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    Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    9 Posts · 7 Followers · 117 Photos · 76 Likes
    Began 11 months ago by
    Midshipman
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    Latest Post 4 months ago by
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    📝 Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    4 months ago by 🇺🇸 EdH ( Midshipman)
    ✧ 25 Views · 10 Likes · 4 Comments
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    Spent Saturday morning and afternoon in the Whaler with my 14 year old grandson, giving the model I built for him, Blue Moppie, her first two runs. To my relief she performed flawlessly, with no bad habits in the turns, even at ridiculously high scale speeds (250mph?). I think this is a huge tribute to the hull of the famous original ground breaking machine. The last picture is the original Blue Moppie. The 3100KV motor gave plenty of speed even with a 3 cell LiPo. It supposedly can handle a 4 cell. The prop is a three blade Octura, 1.57" x 1.88" total pitch. The very end of the second video shows her flattened out at full speed, while in the third video the transmitter is set to 50% power giving more realistic speeds (I like this feature). My grandson seemed to handle her ok and she went home with him. It was a beautiful day, although a bit windy, but we managed to find a couple of sheltered coves in the Sheepscott Estuary. We both had a good day!

    💬 Re: Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    4 months ago by 🇳🇿 jbkiwi ( Fleet Admiral)
    ✧ 24 Views · 2 Likes
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    Looks brilliant Ed, love the jump shot, just like the real thing👍👍 Runs perfectly !

    JB
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    💬 Re: Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    4 months ago by 🇧🇪 hermank ( Lieutenant)
    ✧ 28 Views · 3 Likes
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    Lucky you sailing with your grand son.you must be a great granddad and happy ofcourse
    💬 Re: Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    4 months ago by 🇺🇸 EdH ( Midshipman)
    ✧ 24 Views · 4 Likes
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    Thanks Bill. I’m not sure if my grandson will ever get into building models but he enjoys driving them! We live on the Maine coast so my models have to run in salt water. No problem as long as they are washed down right away and any cooling lines flushed out. I also spray WD 40 through the cooling system if they aren’t going to be used again right away.
    💬 Re: Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    4 months ago by 🇬🇧 Scratchbuilder ( Rear Admiral)
    ✧ 32 Views · 2 Likes
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    Ed.
    Great build and good to see on the lake.
    Also lifts my heart to see the next generation,ie your Grandson taking part in our hobby.
    Regards
    Bill 👍
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    📝 Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    8 months ago by 🇺🇸 EdH ( Midshipman)
    ✧ 34 Views · 7 Likes
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    The figures for ‘Blue Moppie’ are done. The moulding of the clay originals went smoothly. I made clay casings, suspended the figures, filled them with silicone, broke the casings, then the clay figures to get them out of the silicone. The arms were cast separately. Next came making the figures in resin. I was prepared to rotate the moulds as the resin dried, making a hollow figure to save weight, but to my surprise the resin turned out to be light. A bonus, as these figures stand high up on the model, but when I started to sand areas of the face, the surface tended to crumble and expose a honeycomb, which explained the lack of weight. I had to use wood filler to get these areas reasonably smooth. As I started painting I realized the result would have been far better if I had simply fired the clay figures and painted them, but I still feel the resin will stand up better to the inevitable knocks the figures will get. I chose this resin as it was one that advertised it could be painted, but I wouldn’t use it again. I had originally tried to find pictures of Sam Griffith, who drove her, both at Cowes and when she so convincingly broke the record from Miami to New York in 1961, to get a likeness, but with all the finishing problems, I’m glad I didn't. I can't imagine driving this open boat for that distance in open ocean, with no electronics, just a chart, a compass and dead reckoning. The figures are glued and screwed to the cockpit and the hands epoxied to the rail/steering wheel. In the water test, she floated upright and exactly on her waterline, so the lead shot I use to make these fine changes wasn’t needed! The power this thing has is incredible! While I had the bathtub full, I also tested Maid Rosalind and she was also right on the money.

    📝 Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    8 months ago by 🇺🇸 EdH ( Midshipman)
    ✧ 47 Views · 8 Likes
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    The electronics are in on ‘Blue Moppie’. The control switches can't be on the lift off cabin top, as the two parts would have to have a wire running between them! The only option was the narrow aft deck. I always try to hide the control switches and this time I put them under a hinged exhaust vent. The real boat didn't have one, but it doesn't look too out of place. The switch turns on the speed control, fan and the radio, but because there is still a slow drain even when the switch is off, I added a ‘key’ plug, which when removed, disconnects the battery completely. LiPo batteries can of course get unstable if their voltage gets too low, so this avoids running the battery down, or worse, if the model is left for longer periods with it still connected. The only time he will have to take the cabin top off would be to recharge the battery. The figures are missing as I have started casting them, which is something I’ve never done before, but it seems to be going ok. For those that are interested, the motor is a fan cooled 3100 KV brushless, powered by an 11.1 v LiPo, via an 80 amp ESC. Because this motor spins so fast (35,000 no load rpm), I used a relatively small diameter prop, with a steep pitch. 1.57” x 1.88”.

    📝 Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    9 months ago by 🇺🇸 EdH ( Midshipman)
    ✧ 72 Views · 7 Likes · 3 Comments
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    My grandson got to see 'Blue Moppie' at Christmas, although he had to give it back for me to install electronics and cast those figures in resin. There will be a slight pause, as I am revamping a model schooner to give to a non profit.

    💬 Re: Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    9 months ago by 🇬🇧 Colin H ( Fleet Admiral)
    ✧ 67 Views · 3 Likes
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    Ed, my grandson always worries about the knocks his boat gets but I tell hims that's life, but we can fix it together, that way he is learning valuable skills that will last him for years after I've gone.

    Cheers Colin.
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    💬 Re: Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    9 months ago by 🇺🇸 EdH ( Midshipman)
    ✧ 66 Views · 3 Likes
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    Colin H, he was indeed smiling! For me, the pleasure is in the building and I hope he enjoys really using it the way he wants to, rather than keeping it on a shelf. Damage is bound to happen, but if he brings enough pieces back, I've told him I can rebuild it!
    💬 Re: Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    9 months ago by 🇬🇧 Colin H ( Fleet Admiral)
    ✧ 79 Views · 3 Likes
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    The smile says it all. (YOUR THE GREATEST. )
    Lucky lad, at least he's joining an elite club and maybe one day he'll build his own.. cheers Colin.
    📝 Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    9 months ago by 🇺🇸 EdH ( Midshipman)
    ✧ 101 Views · 12 Likes · 2 Comments
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    Blue Moppie is not finished but far enough along to be shown to my grandson this Christmas. The figures are roughed out in clay. I left the hands and arms oversized and rough to allow some wiggle room when positioning them. After Christmas I will make a silicon mold to produce them in resin.
    I finished the stand and hand painted the name. It would have been technically better to have a company take my chosen font and produce perfect stick on letters, but I get a kick out of doing as much as I can from scratch.
    Another grandson has always said a powerful boat should have huge exhausts and I probably went overboard with these, made from a plastic insert and Bass wood. The actual boat had smaller exhausts but four of them!
    I still have some electronics to add. The only place for the ESC switch and a disconnect plug seems to be on the aft deck, covered by some kind of hatch.
    I have never made a resin mould. As I am molding clay, it seems I have to use a tin based silicon rather than the more popular platinum based. There are many undercuts, so I will use strength three, which produces a very flexible mold. Even so I will probably have to break the clay to get it out. No problem as this is a one time effort! The flexible mold produces some inaccuracies, which is why I didn't finish the hands or arms, because they will need to be altered to line up with the rail and steering wheel.
    This is the first model I have kept track of hours and expenses. So far 198 hours, which is why I never build models to sell! All mine have gone to children or charity (Carpenter's Boat Shop). The cost of materials (wood, paint etc) was reasonable at $90.20, but the electronics, propulsion and steering will be several times that. The materials don't include the silicone or resin I will be getting.
    Getting close!

    💬 Re: Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    9 months ago by 🇬🇧 mturpin013 ( Vice Admiral)
    ✧ 91 Views · 4 Likes
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    A great blog with good detail, its this type of blog that gives others inspiration
    💬 Re: Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    9 months ago by 🇳🇿 jbkiwi ( Fleet Admiral)
    ✧ 98 Views · 3 Likes
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    Great bit of sculpting ED, they'll look great when done.

    JB
    📝 Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    10 months ago by 🇺🇸 EdH ( Midshipman)
    ✧ 108 Views · 8 Likes · 2 Comments
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    Painting is finished. My grandson probably wouldn't have chosen these colors but this was Blue Moppie’s color scheme. Pale blue and lots of shiny white fiberglass. I find it far more interesting to make scratch built models of actual boats, trying to get them accurate. I have had to make some concessions. I couldn't have spaces that would fill with spray, so covered the center cockpit with a tarpaulin and blocked off the aft cockpit, painting it black. I did see a rolled up cover in one photograph, so it did exist, but she always raced with it open. My cover came from the base of a grocery wine carrier bag (I glued the edges on instead of sewing them!). This fabric was glued (contact cement) to a solid piece of Bass wood, sculpted to make the hills and valleys of blowing canvas. The valleys were also painted slightly darker. To make it more obviously a cover, I added lacing, pushing the brass pins in with a framing tool.
    The blue paint on the hull had to be recoated within the hour and as I only had a couple of 2” stick on numbers, I stuck them on one side, painted that side, peeled them off after 55 minutes to reveal the white, then stuck them on the other side and painted again. I need not have bothered as I ended up repainting the white eights by hand! I tried 7 stores for more 2” numbers, but had to settle for 3” numbers on the cabin top. They are the same size on the real boat. Painted the knob on the bolt that holds the cabin top down. Don’t know what it could represent, but it kind of looks ok. The whole cabin top fits tightly, so I think it will survive a drowning! Building the top slightly flatter than the deck really worked, as tightening the screw puts a lot of pressure on the ends.
    Now that painting is done, I could put the motor and all the mechanics back in the boat.
    I took the boat as is to a meeting of a local modeling group I belong to. It got good reviews, which is encouraging as some of these members produce some truly exquisite museum standard work.
    I’m currently working on the base and the two standing figures in the aft cockpit. Being so large and so visible, I think the driver and navigator will make or break this model. I normally make figures in fired clay, but unlike my others, these are very exposed, both to spray and occasional bumps. I therefore plan to make a mould from the clay figures and cast them in resin. I have no experience with this, so it could be interesting!

    💬 Re: Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    9 months ago by 🇳🇿 jbkiwi ( Fleet Admiral)
    ✧ 97 Views · 1 Like
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    Excellent job Ed, really looking the part.

    JB
    💬 Re: Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    10 months ago by 🇺🇸 pressonreguardless ( Commodore)
    ✧ 110 Views · 1 Like
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    Looks Great! Ed👍👍
    Trev
    📝 Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    10 months ago by 🇺🇸 EdH ( Midshipman)
    ✧ 116 Views · 7 Likes
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    My grandson’s ‘Blue Moppie’ is progressing. The toe rail and rub rail were added to the hull (some interesting bending challenges), but most work was on the superstructure. As in past models, I wanted the whole thing to come off in one piece, but knowing how this model will be driven, the seal has to be perfect. The cabin side and coaming was a three piece laminate to fit over the the raised edge around the opening and because the locking device would be in the center, the whole superstructure was built very slightly flatter than the deck, so when dogged down there is a lot of pressure all around the seal. The fitting I used has a tapered entry so is easy to line up when replacing the top. The fit is tight, so because the real Moppie has a rail in front of the driver, I made it strong enough to pull on. I bent a piece of solid brass rod and threaded the ends, so it bolts to the plywood base. It would be nice to also have another handhold in the front, but I can't think of anything that looks like it would belong. Suggestions? The knob used to lock the superstructure down will be black and hopefully look like an RDF or compass in the wrong place? Because any cockpit will fill with spray, I am putting a a tarpaulin over the center cockpit (one photograph shows one rolled up) and the driving cockpit will have to be a black pit. The crew will have to be cut off at the knees. The top half of the steering wheel is in. As before, the last picture is the real ‘Blue Moppie’.

    📝 Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    10 months ago by 🇺🇸 EdH ( Midshipman)
    ✧ 127 Views · 7 Likes · 2 Comments
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    Work continues on my grandson’s scratch built ‘Blue Moppie’. The motor, shaft, rudder etc were removed and short pieces of shaft were put in all the openings as dust shields. Because of the extreme curves, the chine and toe rail were laminated. The topsides and hull were a challenge as the sheet of 1/16” Bass not only had to curve top to bottom, but also bend sharply towards the bow, something a flat sheet of wood does not want to do! The thin Bass would split if I used individual clamps, so I made a jig to hold the frames securely, then bent two lengths of 3/8” x 3/8” fir across the frames, clamped to the jig. This way the load was spread out. It took a lot of pressure to bend the fir this sharply, but nothing split and the frames held together. With the hull flare, the toe rail did not come to a point at the bow, but was one continuous curve at deck level. Even using three thin laminates of 1/16 x 1/4 it was a stretch. Blue Moppie actually had more of a point than the Black Watch 30 I had the line drawings for, so I could have saved myself some trouble. Many people modeling this type of highly flared bow use a solid piece carved and sanded to shape, but I wanted to try to bring the sheet all the way to the stem and still keep the curves. Next I put the lift rails on the hull, which of course was what helped the early Ray Hunt designs do so well offshore. I used 1/8" x 1/8” Bass, which again involved some hefty bending. The later Ray Hunt designs had less of a curve at the bow, which again would have easier. Once firmly attached, they were sanded to their triangular cross section. Much more sanding to do, but the hull is taking shape. I included a picture of the real Blue Moppie as a reminder.

    💬 Re: Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    10 months ago by 🇺🇸 EdH ( Midshipman)
    ✧ 125 Views · 1 Like
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    Chris, the flare was indeed a challenge. In the first third of the hull, the bulkheads are 1 1/4" apart and the remainder are 2 1/2", plus each bulkhead is 1/8" thick. This was not a problem as I'm not doing the interior and it did make following the curves a lot more accurate.

    I did a dry run for each sheet, clamping the fir strips as hard as I dared, then leaving them overnight with wet paper towel over both the strips and sheet. Next day I cinched them all the way in and again left them all day, soaking. When I eventually glued them, they had taken on a shape, but still required a lot of pressure.

    I normally fiberglass my hulls, but I'm trying to keep the weight down as my grandson wants something really fast. It weighs very little, which will restrict it to flat calm days, but it should fly, hopefully in a straight line. My Black Watch 30 model, which has the same lines, is a heavy boat with lots of twin engine power (picture), but is absolutely controllable at way over scale speed, so the hull is proven. I put some power into the RAF Crash Tender and this gets unstable with too much throttle, at much lower speeds than the BW30. I've heard the same with models of older hull designs like the tenders and PT boats
    💬 Re: Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    10 months ago by 🇬🇧 ChrisF ( Sub-Lieutenant)
    ✧ 133 Views · 2 Likes
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    Could be one of my Fairey hulls! Which do of course have links.

    I know what you mean about the flare, had a right game with my Huntsman 31. Used thin birch ply and had to slit it and fill with P38 to get a smooth curve. If doing again would use more formers like you have.

    Your build is coming along well and looks great.

    Chris
    📝 Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    11 months ago by 🇺🇸 EdH ( Midshipman)
    ✧ 173 Views · 10 Likes · 14 Comments
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    I’ve started the model my youngest grandson asked for. He wanted something similar to my 30” Huntress model (green boat pic) but he felt there was no need to go into this detail. For me it's more interesting to build an actual boat, so I had the idea of building the famous Bertram ‘Blue Moppie’, which with all her racing success, put designer Ray Hunt’s Deep V hull firmly on the map and radically changed powerboat design. She had a Bertram 31 hull which is almost identical to ‘Huntresses' Ray Hunt Deep V, for which I still had the line drawings, so it was a no brainer. If I put a tarpaulin over the center cockpit, the whole boat is essentially almost flush decked, with no places for water to collect. I will have to think up two figures in the back! As usual I put the whole drive train in before even adding bulkheads, as I find it so much easier to get the shaft straight and the motor accurately lined up. The keel is two halves, with routered groves in each side to take the shaft and rudder casings. By loosening the four motor mount screws, everything except the shaft casing can be removed during the build, but it's easy to re-install, with everything already lined up, once painting etc is done. My grandson wants this to blow every other boat out of the water, so instead of fiberglassing the hull as normal, I’m painting the wood directly to save weight. He’s going to have to understand that any accidents will cause quite a bit of damage, but I guess that if I built it, I can rebuild it, at least if I have some parts salvaged!

    💬 Re: Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    11 months ago by 🇳🇿 jbkiwi ( Fleet Admiral)
    ✧ 134 Views · 1 Like
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    I watched your build, very nice job

    JB
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    💬 Re: Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    11 months ago by 🇬🇧 Madwelshman ( Midshipman)
    ✧ 140 Views · 1 Like
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    If you send me a private message with your email address, I will see if I can find the plan that I have and send it to you.

    Will
    💬 Re: Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    11 months ago by 🇺🇸 pressonreguardless ( Commodore)
    ✧ 134 Views · 1 Like
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    Great Video Ed!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Trev
    💬 Re: Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    11 months ago by 🇺🇸 EdH ( Midshipman)
    ✧ 140 Views · 1 Like
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    Madwelshman, I only currently have rather blurred photographs of Blue Moppie's superstructure, so there may be a bit of ‘interpretation’. The hull is fine as I’ve got accurate line drawings of the Black Watch, which is so similar. If anyone has drawings or an aerial shot from roughly above they would be appreciated!
    💬 Re: Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    11 months ago by 🇺🇸 EdH ( Midshipman)
    ✧ 140 Views · 1 Like
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    ChrisF, I would use this method again, especially for difficult curves. I essentially built the boat from the inside out, so no foam was visible when the cabin top was removed. You have to paint the foam when sanded to avoid issues with the resin
    💬 Re: Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    11 months ago by 🇬🇧 Madwelshman ( Midshipman)
    ✧ 146 Views · 1 Like
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    The Moppie boats are quite famous in the offshore world aren't they.
    Great to see a slightly more unusual boat/lesser seen boat being built.
    I think I have plans, including top sides for 'Brave Moppie'.
    There were 5 versions of boat all sharing the same hull, just with different superstructure, Huntress and Brave Moppie being two of them.

    Will be following the build with interest.

    Will
    💬 Re: Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    11 months ago by 🇬🇧 ChrisF ( Sub-Lieutenant)
    ✧ 145 Views · 1 Like
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    I've seen foam blocks being used but not spray foam. But you've made it work well and ended up with a nice model. With inbuilt buoyancy as well!
    💬 Re: Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    11 months ago by 🇺🇸 EdH ( Midshipman)
    ✧ 144 Views · 2 Likes
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    The bow is very similar in the two boats and not easy to replicate with full sheets of wood, even with many bulkheads and 1/16" Bass. The next post will show the result!
    I used a totally different method on 'Huntress', the sister ship model. I sprayed expanding foam between the bulkheads, sanded it to shape, then fiberglassed the whole thing, using very fine cloth. No problem with curves this way!
    Incidentally in the real boat the extreme flair really works. I have been caught in some heavy seas off the Maine Coast and the flair just powers the waves aside.
    💬 Re: Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    11 months ago by 🇬🇧 ChrisF ( Sub-Lieutenant)
    ✧ 147 Views · 3 Likes
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    It has got some curves hasn't it! I used some thin ply in the bow area of my Huntsman 31 which has pronounced flare. I still had to slit the ply and use some P38 filler to get a smooth curve. I haven't got as many formers as you have though and if building the hull again would add more.

    Interesting history about your Black Watch 30 and it's links with Fairey. I'm building 5 at the moment and 2 more in the pipeline.

    Thanks for the link to the Cowes-Torquay race. I've watched the 1969 Round Britain a few times and picked up a copy of the original book.
    💬 Re: Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    11 months ago by 🇺🇸 EdH ( Midshipman)
    ✧ 151 Views · 2 Likes
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    Thanks ChrisF. The frames are all Bass wood so everything is still very light. The hull will be 1/16" as there are some horrendous curves, but I'm hoping with all those bulkheads and the many lift strakes running the full length, that this hull has, it will be strong enough.
    My Huntress is a 1" to 1' model of our Black Watch 30, built in 1989 by Ted Hood at Little Harbor. It was designed by Ray Hunt, who of course had a hand in designing the original Fairey boats. The Bertram 31 hull, which he did later and was so revolutionary in the industry, is the same deep V, but is somewhat different. The Black Watch has very similar lines to the Bertram 31, so although I'm cheating a bit, it's very close. I got the line drawings from Ted Hood's biography.
    I've had a lot of fun looking at clips from the 1962 Cowes to Torquay powerboat race which I remember following as a kid.

    💬 Re: Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    11 months ago by 🇬🇧 ChrisF ( Sub-Lieutenant)
    ✧ 157 Views · 1 Like
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    Yep, I like to build some unusual models as well as the more common ones and yours is interesting.

    I don't think you need worry about saving weight by not glassing the hull when you have all those bulkheads/frames!

    Your Huntress is interesting as well. Was it adapted from the Fairey design?

    Chris
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    💬 Re: Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    11 months ago by 🇺🇸 pressonreguardless ( Commodore)
    ✧ 155 Views · 1 Like
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    Great Looking Build, Looking forward to your progress, Ed
    Trev
    💬 Re: Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    11 months ago by 🇺🇸 EdH ( Midshipman)
    ✧ 156 Views · 2 Likes
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    Thanks jbkiwi. I try to do unusual scratch projects. The last one was 'Maid Rosalind', a 40" model of a Thames cruiser, a Windboats Fairwind built in the 1940s. I did a blog on it.
    💬 Re: Scratch Built 31" 'Blue Moppie'
    11 months ago by 🇳🇿 jbkiwi ( Fleet Admiral)
    ✧ 171 Views · 1 Like
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    Interesting project Ed, nice to see something unusual being built, interested to see how it turns out.

    JB


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