Building a Beginning Billing Boats Kit, Dana Fishing Boat – FINAL

The next sails to go on the model are the staysail and jib, the two triangular sails at the bow. To each, a length of line is attached at the top and bottom ends. At the top end, or head, is the halliard, while the line at the bottom corner, or tack, is the outhaul.

With these lines run through their respective blocks and temporarily secured using painter’s tape, the sail can then be secured to the stays, the fixed lines that support the mast from the bowsprit. I used a needle to help thread the line through the leading edge of the sail, then I tied a knot around the stay, securing the knot with a dab of Aleene’s Tacky Glue. When dried, the excess line can be trimmed away. Just be careful not to accidentally cut the stay itself.

The halliards and outhauls and sheets can be tied off to available cleats or posts. There are no specific tie-off location given in the plans, so you just have to use some common sense. I found that a couple lines had to be tied off together to same cleat.

At the rear corner of these sails is the attachment point for the sheet or sheets. The staysail, has one line tied to it that runs through the block that’s attached to the horse (the iron rod) on the deck just forward of the mainmast. This rig, I kept simple. I just ran the sheet through that block and secured it to the port side cleat on the deck. For the jib, there are two sheets, and I ran them to the posts on the bulwarks on either side of the mainmast.


At this point, I’m realizing that describing the run of rigging is pretty hard to follow and it’s also pretty hard to write. So, I think I’ll just continue by showing you pictures of my model and give you a belaying diagram and key to tell you where everything got tied off on my model.

Note that the terms I used are not all necessarily correct. I tend to mix up my downhauls and outhauls in particular. But, most of the other terms should be right.

My Belaying Diagram


My Belaying Diagram Key

A: Staysail downhaul.

B: Jib outhaul.

C: jib sheet

D: jib sheet

E: Topsail Halliard

F: Main Peak Halliard

G: Main Throat Halliard

H: Topsail Downhaul

I: Staysail Sheet

J: Jib and Staysail Halliards

K: Main Sheet

L: Mizzen Peak Halliard

M: Mizzen Throat Halliard

N: Flag Halliard

O: Empty

P: Mizzen Sheet

q: Mizzen Sheet Block


I’ll finish up this post with photos of the completed model, and hopefully it will answer any questions you have about how I ran my rigging lines. Bear in mind that I don’t know if it’s the “correct” way, but it seemed mostly logical, given the simplified build. Before I do that, I’m going to describe the last steps of construction on the model, the sideboards and navigation lights. But, bear in mind that it’s probably best to save this work for last.

Navigation Lights

The kit includes some nice brass fittings for the navigation lights. These are mounted onto the sideboards and attached to the main shrouds. However, there is not way to fasten the sideboards to the rigging unless you just glue them into place. You could do that, thus simplifying the construction, but they’ll then be leading inward at the angle of the shrouds you’re gluing them to.

I’m tying mine into place, but to do so, I need to add something to tie to. I just cut a couple piece  of thin wood and glued them to the back of the boards, near the top. To this, I then glue a couple piece of thin brass rod. This not only gives me something to tie to, but also pushed the top of the sideboards out, so that they are a bit more square to the horizon.

Afterwards, I painted the parts and glued the navigation lights into place. Note that red goes to port and green goes to starboard. The extra piece of rod shown below are the sheer poles which get attached to the shrouds below the sideboards.

As your putting the sideboards and sheer poles into place, try not to tug too much on those shrouds or you’ll end up stretching them or possibly pulling off a chainplate. You don’t want to do either one.

Rope Coils

Next, it looks more natural if you place coils of rope on the ends of your running rigging lines. Particularly when sails are hauled up into place, there should be a lot of line down on the deck. This excess line is neatly coiled up so it doesn’t all get tangled and underfoot.

I used the handle of a small XActo knife for here. The metal handle won’t stick to wood glue or white glue, so it’s easy to use. Just wrap a length around the handle. I then use a small amount of Alene’s Tacky Glue on the coil. Before it dries, pull it off the handle. You should be able to work it into the shape you want. Round coils that are mostly flat on the bottom are good for laying onto the deck, just cover up the end of the line it’s supposed to be part of. Also, it’s good to pay attention to which way the rope is coiled, so it seems natural.

For rope coils on a cleat or post, keep in mind the weight of the coil will cause it to hang down. It will look like an oval, not a circle. Also, the width of the inside of the oval will match the width of the clear or post it’s hanging over. Again, with these hanging coils, try to look at the way the rope would run if it were coiled up, clockwise or counter-clockwise. Leave one end hidden inside the coil, and the other hanging down just a bit.

Flag and Halliard

My last step was to raise the flag of Denmark. I used the kit flag, though it seemed rather faded looking. In fact, it probably looks better than creating a new, bright and clean one. I folded the back edge of the flag over a couple times and glued it, to give me something to attach the flag halliard to. The easy way to attach the halliard is to simply glue it inside the folds. I took a harder path and tied the halliard through holes I made in the end of the flag.

I drilled a tiny hold in the top of the mizzen mask to run the halliard through, but if that seems a bit much to you, you can just tie the halliard into place instead. But it will look more correct if both ends of the halliard run down to the rail to be tied off there.

The Final Photos

So, here it is. My finished Dana Fishing Boat kit. It turned out pretty nice, even though there are a lot of simplifications in the build. I may still dust it with some weathering powder to add a little bit more definition to it and to take off some of the newness. I like the way the model looks, so I probably won’t do too much to it.

My apologies for taking so long to get to this point. I hope you’ve found this build log helpful. I’m not sure where my model is going to go yet. I originally built this for Ages of Sail, but there’s not much room in the store these days. So, I might see if it can go in my model club’s display case aboard the ferryboat Eureka at Hyde Street Pier in San Francisco.



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