Model Shipways Bounty Launch Build – Part 09

The sail and spar have now been stowed with the stern-most sheet lashing the spar to the sail.

The second sheet is coiled and hung over one of the belaying pins in the peak.

I made the spar halyard by seizing a loop of rope through a hook I fabricated out of thick brass wire. The hook is hooked around the spar bracket.

Here you can see that I have reaved the halyard through the mast-head block, and astute readers will note that the block has been repositioned to the front of the mast rather than the back.

The reason for this is that, although I followed the plans on this point, it struck me that this configuration doesn’t make sense as the halyard and the spar would get fouled by the stays. I saw one build of this model by another modeler who ran his mast stays down to dead-eyes on the gunwales directly to port and starboard of the mast. In that configuration, the block could be fixed either fore, or aft.

The other end of the halyard is secured to a belaying pin by the mast. As it is not bearing any weight at present, I simply passed the halyard once around the top of the pin and hung the remainder in a loop over it.

The model kit comes with four pair of oars, but I will only be using two pair for my version. In the picture you can see one of the oars which is unfinished, and the second one underneath, which has been sanded into shape. The process isn’t very difficult, but it is a bit time-consuming and tedious.

Here are my oars after painting and then ‘distressed’ to show age and wearing. The pair that are lashed together will be stowed in the bilge, while the other pair will be placed along the thwarts for immediate use.

Above, you can see the oars after being glued into place in the boat.

The last item to be constructed for which kit parts are supplied, is the tool chest. Only the bottom, sides and the end pieces of the lid are provided. The rest of the lid, along with the fittings (hinges and hasp) must be created out of stock wood and metal.

Here is the completed chest. It turned out to be a bit different, and a little larger than I originally envisioned it. After assembling the laser cut pieces, I added some framing pieces at the corners and edges. Unfortunately, I didn’t like the result and used some ‘planking’ in between them which I think looks better than the flat panel effect produced by the laser cut sides.

Because the chest ended up being so large, it really left only one place in the boat where it would fit comfortably, but this ended up being a blessing in disguise. I originally expected to have to fashion hinges out of scrap metal but, because they would not be visible given the placement of the chest, I was relieved of the effort.

After painting in wood tones, and aging it by sanding and applying a thin black wash, I added a brass handle and some brass strips for visual appeal. To tone these down a little, I brushed them with a commercial ‘Brass Ager’ preparation.

And here is the chest glued into place. As I mentioned, this is really the only place where it sat comfortably in the boat.

The Bounty Launch, and presumably many other similar vessels, used a grapnel hook for an anchor. There was one originally supplied with the kit but this was one of the components that went missing over the years and so I was reduced to making one myself.

I considered a number of methods all involving much cutting, filing, and soldering of brass, and I wasn’t at all confident of being successful. Then I had an inspiration.

I rifled my fishing tackle box and found some treble fish-hooks of roughly about the right size. The grapnel hook has four flukes rather than three but I figured I could cannibalize one and modify the other. This turned out to be a slow, difficult process as the metal used for these hooks is much, much harder to work than brass. It didn’t turn out too badly, though…

This is the finished result.

I first had to ‘open’ the bend in the hooks on one piece, file down the barbs and the extremely sharp pints, and then twist the shanks so the flukes would be at right angles. After that I shaped and filed one of the hooks on the other piece and then sawed it off. This was quite difficult and required a lot of filing to remove excess metal after.

I was very much afraid that the metal used for these hooks would not be amenable to soldering but this turned out not to be the case and the job proceeded unexpectedly smoothly. The ‘shank’ ended up being thicker than I would have liked but I was afraid of breaking the soldering if I filed too aggressively. As it is, though, it is only thick from one aspect view and I can hide that when I position the anchor in the boat.

The wrap around the top of the shank is thin black wire. I actually considered using this to bind the two pieces together in the event that soldering failed but I ended up adding a little at the top anyway for some visual appeal.

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