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Author Topic: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’  (Read 5931 times)

Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2020, 03:58:30 pm »

The deck was now ready for planking, something that I did over the Christmas period of December 2009- January 2010.  I used 1/16” thick limewood strips, 8mm wide, to represent planks of around 3.5” wide at full scale.  I believe pine deck planks were used on the originals but limewood is good for models because of the very fine grain and because it cuts so nicely in any direction.  I very much enjoyed planking the deck – limewood is lovely to work with and the end result is very pleasing.  I’m sure there are many articles on caulking on this Forum so I won’t discuss alternative methods here.  For this model I used one of the easier methods – black cardboard glued to the edge of each plank, and between the ends of the planks.  My method was to cut 10 lengths of strip wood, each 9” long (for 9’ planks on the original), stack them neatly on top of each other, spread PVA glue down one side of the block of planks and then glue the whole block of planks down onto a sheet of black cardboard.  Once the glue had set, the individual planks were separated with a scalpel blade leaving each plank neatly edged with cardboard.   I then planked the deck with these strips, working from the centreline out to each side.  The photos show the deck fully planked but before sanding down and staining.
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Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2020, 04:02:02 pm »

At this point I should mention another oddity of Eliza Rose – she only has two bitt-heads or posts standing up from the deck in the bow area.  I understand that most pilot cutters had three bitts in a row, creating two gaps between the bitts – the bowsprit was held in one of these gaps and the windlass was mounted in the other.  Following the deck plan for my hull, Eliza Rose has the windlass further rearward on two separate bitts.  These were added later.
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derekwarner

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2020, 11:00:31 pm »

Watching on  :-)) ....the Olve & Black hull looks magnificient & yes, certainly follows on from the Pegagus scheme


Those steering hawser tubes look to have been extended and overcomes the height transition perfectly. Will you be using a nylon woven rope [similar to the sail winch rope] or pre-blackened woven stainless trace wire from the Fishing/Sport shops"


These folks make some useful accessories ...I have some 'split rings' [just like the full size ones for your key ring] 5.0mm diameter - 30lb rated....a simple and inexpensive method of securing miniature chains or twine or the like [these rings could be doubled up to provide a 60lb working load in tension]


I have used one this size split ring to join 2 lengths of 1/16 scale 'hand' anchor chain...


Finally, what style or type of cover will be installed over the void of the steering hawser tubes?


Looking to progress in 2021


Derek






 
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Derek Warner

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Illawarra Live Steamers Co-op
Australia
www.ils.org.au

Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #28 on: December 31, 2020, 02:45:09 pm »

Thanks for the post Derek and nice to hear from Australia.  Yes the steering hawser tubes extend up through the deck and then level off at about 2-3mm clear of the surface of the deck, angled to point rearwards to the location points on the rudder bar.  I have used a model woven synthetic cord for this as you suggest.  With this being intended as a working model, I have used woven synthetic cord for all moving/ running sheets and anything else that looked like it might get some wear.  I have attached a photo of the stuff I used - it is 1.0mm dia woven polyester cord from Robbe.  It seems to have very little friction in the brass tubes and is very hardwearing.  For other rigging I found that regular cotton builder's line looks about right - it has a nice twist and looks more natural than nylon or polyester.  In the UK I can get this from Travis Perkins (photo attached) but similar line must be available from other builder's merchants.  The only exception to this was for the main shrouds that support the mast where I resorted to multistrand brass picture wire and painted it matt black.  Very strong, but I have to be careful not to get kinks into it.   
Thanks for the info on the split rings.  I wasn't aware of those but they do look useful.
You asked about sealing the voids at the end of the steering hawser tubes - the truth is I haven't sealed them with anything and they don't seem to let any water in, perhaps because of the location.  The model now has 60+ hours of sailing and there is usually no water at all in the hull after a trip to the lake. 
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Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #29 on: December 31, 2020, 03:02:28 pm »

After rubbing the deck down level to a good finish with fine sandpaper (the cardboard caulking sands down easily) the staining was done using many coats of strong black coffee.  Instant will do – no need to make real coffee for this!  I dissolved a heaped teaspoon of instant coffee in a small amount of hot water and painted this onto the deck, one or two coats per day, allowing the deck to dry thoroughly between coats.  After 15 coats it looked about the right colour.  Doing the staining this way gives a nice variation in colour between the individual planks which I don’t think you could get with a couple of coats of ordinary woodstain.  I then sealed it with two coats of matt varnish.
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Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #30 on: December 31, 2020, 03:09:00 pm »

At this point I decided to fit the sail winch and rudder servo.  I hope the following photo shows the ‘pull-pull’ rudder servo arrangement clearly.  At this point I simply knotted the rudder lines to check out the installation.  Later on, I fixed the lines properly using small brass collars with screw fittings.  The coaming around the hatches can be seen as well, all from 1/16” ply, including the curved piece around the rear of the cockpit which required steaming to shape. 
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Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #31 on: December 31, 2020, 03:18:46 pm »

There is also a row of four short wooden batons on the deck under the line of the anchor chain running forwards from the windlass.  I noticed these in photos of the original Pilot Cutters in Peter Stuckey’s book on these boats.  I don’t know whether these provided protection for the deck against damage from the chain, or whether they were footholds or served some other purpose.  If anyone knows the real purposes of these then please let me know!
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Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #32 on: January 01, 2021, 02:49:45 pm »

I was now ready to make some hatches for the deck.  For a practical working model, I wanted full access to everything that might need to be replaced inside the hull and therefore I made a number of removable hatches.  There are four in total - the cockpit hatch, the companionway hatch, the main hatch in the centre and a small forward hatch by the windlass.  I have seen other pilot cutter models made with only the cockpit being removable – probably better for scale modelling reasons but more tricky to maintain the radio installation! 
 
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Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #33 on: January 01, 2021, 05:27:53 pm »

The cockpit and companionway hatches were the most complicated ones to make, particularly the cockpit hatch with its curved wall.  The curve of the cockpit hatch has to fit snugly inside the curved coaming in the deck.  I had to steam the 1/16” ply shapes to bend them to this curve.  Once the basic shape was built up (all from plywood) I was able to plank the floor and sides of the cockpit.  The final job was to cut out and glue on the capping around the top of the cockpit wall.  This was made up with three pieces of 1/8” thick mahogany, with diagonal/ spliced joints between the pieces.  You can just make out the splices on either side of the cockpit in the photo. 
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Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #34 on: January 01, 2021, 05:37:06 pm »

The companionway is a fairly straightforward 4-sided box in 1/16” ply.  I built it up on the deck coaming with the cockpit hatch in place to get a good close fit.  One trick I use is to put a couple of layers of insulating tape around the outside of the deck coaming before building the hatch around it.  Once the basic plywood hatch structure is assembled the insulating tape can be removed.  This provides a very slight clearance between the coaming and the hatch, which allows for layers of stain and varnish etc. to be applied to all the surfaces.  The companionway has a curved roof which I made by planking over the curved shape using the same 8mm wide lime stripwood that I used for the deck.  I then added a second planked layer on the rearmost part of the roof to represent the sliding companionway top hatch, and some more stripwood edging to model the companionway doors.  To access the radio gear, the companionway hatch lifts off first (including the doors from the cockpit area) to reveal the radio on/off switch.  The cockpit well then lifts out to provide access to the rudder servo and the pull-pull rudder lines. 
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Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #35 on: January 01, 2021, 05:44:15 pm »

From my observations, the woodwork on hatches and companionways etc. usually looks very different to the wood of the deck on full size sailing boats.  The hatches and companionways are often nicely stained and varnished, in contrast to the rougher, more unfinished look of the deck.  For that reason, I finished the cockpit and companionway hatches with two coats of antique pine stain followed by two coats of matt varnish, giving a noticeably different colour to the coffee stain of the deck.
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Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #36 on: January 02, 2021, 02:58:01 pm »

In order to get the boat ready to sail as quickly as possible I made a temporary centre hatch from plain 1/16” ply – just a box shape with a flat top and four sides.  I made a replacement for this with proper planking and a skylight later on.  The forward hatch is a very simple rectangular box, planked on all sides and the top and then stained using black coffee and varnished in the same way as for the deck.  It is shown in the second photo.  I still need to make a pair of small brass hinges and a handle to put on the top of it.
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Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #37 on: January 02, 2021, 03:26:09 pm »

Back to fitting out the hull now.  The capping rail was cut from 1/8” mahogany sheet, three pieces for each side, plus a length to go over the transom.  Full size practice is to join the capping rail sections with Z-shaped splices – something that is quite fiddly to achieve at model scale.  On Eliza Rose I have simplified the Z-splices into straight diagonal splices at each joint.   Once sanded and varnished these are sufficiently neat that they are not noticeable unless you go looking for them.  To get the right shape for each piece of mahogany I turned the hull upside down and traced around the gunwale onto cardboard.  The cardboard can then be cut out and laid onto the mahogany to trace out the required lines.  I allowed an extra millimetre on each side of the capping rails when cutting them out and then sanded them down to the required size after they were attached to the model.   The mahogany was flexible enough to glue down onto the gunwales without steaming, but the shape over the transom is much more curved and this piece had to be steamed.  Once the pieces were all glued in place, I was able to drill through the capping rail down into the stanchion posts beneath and glue in some short lengths (~1cm) of cocktail stick.  These wooden ‘pegs’ give some extra strength to the capping rail and none of it has come loose to date.  Finally, out came the sanding mouse to sand the top and both sides of the capping smooth and to round off the corners.  I applied a single coat of dark woodstain to darken the mahogany before varnishing it – this also has the benefit of staining the cocktail stick peg ends to the same colour as the rest of the capping.
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Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #38 on: January 02, 2021, 03:27:43 pm »

I’ve included a close-up of the cockpit and companionway area to show how these two hatches fit together.   It also shows the capping over the transom area which was the most difficult area to fit.
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Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #39 on: January 03, 2021, 05:22:57 pm »

At this point the hull was largely complete barring some deck equipment, so I turned my attention to the mast and spars.  I have seen some models built with snooker queues for masts but I choose to use pine dowel.  The method (from Mike Mayhew) is to lay the length of dowel on the workbench and clamp it down at the end which will become the base (and which does not need to be tapered).  A pencil cross is then carefully drawn in the centre of the top end of the dowel.  Using a woodworking plane, cut a strip off from halfway along the mast to the top.  Undo the clamp, rotate the mast by 45 degrees (half of a quarter turn), clamp it again and plane another strip from halfway along to the top.  Repeat this until eight strips have been planed off, all the way around the mast.  This process is repeated, taking strips from different positions along the mast, up to the top, until the right taper is achieved.  At this point the mast will be octagonal in cross section, but this is easily made round again by sanding.  I tapered two more lengths of dowel by the same method to make the bowsprit and gaff.  The mainsail boom does not need to be tapered.  The mast and spars were finished with antique pine stain and matt varnish.
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Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #40 on: January 03, 2021, 05:40:05 pm »

The mast has a stepped joint a few inches above deck level that is hidden by a metal sleeve, to which the boom is attached.  Sliding the sleeve upwards allows the mast to be unstepped and laid down on the deck for transportation.  There is a lot of detail to making up the boom hinge joint, rigging and fittings that I haven’t covered here.  I'm happy to answer any questions on them or add some more photos if needed.  The blocks are fitted with brass ‘sheeves’ or pulley wheels and I bought some white metal castings to make the deadeyes.
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Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #41 on: January 03, 2021, 05:43:52 pm »

The bowsprit has a couple of pieces of metalwork.  I turned a fitting from aluminium for the tip of the bowsprit to provide four locations for the bobstay chain and three other stays.  This is painted matt white.  I also made up the gammon iron fitting from Ľ” x 1/16” brass strip, bent to shape and held to the stem with two small woodscrews. 
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KEMO

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #42 on: January 04, 2021, 07:11:23 pm »

Hiya, thank you for posting these pictures, a really nice model. I have a 1/15 Cariad pilot cutter hull, but due to life and health issues its been on hold, seeing your pictures has certainly rekindled my interest. The next job is to fit the rudder, I like your means of lowering the mast for transport. Did you make your own rigging blocks? I 've been looking for block kits,  Waverley models used to do them but they are no longer trading.


Keith.
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Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #43 on: January 04, 2021, 09:39:23 pm »

Hello Keith and thanks for the encouragement!  Glad to hear you are going to complete your Cariad - I have seen at least two Cariad models on the water and they sail as well as any.  I built up the rigging blocks from kits from Waverley models - the kits included laser cut wooden sides and the brass sheeves.  As you say, that particular kit is no longer available but there are other UK suppliers.  I don't have allegiances to any particular shops but a quick look on the Cornwall Model Boats website showed several pages of blocks and block kits in various sizes, so I hope you can find something to suit your Cariad from there (go to https://www.cornwallmodelboats.co.uk/index.html and then enter 'rigging blocks' into their site search.).  The method of stepping the mast with a sleeve over the joint is very commonly used in the Woodspring Model Sailing Club.  I could do a sketch/ cross section of it and post it here if anyone would like it.
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KEMO

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #44 on: January 05, 2021, 09:12:56 pm »

Hiya, thanks for the link, the last time I looked on CMB there was'nt any block kits.  There used to be a website called Modeling Timbers which used to do ready made blocks but they are no longer trading. The last thing I did on Cariad was to cut a section of the keel out and make a mould of it then cast it in lead which will make it handle a lot better.
[/size]
[/size]Keith.
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Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #45 on: January 08, 2021, 05:09:57 pm »

I have just spotted my spelling mistake above…it should be ‘sheave’ not ‘sheeve’.  I have got too used to having a spell-checker!  I’ve got a few photos of the mast joint and simplified roller-reefing gear to show how it goes together.  The step in the mast joint stops the upper part of the mast from turning around.  The metal sleeve keeps the stepped joint in position and the brass pin stops the sleeve from moving up and down.
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Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #46 on: January 08, 2021, 05:16:21 pm »

At this point in the build I thought it was worth checking the ballast and waterline situation again, so I filled the bath up and moved the bags of lead shot around to achieve the right waterline.   It only just fits in the bath now.  The draft is about 8”.
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Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #47 on: January 09, 2021, 08:37:11 pm »

I understand that the full-size pilot cutters had about 2 miles of rigging on them, or about 3500 yards!  At 1/12 scale that would mean about 290 yards of rigging for this model.  I don’t even know where most of this would have gone, so the rigging for my model is very simplified.  I think it has 30 yards or so of rigging on it in total and that seems like plenty when standing the mast etc. up at the lakeside!
Most of the rigging is made from cotton builder’s line which is very economical and it has withstood eight years of sailing now.  For anything that needed to be more robust (e.g. the mainsail sheet) I used some scale woven polyester line as mentioned above.  For the forestay and main shrouds, I used multi-stranded brass picture wire, sold as 'medium weight'.  This doesn’t stretch as much as cotton or polyester and it allows secure joints to be made by crimping short lengths of 1/8" copper or brass tube around the wires and then soft soldering it all together.  None of these joints has given any trouble since.  It needs to be painted matt black when completed and I do have to touch up some of the black paint on it from time to time.
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Laker

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #48 on: January 09, 2021, 08:50:36 pm »

It is actually quite easy to get the mast standing upright and secure.  It is only held in place by the forestay and by the three shrouds on each side.  The mast position is easily adjusted by tightening and loosening the cotton lines (‘lanyards’) running through the pairs of deadeye blocks that secure each shroud.  Once the mast is in the right place and the lanyards are properly tensioned, the mast has very little movement.  The shrouds don’t need to be under enormous tension in order to make the mast secure enough for sailing. 
The mainsail boom and the gaff both require some metal work to make the fittings that hold them to the mast.  For the boom, the original cutter would have used an Appledore Roller Reefing Gear.  The system includes two separate hinges to allow the boom to move from side to side and up and down.  I have reproduced the basic layout and hinge arrangement but without the gear wheels etc.  I made this up from copper sheet, brass strip and some pieces turned from brass rod, all silver-soldered together where necessary and then painted to match the various metal colours. 
At the throat of the gaff there is a hinged saddle arrangement that is seated against the mast with a leather pad (I was given some very fine leather for this by another club member).  The saddle is held to the mast by a ‘parrel’ which carries a row of small wooden parrel beads to help the saddle to run up and down the mast.  This hardware was straightforward to make up from small pieces of copper and brass again. 
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roycv

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Re: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Build – ‘Eliza Rose’
« Reply #49 on: January 10, 2021, 10:59:58 am »

Hi laker, your build is quite inspiring, I have a smaller Pilot cutter hull and plans for Cariad, given to me, but barely started.  It is a kit from Chris Brown eng, maybe 24 inches hull length.  I have stored some of your images on my Laptop for later reference.  But Cariad has now moved up several places on my to-do list.

I have a dinghy drawn on the  plans stowed on the port deck.  Will you be constructing a dinghy as well? 
The scale is just right for some nice woodwork and fittings.  I was wondering about the roller reefing of the mainsail, I enquired of Chris Brown and he no longer has any fittings to suit so I will have to see how near I can get or just compromise.

I did find on another yacht an alternative way of making stays for the mast rigging.  I used brass tubing carefully hammered flat and drilled for the rivet holes into the hull.and the hole for hook or wire location.  Then file each edge until the tube falls into two pieces.  Then soldered a small washer to the hook/wire hole to strengthen it.  You then have 2 identical stays.  I used small round head rivets pushed in place and glued on the other side.  Been in place a couple of years and still holding up the mast.
Best regards
Roy
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