BlueJacket blue sailor logo

May 2016
Vol 6, Issue 5


News,Tips and Happenings

Dear Shipmate:

We are slowly but surely continuing to add videos of our kit contents to the website.  The latest is the Jefferson Davis, a true plank-on-frame kit.

Another web addition is the parts list of each kit.  We get lots of requests for these, so we're making it easy for people.  Again, it will take time to do them all.  We have started with the USS Constitution, all 7 pages of it.  Go check it out, it's just above where the kit price is on the Constitution page.
BlueJacket is a proud sponsor of:

Model Ship World is an on-line forum of ship modelers. Topics range from kits to scratch builds, in-process continuing stories, tips, manufacturer information, technical topics.  Too many to list here. Go take a look!
In This Issue
Nautical Terms
Model of the month
Something Fun
Tip of the Month
final message
Quick Links
Nautical terms and origins

Bridle - Any of many arrangements of line, chain, etc., of two or more parts. Such gear having so many applications it is hard to know when the word came to use on the water, but it was seen in the XVII, and the word came from the Old English, bridel, braid.

Dungarees - The modern sailor's workl clothes.  The term is not modern, however. It is XVIII century, and comes from the HIndi word dungri, for a type of cotton cloth.

Jackass - A plug for a hawsehole or hawsepipe, to keep sea water out, or off the deck. It probably was a sailor's nickname, possibly because some early ones looked like a small feed-bag.

Pigsty Rail - A high rail or bulwark with open planking, hence good drainage. Still seen on many fishing vessels, the original purpose was as the name implies, to allow wave action to keep the decks well washed down where livestock was penned - either cargo or meat on the hoof.

Information is from the book "Origins of Sea Terms" by John G. Rogers
copyright 1985 Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc. and available from BlueJacket. 
Model of the Month - Friendship of Salem
This model is a custom commission for Mr. T of MA, and will be a surprise wedding gift to his daughter this June. Mr. T's daughter had brain cancer as a child.  Now 25, she and her fiancee often frequent the Friendship and the Salem waterfront, so a model of this ship is the perfect gift for them. 

Here's the actual stern of the Friendship of Salem:

And the stern of our model: 

An overall view:

Now the bow:

And finally the midships, with Charlie's signature wash bucket:

What's on the workbench?

Nic's bench: Work on the USS Kidd is really starting to move along. After building so many of the little sub-assemblies, it is gratifying to finally see them come together. Will it be ready to be the model of the month next month? Anyway, here's a couple of shots of the 01deck railings:

Al's bench: Work on the J-24 is now at the "let's assemble one from the actual kit pieces" stage.  Here we have a very nicely curved cradle, and Al with his favorite building aid, "bondo"

 Something Fun
Should I Really Join Facebook? 
When I bought my Blackberry, I thought about the 30-year business I ran with 1800 employees, all without a cell phone that plays music, takes videos, pictures and communicates with Facebook and Twitter. I signed up under duress for Twitter and Facebook, so my seven kids, their spouses, my 13 grand kids and 2 great grand kids could communicate with me in the modern way. I figured I could handle something as simple as Twitter with only 140 characters of space.
My phone was beeping every three minutes with the details of everything except the bowel movements of the entire next generation. I am not ready to live like this. Now I keep my cell phone in the garage in my golf bag.
The kids bought me a GPS for my last birthday because they say I get lost every now and then going over to the grocery store or library. I keep that in a box under my tool bench with the Blue tooth [it's red] phone I am supposed to use when I drive. I wore it once and was standing in line at Barnes and Noble talking to my wife and everyone in the nearest 50 yards was glaring at me. I had to take my hearing aid out to use it, and I got a little loud.
I mean the GPS looked pretty smart on my dash board, but the lady inside that gadget was the most annoying, rudest person I had run into in a long time. Every 10 minutes, she would sarcastically say, "Re-calc-u-lating." You would think that she could be nicer. It was like she could barely tolerate me. She would let go with a deep sigh and then tell me to make a U-turn at the next light. Then if I made a right turn instead. Well, it was not a good relationship...
When I get really lost now, I call my wife and tell her the name of the cross streets and while she is starting to develop the same tone as Gypsy, the GPS lady, at least she loves me.
To be perfectly frank, I am still trying to learn how to use the cordless phones in our house. We have had them for 4 years, but I still haven't figured out how I lose three phones all at once and have to run around digging under chair cushions, checking bathrooms, and the dirty laundry baskets when the phone rings.
The world is just getting too complex for me. They even mess me up every time I go to the grocery store. You would think they could settle on something themselves but this sudden "Paper or Plastic?" every time I check out just knocks me for a loop. I bought some of those cloth reusable bags to avoid looking confused, but I never remember to take them with me.
Now I toss it back to them. When they ask me, "Paper or plastic?" I just say, "Doesn't matter to me. I am bi-sacksual." Then it's their turn to stare at me with a blank look. I was recently asked if I tweet. I answered, No, but I do fart a lot."
We senior citizens don't need any more gadgets. The TV remote and the garage door remote are about all we can handle.
Tip of the Month  -  Silkspan sails - furled

This article was written by Erik A. R. Ronnberg, Jr. back in 1974.  Sorry, I don't know the publication.


The biggest problem in getting furled sails on a ship model to look convincing lies in finding a material which has the thickness and stowing properties of canvas to very small scale. SILKSPAN is its finest grades has these characteristics and allows the modelmaker to to cut sails to full dimensions without worrying about excessive bulkiness or coarse texture.

Laying the fabric over the sail plan, trace each sail's outlines with a 2H pencil; cut the sails out with sharp scissors, leaving 1/2" margins all-around.Next glue the boltropes to the sails at the pencil lines, using white glue, such as Elmer's Glue-all; allow to dry and trim away excess margins as close to the boltropes as possible.

At this point, cloth seams, reef bands and reef points, etc. may be scribed in or glued on, as the case may be.  Punch fine holes with a needle along edges where lacings, earings, robands and clew-ends must be rove or secured.  Sails may now be laced to spars, hanked to stays and seized into mast hoops.

Next, flake down the sails along the masts and stays, producing neat, accordion folds that alternate from side to side with each fold (see photo.) Square sails should be clewed up first and their buntlines hauled in next; leave the reef tackles a little slack.  Following these processes, the sails should be gathered in carefully, tucking in loose folds without bunching, or allowing clumps of material to form unsightly bulges. This process can be eased by touching the fabric occasionally with a wet, but not soaking, sable hair brush.

Once snugged down, gaskets can be passed around the sails, and a little touch of water here and there will smooth out any irregular shapes. Properly done, there will be enough wrinkles and folds in the silkspan to closely resemble cloth, and the texture of this material will approach scaled-down sailcloth far better than any woven fabric.

For models to 1/8" scale and thereabouts, the fine grade (00) silkspan is perfect. Models built to 3/16" and 1/4" scales can use medium grade silkspan for best effects.

As a side note, silkspan is no longer available, but BlueJacket offers medium grade modelspan from Europe, which is an equivalent product. Order R1300 for a 20 x 30" piece, list $2.75

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Thanks for your support


My final message in this newsletter will always be the same because it is what BlueJacket has done for 111 years, and we're not about to stop.


We appreciate our customers, we exist for our customers, and we listen to our customers. What we do is fun, just as I will try to make this newsletter. If you have any suggestions or comments, still, as always, please just give us a shout!


There's nothing I'd rather do than work on, or talk about model boats. Have fun!  




Nic Damuck

BlueJacket Shipcrafters, Inc.