HMS Beagle Model Ship Project

HMS Beagle Model Ship Project

Historical alterations

While I tried to keep the Beagle as historical accurate as possible, several differences between my model and the original ship have cropped up.

Hull dimensions. The top deck is slightly longer and thinner than the original Beagle. This was because I wanted to carve the hull from a fallen pear tree from the Humane Society (where I volunteer - and had walked beagles under that very tree). Instead of being 8 inches across the deck she ended up a little over 7 inches, since that was the size of the largest pear tree limb. She also is a little longer, 33 inches instead of 30, because I just didn't want to hack off that extra couple inches of beautiful wood. So my model is a little bit sleeker looking than the more pudgy original.

Deck level. The original Beagle's deck curved slightly across her length to raise the fore and aft. I skipped trying to do this because it was doubtful my unpracticed woodworking skills would have pulled it off very well, so the deck runs perfectly straight instead.

Forecastle. The forecastle's deck should begin about two-thirds up from the height of the bulwarks. Because of how I ended up having to carve and mount the fore bulwarks, I had to place the deck on top instead of recessed. So there is a 3/4 inch elevation to the forecastle rail that shouldn't be there -- although it ended up bringing the front of the forecastle to about the right level, since I didn't curve the deck fore and aft. The bowsprit also ends up coming out of the bow a little lower to the forecastle rail than it should.

Rudder. To make the rudder easier to deal with (and not put any holes in my single piece hull) I made the transom stick out a little bit long and ran the rudder straight up into it. I also made the rudder much larger for better control, and added a rudder guide to the sternpost.

Copper plating. The Beagle had copper plates to protect the hull from the boring worms of the Pacific Ocean. I could have purchased or made hundreds of tiny copper plates and glued them on one at a time but... ugh. So I chose instead to use 1/4 inch wide copper tape, overlapped slightly. This made the lines a little more narrow than the original plating, but still gives her a nice look I think.