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Help needed with a Revell Yacht America model

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  • Member since
    October, 2018
Help needed with a Revell Yacht America model
Posted by Goatess954 on Friday, October 05, 2018 6:57 PM

I'm getting back into model making after many years away, and I've got a problem.  I figure someone in this forum may be able to help me.

Years ago -- like, 40+ years ago -- I made the Revell Yacht America model, and I was proud as could be of it.  It disappeared during a family move, and now I've gotten another kit and I'm working on it.

But this kit has PLASTIC sails, unlike the fabric ones on my original model.  I'm not crazy about them, but the biggest problem I'm having it -- where the HECK are you supposed to cut, in order to cut them out properly????  There's no marking on the plastic to indicate "Cut HERE," and I'm lost.

Anyone have any suggestions?  Recommendations?  I saw a reference to cutting out sails from typing paper -- would that work?  Would it look crappier than I fear the plastic sails would look?

Any and all help will be greatly appreciated!  I'm happy with the way the model is going so far, and I don't want to mess it up with screwed-up looking sails.

  • Member since
    August, 2013
  • From: Michigan
Posted by Straycat1911 on Tuesday, October 09, 2018 7:20 PM

I just snagged the same kit this past weekend at CanAm 2018. Mine must be a much older kit cuz the sails are made out of what I swear is onion paper(?); the same material used in Bible pages. 

If you run a pencil along where the bulging sail meets the flat plastic, that’d probably give you a good indication of where to cut. 

Otherwise, I’d say leave her bare and just rig the rigging without sails? My original kit years ago also had the plastic sails and I always thought it looked STOOOPID.

Personally, I’m considering having my wife use the originals as a pattern and have some sails sewn out of handkerchief material. That would probably be the most accurate. 

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Tuesday, October 09, 2018 7:43 PM

The problem with leaving the sails off is that Revell has moulded the sail hoops as rings around the mast.

There's more than a passing bit of reparté on whether non-fixed gaffs are lowered when the sails are removed or stowed.

As to paper for sails, what you want is 100% rag content paper.  Which is often labeled as "résumé" paper.  From my expereince, in a scale as large as America's, you want to crumble the paper until it starts to go soft.  Paper is quite good for smaller scales, lke 1/150 and below, as you can draw (or print) details straight upon it.  You can also use a simple gluestick to add hems and reinforcements (if appropriate for the scale).

As to fabric, nothing much is better than silkspan (aka modelspan), flying model aircraft covering.  fine, tight, weave, near scale thickness, and relatively available.

Next best is silkscreen screen fabric, but that can be pricey.  But, is really good for small boat sails, as it's transluscent.  Its only vice is in not accepting opaque pigments well.

For OP, what might help would be to get the Bluejacket plan set for their America.  You'd need to sort out the difference in scale, or just transpose the dimensions, but that would give you the sail dimensions.  (And a few handy upgrades for the Revell kit.)

That's my 2¢, spend it as you will.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, October 09, 2018 8:39 PM

A couple of notes. The original boat as designed by George Steers and per his sail plan drawings had four sails.

A boomless jib, a boomless foresail, a boomed mainsail and a gaff topsail on the main mast. She didn't have a fore topmast either. The gaff topsail wasn't fitted however.

So she sailed to England under three sails. Sometime in England before the race she picked up a gaff topsail and a club boom for the jib.

So the six sails on the model and the fore topmast came quite a bit later, say around the Civil War. And she lost the club in the original race.

In 1852 she was able to pole out her mainsails on downwind legs, but a model with sails would have the booms centered.

Such a rig would be an easy boat to sail with a small crew, as was true of her pilot boat ancestors.

It seems the newer releases have a jib boom on the bowsprit and a dolphin striker. Uggh, not anything the racer had.

A way to cut out those vac sails is to get a sharpie type pen and carefully run it around the perimeter of the sail. This assumes you'll be painting the sail linen color, which would be a must.

Parftly on account of what Capn pointed out, and because she's a racer, it's one of the few (and they're all schooners) that IMO look good as models with sails.

I have those original fabric sails in the box; you aren't missing anything.

I have seen one single picture of her with lowered sails. The fore mainsail was gathered up against the mast and gaff. That wouldn't be too hard to do if one was up for climbing the mast hoops.

The mainsail gaff is lowered on the sail onto the boom.

The BJ plans are kind of a must. You will need to reduce them. I chose 1/64 as the scale, based on the distance between the masts.

It would be a bit of a challenge to find a piece of paper big enough for the mainsails.

I think painting the plastic sails can be successful. Be prepared to carefully punch hundreds of holes along the head, luff and foot of the sails.

One detail never seen on a schooner model under sail is all of the ends of the sheets and halyards. Think ropes a hundred feet long. Those got bundled up and thrown into wire baskets attached to the sides of the deck houses. NOT coiled on the deck.

 

 

 

  • Member since
    August, 2013
  • From: Michigan
Posted by Straycat1911 on Thursday, October 11, 2018 1:54 PM

G, 

Looking at the box art, mine has the four sail setup. Kit number is H-361:600 if that means anything. 

Capn, thanks for the tip on the paper for the sails. Pretty sure Nanking Hobby carries that since they do a LOT of RC stuff. 

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Friday, October 12, 2018 8:39 PM

GMorrison
One detail never seen on a schooner model under sail is all of the ends of the sheets and halyards. Think ropes a hundred feet long. Those got bundled up and thrown into wire baskets attached to the sides of the deck houses. NOT coiled on the deck.

This is an excellent point (something our man G excells at, come to cases).

Let's asume the gaff throat halyard is a three part tackle.  The minimum length that line can be is three times the boom to gaff distance, plus the length of the mast from deck to cap, plus about 10%. 

So, a 60' mast with 40' leach gaff sail would need ((3 x 40 )+ 60) * 0.1 or 198', which we can probably round to 200' long  (About 60m.)  At 1/64, that's 37.5" long (not quite a meter).

A typical peak halyard is going to be even longer, easily another third or more. 

That's a lot on deck.

What modern racers (for that matter the J boats i nthe 30s, too) spliced a second line to the halyard so that, once hoisted, the excess could be unbent and struck down below deck.  Modern cruising sailors will often do something similar--a wire rope halyard long enough to cleat or shackle at full hoist, with an eye to which yacht braid is bent to lower.

Sheets are typically much shorter overall (at least in fore-and-aft rigs, the excess, if in use, is probably going to be flaked out on deck (flaking is a process whereby line is laid out in parallel rows so that it can "run" if needed).  Those would be up against the lee bulwarks in probability.

Topsail sheets would be another long line, as they have to reach from the foot of the mast to the course yard, then twice the distance from yard arm to clew.  And largely, they are only ever two lengths, two-blocked or clewed up.  The photos of the ol windjammers with great heaps of line at the mast bases bear this out.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, October 12, 2018 9:00 PM

CapnMac82

 

 
  Modern cruising sailors will often do something similar--a wire rope halyard long enough to cleat or shackle at full hoist, with an eye to which yacht braid is bent to lower.

 

And that's a *** when the knot slips and said eye zips up to the masthead sheave. Options are tip the boat over and don't let the water in; sail under a low bridge and drop a crewman on the masthead; or likely hoist the smallest sailor up on the jib halyard to get it.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Sunday, October 14, 2018 3:46 PM

GMorrison
likely hoist the smallest sailor up on the jib halyard to get it

LoL

You are not a cruising sailor until you've had to hoist yourself up to a masthead in a bosun's seat Smile

Shackles can be your friends for such.  As are double sheet bends.

You can spot the "experienced" skpper as the hoisting eye will be larger than the masthead sheave will pass through (and the eye at the head of the sail easily small enough to pass).  That way, in case of mishap, the halyard does not wind up with the sail all over the deck, but nicely lodged up at the masthead.

That saves having to scale the mast with a handy weight (like a large crescent wrench) to bend on the traveler you fish through the masthead sheave to get it back to deck.  Whihc is still an exercise, as it will want to foul every spreader and stay possible on the way down.

Sigh.

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