The Voyager Ship
January 2013 started just as the previous year, with the dismantling of my recent model the Soul Shaker to construct a new model which went on to become my new fairground model The Web Spinner. I also had committed myself to the idea of making a new version of a model I first built a few years ago, The Devil’s Whip which was a in homage to my childhood obsession with ‘The Whip’ fairground ride. As if that wasn’t enough I decided to dismantle the Galleon model I built last year, figuring I needed the extra space and parts for my new planned model. However as I started to dismantle the Galleon model I was suddenly drawn to the idea of making an even bigger one instead.
On Wednesday the 27th of February I started the construction by assembling the hull of this new boat and had it ready by the afternoon. The next day I built the two main decks, incorporating the cannons I had made for the earlier model. This was followed on the Friday with some of the main smaller components of the boat and by Sunday the riggings were already in place. The next two days I finished the boat and then came up with the idea of fixing sails too, so I asked my wife to tailor-make some, giving her the measurements and by Wednesday the 6th of March the ship was completed. Barely 50 hours in construction, and I declare my new model sea-worthy.
The Voyager — from an old vessel a new ship has set sail!
I first built the original version of this Meccano model sailing ship in Autumn 2013 and was recently about to dismantle it when suddenly I hit upon the idea to upgrade it instead. What if, I thought, instead of it being a static model I could somehow bring it to life? The idea suddenly got my mind going and instead of taking it apart as I had planned to, I found myself thinking of ways I could make the ship seem like it was out on a voyage and have it tilting up and down as if sailing in turbulent water far out at sea. With this idea now fixed in my mind, determinedly I started taking apart the base and struts that were supporting it, and went ahead with the upgrade.
I decided to build a rectangular base as a case that was long enough to support the full length of the boat and also deep enough so that with the help of a mechanical device, the hull could be made to go up and down as if at sea. The base came together more or less as planned and once it was built and some allowances made at the top to accommodate the full length and proposed movement of the ship’s hull, I used flexible plates to panel it up.
I then designed a gearing system and attached a motor using a rotating crank to pull a cord through a series of pulleys which would pull down on the bow of the ship. To counteract this action, at the back I used two tension springs as a counterbalance which then reversed the movement pulling the ship back the other way and vice versa.
With the desired ‘ship on waves’ feel achieved as planned, I decided to modify other parts of the ship mainly for aesthetic purposes. Suddenly I felt rewarded by a model that I had initially been about to dismantle.
I find the motion of the ship to be very therapeutic and with variable speeds the movements can be made to simulate gentle calm waters or even a ship in the most stormy of waters too.
The Voyager — setting sail whatever the weather.