Galilee – Schooner

Name of Ship: Galilee
Period: 1800’s to 1930’s

Name of Modeler: Ralph Buckwalter
Type of Model: Scratch Built

Galilee was originally built as a Brigantine by one of the most famous ship builders on the west coast in the late 1800’s, Matthew Turner.  He built at least 154 wood hulled ships in his ship yards. After Turner’s death the Galilee was sold to the Union Fish company and sent to Alaska in the cod-fishing trade.

The cod fishing voyages came to an end around 1927. She then spent two years as one of a small fleet of vessels operating off Cape San Lucas in the growing tuna industry. The Galilee’s life as a sea worthy vessel came to an unpleasant finish. In the early 1930’s she started the final decline from a graceful brigantine to a fishing schooner powered with a smoking diesel.

Ending up in her original port the Galilee was bought in 1934 by a former British officer Captain John Quinn who beached her on the Sausalito shoreline. Captain Quinn and his wife converted Galilee to a houseboat, built a wharf out to the ship strung old San Francisco gas lamps to illuminate the houseboat and placed potted plants on her deck. During the 30s and 40s  many of the outdated sailing vessels were towed to Richardson bay and sunk in the mudflats. Thanks to Captain Quinn, Galilee survived the ravages of time longer than any other vessel. Unfortunately Captain Quinn grew too old to live aboard and sold it to a photographer who, with his wife and children lived on the ship untill1962 when the city of Sausalito condemned the Galilee as unfit for habitation and ordered her to be abandoned and destroyed. A trustee of the San Francisco Maritime Museum purchased her with the intention of making her as a landmark.

A maritime park was established in Benicia named the Matthew Turner Shipyard Park. A 16 ft. sectioned was cut off the Galilee and shipped to the park. A section of the stern was cut off and moved to the Benicia Historical Museum where it can be seen today. It is now called the longest schooner ever built: the stern in San Francisco and the bow in Benicia.

.Modeler’s biography: Ralph Buckwalter, a retired Mechanical Engineer has been modeling for about 14 years. He joined the Rocky Mountain Shipwrights in 2000.

Black Falcon

Name of Model: Black Falcon
Period: 18th Century
Type of Model: plank on bulkhead kit

Modeler’s Name: Ralph Buckwalter Scale:  1:100
Build Time: not estimated

Build Materials: This was Ralph’s first ship model. It is made from a Mantua kit. The kit utilized a plank on bulkhead type of construction. The planks were bent when wet using a hot iron. The model kit supplied sails but they were ugly and I decided not put them on the model since the instructions were not very detailed and for a first model I did not think I could make them look good.

Ship’s Story: This is supposed to be one of the ships used by Captain Kidd the famous Pirate. It is a two masted Brigantine from the 18th century

Modeler’s Bio:  Ralph Buckwalter, a retired Mechanical Engineer has been modeling for about 14 years. He joined the Rocky Mountain Shipwrights in 2000.

Matthew Turner

Name of Model: Matthew Turner
Period ship sailed:  2018
Scale of model: 3/16″ per foot

Name of Modeler: Ralph Buckwalter
Type of model: Scratch Built
Build time : Not estimated

Ship’s history:  Matthew Turner is being built by a nonprofit organization Educational tall ship in Sausalito California. The ship is still under construction and is by volunteers and financed through donations of money and material. It is named for one of the most famous ship builders on the west coast in the late 1800’s, Matthew Turner. This ship is based on Matthew Turner’s brigantine Galilee which still holds the record for wood hulled sailing vessels between Tahiti and San Francisco. This will be the first wooden ship of this size built in the San Francisco bay area for over a century. 

The new ship is being built for Douglas fir the same material as the Galilee but instead of large planks the ship is made from laminated planks. The estimated life of this ship is about 100 years because of laminated beam

The Matthew Turner is 100ft along the deck, has a 25 ft. beam and draws 10 ft. of water. She will carry 7,100 ft. of sail.  The vessel has 39 births for the students on longer training voyages. The ship will be used for educational training.Modeler’s biography: Ralph Buckwalter, a retired Mechanical Engineer has been modeling for about 14 years. He joined the Rocky Mountain Shipwrights in 2000.

Modeler’s biography: Ralph Buckwalter, a retired Mechanical Engineer, has been modeling for about 14 years. He joined the Rocky Mountain Shipwrights in 2000.