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Summer 2017

This year continues to move along in a stiff breeze. July is almost over, and a Nautical Research Guild conference is just over the horizon. We have launched volume II of Ed Tosti’s masterpiece on the Extreme Clipper YOUNG AMERICA 1853. Ed had so much material on finishing the deck of the model that we realized that his work demanded its own book, and so masting and rigging the model will have to be volume III. Ed and his suspected group of trained spiders are hard at work at this task. He has completed masting and is just about finished with the standing rigging. Book III is at least a year out.

The next project on the way is a joint effort by David Antscherl and Greg Herbert. They are working on the 12 gun ketch-rigged sloop, SPEEDWELL of 1752. A forerunner of the Swan Class of sloops, this smaller and lighter ship was used around the British Isles chasing smugglers and privateers. The build will be completed in two volumes. The first book will cover building and outfitting the hull. David and Greg are putting final touches to volume I, and we hope to have it ready for you by the end of the year. Masting and rigging will take another year to complete, and we will publish it as soon as it is ready.

Following David and Greg will be Vince McCullough ,who is working on a favorite project of mine, the purpose-built Confederate blockade runner. These “grey ghosts” had their genesis in the British side- wheelers, and they were quickly re-engineered to run cargo through the Union blockade to southern ports. They were built for speed, and one successful run could bring the ship owner large profits. They carried everything from guns to perfume. Hundreds of them were built by the end of the war in Britain, and then they just disappeared. Vince researched the builders of the Mersey and Clyde Rivers and finally came up with an original set of plans of HOPE of 1865. Vince has redrafted the plans and is hard at work on the model. We are hoping that Paul Fontenoy, of the North Carolina Maritime Museum, will have one of his researchers add some history of these ships and their cargos to this monograph. All we can say at this point is that we will have a book by 2018.

We have not given hope on book II of the ROGERS Collection, although I do not have any update as to when and if it will ever see the light of day. I hope to have more news by September.