Category Archives: Books

The Hayling Hoy of 1759 – New Book by David Antscherl

David Antscherl has done it again in this newest publication from Seawatch Books.


This newest title details the construction of an English Hoy, a harbor craft used to transport cargo and passengers. The book details the plank-on-frame construction of one of these vessels, using framing techniques from the first volume of The Fully Framed Model, a.k.a. The Swan series.

The Seawatch Books description doesn’t give many specifics about the vessel or the plans. Presumably, the plans are the same 1/4″ scale (1:48), as those in the Swan series were. Anchor hoy’s being cutter-rigged will certainly make this a smaller model in comparison with a full-rigged ship. I’m looking for more details now and will revise this post with any updates I find.

The book is a large format 8-1/2″ x 11″, 200 pages, hardcover, with 8 color pages and 3 sheets of plans, and sells for $70 plus shipping.



New Titles from Ancre Books

Just heard from announcing their latest releases. It’s nice to see new titles, even after Mr. Hubert Berti’s passing. Of course, most of the books are non-english titles. These include a 478-page French directory of French Merchant Ships from 1848 to 1871; a couple books in Italian/French on nautical nomenclature; a book on building and maneuvering lateen rigged ships and boats – that will be nice to see in English, but is currently only in French and Italian; and a Spanish version of the monograph on the Hermione (already available in English).

The one that stands out most, is a new English language version of the monograph of the French light frigate Aurore of 1697 by Jean-Claude LEMINEUR.

This work includes 31 plates, which I assume means 31 sheets of plans, in 1/48 scale, with a price of 115 €. A 20-sheet set of plans are available separately in 1/36 scale for 90 €.

This is a beautiful looking ship, and it’s nice to see a detailed monograph on small ship of this period. Ω



New Ancre Books Title – N.S. del Rosario Feluca 1759

I just got a notice from Ancre Books of France of a new Monograph on the Nostra Signora del Rosario, a typical sardine-fishing felucca of Sanremo, built in 1759.

The monograph, written by Franco Fissoro and translated by Francois Fougerat, is 200 pages of detailed information, with 130 of those pages are on the construction of the model. The book appears to be loaded with photos, includes 8 full-color pages, and includes 20 plates in 1/36 scale detailing the frames. The cost is 110 Euros plus shipping.

You can see more details about this new volume on Ancre’s site here:


Ancre Books – Fall 2017 Update

Ancre is a French publisher of ship modeling and marine related historical books that, for decades, has featured the works by Bernard Frölich, the late Jean Boudriot, the late Hubert Berti, and others. These are very detailed works that, aside from used copies, are available only direct from the publisher.

The last time I posted news about Ancre, they had just released their two volumes on the French frigate l’Hermione, back in 2015. That was about the same time that I managed to grab a copy of Bernard Frölich’s The Art of Shipmodeling from a used book dealer, so I no longer have to covet my friends copy.

Since then, I haven’t really paid too much attention to what they’ve been up to, but I received an email from them about a week ago announcing a new english language version of their book on French Naval Artillery 1650-1850. Maybe it’s just that I haven’t visited their site in a while, but looking at their site today, it seems like they’ve expanded their offerings.

Check out their website at or you can see a quick overview of their offering on their order form here. Or, if you’d like to see an overview of their english language offerings, you can download this 20-page pdf here. Ω


Souvenirs de Marine Troisième Partie

Today, I just received my copy of Souvenirs de Marine Troisième Partie from This book is a paperback reproduction of the the third volume of the series of books from Françoise Edmond Pâris, originally published in the late 1800s. The book is in 8-1/2″ by 11″ format paperback, 126 pages long.

I just browsed through the book, which is described as being a republication of the book in its original form. So, there’s a lot of French text. In fact, this book is much more text heavy than the first book published by, and then, because it is written in script, it’s kind of hard to read, and forget OCR and computer translation.

For most ship modelers, this is probably too hard to use, though there is clearly some good technical details. But, it’s an interesting find that, for the price of only $6.99, would be nice to have in your library, regardless.

If you don’t have either this or the first book, Selected Plates from Souvenirs de Marine, I recommend getting the first book. It’s a little more money at $9.99, but you’re more likely to find something useful in that book. I know I certainly did with the Japanese watercraft.

But, Souvenirs de Marine Troisième Partie, is a nice follow-up. And, though I don’t know if I’ll ever really have a use for it, I’m glad to know what I am not missing from the series. You can’t beat the price, and I’m happy to have it on my shelf.

Learn more at

Friday the 13th of January – A Late Christmas Day

Not meaning to be blasphemous here! Just that Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day for some, but has traditionally been a good day for me. In fact, I got three new goodies in the mail that day, all ship modeling related, of course!

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Seamanship – Online Book

Somebody on Model Ship World recently posted a link to a book that’s available online. I checked it out and this is a copy of a book written by Commodore S.B. Luce, of the U.S. Navy for the U.S. Naval Academy in 1891. The book is called Seamanship, The Equipping and Handling of Vessels Under Sail or Steam.

titleThe text of the book has put transcribed and available thanks to the wonderful folks of the San Francisco Maritime National Park Association.

Access the book online here: Seamanship.


Also, you might consider supporting their efforts by becoming a member, or simply making a donation. As a member, you’ll received their semiannual magazine The Sea Letter, plus other nice benefits. Ω

Out of Stock – Rigging Period Ship Models by Lennarth Petersson


Just found out last week that Rigging Period Ship Models, the classic ship modeling book by Lennarth Petersson and published by the U.S. Naval Institute Press, is no longer “in stock” with the publisher. I hear that as meaning “out of print,” but that’s not how they put it. According to the person I spoke with at USNI, there is no official word as to whether or not they may do another printing or possibly a short run. But, apparently there are a lot of backorders for it, so maybe something will happen.

I noticed that the follow-up book, Rigging Period Fore-and-Aft Craft, is currently in soft cover form, while this book was in hardcover. Now, I’m wondering if they may be planning to go softcover with this one too, which would make sense.

Regardless, if you’re planning on getting this book eventually, I still see new copies available at normal prices, so you may want to get one sooner rather than later, unless you want to go the used book route or wait to see if there is a soft cover release.

If they do go with soft cover, it usually means a significantly lower price, so maybe this isn’t a bad thing for this book which otherwise lists at $46.

New Titles from Ancre Books

Just received an email from while I was typing my last post. They just announced their latest releases, two books on the French frigate L’Hermione, which is the ship that carried Lafayette to America to help in the fight for Independence. One book is on the history of the ship Hermione and of Lafayette and French actions in the American War of Independence. The other book is a monograph on the construction of the ship. Both will apparently be available in French, English and Italian.

The English versions of the books look to be available after the first of the year and Ancre is offering a 10% discount on them through the end of February 2016. After that they will have a regular price of 59 Euros for the History book and 120 Euros for the Monograph. Ω



Japanese Wooden Boatbuilding Book by Douglas Brooks

Last week, I broke down and bought my copy of this new book directly from the author’s website. That’s a nice way to get it as more money goes directly to supporting Mr. Brooks’ efforts. The hardbound book, published by Floating World Editions, is 320-pages, all in English, in a roughly 9″ x 11″ format.


Photo courtesy of Douglas Brooks

My copy arrived today and, naturally, all my ship modeling efforts and other tasks have come to a complete standstill as I read through it. This is an absolutely beautiful book, full of information about the subject.


Photo courtesy of Douglas Brooks

I was thumbing through it and had to stop and read through the section on the “ro“, which is the Japanese sculling oar. The author goes into a fair amount of detail on its construction and how it actually works in practice, based on his own experiences using it. He provides some very enjoyable narrative of his first experience using the ro on a rental boat on a lake in Japan, or rather, his experiences trying to rent the traditional boat from the owner, who probably had to rescue too many foreigners who couldn’t figure out how to use the ro.

The book is filled with lots of information on tools and methods used by traditional Japanese boat builders, and details each of the author’s five apprenticeships. The book is well illustrated, and is full of photographs and drawings showing some of the finer details of the traditional construction methods, with many measurements provided.


Photo courtesy of Douglas Brooks

Ship modelers and boatbuilders should be aware that this is not a construction manual. Though there are nice profile drawings of the subjects, there are no fold-out plans. The author may eventually publish plans separately, but I don’t have any information about cost or what the timetable might be for releasing them. However, even a set of plans would not cover the the details of the traditional construction methods that he describes in this book.


Photo courtesy of KAZI Publications.

For modelers building some of the available kits of traditional Japanese boats, this book will provide a solid understanding of the true construction and features of these boats. For those who might be scratch-building models based on some of the commonly available drawings, such as those in the classic Souvenirs de Marine, this book will also help you with some of the features of traditional Japanese boats that aren’t shown in overview drawings.

For those who are just interested in woodworking and in Japanese traditions, this book is a fascinating read, giving you a real sense of a disappearing art form. It will also give you some hope that people like Mr. Brooks and his own students will help to keep the art alive.


Photo courtesy of Douglas Brooks

My hope is that it will generate more interest in subject and help to not only inspire more traditional Japanese boat builders, but also help to keep struggling museums open in Japan, when so many of them have closed due to a lack of funding.

While the book is available from the usual online sellers, Buy Here to support the author, or support your local bookstore and tell them to carry it or at least to order it for you. If you do order direct from the author, you will not only be supporting his research efforts, you will also get a signed copy, with the option to have it personally inscribed. Ω