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The Schooner Bluenose

1/65 Billing Boats model

by Charlie Arsenault


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The Bluenose was built in Lunenburg, Nova-Scotia to compete for the Fisherman's Cup Trophy, a working man's version of the America's Cup. It was open to 2 masted schooners that have at least been to sea once for off-shore fishing. Boats from Gloucester Massachusetts had dominated the event until the arrival of the Bluenose in 1921 where she defeated the Elsie. In the successive years, many other great racing schooners like the Henry Ford, the Columbia, and the Gertrude L. Thebaud. What was more amazing was the fact that the American vessels were built to race and fishing was secondary, for the Bluenose it was the opposite. Under the watch of Captain Angus Walters, she never lost a race in the Fisherman's Cup Trophy.

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After WWII, she was refitted to carry cargo. On January 28, 1946, she was wrecked on a reef near Haiti.

The Billing Boats 1/65 Bluenose Model is not meant for the novice boat modeler by any means. It's construction is built up much like the real boats were. Keel is laid first, then bulk heads, joists, deck, then hull planking. Most of the detail above the deck is pre cut except for the masts. Other details were either cast metal, turned brass or injected styrene. All the pulleys, dead-eyes and blocks were made from hardwood. 3 sizes of twine were included for the rigging and a sheet of thin canvas like fabric was included for the sails. I was commissioned by a family friend, Mr. Wilf Hiltz to built the model for him, his family room decorated in a nautical motif needed a nice ship model to place on his mantle.

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I began construction in April of 2001. Having never built anything like this before, I had no idea just how long a project it would be. I estimated I'd finish her by the end of 2001. As it turned out, I finished it in June of 2003.  Wilf had picked her up in July of 2003, I believe the model surpassed his expectations, phew!


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Photos and text by Charlie 'Cheetah' Arsenault

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