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Bottled Ship Builder

The Jackdaw (First Time Build)


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To begin: This vessel is a fictional ship from a popular video game that I have never played (Assassin's Creed Black Flag). This build is not a scale build and is just a fun project that I was inspired and interested to undertake. I started this project January 3, 2016 and I am nearing the final stages so I thought it would be a good time to share the progress. Apologies for any grammar/spelling errors/ignorance on my behalf, I'm an Engineer not an English major :P 

Alright, some quick background info and introduction. I am a Saskatchewan farm boy, currently in my 3rd year of Civil engineering. During the school year I live in the city and visit the farm on weekends and live there during the harvest/summer months with my family. My main interests that relate to SIB building are Classic cars (60's mustangs), woodworking, metal fabrication, and drawing/drafting/art. I enjoy being able to create and work with my hands and I regularly try to find new and unique projects to expand my tool box of skills. I have always been a fan of ships in bottles and ships and sailing vessels in general so I thought I would try my hand at it. 



The reason I chose the Jackdaw is because of these two photos. Due to the fact that I was in school during the majority of this build I did not have time to take on a complex build and I had no idea how to even build a SIB at the time. Much of my inspiration and learning came from Gabrielle (Heather) Rogers website and write-ups on her builds. Just reading and looking at pictures is the best way to learn.

The first real item that got me going on this build was the bottle....


now this picture is basically a huge spoiler but this is what I started with. For now we will ignore the carved basswood hull residing in this lovely square bottle^_^.... I'll get to it eventually.

My mother brought this bottle home from a thrift store (Value Village) and I asked if I could put a ship in it. She said sure and that evening I started to cut pieces of paper into mock hulls to see how big of a boat I could cram into this bottle. Unfortunately I like to work more than take pictures so some of the early stages of the build aren't documented very well.  


So like the budding engineering I am, I took the previously mentioned photos of the Jackdaw, scaled them down using the maximum dimensions that I got from the mock hulls/decks cut form paper, and traced/sketched the final plan.


More photos and progress to come! As I mentioned I am nearing the final stages and by that I mean I am almost ready to make the voyage into the bottle. Just wanted to start the write-up and see how it works. Ill try to answer any questions when I have a moment and I love any and all criticism and wisdom from the pro's.


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  • 3 years later...

After 4 years of staring at a cup on my dresser that held the pieces to this ship I figured it was time to make her seaworthy. 

The following photos are progress I made shortly after I started this thread: 


The first hull carving did not fit through the neck of the bottle. This is the second iteration along with the figurehead (not exactly to scale).


Painted and ready for masts, rigging, and sails. 






And this is how she’s sat for the last 4 years. But tonight I finished all the sails and did a little test fitting for her maiden voyage. Pictures to follow tomorrow...



Edited by ryanjd
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Sails and rigging finished up. Sails were coated in white glue to give them some rigidity but still remain flexible. I probably could’ve glued the jibs directly to the line instead of sewing them, but the extra movement made things easier going into the bottle. 




Got her in without any major problems. Nothing broken and no glue failures. Spent the better part of the day getting the lines untangled and organized. Keeping the lines tight and getting them glued is proving to be a challenge. Lots of lessons learned for the next build. 

Still need to cut the lines, position the sails, and rework the water around the hull. Hope to have her squared away by the weekend...




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