It’s been a while since I completed my last build blog, A small Dutch auxiliary yacht. This was an enjoyable build from a simple 1952 plan because I was able to put my own stamp on it by building in additional features.
I really wanted something to build in the same way, a build from wood from a plan. What caught my eye on the Sarik plans catalogue was a motor yacht, MILLER FIFER, a 1/15 scale of a 31 foot full-size giving a model of about 24 inches in length.
The Miller yachts were build by the Scottish boatyard of James Miller and Sons of St. Monans in Fife, mainly between 1958 and late 70’s. The history of this yard is well documented online if you want to follow.
When the plan arrived, I must say I did not now where to start, no building detail, just the cross section lines and hull lines, the shape of the keel was outlined and marked with the rabbet line. The model had appeared in Model Boats of August 2011 as a free plan and by luck there was a copy of this issue on e bay.
I sent for it, it said without the plan so no problem, I already had that. When the magazine arrived sure enough this was the right issue, but alas the article had little reference to the model build but focussed largely on the history of the James Miller boatyard over about two centuries. It did say, that with the sail plan as shown, the author did not think the model would sail very well so it would be better floated as a motor yacht with sails furled. This is ok with me.
But I had to set about deciding how I was going to build the model. It is a plank on frame model.
I fell back on what I had done with the Dutch yacht and created bulkheads from the cross sections by scanning and pasting onto card and then drawing around the whole shape and fretting from 5mm ply. The keel was laminated from two 5mm sides of obeche around a 1mm ply centre, I am a great believer in laminating it can create a strong member from a softer and lighter wood. I felt I needed the softer obeche as I had to cut a rabbet line into it to accept the garboard strake and the bulkheads would be cross halved into the keel. In practice this has worked well.
This blog has come in well after the start of the project because the early stages were longwinded, preparing and cutting bulkheads and mounting them on the keel. The Miller yachts are derived from the sturdy fishing vessels built over the preceding century by the company and indeed the hulls are very little changed from the fishers. This ruggedness has been carried into the design of the model and with the build so far the strength is evident.
A few pictures as to where I am at now and more explanations to follow as the build continues.