Monday, January 19, 2015

Advice on manuscript submissions - 3) Book publication - the traditional way

Have you heard of the chicken that crossed the road?
Of course – everyone has.
But have you heard of the writer who never marketed his work?
No – how could you?

Many people write books but unless they make an effort to sell their work to an agent or publisher, it may suffer the ignominy of dying a lonely death in their computer’s hard drive never having left its motherboard’s apron strings.
How many potentially best-selling novels have gone this way?

Marketing your novel is not an easy task. It can be daunting, confusing and downright depressing but it is part of the long hard road every writer must take in order to see his/her name on a book’s cover.

While self-publishing is readily available for both e-books or paperbacks, there are still many writers striving to follow the traditional route. The following information is for their benefit. It’s basic info you can find anywhere but it’s surprising how many authors fail to read and follow the fine print.
So, where to start?

You have completed your manuscript. It has been edited and proofread and is ready to go out into the world. Today, the names of literary agents and book publishers on-line. Or you can subscribe to various writers' marketplace books and journals with details specific to the country you live in.

Not only will you find lists of publishing houses and their imprints, but comprehensive details of each publisher’s requirements. It is important to note the specific type of book each publisher handles, e.g. science fiction, scholarly works or crime. You can also find how many books that company produces per year. For a small company printing only one or two books a year, your work would have to be both brilliant and super specific to their requirements to be accepted. But where a company produces fifty or sixty a year then their acceptance will be much broader. You owe it to yourself to give yourself the best chance.

So you are confident you have something that is pretty good but you prefer a second opinion before jumping in boots and all. This is where you can take advantage of a manuscript appraisal. Rather than being seduced by a publishing house to use and pay for their appraisal service – which comes with no guarantee of publication – it is probably better to secure the services of an independent appraiser. They will provide helpful feedback about the quality of your work and may also suggest the best publisher or agent to approach.

It is important to note that these days few publishing houses accept submission directly from authors. Most only accept manuscripts recommended by a literary agent.
Authors argue that it is now as difficult to secure such services as to be signed by a publisher. 

Again, do your homework. Not all agents represent client’s manuscripts of all genres. Check their submission guidelines – do they want the first chapter, three chapters or the first page and a synopsis only? Do they want hard copies (printed) or will they accept electronic submissions.
There is no point sending a parcel of 500 double-spaced, quality-printed A4 pages to a company that specifies, send a short outline by e-mail with no attachments.

If you are foolish enough to send in your full manuscript, you are not only wasting your time and the time of the publisher but also the printing and postal costs. And sadly your work could end up going through the shredder. Let’s hope it was not the only copy of your manuscript. It has been known to happen. Then sit back and wait. The response can take three months, six months or longer.

If you are successful in securing an agent then you sit back and wait again while he/she trolls suitable publishers on your behalf.  Then wait for the offer of contract to arrive in your in-box.

With genuine traditional publishers you will pay nothing for your book to be produced.
Be wary of publishers who insist you contribute (often thousands of dollars) to the publication of your book. Don't get your finger burnt!

Once the contract is signed, you will likely receive an advance payment on your royalties and, hopefully, about nine to twelve months later you will have a copy of your published book in your hand.
Good luck – it is not a quick or easy journey. 

The author’s personal journey through the publishing minefield:

I completed my first manuscript in 2004 and was lucky enough to secure the services of a London agent. Knowing little about the industry, I signed the contract I was offered not realizing the publisher only produced small numbers of hardcover books suitable for the British Library. The company did not print paperbacks or distribute to retail outlets, and at the time there were no electronic books.
Being committed by contract to offer each of my subsequent titles to the same publisher before I could offer it elsewhere, I found myself in a bind. Only when my agent died did I find the opportunity to part company.

Over a period of five years I had seen five novels published but had spent many hundreds of dollars trying to market my own work – with little success. No one wanted to buy expensive hardcover books from an unknown author.

By 2010, the doors to self-publishing were beginning to open. It was a pathway fraught with many dangers such as vanity publishers trying to seduce unsuspecting authors into parting with huge fees to see their work in print. Taking note of the warnings, I discovered how to publish my own books with a print of demand (POD) publisher at no cost. From there, I moved into the world of Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and haven’t looked back.

At the start, like many aspiring authors I had aimed for the traditional route, but it was not right for me. After ten years of authorship, I can recommend self-publishing, which now provides me with a regular and modest income.

I suggest you follow your dream, but advise against wasting years reaching for the stars  - aiming for the unattainable.

Pics: 3 x Bigstockphotos, 1 x Hills Gazette 2006 (Sea Dust - my first book), Book cover (The Twisting Vine was initially published by a traditional publisher and the title was not my choice. When I changed to self-publishing, I republished the book as Through Glass Eyes - my original working title). 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Advice on following submission guidelines – 2) newspaper, magazine articles and short stories

Today there’s no shortage of information about the road to publication and becoming a successful writer, and where to market your work. Freelancers, novelists, scriptwriters, poets, songwriters are all catered for – in fact, you could spend several months wading through a sea of literature on everything you ever wanted to know. I wish you luck!

But success does not come by magic – it’s a long hard road and it is up to the individual to be selective along the way. Using a bit of common sense also helps.

So, you have written an article (or other) and it is ready to send off. Next you must find the appropriate place for your piece. The Internet lists thousands of newspapers and magazines world-wide.
It sounds simple. Just pick the name of a magazine that sounds appropriate and press send.

Not so!

Here’s my advice on submitting articles, essays, short stories.

1.     Research the publication you are targeting. Don’t just pick a magazine at random because the name sounds right. Don’t send an article on growing oranges to Juice. That publication relates to music, film and TV. Or send your essay on Chaos Theory to Quad Wrangle expecting it to be a scholastic magazine. By checking, you will discover Quad Wrangle is the magazine of the Australian Quadriplegic Association. By failing to research your target market, you are wasting your own time and that of editorial staff. And you may look a fool in the process.

2.     Check circulation numbers. Depending on the type of article you have written, and your degree of confidence, you may feel that your work is worthy of a reasonable size readership. Eidelon has a readership of 350, whereas The Australian Women’s’ Weekly has a readership of almost 2.5 million.

3.     Consider what types of freelance submissions the magazine accepts e.g. articles, interviews, reviews and short stories. If the paper or magazine doesn’t handle the sort of piece you have written – don’t send it to them.

4.     Check the format required – hard copy, e-mail, disk etc. and what layout is required e.g. double-line spacing and the word length. It is pointless sending a brilliant 3000 word short story to a magazine which has column space for 800 words. No editor is going to spend hours chopping your article to pieces – and you wouldn’t appreciate it anyway.

5.     Supporting images.  If you intend to support your article with images (providing they are permitted), check if digital images are acceptable or medium format transparencies are required.

6.     Before you send your piece check the contact details and confirm the magazine is still in circulation. It’s also worth confirming the name of the editor as they swap and change regularly. Addressing your submission to the wrong person may result in it being unanswered or, if in hard copy, – it being returned to you unopened.

7.     Finally, find out what percentage of the magazine’s work is written by freelancers. Breaking into a market which sources only 5% of its work from freelancers is obviously going to be harder than breaking into a market that buys 100% freelance work.

Well done! Your article has gone to the correct person at the target magazine. Now, don’t hold your breath.

Response Time.
Don’t expect to hear how your article is proceeding two weeks after you sent it in. In many cases 3 to 6 months is not unusual even for short magazine articles.
     You must learn that patience is a virtue.

     Payment – What will you receive?
This information is provided in some cases but not all. And don’t get carried away with regular freelancer’s fees. Payment for articles may be quoted as x-number of cents per word, or as an amount per 1000 words, or it may be “by negotiation”. While some publishers provide vague information, others indicate that they pay nothing and merely provide a tear sheet. (That’s tear (rhymes with hair) as in a page torn out of a magazine and not tear (rhymes with beer) as in weeping – although you may resort to tears when all you get back for your hard work is a tear sheet!)

We all like to think that our work is worth some financial reward but, for the budding writer trying to breakthrough into print, the joy and satisfaction of being published may, in the early days, have to be remuneration enough.
But once you have jumped this hurdle and your work has seen the light of print, you have your foot on the first step of the ladder.


About the author: Today I can claim to be a multi-published author. But I started writing 20 years ago and it was 10 years before my first novel was accepted for publication. Initially, I wrote letters to the editor, short newspaper articles and submitted pieces of interest to targeted magazines. Eventually I was invited to write regular feature articles for a livestock magazine.

In the early days, the remuneration I received was either non-existence or negligible. My first payment for a freelance article was $80.00. My last newspaper article (in 2005) was with a prestigious Australian broadsheet. I was paid $800 which was more than the advance I got on my first book.

 Pics: 3x  Bigstockphotos, Bushranger x M. Muir 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Advice on following submission guidelines – 1) Poetry

Would you send a poem about circumcision and vasectomy to a competition inviting submissions from poems “addressing the beauty of the English language”?
Of course not - however, it appears not everyone reads the submission guidelines.

Whether you are submitting a full manuscript to a publisher, an article to a magazine or a poem or short story to a competition, the most important thing is to read the rules carefully and follow them to the letter.

 Some years ago, I won a prize in a poetry competition, not because of the eloquence of my poetry but because there were only four entries that fulfilled the requirements.

So what was the problem?
The competition was called: The Penis Poetry Prize.
A vulgar title, you may say – and the title alone misled most writers and they ignored the rest.

Please read on.
The poetry competition was set up in protest against a previously run poetry competition titled The Vagina Monologues which had attracted over 1000 entries.

The response to The Penis Poetry Prize was dismal.

Of the fifteen entries received, only four (including my own) correctly addressed the subject matter which had specified – a protest poem against the debasement of the English language and the near pornographic dialogue of The Vagina Monologues.

The judges wanted “poems emphasizing the beauty of the English language”.

Eleven of the fifteen entries completely ignored the guidelines and were returned to the writers.
According to a press release, one poem discussed circumcision and vasectomy while “two others sang rather crude praise to Viagra.”
In fact “one entrant attached a memo to the effect that, in the event of his winning, he would decline the award as he already had a prize penis of his own”.

You may laugh.
But on a serious note much can be learned from this.

1)     Never feel there is no point in submitting an entry because the number of competitors  may be too great. Who’s to know how many entries will be received? Remember – you have to be in it to win it!
2)     If you don’t read the guideline correctly and address the subject matter as required, you are wasting both your own time and that of the competition organizers.
3)     By not following the guidelines you may succeed in one thing only – making a laughing-stock of yourself.   

A poem that won a prize because no one bothered to read the guidelines:

the wordsmith

words from the Bard’s anvil
thrum resonance
the rhythmic stroke of  every hammer fall
pounding the brain
with image and experience           
as smithy’s furnace gasps
for bellows’ breath of inspiration

worker of words
honed on the whetstone of life
tempers reality
remoulds the dark crystals
with burning fervour
forging the fluid
lines of dialogue
fired with passion

Poetic Alchemist
your gilded words
reflect the hidden secrets of the stone


Nautical fiction - not just for male readers - A review of "The Unfortunate Isles"

A five-star Amazon review from a female reader

Nautical fiction with universal appeal
Women, especially those of a certain age, do not usually read nautical fiction. I hadn't, that is until the gallant Captain Oliver Quintrell came into my life. I am now totally captivated and voraciously devoured M C Muir's latest offering, The Unfortunate Isles, having waited all year for it to be published. Can't wait for the next one to appear!

Why? Will the enigmatic but ever-resourceful Captain and his crew, some of whom we have come to know in previous books, manage to overcome each challenge as they follow orders? There is a feeling of suspense and the mind is continually engaged questioning the underlying intricacies of the plot. We know that, although the sea is calm, just over the horizon trouble is brewing.

This book is beautifully written - you are there on the ship, witnessing storms, danger, the treachery and magnificence of far-away seas, the striking beauty of the skies above them and the mystery of distant lands. It's called escapism! Forget the mundanities of everyday existence. This is not a book you will want to put down once you start reading!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Unfortunate Isles - A reader review

Upon the opening of M. C. Muir's latest work The Unfortunate Isles, it is satisfying to find the storyline swims neatly back into place, following directly on from the previous story, Admiralty Orders. The acerbic Captain Oliver Quintrell, a man bound to British Naval life and unwavering in his duty, and the Perpetual's crew have been cooling their heels far too long in the mild waters off Gibraltar.

The captain is under orders, to sail on to the infant colony of Van Diemen's Land, in Nouvelle
Hollande, in the Southern Hemisphere. Gibraltar has been disastrous in so many ways and a burst of the open sea is just what he and his crew need to shrug of the languor brought about by circumstances beyond anyone's control. Death and disease does not have a master.

Perpetual is handicapped. Too much time spent in warm waters has allowed vigorous growth of weed and barnacle to slow down the frigate's gait. But there is more. A secret has been kept from the captain. What will he do when a discovery is made? What further misfortune will the opening of this Pandora's-box bring? Will the black dog linger, or will the captain's morose mood lift?

Careening Perpetual on an isolated shore brings more danger, misfortune - and horror - to the ship and its crew than anyone could imagine.

The chapters flow, with cliff-hanger after cliff-hanger. How will the dastardly Captain Fredrik van Zetten be brought to justice? Oliver had him dancing at the end of a sword once, but perhaps upon reflection the act-of-a-gentleman was not so appropriate. So who would bring this slippery scoundrel undone! Is he brought to ustice? There is mayhem aplenty, with blood and gore spilling freely out onto the decks as men fight for their King and their country; for honour - and for their lives.

It was pleasing to find aspects of earlier stories were brought full-circle, drawing on recollections of previous episodes that have remained unanswered until now. The fate of those aboard the Adelina, for example, when Captain Quintrell and his then ship, Elusive, fell upon her and her ghastly cargo languishing in an obscure waterway in The Tainted Prize. There are references back to the earlier Floating Gold, references that are familiar to those who have been following the series along from the outset. 

Some of the old characters remain. There are surprising losses, and the reader holds out for the recovery of a mainstay character who is in dire straits. New ones have been brought aboard and some of their stories are yet to unfold.

The author draws the reader deep into the heart of each scene, with consistent attention to the
finest detail, from the aromas, sights and sounds in the land and sea settings, to the set of the sails, the lay of the ropes, the twists of the knots, the boom of the cannon on the vessels encountered on the high sea. No description is taboo.

The Unfortunate Isles is the fourth in the Under Admiralty Orders - The Oliver Quintrell Series, following on from Floating Gold; The Tainted Prize; and Admiralty Orders. At its conclusion the reader's appetite is whetted for more.

Rose Frankcombe

Monday, January 05, 2015

PIRATES - Enemies of humanity (hostis humani generis) become romantic heroes

Unfortunately, since the advent of the swashbuckling movies of the 40s and 50s, and the more recent Pirates of the Caribbean series, the image of pirates, which people hold in their minds, is completely skewed. Even more concerning is that re-enactment groups reinforce these romanticized conceptions with children.
Today, when a tall-masted ship appears on the horizon, it is not uncommon for a well-meaning parent to point and say, ‘Oh, look! There goes a pirate ship.’

This misconception shows little regard for the unfortunate victims who have suffered from pirate attack in the past and for those who will suffer in the future.

Whether you refer to today’s pirates as hijackers or terrorists, it matters little, the acts of boarding and seizing a ship, of extortion, murder, sabotage at sea and shipwrecking, constitute piracy under customary international law.

History of Piracy

The recorded history of piracy stretches back for millennia. In ancient Roman times, pirates were regarded as renegades waging their own private war against both individuals and nations. Motivated by their own needs, they showed no allegiance to any flag.
Pirates were active in the Mediterranean in the 12th century. When returning from the Crusades in the Holy Land, King Richard’s ship was blown off course and became separated from the rest of the fleet. Before being shipwrecked on the shores of the Adriatic Sea, his ship was set upon by pirates. 
The pirates of the Barbary Coast preyed on shipping not only in the Mediterranean Sea and on the west coast of Africa but reputedly, they sailed as far north as Iceland.

Following the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the United States entered into peace treaties with the Barbary States paying dearly for protection from attack. In 1800 ransom and tribute amounted to 20% of the US government’s annual expenditure.
But it was not the Barbary Coast that was most plagued with pirates at that time – it was the Caribbean Sea. Here, the heyday of piracy was from 1650 until the mid-1720s. This coincided with the time France, England and the United Provinces were establishing their colonies. Along with the flow of migrants and African slaves, investors, planters, money and manufactured goods arrived from England in ships laden with valuable goods which were easy pickings for the pirates of the West Indies. Nor did those same ships depart empty but left with hulls bulging with previous metals, rum, sugar or tobacco.
Also during the 17th and 18th centuries there were almost 1,000 pirates located at Île Sainte-Marie in Madagascar. From this convenient location, pirates laid in wait for ships returning from the East Indies laden with cargoes of exotic goods.

By the end of the century, Britain’s commercial trade and its growing maritime economy was being damaged by seafaring raiders.
From 1698, with the passing of the Piracy Act, pirates were no longer shipped to Britain for trial, but could be tried and judged in any place at sea, or on land by a hastily convened court-martial or admiralty court. In extreme circumstances, a ‘drumhead court-martial’ was convened by the officers of the capturing ship. Those found guilty were immediately hung from the ship’s yard-arm. Following the introduction of the Act, about 600 of the 6000 pirates operating in the Caribbean were executed.

According to mare librum – the sea is common property. It belongs to all humanity and all ships have the right of sail over it. As such, its perils are shared in by mariners of all nations. The Law of the Sea is an umbrella of amity and reciprocity among seafarers. In the event of a ship being in distress, it is the obligation of ships of any nation to render assistance.
Because piracy is regarded as a crime against all nations, the perpetrators hold the peculiar status of being hostis humani generis, the enemies of humanity. The term "hostis humani generis" has been expanded to include slavers, who, by trafficking in human flesh upon the high seas, are regarded as being enemies of mankind.

Privateering, on the other hand, is not considered piracy but licenced warfare sanctioned by a letter of marque, against a particular national enemy. Under the condition of the agreement, privateers were permitted to legally seize enemy ships without committing a crime against international law. Over the centuries, a fine line has often existed separating privateers from pirates.

Punishments for piracy

In the medieval period, English admiralty courts sentenced pirates to be drawn and quartered. During the 17th and 18th centuries, once pirates were caught, justice was meted out in a summary fashion, and many ended their lives by "dancing the hempen jig". Public execution attracted huge crowds and were seen as a popular, albeit sadistic, form of entertainment.

Execution Dock, on the bank of the Thames, was a popular venue. As in the case of William "Captain" Kidd, after being hung, the body was enclosed in an iron cage and left dangling in a prominent position to rot. It served to remind others of the penalty for piracy.

While the age-old law of the sea and admiralty laws were directed against pirates and their activities, the pirates themselves followed their own code and meted out justice for disloyalty, treachery and other minor misdemeanours aboard their own ship. The punishments suffered were often more brutal than the justice handed down by the courts. Keelhauling or abandonment on an inhospitable island were two options. 

Pirates' Loot – past and present

From fiction stories, such as Stevenson’s Treasure Island, the images of pirates stealing hordes of treasure in the form of plate or gold coins and burying it on an island is largely a myth. Though plundered ships carried valuable treasure, pirates were unlikely to bury it but would use it to barter for more practical goods. Also, because they were feared and outlawed, pirate ships were not welcome in major ports, victualling yards and naval dockyards or at chandler’s stores. As such, they had to steal the goods they required both to satisfy their daily needs and to keep their ships seaworthy. Their loot, therefore often comprised of basic food, water, alcohol and weapons. They also stole personal necessities like soap and clothing, and ship’s gear like rope, spars and anchors.”

Modern-day pirates

According to International Maritime Bureau the waters around Indonesia continue to be the world’s most dangerous, with 19 pirate attacks in the first three months of 2010. Strait of Malacca is most heavily trafficked strait in the world and is a popular stretch of water that gangs of pirates target. In 2010, two ships carrying United Nations food aid to Aceh, the Indonesian area still suffering the ill-effects of the December 2004 tsunami, were attacked.

Being armed and dangerous, the demands of modern pirates are not limited to stealing the large cash amounts carried by ships to pay for expensive port fees. Sometimes their demands involve extortion, murder and sabotage, including the taking of hostages.  

Today’s many instances of pirate attack are reported from Somalia, the Malacca Strait, the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea, India, Bangladesh, the Singapore Strait, the Ivory Coast, and from the Niger Delta and Peru.

To a lesser extent, there are the questionable activities of such groups as the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Funded by public donations, the ships of this environmental group blatantly sail under a black flag today with an image resembling the iconic skull and crossbones.

The society professes to be to be against marine poaching and overfishing and claims to be saving the maritime environment, yet its tactic are tantamount to piracy. By deliberately ramming other ships, putting lives at risk and on two occasions boarding a Japanese whaling vessel, Sea Shepherd’s actions have resulted in it being accused of piracy and terrorism.

Finally, an event that will always stay in my mind is one of the most tragic, gutless and unforgettable acts of modern day piracy. It occurred in 1985 when the cruise liner Achille Lauro in 1985 fell into the hands of member of the Palestine Liberation Front. Not only was the ship seized at gunpoint, and demands made, but a wheelchair-bound tourist was shot and his body thrown overboard. This was certainly not a Yo-ho-ho! situation.
The fiction story, The Unfortunate Isles, features a pirate. He is certainly no Jack Sparrow but a cruel and sadistic seafarer who eventually gets his due deserts.  
The Unfortunate Isles is available as an e-book from Amazon US ( and UK (

Refs: Wikipedia
Pics: Pirates of the Caribbean – Johnny Depp, Captain Kidd at Execution Dock, the Sea Shepherd and its flag, and the Achille Lauro at Capetown Photograph: © Errol Cornish.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Presidente Sarmiento – Argentina’s remarkable museum ship

Powered by both wind and steam, Presidente Sarmiento was never intended to be a fighting ship. She was commissioned specifically as a sea-going sail training ship for the Argentine Navy in 1897.

During her service life, ARA (Armada de la República Argentina) Fragata (frigate) Presidente Sarmiento made thirty seven annual training cruises including six circumnavigations of the globe. Her career as a seagoing training ship lasted until 1938 by which time she had logged 1.1 million nautical miles.

From 1938 to 1961 she served as a stationary training ship, after which time she was preserved as a historic vessel and, today, is a tourist attraction in Buenos Aires. As a museum, the ship is open to the public at a very nominal cost. She can be found at Dock III of Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires, within walking distance of the city’s centre.

Built by Laird Brothers in Birkenhead, England, the Presidente Sarmiento was launched in 1897 to serve as a seagoing and harbour-based training vessel for Argentinian naval cadets. Over 1500 officer were trained on this ship.

She was named after Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, the seventh President of Argentina and founder of the Argentine Naval Academy. She is the last intact cruising training ship from the 1890s. The figure head on the bowsprit, which was added later, represents the Argentine Republic.

Presidente Sarmiento has three masts and in her sailing days carried up to thirty-five sail. The three-wheeled chain driven Helm controlled the rudder and was manned by six seamen, if necessary.

In addition to its sailing rig, this ship is equipped with a 3-cylinder triple expansion steam engine producing 1,000 hp (750 kW). Two coal-fired boilers provide the steam. These emit their exhaust through the rear stack. An additional auxiliary boiler exhausts through the forward stack. This provides power other than for propulsion, including two electrical generators. A large coal bunker is positioned between the main and auxiliary boiler rooms.

Presidente Sarmiento was capable of making 13 knots but it took a crew of 90 men to manoeuvre her. As a training ship, she carried over 300 cadets. In order to accommodate the large number of trainees, the deck was modified with both the poop and forecastle being extended.

Since retirement in 1961, the interior of the ship has been well-preserved. For today’s visitors it offers a genuine insight into life at sea. Numerous glass cabinets display original artifacts such as flags, maps, compasses and personal items such as shaving equipment. A series of old photographs tell the story of the ship, the naval cadets who trained on her and the former captains who commanded her.

The beautifully restored cabins include luxuriously appointed officers' quarters that feature parquet floors, wood panelling, and leather armchairs. These are in stark contrast to the confined quarters where the cadets slung their hammocks.

Thought the frigate was an armed training vessel, all her voyages were peaceful. She was equipped with four five-inch mounts amidships, two on each side and additional smaller weapons. A single torpedo scuttle using gravity expulsion exited at the bow. The scuttle has been removed and the exit port welded shut but visitors to the ship will find a torpedo on the main deck poised to enter the former scuttle entrance.

Presidente Sarmiento has a displacement of 2,750 metric tonnes. She is 81 m (266 ft) in length with a beam of 13.11 m (43 ft) and draught of 5.64 m (18.5 ft).

While the hull is steel, it was covered with a layer of teak. The lower part of the hull is sheathed in copper plates.

It is ten years since I stepped aboard the Presidente Sarmiento. It was a vessel that inspired me when I just beginning my love affair with historic ships. If you are ever in Buenos Aires, I would thoroughly recommend a visit.

Pics include:
Ship draped in bunting in 1902 only a few years after being launched in 1898.
Artistic Portrait of ARA Presidente Sarmiento by Allan E. O'Mill
Frigate Presidente Sarmiento on the 1000 peso Moneda Nacional 1964
Frigate at East Circular Quay in Sydney in July 1928 (It visited Sydney in 1901, 1906 and 1928. Australian National Maritime Museum’s Samuel J. Hood Studio collection)
Author at the helm.

Full list of pics and sources supplied if requested.