BlueJacket blue sailor logo

June 2014
Vol 4, Issue 6


News,Tips and Happenings

Dear Shipmate:

Finally it is June, and we open our doors on Saturdays from 9 to 5 starting next week.  After this long winter, the warmer weather is appreciated.


We have found thinner all cotton thread only .005 inches in diameter.  This scales out to 1/2 inch line at 1:96 scale, which is exactly ratline size for our new Kearsarge and Alabama kits.  We are making this line available now in 25 yard spools:

Black # R1667  $2.10
White # R1668  $2.10
Natural #R1669 $2.10

All 3 items are in stock.  In addition to ratlines, this thread is perfect for tying off blocks, whipping line ends, lashing and serving.


The dates are not set yet, but will be either late September or early October, which is a beautiful time of year in Maine. It will be a Monday to Friday event, as was the rigging class this past spring.

Watch for a separate announcement in a week or two.

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

Agonic Line - A line of points on a chart at which there is no magnetic compass variation.  The word comes from the Greek agonos, meaning no angle. 

Buy Ballot's Law - A rule-of-thumb for determining variants of atmospheric pressure of a storm condition and of the location or direction of a storm center.  It is named for a Dutch scientist.

Jury - A temporary or makeshift arrangement of an of a vessel's gear due to damage, such as a jury rudder.  There are several possibilities for a derivation: one an Old French word, jornal, or jurnal, for the day, implying temporary; another, also Old French, ajuirer, to help, and this one goes back to Latin, adiutare, aid. 

Skeg - Any of a variety of structures on a hull's bottom at or near the stern.  Earlier skegg, the word appears to come intact from Old Norse.

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 - Yacht America - kit # K1050

The Yacht America was launched in 1851 from New York, and crossed the Atlantic Ocean to compete against the entire Royal Yacht squadron of England in what was called the "One Hundred Guinea Cup". The race occurred on August 22 of that year (my birthdate!)

The race started at 10.00 AM with 7 schooners and 8 cutters. The course was 53 miles long around the Isle of Wright, and the America had a late start due to a fouled anchor. However, within a half hour, she was in 5th place and gaining.  Later in the race, her jib boom broke, but was replaced in 15 minutes.  The race ended at 6.00 PM with America 18 minutes ahead of her closest competitor.  Queen Victoria supposedly was watching the race and asked "Who was second?" and was answered by the now famous reply "There is no second, your Majesty."  The race was re-named the "America's Cup" in honor of her victory.

Our model is a true plank-on-frame construction so the modeler can show internal details, and uses basswood, mahogany, spruce, and Britannia metal fittings.

Modeler Bill H. of Connecticut sent us some photos and description of his construction of the Yacht America.  In his own words;

"I started building wood ship models almost 40 years ago and have built about a dozen models over that time, most of which I have sold or gifted.  I am mostly a kit-basher but have attempted a couple of scratch builds.  Retirement has finally given me the time to work on improving my craft.
America is pretty much a straight out of the box build.  I tree-nailed the decking, supplemented the kit's wood with a little extra mahogany from my scrap box, and added a few minor details.  I like to leave my work unpainted, and the fine quality of the wood in this kit made this possible.  I added sails because, to me, the model looked naked without them.
I am very pleased with this kit, and hope to tackle more of your inventory in the future.

Loading a Coastal Schooner
I received this interesting photo and information from my sister's brother-in-law, Joe V. in Virginia.....



I was scanning some old photos the other day to save them before they fade even more and came across this one that might be of interest to you. My grandfather took it probably on Long Island Sound near Wading River NY.


How do you load a costal schooner... right off the coast of course...




Even more interesting is Joe was able to enhance the photo and get the name of the schooner "Olive Leaf" and found a newspaper story of the demise of the schooner. Look at the 4th paragraph up from the end of the article:



So I looked up the weather near that date, and found this on


"Nov 26 1898


A powerful early winter storm batters the New England coast on this day in 1898, killing at least 450 people in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

It was Thanksgiving Day when strong winds, in excess of 40 miles per hour, began blowing from the Atlantic Ocean across the New England coast. This was followed, in short order, by gales from the other direction. Equally strong winds roared across upstate New York from the west.

Blizzard conditions disrupted the entire area. Transportation became impossible; some trains were halted by 20-foot snow drifts. Communication was interrupted as the wind and snow brought down telephone and telegraph lines. In some towns and villages, residents were forced to dig tunnels through the snow from their front doors to the streets. In New York City, 2,000 workers attempted to clear the key streets and avenues.

Boston was perhaps worst hit by the storm. Approximately 100 ships were blown ashore from the city's harbor and another 40 were sunk. About 100 people died when a Portland-based steamer sank near Cape Cod. Bodies and debris filled the harbors and nearby beaches.

The storm is thought to have killed at least 450 people, though due to the wide extent of the storm and the poor record-keeping of the time, it is impossible to determine exactly how many people died."


As a footnote to this tragic event: on that same evening in the icy waters of the Atlantic off the Massachusetts coast, the 280-foot-long steamship  Portland - also known as "The Titanic of New England" - was also lost with all passengers and crew. Portland was one of the most luxurious coastal steamships of its day, and, today we memorialize her with an exquisitely detailed BlueJacket kit.



Something fun
Trivia fact:  The first 5 days after the weekend are the hardest.

Tip of the Month  - rigging deadeyes

I need to thank Dan Pariser of the Shipcraft Guild of New York for being a contributing editor by providing this excellent article.

Deadeyes, which tension the shrouds that support the masts, are an important structural and visual element in the rigging of a model ship. When they are neat and shipshape they give proof that the modeler has top notch skills and knowledge. Good quality line has to be used for the shrouds and accurately sized and shaped deadeyes have to be made or bought, but the techniques of properly setting them up are just as important.


In the first drawing you can see how the deadeyes are set in two parallel lines with their faces all turned out. To get this effect there are two techniques to learn. First, there is the lacing of the lanyard through the paired holes as shown in the second drawing. This is pretty straightforward. The trick is to get the two lines of deadeyes to set up parallel.

Here is a simple tool that can help. The Deadeye Claw is made from stiff wire, such as a paper clip. Two pieces are twisted together in such a way as to leave two 'claws' on each end. Fit the lower claws into the holes of a lower deadeye, then fit the upper deadeye to the remaining claws. Now wrap the shroud around the upper deadeye and back up. Attach it to itself with several seizings and you can remove the Claw. Lace the lanyard and you are done. Using the Claw on all the deadeye pairs will give you a consistent distance between them and the neat and shipshape look that everyone will appreciate.

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.