BlueJacket blue sailor logo

August 2014
Vol 4, Issue 8


News,Tips and Happenings

Dear Shipmate:

Just in time for summer, we have painted our building.  The Lighthouse now sports a red and white stripe motif, The building is pure white, the trim is charcoal grey, we've added a "gift shop" sign, and signal flags again hang from the halyard. Two trees were removed, and the landscaping updated.  All in all, I think it presents a very inviting look for our summer clientele.  

In This Issue
Nautical Terms
Model of the month
Something Fun
Tip of the Month
final message
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A big "Thank You"
To everyone who filled out our survey last month.  Many of the write-ins are really good suggestions, and no two of them were the same!

By far and away, the clear winner was the "Charles Morgan cut-away at the tryworks, large scale."  We are now trying to decide if 1:24 or 1:32 is the correct scale.  Also, we are looking for a supplier of scale bricks - Yes, we want you to build the tryworks brick-by-brick.
Nautical terms and origins

Boot Top - The painted band on a boat or ship, from just above to slightly below the waterline.  boot-topping, now the paint used and the process itself, was an earlier term for coating the entire bottom.

Dutchman - A small patch, usually of wood, to repair damage or replace rotting material.  The word is considered to be pure slang.

Misstay - The act of failing to complete the process of tacking or coming about.  Earlier the term was spelled out, miss stays.

Stevedore - The man in charge ashore of loading and discharging cargo.  The derivation of this term is early Spanish, estivador, earlier the stower of wool and later of any cargo.

Information is from the book "Origins of Sea Terms" by John G. Rogers
copyright 1985 Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc. and available from BlueJacket. 
Limited Edition Olympia Returns!

The owner of USS Olympia kit # 167 of 200 has returned her to us. She is available for sale at the original price of $650.00 - the CD photo set of her construction is also available for $25.00

Model of the Month - 80 foot Elco PT Boat

During the summer of 1941, the US Navy conducted two series of trials to gather collective data on existing PT types.  The results of these trials, which became known as the "Plywood Derbies," would be used to establish a set of specifications for a standard production design.  Based on the outcome, the Navy invited the Higgins, Huckins, and ELCO companies to submit designs for a PT meeting the new specifications. Higgins and Huckins submitted designs for 78' boats, while ELCO submitted an 80' design.  while all three designs were eventually built in varying numbers, the ELCO was the preferred type.

BlueJacket's kit of the 80' ELCO is based on original ELCO and BUSHIPS drawings and depicts the first series of boats (PT103-196) as originally built.  With minor modifications, it can be built to depict the boats in the PT314-367 range.

The kit features a machine-carved basswood hull, a large number of Britannia fittings, well over 100 pieces of photo-etched brass in three thicknesses, basswood building materials, full-size plans, and a detailed, illustrated instruction manual that includes seven different camouflage measures.

The only remaining question is:  Will you do the model in a gray paint scheme (European theater) or the camouflage green? (Pacific island hopping)
What's on the workbench?
Nic's bench:

Since I started building an SS Portland for the gallery, I thought I'd share some progress photos.  The hull has several coats of primer, almost sanding it all off between coats.  Now there's just a couple of irregularities that a little spackle will fix nicely.

The pilothouse is completed as a sub-assembly, as are the paddle wheels and wheelhouses. The walking beam will be the next subassembly.

Al's bench:

I'm excited! Al has started to assemble the prototype CSS Alabama from production parts.  We do this for every new kit, to make double sure the laser, casting and photo-etched pieces go together correctly.  Also, it proofs the construction sequence of the manual.

The manual and plans are coming nicely, with blow-apart isometric drawings and nicely detailed drawings.

Something fun


Have you ever tried to eat a clock? Its very time consuming.


Especially when you go back for seconds

Tip of the Month  -  making octagonal spars

There are many ships that have 8-sided yardarms in the middle, and bowsprits that go from square to eight-sided to round.  Some modelers add pieces to the yardarm dowels, and "eyeball" the bowsprit, but there is an actual geometric procedure to make nice and even octagonal sections from square ones.  Once you understand this, it will be easy to duplicate, and looks ever so much better as well.

Starting with a square piece of stock, make an "X" by drawing from corner to corner. Then take a compass, and draw arcs, using the corner as the center of the arc.  The compass should be set at the distance from a corner to the center. Do this for all four corners, and that tells you the correct amount of material to take off.  So simple, the diagram below is self-explanatory.

Diagrams drawn by Philip Eisnor for the BlueJacket "Bluenose" kit instructions
Thanks for your support


My final message in this newsletter will always be the same because it is what BlueJacket has done for 109 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.