Chesapeake Bay Skipjack

Last month I posted some photos of the Revell USCGC Cutter Eagle that I had built as a (probably) 12 year old, and which had been hanging on the ceiling of the family beach house for probably 40 years or so. When we recently sold that house I took it and another model that I had built at around the same time down from the ceiling and transported them home. Needles to say both kits had started out not too well built, and the trip to Michigan didn’t help so I decided to re-rig both of them.

Three years ago, prior to the move, I had decided to buy another Pyro Skipjack and try my hand at that one, but really try to make it as accurate as possible. The link above is from the old site and shows how different the actual working boats are from the kit.

With the “ceiling decoration” kit, while I absolutely did not want to make a full rebuild with revised deck house arrangement, dredges etc, nor make it with full sails, I did want to try to preserve the original model but add a few details and do a much better job on the rigging. I did have to go out and find an aftermarket small boat to convert to the “pusher” but other than a few tweaks with the rigging, this is pretty much what could be done OOB.


Wow - what a model! :grinning:


Nice ! I built that kit more than once as a boy.
Spent a lot of time on the Chesapeake.
My mom and dad lived on Tilghman Island for a few years and my nephew lives in Onancock on the Eastern Shore of Va.
The John Barber print that hung on my parent’s wall
for years and now on mine…

Thanks for sharing.


My great grandfather lived in White Stone on the Northern Neck and my grandfather was born there. Even though my dad was in the Army and we moved around a lot (I was actually born in Munich), I’ve always felt like Tidewater was “home”

The photos above are my “re-conditioning” of my original build from probably the early 60’s. When I decided three years ago to “try and do better” I discovered that there were some significant differences between that kit and what most of the skipjacks I could find referenced actually were configured.

So that is what my build in the link above was intended to convey.

They (and all sailboats in fact) are a real treat to build!

I remember building that kit about when you did and having read about oyster dredging I was puzzled at the lack of equipment. Mine underwent an ill-fated attempt a few years later to convert it to a working sailboat model.

Very well done!

At the time I built this particular build the first time back in the early '60s my ability to do research was of course not only limited, but not something I felt was particularly necessary. You just believed that the manufacturer knew what he was doing and built what they gave you! Obviously the internet and years of modeling experience has disabused most modelers of THAT fantasy.

When I started out to build the second model three years ago (the one shown in the link above) I originally intended to buy a wood kit and do that, but realized that I’d have to build the hull by adding all the planking to a frame and decided that was out of the question. However the PLANS for that build were available as a PDF and proved VERY instructive on all the workings of the oyster dredging as well as a more typical deck plan layout, so that’s what I copied.

If anyone is interested in a copy, let me know by PM and I’ll be happy to forward them. They are quite detailed and quite helpful especially with the rigging. For instance I was not familiar with what a “Lazy Jack” was having only been on small sailboats where they’re not necessary. When you realize just how large the sails on these boats are and the fact that they generally don’t operate with a lot of people on board to crew them, the importance becomes very clear.