Bibliography – this listing is not a complete inventory of my library, but contains those books which generally end up on the workbench or near to hand when working on a model. My copies are well worn.
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships – a multi-volume listing of vessels throughout the history of the navy, published by the US Government printing office. Paper copies largely out of print. Now being put on the internet by volunteers, it can be accessed at: http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/
Steel's Elements of Mastmaking, Sailmaking, and Rigging From an original publication in 1794, the version I have is a 1983 reprint of the 1932 edition. Published by Edward W. Sweetman Company, Largo , FL, USA . This book is available from used book dealers and varies widely in price. If complete, it contains large folded Plates II – VI in a pocket inside the back cover. This is an essential book if modeling late 18 th century British or American vessels. The tables of rigging sizes are widely reproduced in other references, however.
Lees, James The Masting and Rigging of English Ships of War 1625 – 1860 Conway Maritime Press, London, UK 2 nd edition 1984 A wonderful and practical book, especially helpful in understanding changes of (Admiralty) rigging standard practices over time.
Marquardt, Karl Heinz Eighteenth-century Rigs and Rigging Conway Maritime Press, London, UK North American edition by Phoenix Publications, Cedarburg Wisconsin. English translation 1992 Another excellent book documenting different practices over time and in different geographies ( Britain and Europe ). Contains partial reproductions of tables from Steel's Elements.
Goodwin, Peter The Construction and Fitting of the English Man of War 1650 – 1850 Naval Institute Press, Annapolis , MD , USA 1987 A book that does for the hull what Lees does for the masting and rigging.
Hahn, Harold M. Ships of the American Revolution and their models Conway Maritime Press, London, UK 1988 Great detail on several ships and an exposition of the “Hahn method” of building models. An inspiring book.
Davis, Charles American Sailing Ships Their Plans and History Dover Publications, Mineola , NY , USA 1984 A paper reprint of a classic from 1929 which contains a delightful mix of history, opinion, and practical tips from an experienced mariner and modeler.
Davis , Charles The Ship Model Builders Assistant Dover Publications, Mineola , NY , USA , 1988 see above
Davis, Charles The Built-up Ship Model Dover Publications, Mineola, NY, USA 1989 A wealth of information on the timbering and planking of wooden ships and basic information on building a plank-on-frame model.
Gillmer, Thomas Old Ironsides International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press (McGraw Hill) Camden ME/Blacklick, OH, USA 1993 Detail of the construction of the frigate from a naval architect involved in her restoration.
Chapelle, Howard the History of American Sailing Ships Norton and Company, New York , NY , USA 1935 re-published by Bonanza Books/Crown Publishers in 1960s
Chapelle was a boat builder-designer and naval historian at the Smithsonian, active in the middle portion of the 20 th century. His books are full of plans and history. All are worth having.
Chapelle, Howard The History of the American Sailing Navy Norton and Company, New York , NY , USA 1949 re-published by Bonanza Books/Crown Publishers in 1960s
Chapelle, Howard The Search for Speed Under Sail 1700 – 1855 Norton and Company, New York , NY , USA 1967
Any of the Anatomy of the Ship series are useful, depending on the model you are building. I have referred often to these two:
Takakjian, Portia The 32-Gun Frigate Essex Conway Maritime Press, London , UK 1990
McKay, John and Ron Coleman the 24-Gun Frigate Pandora 1779 Conway Maritime Press, London , UK 1992