Having trouble viewing? Click here: View as Webpage

September 2023 Volume 13 number 9


News, Tips and Happenings

After a very wet spring, we have had a cooler than normal summer. however, it has not stopped the vacationers from coming to Maine and stopping by to see our models. At times, there were 10-15 people in at once.

Model Ship World is an on-line forum of over 40,000 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!

Nautical terms and origins

Back and Fill - A method for a sailing ship to maneuver using her sails to control forward motion, i.e., filling and backing her sails.

Drabler (also Drabbler) - A second bonnet on a sail. The word came from the Middle English drabblen, to get wet, or splash. (See bonnet)

Bonnet - An extra piece of sail attached to the foot of a square sail or to the leach of a fore-and-aft sail, for added sail area in mild weather. The term comes from the French word bonet, of the same meaning.

Rope Yarn Sunday - A half-holiday from regular work aboard ship, usually Wednesdays - but never on Sunday - for the crew to work their own gear and light odd jobs; an old naval tradition.

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 - USS Ohio (Rogers collection)

From our good customer Peter G., volunteer model shipwright at the USNA museum workshop:

"This is a picture of John Di Donato, volunteer model shipwright at the USNA Museum model workshop Currently tasked with a model of the USS Ohio, built a hundred or so years ago by Horace Boucher, founder of what is now BlueJacket Shipcrafters. The model is part of the Roger's collection".

Another photo of the Ohio

Another photo showing the state of decay. All the rigging has become irretrievably brittle and must be replaced

One of the necessary steps in the restoration process. Documentation.

John at work.

Top view of Boucher's "Ohio"

Real Boat Names
Let's see YOUR workbench

From Gerry E. of TN:

"Hi Nick,

I now have my dream shop set up after moving from CA to TN. Here are a couple of photos that include the cutter Syren on the bench.

Gerry E"

What's on the workbench?

Nic's bench - Still rigging Newsboy - almost finished! Just need to do the braces, bowsprit running rigging, and add 2 jib sails.

Al's bench - In addition to working on the 82' point class boat, Al is restoring an 80' Elco presentation model. In the second picture, he scratch built this rocket launcher from 21 different pieces of brass tube, styrene, and machined brass.

Something Fun

Once again, The Washington Post has published the winning submissions to its yearly neologism contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternative meanings for common words. The winners are: 


1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.


2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.


3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.


4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.


5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.


6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.


7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.


8. Gargoyle(n.), olive-flavored mouthwash.


9. Flatulence (n.), emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.


10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.


11. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.


12. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.


13. Pokemon (n.), a Rastafarian proctologist.


14. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.


15. Frisbeetarianism (n.), (back by popular demand): The belief that, when you die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.


16. Circumvent (n.), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.



The Washington Post's Style Invitational also asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.


The winners are:


-Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.


-Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.


-Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.


-Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.


-Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)


- Karmageddon (n): It's like, when everybody is sending off all these Really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.


- Glibido (v): All talk and no action.


- Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.


- Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you're eating.


And the pick of the literature:


- Ignoranus (n): A person who's both stupid and an asshole.


Tip of the Month - where masts join (doubling)

This comes from the Redwood Empire Model Shipwrights newsletter:

Here are a couple of thoughts on making a mast where adjoining sections overlap. The first is from the Model Ship World Forum, and the second is one of my own thoughts.

1. You start with a square section piece of wood, then make the round part by planing it eightsquare, then sand it round. To make a round dowel square means that the square part will be too small in section.

2. Start with a dowel and square the overlapping section with a file. Then build up the squared section by gluing a piece of thin sheet to two opposite sides. When dry, trim them even with the edges and glue two more pieces to the remaining two sides. When trimmed and sanded to the proper dimensions and painted, the glued pieces should be undetectable.

Tip of the Month - Hobby glasses
Blatant Publicity
A Final Thought...

It's been a year since I announced that I wanted to retire. I think that in the next newsletter I can tell you what has transpired. But don't worry, I will still be around. Stay tuned!

Nic Damuck
BlueJacket Shipcrafters