Daily Archives: February 21, 2016

Hacchoro – Notes for building the Woody Joe kit

I have completed an initial draft of notes I compiled on building the Hacchoro kit by Woody Joe. The kit is a model of an 8-oared Japanese finishing boat from the area of Yaizu, Japan, which is on the coast, roughly about 100 miles southwest of Tokyo. The boat is a traditional type boat, following the classic 5 sided Japanese construction. That is, bottom, garboard strakes and shear strakes in a hard-chine hull configuration.

The real boats were roughly 45 feet long and could carry 3 square sails on masts that could be stepped as needed. There are still Hacchoro in existence today, though I don’t know what the total number is like. I also don’t know how they are used today, except that there are Hacchoro races where teams man the boat’s oars to race each other on a short course.


I am aware of two operating Hacchoro in Yaizu. With the help of a wasen authority in Japan, I have made contact with a gentleman in Yaizu who has offered to show me the Hacchoro there. So, I am now making arrangements to see them in order to record some of their finer details for later use in modeling them. This is part of my Japanese Boat Research Trip that I’m trying to raise some funds for. If all works out, I will take lots of photos and record the details.

For now, anyone who is building Woody Joe’s Hacchoro kit can download a copy of my notes.

But, in using these notes, you must accept that these are just suggested guidelines and there are always the possibility of errors in the document. Also, the document includes my own translation of the text of the Woody Joe instructions. I am not an expert in translating Japanese into English. Use them to give you more confidence in using the kit instructions, but you must agree not to hold me responsible if you end up gluing a part into place wrong. The kit is pretty well buildable using just the illustrations in the instruction book. But, sometimes it helps to know what the text says. Also, note that there are a lot of labels in the instructions, and I’m only translating the descriptional text and not all the individual labels.

Download Hacchoro Notes and Translated Instructions

Of course, if you have any questions about the document, just send me a comment with your email address and I’ll answer as best I can. Ω


Having Trouble Buying Woody Joe Kits?

UPDATE 11/2/16: This is an update to a post I made back in February. At that time, the Japanese online hobby dealer, Zootoyz.jp,  was having some issues with the store, but it is up and running and all is well. In fact, there have been a lot of updates to the product list (check out Woody Joe’s new I-400 submarine and the revised Kitamaebune kits) and to some of the sites features.

One thing new is a small link you can click, once you get to the product pages, which allows you to “select your currency”, making shopping a bit easier for us international buyers.

Here’s the original post I wrote, but it is now out of date, and the site is happily working fine.

Original Post from 2/21/16

If you’ve been looking for a Woody Joe kit and reading my blogs, you’ve probably been to visit Zootoyz.jp. I’ve been in email contact with the owner, and apparently he is having some issues with the online store.

Japan's Online Hobby Dealer

Online Hobby Dealer

So, if you’re looking for something and it’s coming up as “Out of Stock”, don’t give up. Just send him an email at: contact@zootoyz.jp. Let him know what you’re interested in.

That said, if you need to place a credit card order (he only takes Paypal anyway) or just don’t want to deal with a real person, Amazon.com seller prices appear to be a lot more reasonable now that when I was first getting Woody Joe kits. Just watch for shipping times as not all sellers use expedited shipping the way Zootoyz does.