1807 Baltimore Clipper "Nonpareil"

Project: 1/2 inch scale RC controlled plank on frame Baltimore clipper.

Some history: 

Nonpareil is one of the most extreme Baltimore clippers from the era of the war of 1812 for which detailed plans have survived.  "Nonpareil" was seized by the British navy in 1807 for running the British blockade off the coast of France.  Thus, Nonpareil was involved in aiding Napoleon's war against Nelson's England.  If  Nonpareil had not been a smuggler, she might have been a privateer, a slaver or, failing all else, a fruit carrier.  The desperate nature of her intended applications is indicated by the complete absence of decoration.

The British honored Nonpareil's anonymous designer and builders by making a a detailed hull plan from the actual vessel after her capture.  Howard I. Chapelle traced the admiralty plan and published it in his book Search for Speed Under Sail.  Chapelle included a table of prismatic coefficients for all the plans published in that volume.  The prismatic coefficient is a standard measure of "sharpness".  It is noteworthy that in a book containing plans of famous clipper ships of a later era, Nonpareil's prismatic coefficient is the lowest in the volume.  She is, therefore, one of the most radical sailing ships on record. 

The British took down only the hull lines, leaving the rigging and deck plan to imagination.  For that reason, perhaps, I know of no existing model of Nonpareil, in spite of the unparalleled beauty of her hull lines.  The stern counter resembles a yacht's and, unusually for Baltimore clippers, there is some hollow in her garboards forward in lieu of the usual, convex, "cod's head" bow popular in that period.

Some construction images:

body plan (June 2006)
sawing out the frames (split on band saw to make pairs)
midship frame fastened (wood blocks keep frames square---removed later).
first look at her shape
cutting the rabbet (built "dory" style---adding the stem later makes it easy to saw the hood ends off evenly).
fairing the sheer (take your time here!)
sheer strake fastened
locating the boundary between the upper and lower planking belts
installing tuck plank
twisting a plank in the tuck (the cherry planks were heavy enough to require real clamping techniques).
caulking seams (the polyurethane glue is flexible and waterproof but foams up and has to be chiseled out of every seam!)
fitting a bow stealer (just follow the natural lay of the planks and make sure you don't get the butts too close together).
bow stealer pattern (just press the paper against the plank edges and cut it out to get a perfect pattern).
another bow stealer pattern (this is the most complicated plank on the hull). 
upper planking belt complete
fastening bow stealer (note edge clamping  to keep seams tight).
fastening garboard
clamping garboard
garboard fitted
shipwright's view (note caulking seams and plank butts).
planked up (June 2009)
planked up, bow view
planked up, interior
planked up, beam
planked up, bottom
planked up, quarter, showing stealers