Fair American

Mast Slots and Hatch Interiors

May 28, 2018

Day 24.

There are a number of little details that need to be taken care of now that the bow and stern are complete.  These are very quick, simple steps that need to be done now, before any deck or hull planking goes in.

First, the mast slots need to be finished up.  The keel contains slots where the masts will eventually be seated.  These slots need to be closed off on the sides, creating a hole for the mast to rest in.

Some modelers like to shape these to match the round shape of the mast.  Others prefer to leave them square.  I typically leave mine square.  Later, when making the masts, I’ll square off the ends so they fit the shape of the hole.

The mast slots just required cutting some small pieces of wood and gluing them to the sides of each slot.


The mast slots were finished up with a some wood on each side.

On the deck of the Fair American are two sets of hatches.  The Model Shipways Fair American is designed so that the hatch gratings (covers) are a little see-through, so the keel has cutouts to make it appear there is some empty space below the hatches.

The plans call for painting the wood in there black so it isn’t noticeable.  I decided to go one step further, and actually build out the interiors of the hatches.  These are not accurate representations of the hatches (the hatches simply open to the lower deck), but rather are just small black boxes that prevent you from seeing the bulkheads if you look into the hatches.

I glued in some 1/32″ thick wood sheets and painted everything black.


Fake interiors for the hatches were built and painted black.

The Fair American has two levels to its deck.  The fore deck will run across the top of the bulkheads, and the quarter deck is several feet higher (on the roof of the cabin we were building around the stern).  That higher level starts at bulkhead 12.

Since bulkhead 12 will have all the framing for the cabin’s front, the deck planks for the main deck won’t be able to be glued to it.  So, we need to create a little ledge right in front of bulkhead 12 for the deck planks to rest on.

This was cut from some random strip wood, glued in place, and sanded to be flush with the bulkhead.


A ledge was installed just before bulkhead 12 to support the main deck planking.