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Whale-boat - $$5.50

The original oil rig, which doubled as a meat and bone rig, this Whale Boat offered adventure, fortune and wet boots to all who dared to take on Moby Dick.

Whale Boat



title of the Whale Ship paper model

title of the Whale Ship paper model

Harpooning a Whale, by Anton Otto Fisher, 1925, New Bedford Whaling Museum Collection 2001.100.4443.

beta build Whale Boat paper model view 1 beta build Whale Boat paper model view 2 beta build Whale Boat paper model view 3
Historical Whale Boat
(another great model by Richard Dery)


instruction sheet for whale ship
This is the instruction sheet that comes with the download



Information about Whale Boats

A whaleboat is a type of open boat that is relatively narrow and pointed at both ends, enabling it to move either forwards or backwards equally well. The mast and sails could be taken down and stowed on deck during the hunt, and were only used to travel to and from the larger square-rigged whaling ship. The stout post mounted on the aft deck was used to cinch the rope once the whale had been harpooned, and by which the whale would drag the boat until it tired and was killed.

Life aboard a whaling ship was difficult and dangerous, yet the perilous work inspired thousands of men to leave their homes and risk their lives. Part of it was the call of adventure, but there were also financial rewards. It was typical for a crew of a whaler to split the proceeds, with even the lowliest seaman getting a share of the profits.


Leadership Diversity

portrait of Absalom Boston
Portrait of Absalom Boston

One feature of whaling which is often overlooked is that whaling captains were known to welcome men of diverse races. There were a number of black men who sailed on whaling ships, and even a black whaling captain, Absalom Boston was from Nantucket where his ghost is believed to still wander.



What People Say

Attached are pictures of the whale boat I've been working on. This is one of my more detailed projects, and a lot of fun to do...

Before going any farther, I would like to state for the record, that I do not in any way support modern whaling. I believe that it is no longer necessary, as most if not all by-products of whaling can be manufactured synthetically, and it doesn't make sense to hunt any animal to the brink of extinction...

That being said, I think we should note historically, that up through the early 19th century whaling was an important industry, supplying among other things oil for lamps before electric lighting became available. Not to mention the courage of the whalers who often put out to sea for years at a time to support their families. - Richard Dery (the artist and designer of this model)

Need any other testers? I build boats second only to airplanes for the kids. I treat them with penetrating epoxy once built so they can go in the treatment tubs and pools. I have several R/C sailboats and crewed on racing sailboats in my youth. I use the knowledge to set up the boats so they will sail across the pool or in adjustable circles to add to the interest. For the full hull power boats I use a micro servo with the limit gears removed for a motor. A full up boat can be built with servo motor, micro servo on the rudder and a micro receiver with full forward and reverse with a smooth throttle control in the servo. I have 1/72 plastic tugs and fishing boats built for radio control using the tiny servos and receivers. This looks like a great boat for sail only. Waterproof everything and even if it sinks you just pull it out, dump out the water and set it back to sailing. I use modeling clay for ballast. My BYYB daggerboard day sailboat worked very well in the treatment and exercise pool. - Denis Brooks

I printed up the whale boat. Obviously, if I want to treat it so it can be used in the pools, I cannot cut holes in the bottom for the display stand. I may turn the stand studs into cradles instead of posts so the boat can sit on them. With a bit of clay ballast, it should stay upright. While the sail has backing color, it does not have the seams or gusset lines. I will put the page on a light table and pencil in the seam edges and gussets on the back side. There are no provisions for lining the inside of the buckets or the back of the oar locks. I will print an extra copy on bond paper and make the backing/interior pieces. The inside of the buckets really should not have the exterior metal bands, but no one will notice.

The gaff jaws for the spar could be thicker. I printed the boat on 130 pound card stock to make it more durable, especially when treated with penetrating epoxy. The bond paper sails will also be "plasticized" by the epoxy for use on the water. The sails will be slightly stiffer, but still bend and I will set the boom and spar so the boat can actually be "sailed" on a light fishing line. This means the boom will move from side to side as you twitch the boat to pull at the proper angle to any breeze. I have done similar with a small boat I made for my daughter while I was in the hospital many years ago. Using a rod and reel I was able to sail the boat out into a pond and back again though the rudder and sail set were fixed.

It is certainly a nice model. With the wire and some heavy threads for the sail gaskets and the harpoon line it should dress up very nicely. Normally, I would roll the handles of the harpoon and lance then sand the ends to shape. I color the edges as required to blend the edges of the paper to the seams (joints, oar lock edges, top edges of the buckets, etc). In any case, as soon as I get done with the Heart Cath tomorrow I will get busy and see how well the interior and exterior match up. With a doubled 130 pound card hull treated with epoxy, it should be a very sturdy boat. - Dennis

" Finally, a cardstock boat model that is an excellent beginner's model!!! Having built my share of wood, plastic and cardstock, I feel qualified to say that a.) if you've never built a model boat before; BUILD THIS ONE!! and b.) Richard Dery has really created a winner with this kit!!! It is extremely well detailed model that will look great upon anyone's shelf or mantle.

Having researched the background of these boats myself, I can vouchsafe that Richard is accurate down to the last bit (pun intended). Honestly, if You NEVER build another boat, sailing or otherwise, build this one! As a former "Squid", I doff my "Dixie Cup" to You, Richard!!!! - Yours, Larry M. USN 1972-1976 "



Other ships designed by Richard Dery

Santa Maria Paper Model
Santa Maria

La Nina Paper Model
La Nina

La Pinta Paper Model
La Pinta