Bluenose Canadian Schooner


November 28, 2016

Day 242.

The first deck structure unique to the fore deck that I’m tackling is the companionway.  Like the entrance on the cabin, this is a ‘door’ that leads to the lower deck of the ship.  This structure is pretty small, but required a surprising amount of detail.

The companionway is basically a box, with a lid that slides back when the entrance is opened.  Unlike the cabin, it doesn’t have doors, but rather has two panels that lift out when the entrance is open.

The first step was to build the box.

Like the other deck structures, I transferred the shapes of the sides from the Model Shipways Bluenose kit plans to a 1/16″ thick sheet of basswood and cut them out.  I added support beams in the corners.


The companionway is a box, like other structures.  The sides were drawn from the plans and cut from 1/16″ thick basswood sheets.

The ‘front’ side, which has the lift out panels, required a little extra work.  To simulate the panels, I used a small razor saw blade to lightly cut the panel.  I didn’t cut all the way through – I just cut enough to give the impression of two panels.


The assembled body of the structure.

Next I installed the main roof.  In real life, this would have had a cut-out where the sliding roof panel is.  Since that won’t be visible, I didn’t bother with that detail.  The roof was made from planked wood, just like the roof of the other structures.


The main roof was planked, like the roofs of other structures.

The sliding roof panel sits on two ‘rails’.  These were added using 1/32″ square basswood.  Those strips are really, really small.


Very tiny rails were fashioned from 1/32″ square strips.

The sliding roof panel was also made using planks, and sized to just cover the rails.


The sliding roof panel was also made using planks.

The plans call for some of the sides to be burnt umber, but I’d prefer to keep this more consistent with the other structures.

Unfortunately, I didn’t decide on the color scheme until everything was assembled, so I had to do a lot of delicate masking to get things stained and painted.

I stained the main roof and the coamings with the same color used for other structures.  I painted the sides, front panels, sliding roof, and rails in white.


The finished companionway, with coamings installed.

The companionway turned out pretty good, especially considering that it is only about 3/4″ square.


Even my wife said the top roof panel looks like it slides back, so I must have done something right.


Nothing is glued down yet.  The hole at the bottom of this photo is where the fore mast will go.


I only have one ‘building’ left in this phase of the build – the skylight for the fore deck.