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July, 2014

The loss of Mark Steele was the loss of a great friend to model boating. His column here at Duckworks tied together a community of model sailing enthusiasts and hobbyists from around the world. He cannot be replaced, but we can keep alive his column. I think that would have pleased him.

So, I'm the new guy, picking up the banner and moving forward. I will try to maintain what Mark began, and maintain this window into model sailing around the world.

I live in Maryland, United States, about 10 miles from Annapolis, where the United States Naval Academy is located. I've lived in Maryland, off and on, since late 1969 but I'm originally from Rhode Island. Back there, when I was very young, some college students that lived next door took me with them (with permission) on a day trip to Boston. Among the sites we visited was the frigate Constitution. I was hooked; nothing would command my interest like sailing ships from that day on.

My father and grandfather were both in the Navy, but I went into the merchant service, working mostly on tugboats in the Gulf of Mexico, and on various sloops, schooners, brigs, and a barkentine, as well as numerous yachts.

I always loved models and I've built more models than I can count; built and restored a few models for a friend's shop; and even volunteered in the US Naval Academy's Museum Model shop, but for myself, I have always leaned towards models that actually sailed. Currently I have three large, RC, square rigged, models in the works; Constellation, Pride of Baltimore, and Macedonian.

So, I come at this with a little experience in sailing models at least.

Do visit my website detailing all my modeling projects.

an 1854 sloop of war that still exists in Baltimore; in 1:36 scale

Pride of Baltimore
a Baltimore Clipper schooner recreation that I helped build and crewed on; in 1:20 scale

a Lively class British frigate that was captured by the US frigate United States and served in the US Navy for nearly 20 years, in 1:36 scale.

Kerry's interest in model boats came from his boyhood reading of nautical fiction. He, like many of us, got started in sailing models by building simple free sailing pond models. He's an infrequent member of two model clubs and lives in Pennsylviania above the Chesapeake Bay. Dead set on building a large RC model, he settled on a Chesapeake Bay Ram schooner in 1:24 scale.

Kerry and his Chesapeake Bay Ram Schooner and the tug Delaware both in 1:24 scale, at the Baltimore Port Expo, May 2014.

Kerry's Chesapeake Bay Ram Schooner sailing at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum's model boat expo, May 31, 2014.

His Chesapeake Bay Ram pretty much complete, Kerry's begun work on a 1:24th scale model of the brig Niagara - stay tuned!

Niagara's forms laid out on plywood.

Kerry's logged his building of the Ram at

Georg Fleetwood lives in Oxelosund on Sweden's Baltic coast. Growing up by the sea, he naturally spent a lot of time on the water, actually learning to row and sail before he learned to swim and ride a bike. He's owned a few boats over the years, even built a 41 foot GRP sloop named Excalibur! His interests in modeling started with his father building free-sailing model boats for him and his brothers. Georg was building his first plastic kits when he was 7.

Georg went to work at sea, first in the merchant service, then in the Swedish Royal Navy on a destroyer. Interestingly, he wound up with a career in the iron industry, from which he is now retired.

For Georg, retirement means focusing on, and enjoying building working scale sailing models.

I have read in several different media that it is almost impossible to build a sailing ship or yacht true to scale, concerning sail area/underwater body, that sails well without a false keel or enlarged rudder. That is a challenge for me to prove the opposite opinion, and the last ship I built, William Ashburner, is true to scale and sails very well, she can tack and gain distance. All my sailing models works in the same way. Of course, the bigger the model - the better it sails.


1:45 scale length 119cm

William Ashburner works with 5 servos, the sails are split in 4 groups with one servo each, 1 servo for the rudder. It is important to be able to steer the ship with the sails, because the small rudder is far from enough - this was true for the real ship too!

William Ashburner

Georg's other models are shown below, and he's just started a 12M R-Yacht, in 1:25 scale, that will be 90 cm (about 3 feet) overall.

1:28 scale length 117cm

1:45 scale length 72 cm

1:35 scale length 105cm


SC&H have made 1:24 scale RC square rigger kits for over 14 years, but now they are making no more...


Steel, Chapman & Hutchinson is going to stop producing working model sailing ships. We will compile the kits that we have all the major parts for already and those will be available, but we will be making no more after that. As of June the 12th, 2014, we have 7 HMS Surprise kits left and 4 each of the Cruiser Class brig and the Prince de Neufchatel.

SC&H web site

If you're on facebook, and into scale sailing models,
join the Scale Sail RC group.

Previous WTWB Features

And first with nicest skill and art,
Perfect and finished in every part
A little model the Master wrought,
Which should be to the proper plan,
What the child is to the man.
- Longfellow

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