The kit was manufactured by Artesania Latina, a Spanish company noted for their ship models. Unfortunately, someone in the production level goofed - my kit was missing a sheet of wooden parts for the rudder, false keels and the hull plates for the fish tank; the grapple hooks, the stern post hinges, and had woefully inadequate sail material. After some effort in tracking down the company I was able to contact them and they did send the wood parts.
January 2005: I cut/ punched out the parts - all nicely cut. Started assembling the false keel/ bulwarks - some pieces required application of decking strips of Sapella and Ramin.After planking the hull, I used some wood filler to fill in some gaps and low spots, then sanded. Applying the outer layer of planks is next.
February 2005: The second layer of planks are done. I did the upper layer of walnut planking first, then planked the flat bottom, then did the rest working top, middle and bottom. Rubbing Strakes were bent and added covering the joint. Then Fish Tank Plates cut out and added. Keel pieces installed. Details now to the deck and interior.
March 2005. Continuing with the interior and deck details. Hatches and Doors. Fish Tank box. Winch. Rudder assembly. Will be ready to varnish soon.
Construction on hold for a May trip to Africa and other summer distractions.
October 2005 Beginning again on the potter. Fish tank installed, Rudder made and ready to hang.
November 2005 I had to scratch build the grapple using some square brass tubing, since the kit was missing three of the four hooks. Various detailing of the deck and cockpit.
December 2005 Lee boards mounted. Main mast and various booms done. I had to fashion an extra cleat since the kit was short one.
March 2006 I fabricated the sails from some cotton fabric. Dyed three of them with tea from Uganda. Not as dark as I would have liked, but they will do. Stitched on the bolt ropes.
November 2006 After a very long hiatis (aka Spring, Summer and early Fall) I am again working on the Botter. Hung the rudder and mounted the bowsprit, before starting rigging. I got some significant rigging help from a Dutch page which helped clarify things. The sails actually take a lot of work, adding rings and beads and ropes, but rigging does quickly and it was mostly done before the Holidays put the botter back on hold again. Dutch names are: "Kluiver" (Foresail), "Fok" (Jib), "Grootzeil" (Gaff or Main Sail), and the "Bezaan, Aap or Bras" (Studding Sail). There is also a sail called a "Breefok".
Some Notes on Botter Rigging: Characteristic for the rigging of these ships is the mostly un-stayed mast, with only a massive iron fore-stay; the main sail hangs on a bent gaff ; if there isn't too much wind, a Foresail is hoisted on the Foresail-boom, that is to be pushed forward (I am still not sure how it was secured at the back - apparently it was roped into place to a wooden support) ; besides, on the stern a mizzen Studded sail can be hoisted as well. Characteristic for a botter is, that both the fok (foresail) and the kluiver (gib) have only one sheet; and the mainsail is hoisted with only one halyard. Also characteristic for the botter is a foresail (fok), that reaches back far beyond the mast. It is necessary to provide enough power to pull the nets, but would be hard to handle when tacking.The Dutch page illustration shows a block attached to the stern point of the sail and the sheet runs from one of a series of loops up the side of the sail to the cleat, back through the block and then secured to the cleat, this enables reducing tension on the sheet in order to losen the tie when the sail is full of wind. Since foresail is handled with one single sheet, apparently there was a walking attachment tethered to the center bottom of the sail. When tacking, the Fresail sheet must be taken around before the mast. And it also illustrates a Foresail Boom used for rigging the sail out to the side, it would not be used if the crew was small. The looping ropes that are shown in the plans as going under the boom of the Gaff sail do not go under the boom, instead they loop under the sail - a means of reefing the sail by tightening the loops. The Flag or "vleugel" (lit. Wing, on other ships it's called the wind-vane) shows the direction of the wind.
February 2007. Lots of ropes need tieing off and finishing with appropriate coils of rope from the rigging. The Studding Sail needs to be rigged. A few more details including the cradle, dip net, "vleugel"(weathervane), and bucket. Then it will be time to start my next vessel - will it be the Mare Nostrum, the Racehorse, or the Halifax?
ERRATA: The plans for the Botter have some mistakes...