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Model Boat Builder Gallery - Last additions

Model Boat Builder Gallery

Display, Working and Pre-Owned Models.


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Arun 52-01 half model.493 viewsThis was the original Arun, the boat that revolutionised the RNLI's fleet. We created this half model for one of her coxswains, on his retirement.31 Dec 2007
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Ranger. (J Class)429 viewsThis was fully exploited by a brilliant design team, which included the experience of Starling Burgess and the rising talent of the young Olin Stephens. The set of lines you see here resulted. Some considered them unconventional, even ugly. To my eye, they are extremely beautiful, and speak of speed.31 Dec 2007
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Ranger. (J Class)435 viewsSopwith's challenge of 1934 had frightened the Americans. When he issued a fresh challenge for 1937, with a new J boat, "Endeavour II", they decided to build a boat nothing could beat. Advances in the science of tank testing made it more feasible to try many different sets of lines. 31 Dec 2007
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Ranger. (J Class)461 viewsThe mighty, invincible, "Ranger", the "super-J", was a boat around which legends were woven. In one short and glorious season, in 1937, she raced thirty-seven times. She was beaten once by "Yankee", and once by "Endeavour". Most of the time, interest centred on who came second.
31 Dec 2007
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Rainbow (J Class)448 views31 Dec 2007
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Rainbow (J Class)454 viewsWhile "Rainbow" was an extremely beautiful boat, she was slower than the challenger. Her victory in the Cup races was a story of superior organisation and tactics. There is little doubt that Vanderbilt deserved to win. "Rainbow" occupies a justly honoured place in yachting history. Like all the American J boats, she had a short life, and was broken up in 1940. It is rumoured that there are plans afoot to build replicas of both her and "Yankee". Will we ever see "Endeavour", "Yankee", and "Rainbow" battling it out again, in a re-creation of the famous 1934 cup series? We can but hope. But you can own this lovely piece of yachting history in miniature now.
31 Dec 2007
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Rainbow (J Class)490 viewsShe nearly failed to be selected as defender. Just as with the challenge of 1930, Vanderbilt faced stiff opposition from other American J boats. In this case, it was "Yankee" which posed the main danger. Always a fast boat in stiff breezes, she had been modified so as to retain all her speed in strong winds, while becoming much faster in light airs. She gave "Rainbow" a very hard time in the selection trials. To this day, partisans for "Yankee" claim she was robbed. In 1935, "Yankee" came over to British waters, the only American J boat to do so, and posed a stiff challenge to "Endeavour"s supremacy in her home waters. There is little doubt that she could have been as effective a defender as "Rainbow".31 Dec 2007
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Rainbow (J Class)470 viewsSopwith's challenge of 1934 came as an unwelcome surprise to the Americans. The effects of the financial crash of 1929 were making themselves felt. Even the very rich were not quite as rich as before. Suddenly, they found themselves facing a genuinely dangerous challenge, from a ruthlessly organised British team, headed by an extremely determined millionaire with a background in aircraft development and manufacture.
The syndicate to build "Rainbow" consisted of no less than seventeen people. Time and expense were saved by not commissioning a new design. Instead, Starling Burgess took a set of lines he had drafted in 1931, and overhauled them. The new defender was built in a rush, in the record time of 100 days.
31 Dec 2007
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Clinker Punt.515 viewsAs you can see, this one went to be the punt on a magnificent large radio-controled sailing model of a Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter. However, she is a pretty little thing in her own right, and would make a nice display piece if you like traditional dinghies. She's not too expensive, either.
(model by Frank Hasted)
31 Dec 2007
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Clinker Punt.449 viewsBuilt all in wood, she is a fascinating miniature. 31 Dec 2007
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Clinker Punt.485 viewsHere is something a bit unusual. This little rowing boat faithfully reproduces the construction of a full-sized clinker dinghy. She is only twelve inches long, but she is faithfully planked up with individual strakes, and where there is a rib or a knee in the real boat, there is in the model too.
31 Dec 2007
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Paragon.473 viewsOccasionally I get asked to work on something really special. This west-country schooner model, "Paragon", was over one hundred and fifty years old, when I was asked to carry out a light restoration. As you can see, she is a big model. The topmasts had to be housed, to fit her into her display space. Imagine her with her full spread of sail set, including two big topsails to give her that bit of extra drive in light airs.
She is historically fascinating, and poses some really interesting questions. She was built to take part in a seven-mile offshore model sailing race, which was a local tradition on the coast of Cornwall in the nineteenth century. She won, comprehensively.
Before the year of her building, most coastal trading vessels had broad, blunt, apple-bowed lines. Afterwards, the sharper clipper lines began to develop, especially in Cornwall, which always had a name for fast clipper schooners. Did this model perhaps influence the design of the full-sized vessels? Or does she simply represent a design change which was happening at the time in any case? Dr Basil Greenhill, who wrote the standard work on the Merchant Schooners, has said he finds the model very interesting, but as a cautious researcher, felt unable to commit himself without more evidence. Probably we will never know exactly what happened in St Ives all those years ago, but I treasure the memory of working on her as one of the finest models ever to pass though my hands.
(model by local nineteenth-century builder, light restoration by John Davies)
31 Dec 2007
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