Bluenose Canadian Schooner


April 9, 2017

Day 373.

I’m nearing the end of the work on the deck.  All that remains are the anchors and the dories.

The Bluenose carries two anchors.  Typically, when the ship isn’t racing, it has one anchor hung over the side and the other sitting on the deck.  I’m going to copy that layout as suggested by the Model Shipways Bluenose kit plans.

The anchors require a few different things:

So, to start, I need to assemble the anchors.  The kit provides two cast metal pieces for the anchors.  As usual, these need to be cleaned up with a metal file.


The anchors are provided as cast metal pieces that need to be filed and cleaned up.

Once the anchor pieces are cleaned up, I need to make the wooden bars that slide into the holes at the top of the anchors.  The plans show the size of these bars, and they indicate that the bars are tapered.

It wasn’t 100% clear how these should be built, but based on the shape of the hole and the tapering indicated on the plans, I decided to start with a 3/32″ square piece of strip wood.  I marked where it would pass through the hole in the anchor.

The hole in the anchor seems to indicate the bar is turned so that one corner is at the top and another is at the bottom, which means the tapering isn’t on one of the flat sides.  So, I drew a line from the center point to the outside edge, and repeated it on the next side.  In the picture below, the top side is marked, as is the side facing the bottom of the of the photo.


Lines were drawn to aid in tapering the wooden bars for the anchors.

I used a #11 blade to rough in the cut, then finished it off with some sanding.  I repeated this for the second bar.

Since the anchors will be displayed with one assembled and hung on the hull, and another disassembled on the deck, I shaped one of the bars to fit into the hole on the anchor.  I didn’t bother with the other bar, since it won’t actually be slid into an anchor.


Two tapered bars.

With the two bars shaped, I moved on.  I stained both bars to match the wood work I’ve been doing on the ship.

I slide one of the bars into an anchor.  The plans show that the bar is secured using some rope wrapped around the bar.  I duplicated this detail using some thin black rope.

I also attached a brass ring to the top, as indicate on the plans.

For the disassembled anchor, I attached the ring but left the bar off.  I felt that the bar without any rope looked a little bland, so I added one of the two sets of wrapped rope.  My thought is that if they decided to set up this anchor, they would slide the bar on, then add the rope on the other side to secure it in place.

This finishes up the assembly of the anchors.


One anchor is assembled with the bar secured with rope.  The other is left disassembled, with a little rope added so it doesn’t look too boring.


So, now I need to install the catheads I made several months ago.  Those had been set aside in a bag.  They were pulled out, and examined to determine which one was for starboard and which one was for port.

The starboard side is going to be a lot easier, since it has the disassembled anchor.  I decided to start there.

The cathead was slipped into it’s hole in the rail, and secured into the base with a little bit of CA glue.  The brass stay bar was glued into the appropriate eyebolt in the rail to secure the cathead in place.


Cathead on the starboard side is installed.

I attached some rope to the disassembled anchor, coiled it, and glued it to the deck.  Then I placed the bar on top of the coil and glued it down.  Finally I glued the anchor on top.  I tried to make them look just little messy.

This finishes up the disassembled anchor on the starboard side.


The disassembled anchor is placed on the starboard side of the fore deck.

On to the port side…

Exactly how the anchors are placed on the ship was pretty confusing at first glance.  When I made the catheads, I did a bunch of research to try and sort this out because I wanted to make sure I built the catheads properly for how they will be used.  I based my approach on Chapelle’s The American Fishing Schooner, which has an illustration of the catheads on page 399.

This anchor will be hung from the side of the ship, and will have considerably more detail.  I repeated the process I used for the other anchor to seize a rope to the ring.  I used a rope seizing machine from Domanoff Workshop to wrap some black line around the tan rope I’m using for the anchor line.

The plans indicate that sometimes chain was used for the anchor, and sometimes rope, depending on the situation.  I’ve decided to set up the anchor using rope.


The anchor is secured to some rope with some black line.

The ‘hook’ end of the anchor will rest over the rail right on the anchor pad that was installed a while back.  To keep it from falling, it was secured with a chain.

So, first I need to hook up the chain that will hold the end of the anchor on the anchor pad.  I attached some chain to the ring/eyebolt that was placed in the bulwark stanchion near the anchor pad.  (That ring was placed there quite some time ago).  The chain was draped over the rail, and will be connected to the eyebolt outboard of the anchor pad soon.


Another piece of chain is attached to the bulwark ring near the anchor pad.  This chain will wrap over the anchor and secure it to the anchor pad.

The anchor was then hooked over the rail, on top of the anchor pad.  The chain was wrapped around it and secured to the other eyebolt.


The anchor secured to the anchor pad.

This holds the anchor on the rail.


The anchor now hangs off the side of the hull.

Now onto the fun part.  Obviously they would need a way to pull the anchor back along the hull to get it up onto the rail.  While the main anchor line running through the hawse port  allows them to raise and lower the anchor, that would leave the anchor hanging off the bow.  To pull it back towards the anchor pad, a line was run over the sheave in the cathead.

Figuring out how all this worked was interesting, and I probably don’t have it correct.  But this seems to make sense, and lines up with the drawing the The American Fishing Schooner and the limited info on the plans.

Here’s a really crappy drawing of my layout.  Blue lines indicate rope, red lines indicate chain.


To get started, the cathead was installed on the port side, again secured with a little bit of CA glue.

Next, I need to build the chain and rope assembly that will hook into the cathead and loop through the anchor’s ring to hold it up next to the ship.  I made a small hook from brass wire and attached it to a short length of chain.  The other end of the chain was seized onto some rope.


A piece of chain with a hook on the end is attached to some rope.  This will be used to secure the anchor to the cathead.

Next I hooked the rope/chain/hook assembly I built into the cathead on the port side.  I let it hang down the side of the ship, behind the anchor.  I ran the rope end up through the ring on the anchor and pulled it until I had the chain running through the anchor’s ring.

I pulled it to the desired tightness to get a nice ‘hang’ on the anchor, then I secured the rope to the cathead.  In full size, the cathead has a pulley-like assembly at the end that this rope runs through, allowing the rope to be pulled in or let out.  This is how the anchor could be lowered away from the ship.  At this scale, the cathead doesn’t have this assembly, so just ran the rope over the cathead and secured it with a little CA glue.


The anchor’s ring is secured to the cathead using the chain/rope assembly.  The chain is hooked on the cathead, then goes down, through the ring on the anchor, and back up to the cathead.

The rope runs over the cathead and is tied off on the nearby belaying pin.  I trimmed the rope right at the pin. At the end of the build, I’ll add a rope coil here to make it look like there is extra rope.


The rope goes over the end of the cathead and is secured to a belaying pin.


Another view of the cathead securing the anchor.

The rope running from the anchor itself goes up to the bow, through the hawse port, and onto the deck.  It is wrapped around the winch (which would be used to raise/lower the anchor).  I coiled up the remaining rope an left it on the deck.


The anchor’s rope runs up through the hawse port and around the winch.  A little extra rope is coiled up on the deck.

While I was at it, I went ahead and installed the chain box.  This box was made a while ago.  I glued some extra chain into the box and secured it to the deck with some CA glue.


The chain box is secured to the deck just aft of the engine box.  Some extra chain is added.

And now the anchors are finished.  All that remains before I start on the masts are the dories – the small fishing boats that sit on the deck.