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"Researching Tew's sloop Amity" Topic

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Makhno191819 Sep 2019 11:52 a.m. PST

Hello all, this is my first post to this section of tmp. Im planning a model of Thomas Tew's ship Amity. In looking for images i can reference, i found a couple of engravings, that dont look particularly similar to my eye (though i know little about ships), as well as a handful of Amity models for sale. I was wondering if more knowledgeable folks here could share their opinions on which images of the Amity seem most realistic/historically accurate, so i know which to study as i build the model.

Amity engraving 1:

Amity engraving 2 (in action):


Typical Amity model for sale online:


Big Martin Back19 Sep 2019 12:44 p.m. PST

Well – not the model. That's no sloop – nor any other sort of real ship I know of.

Personal logo Virtualscratchbuilder Supporting Member of TMP Fezian19 Sep 2019 12:55 p.m. PST

I would disregard any 'storebought' display model. They not really accurate in any way, and rarely represent the ship in question. The model in your picture comes closest to a late 16 century galleon, but only after 6-8 beers, when squinting, and when you know little of galleons.

"Sloop" in the context of pirates refers to "sloop rig" not the type of much larger ship called a sloop. The former for the most part a single masted ship like the ones in the pictures here:


The latter is a large square rigged vessel (brig, pink, ship, etc.)

The first engraving you show is pretty close to the likely rig, though the stern looks rather later than Tew's period. In the 1600's sterns of even small ships were pretty ornate with gilded carvings, big lanterns, etc. That pretty much trended out right at the turn of the century, and the sloop in the engraving looks to be early-mid 1700's (to me).

I would say any sloop like that or the ones in my link make a pretty good depiction of any sloop rigged ship of the era.

Timmo uk19 Sep 2019 12:58 p.m. PST

I'd have a search for sloops and use one of those as your basis for a plausible model. The ship in your first link 'engraving 1' looks good to me. The model you have found is dreadful.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2019 1:13 p.m. PST

None of the vessels depicted are a sloop. (EDIT: Oops. Yeah, the first link is to as sloop. Hadn't followed it yet.)
And, technically, a sloop is a boat, not a ship. (A ship has three masts.)

A typical sloop of the era is a one-masted vessel with two square sails before the mast and a fore-and-aft "gaff-rigged" sail behind the mast. Sloops varied in length from 35 ft to 75 ft.
They had a very shallow draft, ideal for coastal waters and inlets, and thus favored for smuggling, among other activities.
Sloops could even be open boats, but typically consisted of a single deck above a lower hold.
Cannon were limited, typically 6 to 12. (Tew's reportedly had 8, which would likely have been four on each side, though having one mounted at the bow and/or one at the aft as chasers is also possible, though I think not likely.)

Although sloops were in fact the most common pirate vessel, they're almost never depicted as such in popular media. The two vessels in the drawings appear to be brigantines (two-masted vessels); the model is indeed a small ship, of a form called a barque, but it appears to be a somewhat imaginary design.

A typical sloop, suitable for Tew's Amity, barring more specific research:


Makhno191819 Sep 2019 1:21 p.m. PST

Wow, i really appreciate all the insight, and im glad to have my suspicions confirmed about the model for sale. Sorry for the multiple postings, yikes! Thanks again

CAPTAIN BEEFHEART19 Sep 2019 2:28 p.m. PST

….A little key bounce never hurt anyone.

Makhno191823 Sep 2019 11:49 a.m. PST

Minairons has a sloop, what do you all think of this?


My original plan was to dissect and rebuild a cheap wooden boat, but i was going to order the Tew flags from minairons anyway.

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