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Walk through of a 5th Rate Frigate

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avatar Sillouete
Retired Moderator
Level 69 : High Grandmaster Sailor
Hey guys! This is part of my ship building guide, which is still in it's early stages and can be found here:


In this walkthrough Io ll be showing you how I built my 5th Rate Frigate with a series of pictures. Io ll be explaining each step, and I hope that this, along with the rest of the guide gives you a better understanding of how I build my ships. Hopefully you can get something good out of it. Leto s get started!

I searched for some blueprints to guide me in building a realistic looking Frigate. I used the blueprints of the HMS Unicorn, a 46 guns Frigate.



The first thing I do is make an outline of the hull. You could call this the keel of the ship. The wool blocks are used to measure how long is the ship going to be, and also helps me mark ahead the locations of cannon holes, decks, and the water level.


Right after that I lay down the top deck layout. Frigates did not had tall stern or forecastles, so I try to keep is as low as I can, conserving the concaved shape of a ship.


I proceed to make the 3 dimensional outline of the ship. Notice here how I made the bow rounded, and as it goes all the way back to the stern, it becomes narrower.



At this point I am ready to make the rest of the hull, and I proceed to start framing it. Now noticed the curvature of the hull in the picture. Unlike popular belief, the frame is wider at the bottom, rather than the top. By it being wide and rounded, it increases stability.

Hull Section

We go ahead and make the shape in the game.


We do the same with the rest of the hull, keeping a constant similitude with each frame, but taken in account that at the aft and bow, the ship becomes narrowed. There we have to make narrower frames.




Once we have a considerable amount of frames, we should start visualizing the rounded shape of the hull. We can now start patching the hull. I recommend starting in the mid-section of the hull, since ito s the easiest part.


Once ito s done, you should get a weird looking surface. But dono t panic! We are going to fix that now!


Notice a pattern forming in the hull of the ship. Using this pattern, we are going to clean the lines.


We are going to do that by removing the unnatural looking blocks, and leaving those that fit the pattern.


It should result in something like this. Notice how now we have smooth curves that fit the rounded surface of the hull.



OPTIONAL: At this point you can check for buoyancy and see if the ship is of enough height to fit in the amount of decks you want in the ship.

Alright time to define our ship. Leto s paint the hull! Here I add some nice lines in between decks. Also I place the cannon holes, which I usually make two blocks high. I add some fences on the top deck for obvious reasons.

Now we add add more contrast by using a different kind of wood.

These types of ships have a particular bow. So we try to recreate it the best way we can. Since we are using blocks, it is hard to make small details that such ships had.

I built the stern using gold and black wool. Usually these ships had an elegant looking stern, so thato s my way of representing it.

And thato s about it for the hull.



OPTIONAL: At this point, you can place the boat in the water and keep building the masts and sails. If you choose to do this now, Io ll show you an easy way of doing it, using Single Player Commands or McEdit.

Placing ship in water

Masts and Sails

Choosing the position of the masts is very important. Frigates usually have three masts. Here I am marking the positions of the masts. Notice how the main mast is not perfectly center, and is closer to the mizzen mast. In a different type of ship, this layout may not be the same, thato s why it is important to study blueprints and pictures.

For the height of the masts, I made the main mast about the same length as the shipo s hull. It looks proportioned and strong. Notice how the two other masts are shorter, with the mizzen mast being the shortest of all three.

Added the bowsprit.

Now we mark the positions of the spars. As they go up in the mast, the space between them decreases because the sails become smaller. Again, the number and layout of spars will also depend on the type of ship.


Notice how the spars are angled. Again, it is very rare to find the wind coming directly from behind.


Now we are ready to make some sails. I usually start making my sails two blocks from the edge of the spar.

We want to make the sails look natural and like they are full of wind. To achieve that, the first I do is make a basic curve for the sail. Notice how the radius of the curve is not too small, otherwise, it would look too unrealistic.

Looking at it from the front, I now extrude the curve to the side, like shown in the picture. This adds a bit more of realism.


I do the same thing on the other side, and complete it with another frame at the bottom, joining both sides. Notice here how the bottom frame is also curved, following the contour of the sail.


Once we have that done, we proceed to make internal frames. Just like the hull, this will help us have a look at how the sail is coming out, as well as make it easier to patch and look natural.



Once we patch it, it will look something like this. But again, notice how there is a pattern forming between the layers.


Once we clean it up, it should look something like this:

To add even more realism, we cut certain layers of wool at the bottom, starting from the middle. This will enhance the o sail full of windo effect.


And that pretty much completes a sail.

For the rest of the sails, remember, decreasing the size as they go up in the mast makes it look more realistic.

Adding a crowo s nest is a nice addition to any ship. I add these right above the each spar.

Now we can start making the rigging. I use fences and glass, but you can use whatever block you like. I start making the shrouds, which are ladder-looking things were we see people climbing to reach the upper sails. I make these with fences, as it looks like rope. I usually have them start from a platform right on the edge of the hull, up to the crowo s nest. Make sure they are straight, as shrouds are tied really tight.


Shrouds are also found on the upper sails, going from the crowo s nest, to the next platform above.
Shrouds in a ship

Once thato s done, we can start adding the fore rigging, which will hold the stay sails and the jib.

We can add stay sails between square sails. In this version, I did 3 stay sails between each mast. You can add 1 or 2, or none at all. They were not use all the time either.

The way I made this sails is basically the same way I made the square sails. Just make sure that when you puff these sails out, they are pointing the same way you made the rest of the sails.


Add final details such as rigging, bow sprit sail, different blocks for the hull, lamps, flags, and such, and you are pretty much done.


You can add an interior with different cabins, storage rooms, cannons, and such to make your ship even more appreciable. Also, adding a rudder is a good detail that shouldno t be forget. You could add some life boats and an anchor, but honestly, it would not very good in my opinion, as you are dealing with big blocks, therefore you have no way of making them small enough to look nice. Also, I'll update this walk through later showing you guys how to roll up the sails to make it look like it's docked. I may post some interior pictures to show you what can you do with the inside space.

So there you have it, a walkthrough of a simple Frigate. Again, different types of ships have different specifications such as hull shape, sail sets, and such, but the method is the same. Some ships would rarely sail with their whole sail set, so even what I did here, is not fully realistic. That is mostly for the looks.

Now that you have your own boat and you are proud of it, ito s time to set sail into the Sun! Bon Voyage and thanks for reading! Hope this was helpful!

Creditminecraft ship boat guide tutorial walk through frigate pirates sailing ocean

Comments : 77

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  • yukina
  • Level 1
  • New Miner
  • September 1, 2017, 11:09 pm
Can you also make your ships download ready?i would love to have this on my single player world!
  • Nero1
  • Level 29
  • Expert Architect
  • February 26, 2017, 11:50 am
Cant understand shit at the hull step.............please help anyone
  • Nero1
  • Level 29
  • Expert Architect
  • February 26, 2017, 10:47 am
You jump to much and dosent mention allot of things you do in the tutorial.. pretty unclear sometimes what to do and what to
  • Nero1
  • Level 29
  • Expert Architect
  • February 24, 2017, 8:50 am
Hi can you make a map with all the steps to make this, thanks!! great work!!
Hey man, just some friendly criticism from a fellow shipbuilder!

I noticed something I find a bit odd in your quarterdeck's design. You raised it up above the weather deck guns, and hence put the majority of the actual weather deck under a third upper deck, and hence created a second stern cabin area. This gives an impression of a sorta twin-decked ship with a fairly bare upper deck.

As the diagram of the princely HMS Unicorn, a good o'l Leda (love the Leda-class frigates!) shows, this third deck doesn't seem to be there in the plans, nor have I personally seen this in the majority of fifth rates I've built. The weather deck, and its respective broadside weight is usually exposed (hence "weather" deck, lel), and made up of cannonades, etc nestled alongside rigging, the helm and all that good stuff. No deck extends over the weather deck.

I've found that this really helps in lowering the free-board of frigates, and also is a bit more accurate. This also means I'm not stacking my helm, rigging and other stuff that is found on the top weather deck of 5th rates high up on a deck with a very small taffrail.

Did you intend to add the closed roof to the original weather deck on the stern on bow? Or did you perhaps have your own logic when it comes to that?

Just an inquiry from a comrade age-of-sail-loving shipwright!

(here's a link of a model of a Leda, just to visualize what I'm talking about.)
  • Ninja_Grim
  • Level 1
  • New Crafter
  • July 11, 2015, 8:26 pm
Very helpful tutorial will now try to make my own ship, though I will probably fail. Diamond to you.
  • SeismicMan
  • Level 3
  • Apprentice Hunter
  • January 8, 2014, 1:30 pm
Can you also make your ships download ready?i would love to have this on my single player world!
Please make more walkthroughs. <3 These are so epic.
would love a world download!!!
  • Moordac
  • Level 1
  • New Miner
  • April 27, 2013, 12:46 pm
Awesome ship!!!! Did you use a 1:1 Scale (Block = Feet or Meters) or did you change it around a bit? Also, were you able to purchase the plans on the HMS Unicorn Site?
  • Nunuxx
  • Level 29
  • Expert Mage
  • April 22, 2013, 9:13 pm
Thanks Sillouete, Nice turitorial, Im gonna try building a ship with your tips, *Diamond*
Thanks for making this post it is really helpful to me :)
I feel like having a go - diamond
  • mja2107
  • Level 14
  • Journeyman Crafter
  • March 6, 2013, 7:02 am
Really stuck on the smoothing of the hull part. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. But anyway, great tutorial, have a diamond!
  • lolbroek101
  • Level 19
  • Journeyman Architect
  • February 22, 2013, 2:10 am
I love it!!! diamond and favorite for you. and i am gonna try it out!!!
  • Lewis5353
  • Level 12
  • Journeyman Engineer
  • January 20, 2013, 8:08 am
cool can you put the lenghts and stuff
u are the best ship builder! :D
now make a walk through to make an airship! >:D
  • CraftyFoxe
  • Site Moderator
  • Level 73
  • Legendary Fox
  • January 1, 2013, 1:18 pm
Interesting guide! Thanks for writing this stuff down, I think I will implement this in my sailing ship of my own
  • Wholstine
  • Level 18
  • Journeyman Scribe
  • November 16, 2012, 4:40 pm
You sir, know how to build ships.
  • pigonge
  • Level 76
  • Legendary Magical Girl
  • November 12, 2012, 1:20 am
You have very good ability in analysing the shape in 3D space correctly.
  • Sillouete
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 69
  • High Grandmaster Sailor
  • November 12, 2012, 9:58 am
thanks! I try my best!
  • King_Dirrp
  • Level 31
  • Artisan Narwhal
  • November 3, 2012, 9:21 pm
You sir know how to make sails DIAMOND!
  • florisalife
  • Level 21
  • Expert Engineer
  • November 3, 2012, 3:23 am
which texture pack do you use
  • King_Dirrp
  • Level 31
  • Artisan Narwhal
  • November 3, 2012, 9:20 pm
Ovos rustic
  • Whale_
  • Level 59
  • Grandmaster Narwhal
  • October 28, 2012, 3:33 pm
lol i mean amazing i mean amazing nice job xD
  • Sillouete
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 69
  • High Grandmaster Sailor
  • October 29, 2012, 3:49 pm
thanks :D
  • Whale_
  • Level 59
  • Grandmaster Narwhal
  • October 28, 2012, 3:33 pm
  • Roi_Louis
  • Level 66
  • High Grandmaster Architect
  • October 17, 2012, 1:48 am
Nice work on plan and really nice réalisation... (i'm a friend of bilZ)

Just see your project, so diamond, fav & sub :)
  • mrpony1
  • Level 4
  • Apprentice Explorer
  • September 13, 2012, 11:48 am
thanks for the walk through and amazing job on the ship itself.
  • comeon1987
  • Level 1
  • New Miner
  • September 12, 2012, 4:53 pm
Thanks a lot for this walk through :)
  • Cajvall
  • Level 13
  • Journeyman Skinner
  • September 10, 2012, 2:38 pm
Dumb question, but do you know how meny blocks you did use? :)
who amazing tuto man ! see you soon on Skype:D
  • Lappis
  • Level 27
  • Expert Dragon
  • September 6, 2012, 8:51 am
Are U sillouete's friend? o_o
No, but we are in the "Angel block society"
  • Sillouete
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 69
  • High Grandmaster Sailor
  • September 10, 2012, 3:34 pm
You no be my friend? :(
Dont worry we are friends :)
  • LordofNight2
  • Level 48
  • Master Vampire
  • August 15, 2012, 10:59 am
I have an idea for you... You should try and recreate the Vasa. Look it up on the internet. It is a really cool ship that sailed one nautical mile before it sank xD but it was still really freaking cool. You should build it :3
  • Evanchi
  • Level 26
  • Expert Network
  • August 5, 2012, 11:44 am
  • Sillouete
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 69
  • High Grandmaster Sailor
  • August 7, 2012, 7:56 am
Nooo, silent treatment D:
silloute :) what cha buildin next?
  • Sillouete
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 69
  • High Grandmaster Sailor
  • January 7, 2013, 7:11 pm
what am i building next? A napoleonic era fleet and a surreal dark moody town.
then i'm sure it will be most awesomeness! can't wait to see it :) you're ships are the closest thing i've seen to real galleons in minecraft. i think you know what ur doing lol
  • Lappis
  • Level 27
  • Expert Dragon
  • September 6, 2012, 8:51 am
Its so amazing so he can't say anything p_p
Marvellous Tutorial Sill! I really apreciate this, maybe this is gonna to become my first step unto ship-building. :)
  • Icarurs
  • Level 1
  • New Miner
  • August 5, 2012, 3:39 am
Extremely useful tutorial. I made my own ship a while ago and was satisfied with it but after reading this I can already think of a ton of things off the top of my head that I need to fix (especially after that whole part with the sailso ¦)! Thanks for sharing your tips! :)
  • Zenith V
  • Level 25
  • Expert Cake
  • August 5, 2012, 2:44 am
Great tutorial, would of been a finalist!
  • lynchyinc
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 80
  • Elite Architect
  • August 5, 2012, 12:51 am
Fantastic blog Sill :D

Such a shame you missed out on the contest, as I think this is one of the best tutorials i've seen!

Either way, great job :)
  • minthus
  • Level 27
  • Expert Blockhead
  • August 4, 2012, 9:30 pm
awesome aweseome awesome
  • DaKewlKat
  • Level 1
  • New Miner
  • August 4, 2012, 8:49 pm
When my buddy Salmon linked me to this I got the biggest smile. Because I have been trying to make boats for a while now. But I have just never been able to pull it off. But right now I'm following your guide and I just got done with my hull. And I have to say. Thanks to your guide its actually turning out pretty good. The only thing I was confused on was how to correctly smooth it out. So in the end I just went in and messed with it until it looked nice. But overall. Its a good guide and thank you for making it. It really helped me out.
  • Elite111
  • Level 1
  • New Miner
  • August 4, 2012, 3:07 pm
  • pancake195
  • Level 22
  • Expert Taco
  • August 4, 2012, 1:02 pm
Guys I need your help please go on this site: (Ad link removed) worry its no spam i just want a minecraft premium accaount pleaseee!!!
  • Piragi
  • Level 1
  • New Network
  • August 4, 2012, 8:18 am
Best - ship - name - ever. Also, nice guide.
Picture #5 of the hull section... is that a... NEW SHIP?
  • Sillouete
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 69
  • High Grandmaster Sailor
  • August 7, 2012, 7:58 am
It's one of the many ships I have unfinished :)
  • A12c
  • Level 12
  • Journeyman Architect
  • August 3, 2012, 5:01 pm
Fantastic guide!
  • Mellsy
  • Level 4
  • Apprentice Farmer
  • August 3, 2012, 2:36 pm
you did a great job! its a shame you weren't able to enter it in time -- i want to build a ship now!!
  • kingmit
  • Level 19
  • Journeyman Archer
  • August 3, 2012, 12:07 pm
Thanks SOOOOOO much dude ! the sjip is amazing and the tutorial is very easy to follow!
  • Cajvall
  • Level 13
  • Journeyman Skinner
  • August 3, 2012, 12:05 pm
I just watched master and commander, and i just find two words for this, LOVE IT
  • Sillouete
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 69
  • High Grandmaster Sailor
  • August 7, 2012, 7:58 am
I watched that movie while making the Frigate :p
  • Tillercloud
  • Level 42
  • Master Dragonborn
  • February 2, 2013, 1:29 pm
I'm going to watch this movie now :)
  • Tillercloud
  • Level 42
  • Master Dragonborn
  • February 2, 2013, 6:02 pm
Oh poor cursed fellow ):
I find this ship to be amazing first off! and the guide alone is a very good detailed guide. Long but I like how you explaine how to do everything. You do amazing work and i plan on using this guide for my own ships. Thanks!!! Diamond for you as well, keep up the good work!
  • AAmdahl
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 60
  • High Grandmaster Senpai
  • August 3, 2012, 2:39 am
Sillouete, mastrer shipwright.

well done buddy, :)
Now THAT'S a real minecraft boat!
  • ZaphodX
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 31
  • Artisan Network
  • August 3, 2012, 12:48 am
Awwww yeahh, don't stop making tutorials, you're on a roll.
  • Cenaria
  • Level 13
  • Journeyman Mage
  • August 2, 2012, 10:52 pm
WOOT! Nice guide(though a bit long, I didn't read all of it)! I have one question. at a certain point you say:
[size=16px][color=rgb(34,34,34)][bgcolor=rgb(204,204,204)]Now we can start making the rigging. I use fences and glass, but you can use whatever block you like. I start making the shrouds, which are ladder-looking things were we see people climbing to reach the upper sails. I make these with fences, as it looks like rope. I usually have them start from a platform right on the edge of the hull, up to the crowo s nest. Make sure they are straight, as shrouds are tied really tight.[/bgcolor][/color][/size]

But even when you tie a rope very tight, the weight will still make a little curve in it, especially with something this big. Wouldn't there need to be a little curve?
  • Sillouete
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 69
  • High Grandmaster Sailor
  • August 7, 2012, 8:02 am
Well the shrouds, which are these things that look like ladders, are usually tighten to hold the masts in place, kinda like setting up a camping tent. Therefore they are usually held in place and gravity have little effect in them, because they are tense, like guitar strings. Some of the rigging is loose indeed, but a lot is held tight so you don't see the curvature of it being held loose.
  • SevV
  • Level 42
  • Master Answer
  • August 2, 2012, 10:44 pm
That way of making sails is so much easier than I did. Thank you!
  • Ash
  • Site Moderator
  • Level 63
  • High Grandmaster Button Pusher
  • August 2, 2012, 10:29 pm
Oh Silo, why are you so amazing xD
  • fire897
  • Level 34
  • Artisan Droid
  • August 2, 2012, 10:22 pm
nice guide :) I'm good at structural building although I never really learned how to build ships/airships. This is very helpful thank you. :)
  • DJpaulii
  • Level 71
  • Legendary Architect
  • August 2, 2012, 7:58 pm
lovely! <3
  • Geppetto
  • Level 26
  • Expert Cake
  • August 2, 2012, 7:30 pm
Well done!
There's nothing more to say than this.

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