BlueJacket blue sailor logo

April 2015
Vol 5, Issue 4


News,Tips and Happenings

Dear Shipmate:

March up here in Maine is going in the books as one of the coldest Marches ever recorded. Remember this is after February was the coldest month ever recorded as well. But at least we are seeing days where it is above freezing (mostly.)

The initial comments from people who have received our Alabama kits is very favorable.  In fact, we put a quotation from our customer on the Alabama page of our website. The comments about the reveal are so positive that we are putting one on the Kearsarge as well.

And finally this month, we are proud to announce that BlueJacket has been given an A+ ranking by the Better Business Bureau. On the lower right of our home page there is a button if you would like to give us a review. 

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

Bonaventure - A lateen sail on its own (fourth) mast, way aft; in use on galleons of the XVI and XVII centuries.  It may have been named for a vessel owned by England's Queen Elizabeth I, the the Elizabeth Bonaventure, or possibly because so many ships carried a trading document so named in that period.

The mast was called the bonaventure mizzen, and often was adorned with pennants and flags.  As such it may well have been the predecessor of the stern (ensign) staff.

Fiddle - A rack or rail on the edge of a table, dresser, counter or stove; to keep dishes, cookpots, etc., in place in rough seas.  The term very probably originated from the fact that early fiddles often often were little stanchions with light lines stretched taut between them like fiddle strings.

Limbers - Holes in the frames close to the keel or keelson, to allow for restricted flow of bilge water. The word is believed to come from the Old French lumiere, one meaning of which was hole. (Of light, there was little)

Top Maul - A special mallet or maul for driving a fid into or out of the topmast doubling in a sailing ship.  It was so called because it was always kept at the top.

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 - Yawl Dyna

This model came to us for repair. It was custom made some time ago for the owner, and has absolutely exquisite metal work, as well as nice bright finish wood. When the owner died, his widow gave the model to our client, and it was suffering from years of neglect and disrepair. Our client actually was one of the crew, and worked the fore end of the vessel.

Here's what the model looked liked while disassembling it for repair:

And the finished product.  What a difference! The case for it is 53 inches tall!

Something fun

Tip of the Month  -  Scale

My predecessor, Jeff, talked about scale in his February 2012 ShipShape, but there is enough confusion that it is worth explaining again.

There are two distinct and different ways to measure scale. One is a pure ratio, and the other is a comparison of units of measure. People are forever mixing the two up, because they do not understand it, even though it is just two different ways to describe the same thing.

Scale Ratio is dimensionless, meaning it has no unit of measure, like inches or millimeters.  It is the pure comparison of one size to another. It is usually written as model:original with a colon separating the two numbers. For example, 1:48 means that one piece on the model is 48 times smaller than the same piece on the original. 1:64 means that one piece on the model is 64 times smaller than the same piece on the original.  Get the idea?

Units of Scale has dimensions, and is written as x  model dimension = y original dimension. This way of describing scale does have units, and in the USA we commonly use inches on the model and feet on the original. As an example, 1/4" = 1' means that a quarter of an inch on the model is equal to one foot on the original. This is distinctly different than the scale ratio, but the two systems are describing the same thing.

These two systems, since they describe the same thing, do have equivalents:

1:48 means the same as 1/4"=1'          (4 x 12 = 48)

1:64 means the same as 3/16"=1'        (16 x 12 / 3 = 64) 

1:96 means the same as 1/8"=1'          (8 x 12 = 96)

I hope this has helped to make sense out of using scale terms properly. So remember that 1/4 scale is NOT the same as 1/4" scale.
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.