Looking for structural drawings of a particular schooner

10th September 2014, 18:39
I am looking for information on a ship my great grandfather was a Master of. I'm hoping to eventually find plans for similar ships to build a model from for the family.

The ship was named the Sea Flower and was built in 1826 by James Day in Pasbebiac Quebec for Charles Robin & Co. It was a schooner class of 74'5" long, 19'11" beam and a depth of 12'3". She sailed on the Gaspe-Jersey mediterrainean trade route. In 1853 she was bought by William Bryant and was lost on the Goodwin Sands on 23 April of that year.

This is a painting done of it and probably the most useful bit of information I have: http://imgur.com/u5IQw2n

Any information that would help narrow down the search would be much appreciated. I am mainly looking for structural plans and I would be ecstatic if I could find such a thing.

Stephen J. Card
10th September 2014, 19:07
Hello Alexander,

Greeting to SN.

I just spotted your post and have a look at the painting of Sea Flower.

I believe she would be called as a 'Topsail Schooner'.

Have you tried the Halifax Maritime Museum?

If you have a 'foreign-built' vessel, it would be a long shot to find plans in the UK museums.

Good luck!


11th September 2014, 03:10
Thanks for the reply. I am probably gonna do just that. I'm heading that way next summer and that's a perfect time to do it. I suppose if anyone would have it, it would be a location like that.

Are you saying that I could possibly find that sort of thing in a UK museum? There was quite a bit of trade going on during that time, especially with Jersey where my family originally came from.

11th September 2014, 07:47
Whatever you call her, schooner, topsail schooner, or brigantine (I would go for either the first or the last - she's got a full suit on the foremast), I doubt very much that you will get her particular plans. I even doubt that much in the way of plans ever existed.

I've leafed trough a couple of books with plans just now. These may be books you possess, but I will risk mentioning that in "The Search for Speed" by H. I. Chappelle there's a slaver brig from the 1830's with some deck reconstruction, in addition to lines and sail plan. And there's hull lines with deck reconstructions for the fast carrier brigantine James Munroe from 1815. There's a Dutch book on naval brig Irene ex British Grasshopper by E. W. Petrejus, "Modelling the Irene," covering the years 1795 to 1825 that has a lot of sailing ship details for the period, relevant to merchant ships as well, and if you're not an expert already there is much information there. In D. R. McGregor's "Merchant Sailing Ships 1815-1850" there's very good drawings for the brig Neilson of 1824, including a detailed perspective - and there's the schooner (topsail-schooner) Glasgow built in 1826 with reconstructed deck fittings. In his book "Fast Sailing Ships" there the schooner (topsail-schooner) Scottish Maid of 1837 with lines, some deck reconstruction, sail plan, and a perspective drawing. None of these ships can represent the ship in the painting without changes made to both hull, rig, and deck layout.

17th September 2014, 01:39
I'm working on having a look at the books you mentioned. I found Merchant sailing ships, 1815-1850, no luck with A Search for Speed or Modelling the Irene. Fast Sailing ships is a rare book and cannot be taken out of the library but will go take a look at it.

It seems the ones with what may be the most useful information are the ones I cannot get a hold of.

I'm not much of a ship historian, more of a occasional modern sailor. Doing some more reading I see now that they were built more based on general rules and a carved scale hull model. I found a couple detailed plans which made me think plans would be more common.

Thanks for the help, sorry for the delay, got caught up out of town.

23rd September 2014, 05:14
Abebooks has got the books, but for one model they may not be worth the outlay. They are good books though.

Ps: I've been rummaging through a few stacks of books in my cellar, and I came across an East German book on the brig "Auguste von Wismar" built 1840. The book has a full set of very detailed plans folded and inserted in a pocket at the end, and there would not be much difference between a Canadian ship of that size and a German one. I suspect your ship to have been a little modernised in your picture, to have gotten a wheel and so on and this one is presented as she looked in 1860. Of course it is a brig and not a brigantine, so you would have to redraw a few things. Here are some Pictures of a finished model:http://www.arbeitskreis-historischer-schiffbau.de/mitglieder/modelle/auguste-von-wismar/ Here are two copies of the book (German text) on offer by Abebooks US: http://www.abebooks.com/book-search/isbn/9783768804349/page-1/ Using those drawings and redoing the mainmast for example with the help of David MacGregor's "Schooners in 4 centuries" (I think it is now only titled "Schooners"), where in my 1982 editions there are a couple of sail plans of schooners from the period with a heavily square-rigged foremast, plus the information in your painting, would in my eyes be a possibility.

jg grant
24th September 2014, 22:39
Hi Alex from NZ. I have two models of Canadian schooners both made from blueprints of the famous Bluenose. I obtained them from the maritime museum in Halifax NS Canada. This musum may be able to help you. I also have a book by Howard Chapelle called,'The American fishing schooners 1825 /1935. It also deals with Canadian schooners and has lots of sketches and information as well as plans and background. A wonderful book if you are interested in these craft. I have had my copy for twenty years and it is invaluable. Good luck. Ronnie

jg grant
24th September 2014, 22:43
Oops! I see Stephen #2 has already given you information. Sorry Steve. No harm done. Ronnie.