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October 2014
Vol 4, Issue 10


News,Tips and Happenings

Dear Shipmate:

October, 2014. Just this past week, I celebrated my one-year anniversary at BlueJacket.  What a quick year it was, too! One of our first changes was to add PayPal to our website. Then we became sponsors of ModelShipWorld forum, re-arranged our gallery, added display tables, painted our building and signs, removed trees, sustained the 3rd worst winter in Maine history, implemented a survey to guide our future kit efforts, attended the Joint Clubs conference in New London CT, are finishing up the Alabama and Kearsarge kits, held a rigging and a planking class, and added new copper plates and finer (.005") thread to our offerings. Next week we will be at the Nautical Research Guild conference in St. Louis MO.

Last week we held the planking class, and everyone learned how to measure and spile planks to fit a faired hull. Here is a shot of our happy plankers:

Front row (L-R): Pat (MD) Ric (FL) Larry (VA) Jason (WI) 
Back row (L-R): Bud (OR) Gordon (PA) Steve (CO) Arthur (NJ) MIke (FL) Jeff (OH) Robert (ME)

In This Issue
Nautical Terms
Model of the month
Something Fun
Tip of the Month
final message
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Nautical terms and origins

Avast - A shipboard order, to hold, or stop hauling.  This term appears to come from Old Dutch hou'vest, and could be related to the Portuguese word abasta, enough, and could go back to Arabic.

Bower - An anchor routinely used when anchoring.  The word simply comes from the fact that such anchors were carried at the bows.

Knee - An angular strengthening and supporting timber in a wooden craft, and the name for certain angular members in an iron or steel ship. The term goes back to old Saxon, knie, knee, but when it took on a shipbuilding connotation is uncertain - it could have been XII or earlier.

Spanker - A for-and-aft sail usually carried aft on sailing craft, in various locations depending on the rig. The origin is uncertain, but it could well have been Old English, spank, to move quickly.

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 - Charles P. Notman
Since she was launched on the 29th of October, 1894, I thought it was fitting to feature the Charles P. Notman as our model of the month. Known simply as "#1", the Notman was the first major vessel built at the famed Percy & Small Shipyard in Bath, Maine. Her hull was 219 feet long, made from wood, with a LOA of 336 ft. She carried 4 roughly equal schooner rigged masts, and had a supplemental donkey engine to assist in managing the lines. She generally served the coal trade on the Great Lakes.  However, on June 12, 1900 she was rammed and sunk by the SS Colorado off the coast of Delaware.  It was extremely foggy at the time.

BlueJacket's kit epitomizes the construction of this "Downeaster" model, with many laser-cut parts, photoetched brass and cast Britannia metal fittings. With a long poop deck, short forecastle deck, and fine clipper-like bow entry, Notman is a very sleek model.

Notice the scrollwork trailboard.  This is a Britannia casting with raised scrolls.

View of the bow, foremast, and smokestack of the donkey engine.

Mainmast with bilge pump

Stern view

What's on the workbench?

Nic's bench: Of course, I am still working on the Portland. At this point, the main deck is finished, the walking beam is done and installed, so now I can start fitting parts for the Saloon deck. The photo shows trial fit of the aft saloon cabin sides. I make no excuses for the condition of my workbench.

Al's bench: Al is moving right along with the Alabama. The hull and deck are done, all the masts, spars and yards are finished, and the deck furniture is being added. Those who will be at the NRG conference next week will see this first-hand.

Something fun

If Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were alive today, their infamous sketch, 'Who's on First?' might have turned out something like this:


 ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO: Thanks. I'm setting up an office in my den and I 'm thinking about buying a computer.


COSTELLO: No, the name's Lou.

ABBOTT: Your computer?

COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.


COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou.

ABBOTT: What about Windows?

COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?

ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?

COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see when I look at the windows?

ABBOTT: Wallpaper.

COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.

ABBOTT: Software for Windows?

COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my business. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?

ABBOTT: I just did.

COSTELLO: You just did what?

ABBOTT: Recommend something.

COSTELLO: You recommended something?


COSTELL O: For my office?


COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!

ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.

COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, let's just say I'm sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?


COSTELLO: What word?

ABBOTT: Word in Office.

COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.

ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.

COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?

ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue 'W'.

COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue 'W' if you don't start with some straight answers. What about financial bookkeeping? Do you have anything I can track my money with?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?

ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.

COSTELLO: What's bundled with my computer?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?

ABBOTT: Yes. At no extra charge.

COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?

ABBOTT: One copy.

COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money?

ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.

COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?


(A few days later)

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?

ABBOTT: Click on 'START'....... 

Tip of the Month  -  A Jig for Paddle Wheels

I would like to invite you to submit what you're working on, and I'll post it here or in the workbench column.  We'll start with a really good tip from Jim F. of Ontario, Canada.  He is building a Portland kit.

Hi Nic,

 Just thought I'd send along this pic.

After several failed attempts, I was pretty sure I was going to have to grow another pair of hands to get the paddle floats on.  No wonder the instruction manual calls this part "challenging".  :-)

 Then a light bulb came on over my head. (Not one of those new LEDs.....more like an old 40 watt incandescent.)  Using scrap material from the kit, I cut slots cut to the correct widths in 2 by 2" squares to hold the radials steady while I added the paddles, set and glued. 
Success! I'd be curious to see how other "Portlanders" got around this assembly conundrum.

What a great tip, Jim.  Wish I'd have known that when I was assembling mine. Thanks so much for your permission to share it.
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.