This time, a Model Shipways model of an 18th Century Longboat – I like it because it’s 1:24 scale, not much rigging, and shows the planks from the inside of the boat as well as the outside. And – it’s one I can finish in this lifetime.
What about this boat?
Longboats were the longest boat on a large sailing ship. They were used for moving drinking water, supplies, men, to and from the ship while in port. They were used to weigh anchor. They were used for pulling their larger ships. And they were also a lifeboat (thus the sails).
Some were armed – as putting in for water, on some coast, can sometimes be a dangerous mission. And also, they were sometimes used in battle. The cannon would be on a ramp typically – so they could stow it low, with the other ballast – when not needed.
This kit of a 26 foot long boat was designed based on a contemporary model in the National Maritime Museum in the UK. And this longboat, used circa 1750-1760, was typical of this type of small craft. Seaworthy with butt planked hulls. Plans for the kit were drafted based on the contemporary drafts from the period.
During the 1800s, the navy started using launches for moving gear between ship and shore. They held more – and having a seaworthy longboat was less of an issue for modern ships. The merchant marines kept using longboats for a while longer.