Half Hulls

Building Half Hulls Header

Building Half Hulls

An article by Octavio Oliveira

Endeavour Plans

My first half hull replica sailing boat was the famous Endeavour. I had only some information about the deck and a sight of starboard (Photo1). It was not reason to give up...

Layup Pieces

With an electric saw, I get several silhouettes and before glue them together, I painted the surfaces with a colourwashing (Photo2).

lines on the model

lines on the model

lines on the model

The images of photos 3 to 5 show the utility of this trick, giving nice accentuating longitudinal lines on the model, do not forget the MDF has no veins, it is an homogeneous pulp of sawdust!

I choose a much known method usual in models 50 or more centimetres length (name of this old technology---bread with cheese, strange indeed…) .The rudder in this case was built as an independent piece.

Portuguese old boats

Portuguese old boats

It was a challenge to improve, I tried Portuguese old boats, very typical indeed. Photos 6, 7.


Carrying a lot of barrels filled with port wine, (Photo 8).

French Fish Boats

French Fish Boats

The beautiful French fish boats. Photos 9 and 10.

The pleasant yachts of friends

The pleasant yachts of friends

The pleasant yachts of friends. Photo 11(in construction), Photos 12 and 13 terminated. First experience with spray bottles…

The caravel with sails

The caravel with sails in MDF too. Photo 14.

The revue Wooden Boats

The revue Wooden Boats give me a chance to study some reduced plans. Photo 15.

To carve half models was begun a long time ago. A customer orders a new ship, the first thing made for the master carpenter in shipyard was a half hull in the wood of future vessel…

Antique HalfHull

After some corrections, this “tool” was the source of the plans to construct the boat. Why not to conserve this nice object as a souvenir, generation after generation of owners? Photo 16

A model like that in an antiques shop.

Some examples of my work.


Photo 17: Several half hulls in MDF.

Endeavour in real wood

Photo18: Another Endeavour an exception, it is in real wood.

coloured varnish

Photo19:The coloured varnish can modify the clear brown of MDF.

With or not masts

Photos 20 and 21:With or not masts, different colours…the choice is yours.

With or not masts

And the most important moment to show some classic yachts of America Cup


Photo 22:Genesta in 1885


Photo 23:Thistle in 1887


Photo 24: Shamrock in 1899


Photo 25: Reliance in 1903


Photo 26: Endeavour in 1934

Black Magic

Photo 27: Black Magic 1995

Why appeared this competition? And arrived till our days, very actual and important in the World Sail?

At the end of XIX century a Universal Exhibition in London, honours the splendour of Great England. The Americans do not want to stay behind, they have something too … one pilot boat named “America” a project of Georges Steers not finished yet in William Brown’s dockyard.

The Count of Wilton, commodore of Royal Yacht Squadron in Great Britain, wishes to see this ship participate in the Cowes’ regatta in August of 1851, in presence of the England Queen …

Worst than invitation, it was a duel. The defeat of “America” will be a shame to the New Country.

In the early morning of 22 August, 17 ships will be fight for the victory in a course of 53 miles. At the signal of departure and after some incidents the glorious “ America” take the advantage left behind it… some miles…the English fleet.

Precisely, at 20.37 hours, a cannon shot salutes the triumph of this extraordinary tall ship.

In the same day, the Count of Wilton (not very happy…) gives one trophy, to Jonh Cox Stevens, a Cup of 60 centimetres high, weighing 4,168 grams of silver, nicely sculpted style “rococo”. Photo28.

Americas Cup Trophy

The America’s Cup was born!

Now, I finish another collection


Photo 29: Genesta . In 1885 the British want a revenge of defeats of successive America’Cups without success…This ship very straight was a legend in carpenter art


Photo 30: Rainbow. The first Classic with modern styling. Constructed in 1897. It is very fast


Photo 31 :Rainbow. Details of the deck


Photo 32: Forty. Designed for General Herreshoff. It origins the Forties Class. Criticises a lot it was very “fat” but with incredible qualities to navigate disappointing of course the critics…


Photo 33: Yankee. Appeared in 1927. Essentially it was a runner…


Photo 34: Sumurun. Came from dockyards WILLIAM FIFE & SONS. An aristocrat between 1920 and 1930.


Soon, I come back to continue this section. You deserve that!

Maritime Half Hull Ship Models and Nautical Art - Home

Maritime Half Hull Ship Models and Nautical Art - Forum