Aberdeen Shed Find
I am attaching some photos of an old model yacht hull that my wife found in the shed of her house when she bought it in the early 80's. We have no history at all.

The model dimensions are: loa 115 cm; beam 25cm; deck to bottom of keel 32 cm; bow to mast tube 42cm. It weighs 10 kg with most of the weight in the keel bulb.

The hull appears to have been hollowed out from solid with a slightly cambered deck which is fixed down by a screwed on wood strip - I haven't taken the deck off but by tapping it sounds hollow and there is no evidence of planking either on the hull or deck. As you see, there is a mast tube, bowsprit fitting and rudder arrangement. I think it has always had a flush deck as there is no evidence that it ever had any superstructure - -no screw holes or glue lines.

My wife and I are both big boat sailors and I was a modeller in my youth and we would like to try to restore this yacht to sail again. Is there a chance that you can identify the type of model this is and could you advise me on the most likely original sail plan/rigging arrangements? I would also appreciate some advice on where to look for materials, fittings, sails, etc.


This one is a bit difficult. Though quite large, too big to be likely to be a commercial 'toy boat', the style and detailing are not those of a class model intended for serious competition. It might be a home brewed boat, based on a toy, or it might just possibly be a commercial boat made as a rare excursion into a larger scale of operation.

As to date, it probably dates in design terms, from the 1910s or 1920s, though it could have been made (even by a commercial firm) a good deal later. Designs tended to have long lives outside the competitive arena. But the hull form is very crude and the plate fin is very unusual in a boat as big as this. That said the fin profile is similar to the 'full keel' style favoured by some Scottish modellers in the 1930s, particularly the egregious Weir of Glasgow.

The rig of this boat would I think have been a gaff cutter on the lines of the attached drawing. The boat would probably have had a longer bowsprit and a lower rig altogether. The drawing shows a cutter rig suitable for a serious racing model.Keep it as simple as possible. No separate topmast, single shrouds. The steering gear would probably have been a Braine gear or some other sheet to tiller gear. The remaining deck fittings don't look like those appropriate for a Braine gear, and the rudder post is so thin that it would be difficult to mount a Braine quadrant on it.

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