Scale 1 : 64, length 73 cm, height 94 cm
More photos: some pictures. Click on the photos for high resolution pictures!
When I first saw the wonderful photos of the great yachts taken by Beken of Cowes at the end of the 19th century I was truly fascinated.
The BRITANNIA - one of the most elegant yachts ever built
The BRITANNIA was built 1893 for the Prince of Wales. She was one the
most famous and most elegant yachts then, and one the most successful in
regattas. Until 1935 she won 231 first prices in 635 races. According to
the last will of King George V she was taken out to sea and scuttled
after his death in 1936. She was sunk off the Isle of Wight.
In Beken of Cowes, "A Hundred Years of Sail", Harvill Press, London, you find many photos of the great yachts in Cowes starting from 1880.
The BRITANNIA is a symbol for the "good old times". With a not really that large (and by far not so elegant) ship I sailed across the Atlantic in 1979.
The BRITANNIA model ship, photos, description and dimensions
To build such a sailing ship as a model and to show the elegance of the original - that was a challenge! After studying many pictures of the Beken of Cowes, I decided to use a model ship kit of Mamoli, to save at least some time with the building of the frames.
The 1: 64 scale is still suitable for our living room, the model has thereby a length of 73 cm and a height of 94 cm.
This model is not for sale.
Many parts of the work I could do on our terrace. The frames of the
Mamoli kit were cut accurately, which the pre-cut parts fitting exactly.
Since I wanted to use no paint except clear lacquer, I marked the
waterline by a 2 mm strip of padouk wood.
The Mamoli kit had only few points that appeared to me careless or
wrong. The worst was that in the secondary planking no stem was
intended. After long considering I, unfortunately, followed the plans
and joined the planks one on one. Nevertheless, in the parts below the
waterline I included a stem. For the deck, the fittings, the rigging and
other equipment the numerous photos of the Beken of Cowes proved very
helpful and a good assistance.
A good hi-fi system I regard as a substantial component of the workshop equipment.
A small side effect of the building was the introduction to the
Italian language. The description was given in Italian, German, English
and French. The German text was mostly correct or I could guess the
meaning. With some work procedures however, when the same sentences in
English and French were poorly translated, too, I had to use some
The below-surface planking is walnut, the waterline and the boom of the large staysails are padouk, the above-surface hull is pear, the deck maple, the side panels of the deck houses mahogany, the roofs and hatches again walnut, likewise mast and spars. The bulwark is boxwood. I used ten different yarns for stays, halliards, and sheets. The sails I did myself on the sewing machine of my mother-in-law (Carreras, Domingo and Pavarotti were very helpful). The mainsail alone has 55 panels of sail cloth.
Altogether building the model took me 205 hours in 1999 - 2001. The photos on this page are from that time. Here are some recent photos.
The outcome: a very elegant sleek ship.