Building a Model of the
Sea Cloud by Thomas E. Adams he four-masted bark Sea Cloud was ordered by E. F. Hutton as a wedding gift for hi s bride, Marjorie Merriweather Post. The vessel was designed by Gibbs and Cox of New York , built by Krupp Germaniawerft of Kiel , Germany, and launched in 1931 as the Hussar , the largest sailing yacht of its time. After their divorce, Mrs. Hutton kept the vessel, renaming it Sea Cloud. My deci sion to build a model of the Sea Cloud led me on a three-year search for plan s, photographs and other information needed to make the model accurate. Bear in mind that I did this as an amateur, so I got in touch with Peter Stanford of the NMHS and with Richard "Red " Shannon, captain of the Sea Cloud, for help in locating the information I sought. Eventually, I was able to get in touch with Captain Bodo Franz, superintendent of Reederi Nord, Germany , who sent me builder's plans of the vessel. The mode l is scaled at 5/32"=! foot, which gives it a total length of 56 3/~ inches. The hull is plank on fram e, the cabins are mahogany , both solid and veneer over plywood. Many of the fittings had to be made by hand ; others were purchased from Dromedary Shipmodelers, Bluejacket Shipcrafters, and other mode lers supply houses. The beautiful eagle fi gurehead had to be specially carved. Since wood carving isn 't one of my tal ents, I enli sted a good friend , Howard Benge, a woodcarver from Ocean City, New Jersey , to help out. He produced a beautiful replica from black walnut, which l gold leafed and mounted on the bow . Another friend, Carl Straubmuller, he lped with research, bringing me numerous illustrated articles about the Sea Cloud. But I wo uldn ' t have been able to re produce the detail of the ship without onboard , close up photograph s. These were kindly provided by Norman J. Brouwer, ship hi storian at the South Street Seaport Museum , who crossed the Atlantic from Antigua to Spain aboard
Th e Sea C loud , on which NMHS members make regular cruises , celehrared her60rh hirrhday in 199 1.A real working ship .she is manned by an inrernarional crew ofyoung men and women eager ro learn rhe ways of rradirional seafaring, and she also mainrains rhe life-style of a vanished era in yachring--an era of grace and refinemenr. Mr. Adams' s model shows rhe vessel as she looked several years ago , hearing a /Jla ck hand on her ropsides and carrying a rradirional four-sided mizzen course, which has sin ce heen replaced wirh a rriangular sail.
the Sea Cloud a few years ago. I started this project on 8 October 1989 and completed it ten months later, on 7 August 1990. I estimate it took 1,230 hours to build this complex fourmasted bark; because I am retired , I can put considerable time into building models. I can say to all who are retired or soon plan to be-modelmaking is a pleasurable pasttime. To me there is nothing more gratifying than to create something with your mind and hands. I would suggest first trying a kit of lesser complexity and working up to scratch-built models of your own. You won ' t be sorry! .:t
Mr. Adams served durin g World War II in the 878th Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division building gliders in England. He spent most of his career doing custom carpentry. Now retired in Linwood , New Jersey , he enjoys boating and building models. This article is excerpted ji"om a full description of Mr. Adams' s building of the Sea Cloud model. Anyone wanting a copy of the full text ( 12 typewritten pages describing materials and methods used) can send $2 and a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Managing Editor.Sea History. SEA HISTORY 73, SPRING 1995