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January 2016
Vol 6, Issue 1


News,Tips and Happenings

Dear Shipmate:

IMPORTANT - If you would like a copy of our new (as of 1/1/16) price list, just ask us for it.

December was incredibly mild for Maine, we set a record for the warmest December since they started keeping records in the 1800's. After last year, I think we deserve it.

I am amazed that this monthly newsletter now goes out to 3,752 people! Every month I receive compliments and comments. I truly enjoy doing this, and work on it little by little all month long.

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

A-Hull - For a sailing ship, under "bare poles," no sail and helm lashed alee, in very heavy weather. (Probably XVI) An old term for running with no sail, as in a storm, was the word "hulling."

Demurrage - The name given to the delay of a vessel beyond the agreed terms for delivering cargo for loading or accepting unloaded cargo; also the term for the charges assessed.  The word comes from the French demur, delay.

Heel - For a vessel or boat to lean over from the force of the wind.  The origin is the Anglo-Saxon word hieldan, of this same meaning.

Reef - (1) A verb, to reduce the area of a sail exposed to the wind; the noun is the portion of the sail that can be folded out of use and the result of doing so. The middle English word was riff; the origin the early German reff, a strip of sail.
(2) A shallow ridge of rock or coral. The origin is the Old Norse, rif, of this same meaning.

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 - Mary Taylor

This month we've made a video of the contents of the Mary Taylor kit. This video will be the start of a new section of our website, called "what's in a BlueJacket kit?" My goal is to eventually get a short video of the kit contents of all our kits.

The   Mary Taylor is a New York Pilot boat. These fast craft would go out to cargo ships and the first one to reach the ship usually got the job of guiding them into the harbor. This fast design, with it's raked masts and sleek entry, became the prototype for racing yachts. Just look at how similar the Mary Taylor is to the racing Yacht America!

What's on the workbench?

Nic's bench: I've done enough pieces of the USS Kidd to begin airbrushing the sub-assemblies. These will all be painted Haze Gray.  The strips of styrene will become the splinter shields around the 20 mm gunmounts

Al's bench: Al is taking a breather from the Charles Morgan to work on another new kit, the sardine carrier Pauline from Dynamite Payson's drawings. This will be the second boat in our "Great American Workboats" series which started with the 85' Diesel Tug several years ago.  All the ships in this series are to the scale of  3/16" = 1' which is the same as railroad "S" scale. This means that realistic figures will be easy to obtain. An interesting feature of this model is the Pilot house will be well detailed, and the roof can come off to reveal controls, bookcases, captain's bunk and other things. And yes, we have more workboats on our horizon as well.

Also on Al's bench is our Nantucket Lightship, to be done in all gray 1942-1945 configuration when she was an Examination Vessel for the Navy and assigned to the entrance of Portland Maine Harbor. There she survived an attack by the German submarine U-853 which sank the USS Eagle-56 and was later sunk herself. This model will eventually end up at the Nantucket Lighthouse Museum in Boston

 Something Fun

Boston Accent

Researchers for the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority found over 200 dead crows near greater Boston recently, and there was concern that they may have died from Avian Flu. A Bird Pathologist examined the remains of all the crows, and, to everyone's relief, confirmed the problem was definitely NOT Avian Flu. The cause of death appeared to be vehicular impacts.

However, during the detailed analysis it was noted that varying colors of paints appeared on the bird's beaks and claws. By analyzing these paint residues it was determined that 98% of the crows had been killed by impact with trucks, while only 2% were killed by an impact with a car.

MTA then hired an Ornithological Behaviorist to determine if there was a cause for the disproportionate percentages of truck kills versus car kills. He very quickly concluded the cause: When crows eat road kill, they always have a look-out crow in a nearby tree to warn of impending danger. They discovered that while all the lookout crows could shout "Cah", not a single crow could shout "Truck."

Tip of the Month  -  Making Rope Coils

Often on deck you need to make flat rope coils. These would be placed over the end of a line like the various gun tackle lines on any ship with cannons. It is a very easy technique. First you need to put some masking tape down, sticky side up. 

Next, start an end of a line, and begin to coil it out from the center.  The making tape will hold the line steady while you make the coil bigger and bigger.

When you get it to where you want it, thin down some Elmer's glue and paint the coiled line with it.

When the glue is dry, it will hold the coil so you can remove it from the tape and glue it down on the model. I would not recommend CA glue for the coil, as it darkens the line, and can seep down to the tape, making the coil stick and not come up.

And here are the coils paced on the deck of a model.

A second benefit of making rope coils is that they can hide mistakes on the deck, like a drop of spilled paint or a cracked board or anything that you might have done in error.

Blatant Publicity

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.