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St. Michaels Sailing Scow

St. Michaels Sailing Scow
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I visited the Chesapeak Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, MD in October of 2001. While there, I saw a 12-foot sailing scow that I thought would be an ideal subject for a first scratch-built model. I took a few photos but, as it turned out, nowhere near enough to be able to build the model exactly. The only contemporary picture known to be in existence is the one at left. I got a set of plans from the museum but they were pretty sketchy (and just copied on an 8-1/2" x 11" paper). Not really sufficient to build a model. Unfortunately, the museum had no further information.

Update: I recently received a photo of a similar, earlier scow from a gentleman in Argentina. View further information.

The class was started by Commodore Nick Hardcastle of the Miles River Yacht Club in St. Michaels and in 1929, George Krill drew up the plans shown above to standardize the design. The boats raced from 1926 to 1939 and only two of the scows still remain.

 

Scow image 01
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I was unable to answer (or find answers to) all the questions that arose while building the model. A close look at the picture above reveals that there are no mast hoops or lacing to attach the main sail to the mast. A sail track has been conjectured, but there is no evidence of a sail track on the boat in the museum. As a result, I didn't put mast hoops or lacing on the model, nor did I build a mast track. It seems unlikely that there was no means of attaching the luff to the mast, but without direct evidence, I can't say for certain how it was done. It's likely that the foot of the sail was laced to the boom, but, again, there's no direct eveidence to confirm that.

Scow image 02
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Futher, the tackle for the halyards is another open question. The top of the mast on the boat in the museum has been cut off , so there is no tackle there (and it is not visible in the photo above). I made a guess that a home builder would use eyebolts and galvanized blocks. There is no running rigging on the boat in the museum at all, so all of this is guess work. Note that in the photo of the real boat under sail on the previous page, there is no standing rigging, indicating that the mast would have been easily unstepped for storage.

Scow image 03
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I've called this model scratch-built. By some definitions it's technically not because I used blocks and cleats that I bought from Bluejacket. But, considering the "plans" I had to start with and the fact that I did all the work of figuring out how to build the thing, I'm willing to stretch the point. The model is built to 1:12 scale (1-inch = 1-foot). The hull is 12-inches long.