redwood heart wood in 2 inch slabs. This , by the way, is how the original model hull was made - slabs of what I think was balsa. I don't know how much balsa was available in The San Francisco area in 1880. But the model maker may have been a captain in the Howland family. A captain would have a chance to go to the South America and bring some balsa back to his home.

Cutting to much off the hull in this case is a serious mistake as always in woodworking. If you try this, take your time!

                                                 Start and finish
start and finishTo the left is a finished sloop hull without a keel on the model sloop. The right side of the image, in a very rough state, is a start at a doghole schooner. The schooner model will be about 30 inches, representing a 75 foot schooner.

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