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April 2022 Volume 12 number 4


News, Tips and Happenings
Since I'm sending this on April 1st, let's look at the origins of
April Fool's Day
Some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. In the Julian Calendar, as in the Hindu calendar, the new year began with the spring equinox around April 1. People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes and were called “April fools.” These pranks included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as “poisson d’avril” (April fish), said to symbolize a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person.

Historians have also linked April Fools’ Day to festivals such as Hilaria (Latin for joyful), which was celebrated in ancient Rome at the end of March by followers of the cult of Cybele. It involved people dressing up in disguises and mocking fellow citizens and even magistrates and was said to be inspired by the Egyptian legend of Isis, Osiris and Seth.

April Fools’ Day spread throughout Britain during the 18th century. In Scotland, the tradition became a two-day event, starting with “hunting the gowk,” in which people were sent on phony errands (gowk is a word for cuckoo bird, a symbol for fool) and followed by Tailie Day, which involved pranks played on people’s derrieres, such as pinning fake tails or “kick me” signs on them.

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!

Rigging class 2022 - May 23 thru 27
Our rigging class is a popular event. We run it from 9 to 3 for 5 days (although some people leave early on Friday.) IT IS A CLASS FOR NOVICES. We don't assume you know anything about rigging a ship model. All tools and materials are provided with the class fee of $440. You get a hull to work on, all the sticks and dowels, glue, blocks, deadeyes, threads, wire, beeswax, sandpaper and the following tools:
Excel hobby knife and blades
Pin Vise
Assortment of drill bits
needle nose pliers
flush cutters
cuticle scissors (best for clipping rigging)
and probably some other things I forgot
If you use magnifiers for your modeling work, you should bring them. By the end of the class you will have learned how to use the tools, tie a multitude of various knots, and will have completed what you see in the picture above.
You can see shrouds, backstays, bobstays, gammoning, vangs, topping lift, ratlines, hearts, throat halyard, peak halyard, sheet tackle on a traveler, lifts, braces, forestays, etc.
Obviously, we don't waste a lot of time to make the model look pretty! We want to concentrate on the rigging. At the end of the class, BlueJacket will ship your model and materials to your home, again all part of the tuition cost.
Monday will include a pizza party for lunch and a behind the scenes tour of the BlueJacket facility. In addition, all students will receive a 10% discount on anything they buy during that week. Kits, tools, books, gift items, you name it!
The hours of 9-3 are flexible, we have the hotel conference room available 24 hours a day for the week. If you bring a family member, the 3:00 PM cutoff lets you do some sightseeing around the area. But if you need to catch up a bit, the room is yours!
Classes will be at the Fireside Inn in Belfast, 4 miles from BlueJacket on Route 1, tel# 207-338-2090. You can ask for the BlueJacket corporate rate if you choose to stay there. They are holding rooms at $99 for us. There is a pool and Jacuzzi, exercise room, a decent breakfast bar, and all rooms have an excellent view of Penobscot Bay. If you are the camping type, Searsport Shores is nearby.
Class is limited to 12 people with payment in advance. Full refund up to 2 weeks before, 50% refund up to 1 week before. Unfortunately, cancellation less than a week in advance cannot be refunded except by extreme circumstances, which we reserve the right to determine.

Nautical terms and origins
Admiral - (1) Highest ranking officer in most navies. This word comes to us from the Arabic amir-al-baka, prince of the sea; via Latin and early French. (2) A very large fid, usually used by riggers.

Devil - There seems to be no certainty of a definition of this term. However, all guesses have two things in common: it was a seam, and a difficult one to work on. Of the several definitions I have encountered, here are three:(a) the out board seam on a deck, (b) the garboard seam, and (c)any seam below the channels which sometimes had to be caulked or otherwise worked on (chinsed) while a ship was underway. It would seem that one of the last two is most likely, and the name apt.

Gudgeon - A socket on the sternpost, through which the pintle on the rudder fits, forming a hinge. Scholars differ on its derivation, as it gets confused with gidgeon, the fish. It appears to come from the Middle English gudyun, this from French goujon. pin or tenon, and could go back to Latin and Greek (but not for stern rudders, as they did not have them). Earlier spellings gudion and gudjin. (see pintle)

Pintle - The hinge pin on a rudder. The term came from Middle English, pintel, of the same meaning, and probably came into being shortly after the advent of stern rudders. One meaning of the word was pin. (see Gudgeon)

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 Yorktown
This model is from David T of AL

"Hi Nic!
I'm slow...then I had to FIND the photos and these are not the best but will have to do. I will send you some shots of 2 plank on frame models I built years ago. (The Bluenose...A Baltimore Clipper...Morgan whaler...a whale boat and H.M.S. Victory-43 inches long!...are up there in my storage closet along with around 60 1:35 or 1:48 plastic models of armor and planes yet to build)!
This Mr. Nic...is precisely why model builders like us ABSOLUTELY MUST LIVE DAMN NEAR FOREVER !
The model of the U.S.S. Yorktown is 1:350. There was nothing at the hangar deck level. 1st was to cut open the huge doors and then start from scratch to create the entire hangar bay and LIGHT IT. So you can see why I spent 3 yrs. on this thing. It just took on a life of it's own."
Real Boat Names
Let's see YOUR workbench
This is from Peter G of MD

"My workbench-es. Yes, there are six. Residual from my days of antique furniture restoration with one, two or three employees at different times, occupying one or more of these benches each. That phase has come to an end after forty or so years, and now they are occupied by multiple ship model projects, kits, scratch built, restorations, and an assortment of tools and stuff. Nature ,as with a vacuum, abhors an empty flat surface, eg. workbench space.
Happy, healthy New Year to one of my favorite enablers of my obsession.
What's on the workbench?
Nic's bench - Actually working on two projects. The Whaleboat was started many years ago by our customer, who got it to the point of adding the thwarts. He now wants us to finish it.

The other project is finishing up the Wendameen schooner for our gallery. You can follow its progress here: https://modelshipworld.com/topic/30159-schooner-wendameen-by-mrbluejacket-bluejacket-shipcrafters-187/#comment-859876
Al's bench - Al has finished making the 26 sticks for the Wyoming. Still has to add eyebolts etc on some of them.
To give you an idea of how large the Wyoming is, here's the hull sitting on my desk.
Something Fun
A young woman who submitted the tech support message below (about her relationship with her husband) presumably did it as a joke. Then she got a reply which was way too good to keep to herself.
The tech support people's love advice was super!


Dear Tech Support,

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slowdown in overall system performance, particularly in the flower and jewelry applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.
In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5, and then installed undesirable programs such as: NBA 5.0, NFL 3.0 and Golf Clubs 4.1. Conversation 8.0 no longer runs and House cleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system.

 Please note that I have tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail.
 What can I do?


THE RESPONSE (that came weeks later out of the blue)

Dear Desperate,

First keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband 1.0 is an operating system. Please enter command: Ithoughtyoulovedme.html and try to download Tears 6.2.

Do not forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update. If that application works as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewelry2.0 and Flowers 3.5.

However, remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0, or Beer 6.1. Please note that Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will download the Farting and Snoring Loudly Beta version. Whatever you do, DO NOT, under any circumstances, install Mother-In- Law 1.0 as it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources.

In addition, please, do not attempt to re-install the Boyfriend 5.0 program. These are unsupported applications and will crash Husband 1.0.

 In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. We recommend: Cooking 3.0.

Good Luck!
Tip of the Month - Making oar handles
As part of the whaleboat I'm doing (see Nic's bench, above) I had to make oars. The kit comes with 1/16" dowels and some strip wood. I thought I'd share how to make the oar handles. First, I rounded off the end of the dowel.
Then I scored a line around the dowel about a 1/4" down with my Xacto knife.
Next, very carefully shave down to the score mark
Once the shavings are removed, I took some 220 sandpaper and cleaned up the handle
And here are all six oar handles. Simple.
Blatant Publicity
A Final Thought...
At the end of this month, Saturday April 30th, there is a huge 1-day model show in New London CT. At last count there were 110 modelers registered. Did I say it is huge? The conference room is 8,000 square feet. You can find more information here:


In addition to signing up for the full conference, if you just want to see the models and vendors, there is a door charge of $5. We will, of course have our table set up. Stop by and say "Hi"
Nic Damuck
BlueJacket Shipcrafters