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February 2015
Vol 5, Issue 2


News,Tips and Happenings

Dear Shipmate:

February.  Middle of winter.  Valentine's day. Hold on, spring is coming. The days are getting longer. More snow to shovel.  Is the groundhog telling the truth?

All of these thoughts came into my head as I began to write this month's newsletter. Truth is, here at BlueJacket, the constant contact with our customers keeps us all in a good mood all year long, regardless of the weather.

However, in the last 2 weeks, we have had about 5 feet of snow! Enough is enough!

Price increase
We have held our prices since 2012, but costs do go up. We will be increasing prices effective April 1st, which is 8 weeks away.  We are still working on it, but it looks like most prices will go up by about 5%. Some brass screw parts will go up more, as will some wood strips. CSS Alabama and USS Kearsarge will not change price.

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

Baulk - A heavy piece of timber, also an old term for deckbeam. The term may have come from the Old English word balca, ridge. Another possibility for it may be a corruption of Baltic, as much timber for ships came from that area. (Baulking is still a Down-Easter's term for hauling heavy or long timbers or spars.)

Golliwobbler - The nickname given to a large main staysail used by a schooner in light winds.  It probably comes from goliwog, a slang word for something grotesque.

Quay - A shoreside structure, usually of masonry, and parallel to the shoreline, serving as a berth or berths for craft of all sizes. Common in European waters, it is pronounced like key, which becomes obvious when we find that the word came from the Middle English, key, of the same meaning.  Thence probably from the Breton word kae, an enclosure.

Staysail - A sail, usually triangular, set on a centerline stay.  The derivationis the same as for stay.

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 - CSS Alabama

Now that the kit is being produced, how can I help myself but to make it the model of the month?

And what a model kit it is!  Over 400 etched brass fittings, nine sizes and colors of rigging line, hundreds of Britannia metal parts, seven pages of plans, and a 67 page instruction manual with 44 blow-apart drawings. Overall, the model is 35.5 inches long. In the midsection is a three-layer deep cutaway showing the actual ribs, the cross bracing behind the ribs, and the coal bunker behind that.

Overall view of the model

Closeup of the stern section

Forward pivot gun.

Stern decoration. Windows were fake on the original vessel as well.

What's on the workbench?

Well, YOU will be on the workbench if you join one of our 3 classes we are holding this year. All our classes are designed so no prior experience is necessary, they are entry level classes. no need to bring any tools we provide all that you need, unless you like to use those eye magnifiers.

The rigging and planking classes will be at the Fireside Inn in Belfast, just 4 miles from BlueJacket.  The half hull class will be at the Hamilton Learning Center in the middle of Searsport. The Fireside Inn is giving special rates to class participants, just ask for the BlueJacket corporate rate.

Each class has a maximum of 12 students, so I suggest you sign up early.

Here is the schedule:

Rigging - May 18-22, cost $400
You will learn all the different methods of attaching blocks, deadeyes, learn how to string lines, rig hearts, vangs, shrouds, stays, ratlines, and all the knots you will need. Here's a photo of last year's model: 

Half Hull - July 20-24, cost $375
You will spend the week making the half hull of our Jacob Pike kit, from gluing up the lifts to carving, learning how to use templates, all the way to painting and finishing.

Planking Sept 28 - Oct 2 cost $475
Last year we planked the Spray model, shown below. You will learn spiling techniques, measuring, use of battens and stealer planks.  You will go home with an entire kit so you can finish it.

As I said, all materials and tools are included, even shipping your finished product back to your home so you don't have to carry it.  All classes start with a tour of BlueJacket Monday morning, and 10% off purchases all week long, and a Monday noon pizza party.
Something fun

Tip of the Month  -  Masking waterlines

A simple tip this month, but we do get questions about how to make clean waterlines. First you strike the waterline (and that's a whole discussion all by itself). Then, we use vinyl pin striping tape to mask off, it has a clean edge, unlike regular masking tape which is crinkled and needs to be rubbed down (a lot).

The other important step to do before painting is to run a layer of clear paint at the masked edge.  If there are any gaps in the masking, they will fill with clear and not your final color.

Immediately after painting, pull the masking tape off at a 90 degree angle over the painted surface. this will pull any little paint bits away from the protected surface. Your finished line should look nice and crisp like this:

Thanks for your support


My final message in this newsletter will always be the same because it is what BlueJacket has done for 110 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.