HOME PORT MY MODELS > LOBSTER SMACK > DAY SAILER > SMUGGLER > SAILING SCOW > CRABBING SKIFF > DORA BELLA > JOLLY BOAT > BLUENOSE II > ARMED VIRGINIA SLOOP > COLONIAL FERRY > COLONIAL FERRY 2 > CRAB SCRAPING BOAT > EMMA C. BERRY > ALMA > HANNAH > LARK > CLERMONT > NANTUCKET > PINKY SCHOONER > BUYBOAT > FLATTIE > ROUND STERN > BOATSHOP DIORAMA > POWER SKIFF > DRAKETAIL > HEAD BOAT > MINI ROUND STERN > MESSENGER

> MESSENGER

KITS FOR NOVICES TOOLS TECHNIQUES MUSEUMS LINKS ABOUT ME

Messenger - Small Bateau

April, 2019
I am starting a new scratch-build project - Messenger - a small Chesapeake Bay bateaux.

Flattie PlansI am using plans drawn by Howard I. Chapelle as shown in his book, American Small Sailing Craft (see pg. 324). Full-size plans (at 1:16 scale) are available from the Smithsonian.

The lines for these plans were taken off an existing boat that was built around 1900 for an oyster pirate. This type boat was known as a bateaux or skipjack. It was used to drag an oyster dredge that was raised and lowered by a manually operated "winder" or winch.The original was just over 48 feet long from the tip of the bowsprit to the aft end of the rudder. The model is at 3/4" scale (1:16) will be just over 36" long. You will note its similarity to the flattie I built a couple years ago. The deck layout is similar, as is the rig, but the flattie didn't have a bowsprit and this boat is about 13 feet longer. There are differences in hull construction as well.

April 8, 2019
I actually started this boat back on the 22nd of March. It took me about 6 days to draw out all the molds, cut them out and bevel them, and get them glued down to the build board (there were other chores I had to take care of during those 6 days). When I got to looking at how the chine log should lie on the molds, something just didn't look right. I spent at least a day trying to figure out what was wrong and never could. So I decided to start over. I redrew the molds begin as careful about dimensions as I possibly could. Did my best to cut out the molds properly, and once the new ones were glued to the build board, things still weren't good with the chine log. I have never been able to figure out why despite spending hours checking and rechecking dimensions and my drawings. It remains a mystery to this day. In the end, I wound up adjusting some of the notches for the chine logs and decided to just move on. Since then, I've got the keelson, skeg, and transom built, the chine logs glued on, and the first side plank glued on just a short time ago.

Molds and Keelson
Molds and Keelson
Molds and Keelson
Molds and Keelson

April, 9 2019
I spent yesterday afternoon and all of today planking the bottom of the hull. Of course, the edges need to be trimmed and the chunks carved to shape. I will likely tackle that tomorrow morning. Then I'll get the frames in and the remaining side planks.

Bottom Planking
Bottom Planking
Bottom Planking
Bottom Planking

April, 15 2019
I am still working on the hull. Yard work has intervened on several days, so as expected, progress is slow. Before adding the frames, I decided to make myself a little angle gauge. Very simple to do and it proved to be quite helpful in determining the angles of the bottoms of the frames since they are all different. As you can see in the second pic, I have the strongbacks and frames installed. Next step will be to add the remainder of the side planks, then trim them to the sheer line.

Angle Gauge
Angle Gauge
Hull Interior
Hull Interior

April, 19 2019
Not a ton of progress lately. I have all the side planks on, the floors made for inside the hatch and steering well, and the centerboard case partiallyl done. Something that just fascinates me about these boats is the appearance that the stern rises sharply aft of midships. It's largely an optical illusion. The chine log (and the lowest plank on top of it) is just as straight as the metal bar on the vise holding the hull. It curves in and out from bow to stern, of course, but it is straight vertically. It's not spiled or edge-set at all. You'd never think it just to look at it. Next step is the deck clamp and all the deck beams, of which there are many.

Interior
Interior
Hull Side
Hull Side