|||
Current Website Support
71
Contributors
24
Subscribers
You are Not Registered
Donate for your silver medal πŸ…
Β£10
Β£15
Β£25
Β£50
Subscribe for your gold medal πŸ…
Β£1
Β£3
Β£5
Β£10
You Will Be Helping Towards:

  • Domain Fees
  • Security Certificates
  • iOS & Android App Fees
  • Website Hosting
  • Fast Servers
  • Data Backups
  • Upkeep & Maintenance
  • Administration Costs

    Without your support the website wouldn't be what it is today.

    Please consider donating towards these fees to help keep us afloat.

    Read more

    All donations are securely managed through PayPal. Amounts donated are not published online.

    Many thanks for your kind support
  • Join Us On Social Media!
    Model Boats Website
    Model Boats Website
    Home
    Forum
    Build Blogs
    Media Gallery
    Boat Clubs & Lakes
    Events
    Boat Harbour
    How-To Articles
    Plans & Docs
    Useful Links
    11

















    Followers
    Phantom Tug
    by Black Shoe πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ ( Chief Petty Officer 1st Class)
    πŸ“£










    Click To
    Follow
    8 Posts 36 Comments 0 Photos 70 Likes
    Most recent posts shown first   (Show Oldest First) (Print Booklet)
    πŸ“ Tug Fort Valley
    3 months ago by Black Shoe ( Chief Petty Officer 1st Class)
    Flag
    View All
    Eight

    Here's another short diversion on this build.

    Before I did the initial float test and learned how much ballast this hull would take, I thought I would fill up the bow with chunks of rigid foam for floatation. Once I discovered the total weight required I quickly realized that even if I was able to fill every little nook and cranny with foam the best I could hope for was a slower rate of acceleration to the bottom should I have a catastrophic failure.

    Not wanting to waste this space it seemed like a good location for the crews berthing. This would have been easy to accomplish while the deck was open, but once it was all closed in, if anything went adrift there would have been no way to effect a repair. The only way I could figure to accomplish this was with a removable module. The main battery was far enough into the "engine room" that there was room to insert or remove a drawer-type construction that would contain a couple of bunks, and some personal items the crew may have brought aboard.
    The shape of this compartment was a trick to figure out, but with poster board, tape, and trial and error a box evolved that fit nicely, then it was a matter of fitting bunks to this unusual shape.

    The viewing window into this space is very limited, but with a couple of lights installed it may create a little curiosity as to what's in there.

    The photo's:

    1. Looking forward into the bow. The horizontal flat on the
    forward frame will play a part in the module location.

    2. A strange shape to accommodate the space available.

    3. The bunks being built.

    4. One of the bunks. I know it's not made up properly,
    but at least it's clean.

    5. Starboard side bunks. The pillow should be forward, as
    in my memory I can't recall a bunk made up head aft.
    The pillow was placed here because looking down the
    companion it adds a little interest as the field of
    vision is so narrow. (Makes one wonder "why bother?")

    6. This cleat is what hooks over the horizontal flat of the
    forward frame and keeps the whole unit from shifting
    aft.

    7. Narrow field of vision even without the companion on
    deck.

    8. Module installed.
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comments
    πŸ‘€ 27 Views
    6
    6
    πŸ’¬ Re: Tug Fort Valley
    2 months ago by Martin555 ( Fleet Admiral)
    Flag
    Very nice work.
    Love the bunks.
    The forward fender reminded me of a mop, LOL!!
    Looking forward to the next instalment.

    Martin555.
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 11 Views
    πŸ’¬ Re: Tug Fort Valley
    3 months ago by Peejay ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
    Flag
    Those are great photos. In addition to showing your lowering sling, the second one really shows the size of your tug.
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 25 Views
    1
    πŸ’¬ Re: Tug Fort Valley
    3 months ago by Black Shoe ( Chief Petty Officer 1st Class)
    Flag
    View All
    Thank you Peejay.

    You're right about the weight being a hurdle. Using a wagon to launch on an easy slope is one thing, but leaning over a wall or from a dock is another matter.
    I've taken to using slings to launch the hull, then ballast with diver's "bean bags" I found on Ebay.
    These are soft sided and can be moved around vs having form fitting weights that are restricted to a particular space in the hull. The bags don't move, and don't need to be contained by structure. I just place them to maintain a true waterline. (From experimenting.)

    Photo: Here's the ballast I use...
    Four 5 lb bags
    Two 4 lb bags
    Two 1 lb bags
    Main propulsion battery (12Ah SLA @9.5 lbs)
    Tug 13 lbs +/-
    52.5 total

    The second photo is the sling affair I've been
    using to launch the hull. They're the rubber tie-
    down straps with some nylon line spliced through
    holes where the metal hooks were removed and a
    piece of closet pole for a strong back. A hole is
    drilled through the pole so the line doesn't tend to
    twist the pole handle.
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 23 Views
    3
    πŸ’¬ Re: Tug Fort Valley
    3 months ago by Black Shoe ( Chief Petty Officer 1st Class)
    Flag
    Thank you Doug...that's a pretty high bar!

    As far as the lunacy is concerned, one doesn't have to be, but it does help!
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 25 Views
    2
    πŸ’¬ Re: Tug Fort Valley
    3 months ago by Peejay ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
    Flag
    This is a very well imagined and well executed build. Taking notes for a future tug build. I do have a plan for the interior of the actual tug, which should be helpful for placing the bunks.

    In view of your comment that you will ballast after floating the tug, what are you (or did you) use for ballast, and where do you put it in. I think that is a great idea, so the fun of running the tug isn’t impaired by back pain. 😊
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 30 Views
    2
    πŸ’¬ Re: Tug Fort Valley
    3 months ago by RNinMunich ( Fleet Admiral)
    Flag
    Fascinating lunacy Black Shoe πŸ˜€πŸ‘
    Well made, something worthy of our mate Martin!
    How about some portholes for a side peek inside??
    Cheers, Doug 😎
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 29 Views
    2
    πŸ“ Fort Valley
    4 months ago by Black Shoe ( Chief Petty Officer 1st Class)
    Flag
    View All
    Seven

    Thank you all for the comments! They're very much appreciated!

    I've never been accused of thinking a project through and following to the letter what my mind had proposed. Indeed, this tug is another build that was modified from the original vision and for better or worse had several "Shipalts" along the way. While I'm working on one facet an idea may come along and before long that distraction becomes the focus of yet another project within the build that takes over and I find myself on a tangent.

    This is one of those tangents;

    When I was developing the idea of this boat I wanted to incorporate a reverse stem. Seeing photo's of the old stately steam tugs of the late 1800's and early 1900's I thought it would be a subtle enhancement to have the stem reflect the slight angle that the deck house and pilot houses seem to have. So the hull was built, the stem reversed, and I thought it looked pretty good.

    While I was idly looking through a couple of tug photo books for fender arrangements I became interested in the shaggy "beard" bow fenders (puddings). Doing some experimenting with different types of line, it became apparent that synthetic line generally had too much hysteresis and none of them had "the look". After trying everything on hand, and getting discouraged I spied a piece of cotton clothesline. This line is about 3/8" diameter, the outside is woven (similar coach whipping) and being cotton held a little promise.

    By withdrawing the core and using a large needle to fag out the outer layer to strands, then dampened and combed out a couple of times, the cotton stayed straight. This may work!

    The main support "cable" length was determined and a couple lengths of the clothesline was seized to it parallel to start the bulking up of the pudding. After deciding how long the pudding wanted to be top to bottom, several pieces of line twice that distance were cut, the core pulled out, the piece tied off in the middle, then fagged out and combed straight. These long ones became the first layer on the "cable". another set a little shorter were made up the same way, laid over the long ones, then a third layer shorter still were done and laid over the second layer.

    Once I thought I had enough bulk built up and it seemed to look like I had imagined, they all came off then were glued a layer at a time at the middle (where it was tied,) with some fabric glue called "Fabric Fusion". This glue is designed for fabrics, is claimed to be waterproof and remains flexible.

    After looking at the pudding for several weeks now, I think it may be a little large. It needs to be trimmed up from the bottom, and from each side towards the stem, but I'll wait to do that until the build is farther along. The beauty of this pudding is it can be added to, cut back, and modified very easily without redoing the whole thing.

    By the way.....that reversed stem I was so enamored with? One can't even tell it was done with this beard covering it up.😊

    The photos:

    1. Pieces of line cut for the last (top) layer.

    2. The jig that was made up to hold the "cable" while the
    line was added. This was a length of wire with hooks
    bent into the ends to stretch the "cable" straight,
    captured in a small vise on the work bench.

    3. I had added a second "cable" a little lower for another
    mounting point, but subsequently found it to be
    unnecessary and cut off everything but the vertical line
    which will be fixed to the stem.

    4. & 5. The inside and outside of the laid up line.

    6. & 7. The pudding hung for it's first critique. I suspect
    it's too long, and maybe a little too wide. I'll trim it
    back, and dirty/weather it a bit further along in the
    build.
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comments
    πŸ‘€ 35 Views
    6
    3
    πŸ’¬ Re: Fort Valley
    3 months ago by Ron ( Captain)
    Flag
    You Funny Douglas πŸ€“πŸ€ πŸ₯΄πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜πŸ₯Έ
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 30 Views
    1
    πŸ’¬ Re: Fort Valley
    3 months ago by Black Shoe ( Chief Petty Officer 1st Class)
    Flag
    I was thinking weed eater, but I'll give the trimmer a go, it may have a little more finesse.πŸ‘πŸ˜Š
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 25 Views
    1
    πŸ’¬ Re: Fort Valley
    3 months ago by RNinMunich ( Fleet Admiral)
    Flag
    Can recommend a Panasonic Hair and Beard Trimmer Black Shoe πŸ‘
    Get the washable one with adjustable head and cut length 😁
    Fuzz on Man πŸ‘
    Cheers, Doug 😎
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 30 Views
    3
    πŸ“ Phantom Tug - "Fort Valley"
    4 months ago by Black Shoe ( Chief Petty Officer 1st Class)
    Flag
    View All
    Six

    The jury is back, and the consensus is the tug's name should be "Fort Valley" named for a place in VA. USA I knew as a kid.

    As this is a "catch-up" blog for the moment, I'll skip some of the boring details and bring this up to the current status in short order. Sea trials were run several times last year......they weren't necessarily sea trials for testing, more like just opportunities to run the boat.

    I did learn with certainty that the boat must be launched then ballasted. Not only is it easier on the hull, but this old man isn't as steady as he used to be and fifty pounds is more than I want to deal with at one time.

    Several outings helped me learn how she moved and appreciate what the extra weight meant for her characteristics. Obviously, it takes a little longer to get up to speed, longer stopping distance, and I was grateful I had installed the servo-slow in the steering system. There may have been some pretty high stresses on the mechanical as well as the electrical side if the servo were allowed to "slam" over at it's normal rate.

    Another positive side of the operation is it performs more to scale in the slower reactions, and makes the whole experience more interactive. Try as I might, I couldn't get it to get up on plane...........😊

    I had installed a smoker in the "engine room" and although the instructions suggested wiring the unit into the main ESC so the smoke was consistent with the motor RPM, it worried me a little not having more control over the unit. If your boat is on the far side of the pond and the smoke diminishes, does that mean the fluid is low? How do you get the boat back without burning out the bottom of the smoker? This particular unit works well, but there is no fail-safe built in. This came up in a general conversation with ToraDog. He had been talking with the manufacturer of this unit and through their conversation it came up that a stand alone ESC would work if there were a means of controlling it. It happens that my Carson radio has a rheostat knob that does exactly that. The tug can sit at the dock with no turns on the wheel, yet a whiff of smoke can be dialed in to give the indication of the boilers being on line. Once underway the volume of smoke can be dialed back to a "clean fired" boiler. On the other hand, if it appears the smoker is out of fluid it can be turned off thus preventing a problem. More on the smoker in a later chapter.

    The deck house and pilot house were built. The interiors of both will be furnished. Counting the doors on the main house; forward is the mess deck, then the galley, engine room, and starboard aft engineer's storage - port aft will be deck storage. The engine room door is a sliding barn door. This is because the engine room access is wider to make it easier to get equipment in and out, and a wider regular door would interfere with the bulwarks.

    The build continues.....

    Photos:

    1. Starboard quarter of roughed in deckhouse and the beginning of the pilot house.

    2. Stbd side of deckhouse.

    3. Galley door and window.

    4. Engine room door.

    5. Pilot house door and grab-rail.

    6. My favorite image from last season's runs. This was
    taken relatively early in the day. Note the smoke is
    obvious, but the tug is standing still....no wake at all.

    7. Not much in the detail department, but it does run, and
    doesn't make water.
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comments
    πŸ‘€ 46 Views
    12
    4
    πŸ’¬ Re: Phantom Tug - "Fort Valley"
    4 months ago by mturpin013 ( Rear Admiral)
    Flag
    Hi there, some really great modelling skills there, a beautiful boat well built.
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 41 Views
    3
    πŸ’¬ Re: Phantom Tug - "Fort Valley"
    4 months ago by Ron ( Captain)
    Flag
    Impressive work! The clarity of the wood grain, the mullions around inside of the windows, the panels in the doors, hinged and sliders. Quality detail workmanship Tim.

    A+ you graduate πŸ‘¨β€πŸŽ“
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 45 Views
    3
    πŸ’¬ Re: Phantom Tug - "Fort Valley"
    4 months ago by Newby7 ( Rear Admiral)
    Flag
    Nice job I like the doors. looks good on the water.
    Rick
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 48 Views
    4
    πŸ’¬ Re: Phantom Tug - "Fort Valley"
    4 months ago by RNinMunich ( Fleet Admiral)
    Flag
    Magnificent BS πŸ‘
    Looking forward to the 'Smoker' chapter.
    Cheers, Doug 😎
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 51 Views
    2
    πŸ“ Phantom Tug
    4 months ago by Black Shoe ( Chief Petty Officer 1st Class)
    Flag
    View All
    Five

    Fast forward to launching, ballasting, and test runs.
    I knew this hull would take some weight to bring it down to it's marks, but was a little surprised at the amount.
    I launched it first to confirm the water-tight aspect while the hull was still just a shell. Loading in bricks in plastic sandwich bags until the hull settled to the water line took seven bricks that averaged a little over seven pounds each. Knowing the ball-park amount of weight required I ordered some diver's weights in "bean bag" type pouches. These are color coded with red being five pounds, blue three pounds and yellow one pound. I prefer these to hard weights that are location specific within the hull because these can be shifted slightly if need be, they won't mar the inside, and still remain where they're laid.

    Laying out the running gear was next. Because of the size of the wheel, and weight involved a reduction of 2:1 belt drive was decided on for a starting point for speed and power. I have pulleys that will allow 2.5 and 3:1, but the original guess doesn't try to push beyond hull speed, and the motor doesn't get hot so for time being it'll remain as installed.

    Accommodating all of the parts in a hull this spacious is a delight compared to the crowded conditions in smaller builds.

    After I found the total weight needed (within a pound or two,) I started weighing all of the required equipment piece by piece on a kitchen counter scale that lives in the shop and measures in ounces up to 30 lbs. (These are inexpensive and come in handy,) then started subtracting total brick weight to compensate. The 12V 14Ah battery was the major consideration, then the motor, the speaker for the sound system, and accessories that were negligible. Allowing for the deckhouse, and items above deck didn't pose much of a problem with the amount of weight in her bottom. (?)

    The photo's:

    1. Tender and very high without any ballast.

    2, 3, 4, Testing for any leaks. I let the hull sit for an hour to be sure there were no leaks that needed attention before installing the running gear.

    5. Part of the running gear arrangement. More on this later.

    6. The light indicates the ESC is on line.
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 53 Views
    10
    πŸ“ Phantom Tug
    4 months ago by Black Shoe ( Chief Petty Officer 1st Class)
    Flag
    View All
    Four

    The tug is evolving. The hull was 'glassed outside, and epoxied inside. Where the battery, motor, and electronics mounts reside the hull planking was 'glassed. The main platform was fitted and the rudder operation addressed.

    The counter being long and shallow I thought a servo with a rod may have been problematic as there was very little room between the deck and the hull. An alternative proved to be an arrangement above deck but under the hawser drying rack. I had seen images of old steam tugs that used chains and steam engines for the steering apparatus and decided the chain idea was worth pursuing.

    The initial problem was a quadrant for the rudder post head. The post was at an angle tilted aft and because of the rudder and wheel size the quadrant had to be large enough to add some mechanical advantage. This didn't prove practical. The radius required would have interfered with the deck aft of the post due to the angle. The solution seemed to be a yoke and a servo pull - pull arrangement. What happened here under experimenting was as the yoke was pulled to one side or the other, the "chain track" would narrow because of the effective width of the yoke narrowing in relation to the center line, so then I discovered connecting directly to the yoke wouldn't work if I wanted the chains to move precisely fore and aft. The solution was to add turning sheaves aft of the yoke. This was fine for the stern, but there had to be a corresponding set of wheels forward to give the chains the constant track required. Experimenting with several configurations the servo was finally mounted at deck level on a platform that also supported the forward turning wheels. A custom arm was fabricated for the servo arm and the arm was mounted backwards in relation to the servo to keep the action of the radio stick intuitive with the rudder response.
    Another problem presented itself. The size of the rudder, weight of the boat, and wash from the large wheel may have induced stresses on all the parts that the (too quick) response of the servo may not have tolerated. This and the servo action being far too fast for scale required a "servo slow" device be added into the signal between the receiver and the servo. This slowed the rudder action down to a scale movement and lessened the stresses that may have been induced plus added a dimension of realism to the responses to rudder input.
    A couple of "waster boards" incorporated into the deck give the chains a bed to slide on. Speaking of the chains, the jewelry chains found in crafts shops didn't have the strength I thought was necessary as I could pull them apart with little effort. I ended up going to "Etsy" on the web and found some stainless steel chains the proper scale size in Germany. The links profile isn't 100% accurate, but the paint and observer's distance should make them close enough.

    The photos:

    1 & 2, 'Glassing/epoxy of interior.

    3 & 4, Shows relative width of the chain track with the yoke perpendicular to the centerline, then with rudder induced, the track narrows creating a sideways scrubbing effect on the deck.

    5 & 6, Effect of turning wheels regardless of the yoke's position.

    7 General arrangement.

    8. Another experiment gone bad... I wanted a shock absorber built into the system and used extending springs
    at first, but was afraid they'd slacken to useless after a while allowing the servo to move, but having no effect on the rudder.

    9. By using compression springs I could go a little heavier, and if they did fail, at least the margin of error would be smaller with the steering being minimal, but at least failed safe. These were made with "T" pins cut off, a hook bent into the end and inserted through the spring to engage the first several coils on the opposite end creating a compression spring. This has since been refined to a much more compact unit.

    10 The servo slow device. One end into the receiver, and the servo plugs into this end. The tiny screw allows a degree of rate adjustment.

    11 - 15 Various shots of the install. (Photo #14 is the final set up of the rudder end.)

    I'm very pleased with the scale operation of this and the only thing I had to modify after trials was to drill the axles of the turning wheels, add a washer and a retaining pin as the torque on the wheel tended to lift it up the axle.
    The slack of a little excess chain is tied out of the way, and the springs provide for a constant light pressure keeping the chains in the wheel grooves, but not so much as to pre-load the system when the rudder is amidships.
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comments
    πŸ‘€ 71 Views
    10
    8
    πŸ’¬ Re: Phantom Tug
    4 months ago by Black Shoe ( Chief Petty Officer 1st Class)
    Flag
    Thank you Graham! The springs under compression were an experiment, but far superior to a tension spring.
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 62 Views
    2
    πŸ’¬ Re: Phantom Tug
    4 months ago by Black Shoe ( Chief Petty Officer 1st Class)
    Flag
    JB, Thank you for the photos and particularly the links! Excellent resource and a very handsome tug!
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 62 Views
    2
    πŸ’¬ Re: Phantom Tug
    4 months ago by Graham93 ( Commodore)
    Flag
    Nicely thought out solution. πŸ‘ I like the chain tensioners/shock absorbers. Might try something similar for the helm on my Cutter build.

    Graham93
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 66 Views
    2
    πŸ’¬ Re: Phantom Tug
    4 months ago by jbkiwi ( Fleet Admiral)
    Flag
    View All
    Hi, the Preserved NZ steam tug, William C Daldy has this type of steering system, with chains running round the deck under covers, from the quadrant to the steering motor, ( pictured is the aux steering station behind the engine room, with the steering motor.)

    https://daldy.co.nz/

    http://www.nzmaritimeindex.org.nz/nzmdaldy.htm

    JB
    https://daldy.co.nz/
    πŸ”—
    http://www.nzmaritimeindex.org.nz/nzmdaldy.htm
    πŸ”—
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 68 Views
    7
    πŸ’¬ Re: Phantom Tug
    4 months ago by Ron ( Captain)
    Flag
    Super build Tim
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 71 Views
    1
    πŸ’¬ Re: Phantom Tug
    4 months ago by Black Shoe ( Chief Petty Officer 1st Class)
    Flag
    View All
    MTurpin013, The distance from the rudder to the servo is to scale. The old steam tugs that used chains here in the US had them run from the quadrant on the rudder post to a steam engine dedicated to the steering. This engine was housed in the aft end of the engine room or a space in the aft end of the deckhouse. The tugs that had chains across the deck like this also had a longitudinal box that covered the chains preventing the crew from stumbling over them. Seguin a once iconic tug in the NE US had them in this configuration. S.S. Master in the Pacific NW has chains that go from the quadrant directly outboard to a turning sheave, run forward outside of the bulwarks, then turn back inboard at the after end of the house and engage the steering engine.
    I don't know how many vessels used them, but I thought they were interesting enough to figure a way to incorporate them in this build.
    The images show a recent model of Seguin with the boxes installed

    ToraDog, you're too kind! Thank you!
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 67 Views
    4
    πŸ’¬ Re: Phantom Tug
    4 months ago by ToraDog ( Midshipman)
    Flag
    Great blog, but for those from "away", it is much more fun to see this build in person.❄️
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 68 Views
    1
    πŸ’¬ Re: Phantom Tug
    4 months ago by mturpin013 ( Rear Admiral)
    Flag
    That's a fine mechanism you've built there, is there any reason you've put the servo so far away from the rudder?
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 70 Views
    2
    πŸ“ Phantom Tug
    4 months ago by Black Shoe ( Chief Petty Officer 1st Class)
    Flag
    View All
    Three

    Moving along on the catch up, the hull is 'glassed, sanded, and ready for some paint, plus have to figure out the rudder and how to activate it.
    The first coats of paint are rattle-can automotive primer from the parts store. My thoughts are it makes a good barrier between the epoxy/'glass surface and gives a good foundation for the acrylic paints I like to use. I use rattle cans, good brushes designed for water colors and the foam brushes with the wooden handles. I get all of my paints in "big box stores" (over here it's Lowe's, Home Depot, and Sherwin Williams.) The acrylics are water based, easy clean up, low/no obnoxious odors house paints. They are tough enough for my purposes, easy touch up, and any color under the sun can be mixed up in an 8 oz. sample for less than $5 US. I've turned to using it exclusively and have no regrets. You can get the color gloss, matte, or flat, which for general purposes is usually matte or occasionally flat.

    I mentioned earlier that this was 1:18 scale which is 5/8" to a foot. I find it easier sometimes to create a "ruler" for a build and use a figure for the ergonomics. Not to be exact to the fraction of an inch, but to at least be close to what the size of an item would actually be.
    The ruler and a chart helps in this regard. I mark off a stick (in this case a piece of styrene plastic,) in segments of 5/8" with the first "foot" graduated in scale 3" sections.
    The chart is drawn with the measurements written out to a one foot length. 5/8" = .0652 divided by 12 (inches) = .052 per inch. thus 1/2 scale inches is .026, 1" = .052, 2" = .0104, 3" = .156 and so on up to .6250 (the scale 1 foot). An inexpensive digital caliper ($14-16 US that reads in thousanths and mm) is used to check the size of the item in question. I certainly don't build to the fraction of an inch, but this does allow me to prevent putting a 4" diameter scale hand rail where a 1 1/2" should be.

    The photos:

    1. The scale ruler made specifically for this 1:18 (5/8" per foot ) build.

    2. The chart allowing real dimensions for items under a scale foot.

    3. The quickest, easiest tool to determine the size of an item. Checking the reading on this, then consulting the chart tells me what the item's scale size is in scale inches.

    4. This guy is 1:12 (six inches.) During the hull build I didn't know if I wanted a smaller tug at a bigger scale, or a bigger tug at a smaller scale. Placing these figures helps me visualize much easier.

    5. Same guy, different angle.

    6,7,8,9. The progression of the rudder. The rudder planks were bored to accept the rods which accomplished two things; they prevented the rudder planks from warping too bad, and if the planks soaked up water and separated the rods still kept the rudder intact. (I had a real boat whose rudder would dry out in the winter months allowing as much as a quarter inch gap to develop. In the spring a maul closed the gaps. I never attempted to epoxy the planks together because I'd rather have the controlled separation then a plank split along the grain.)

    10. After some studying, and exploring options I decided to go with the 1:18 scale for an 86' tug. You'll see this fellow and a couple of his crew throughout the build and as I mentioned they give a perspective as to whether an item is true to size.
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comments
    πŸ‘€ 81 Views
    9
    4
    πŸ’¬ Re: Phantom Tug
    4 months ago by Black Shoe ( Chief Petty Officer 1st Class)
    Flag
    Thank you ToraDog,
    Thinking seriously about what kind of tow. It won't be a hawser tow, or a pusher, most likely on the hip for some kind of harbor work.... the jury is still out.😊
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 76 Views
    1
    πŸ’¬ Re: Phantom Tug
    4 months ago by Black Shoe ( Chief Petty Officer 1st Class)
    Flag
    Hi Ron,
    The rudder is actually red oak, drilled and pinned to keep it true.

    The green clamps are actually garden clips used to train vines to a lattice. They're very inexpensive, light weight, and only moderate pressure. (Ebay)
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 76 Views
    1
    πŸ’¬ Re: Phantom Tug
    4 months ago by Ron ( Captain)
    Flag
    Is that white Oak or Ash you used for the rudder?

    Where did you find those green spring clamps? Do you like them better than other styles?

    Cool figures!
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 82 Views
    1
    πŸ’¬ Re: Phantom Tug
    4 months ago by ToraDog ( Midshipman)
    Flag
    Wicked nice work, as usual.Your patience and attention to detail is impressive. You do, of course, have a tow job in mind for her, yes?
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 83 Views
    1
    πŸ“ Phantom Tug
    4 months ago by Black Shoe ( Chief Petty Officer 1st Class)
    Flag
    View All
    Chapter Two

    I should submit a caveat before I get too deep into this. I know terminologies are a little different in some places, so I'll share an anecdote:
    Back in the '70's my ship tied up in Chatham Yard and a kind local Coast Guardsman invited several of us to his home for some Watkins and a wonderful picnic. I met a young lady there and she offered to play tour guide if I'd like to travel to London for a day. We agreed to a date and she suggested I "knock her up" around 7 AM on the agreed day so we could get an early start. Well, I was caught in stays until someone told me she only meant to pick her up at 7. That phrase over here has an entirely different meaning!
    I only bring this up in case I innocently use a phrase that may offend someone in another region. Let me know what I said and I'll add it to my DNU (Do Not Use) glossary.😊
    I'm sure some brand names are different as well, but given the context I'm certain the intention will be known.
    Photos:

    1. The planking in progress. Bass wood on birch ply frames. There could (should?) have been more frames, but I relied on the natural lay of the boards to come true without forcing them unnaturally.

    2. More of the planking. Knowing I was going to 'glass this hull I didn't bother with proper plank hood ends and just cut them fair with their neighbor. All of this was using Titebond III. This is my "go to" for all heavy duty bare wood gluing.

    3. Getting ready to sand, fill, sand, fill, repeat......

    4. Fitting and cutting the 'glass cloth so there's a minimum of panic when it's time to wet out the fabric.

    5. Cloth wetted out with West System epoxy. It's a personal choice to use West as the resin normally used for this bothers me even with adequate ventilation. The West is a little more expensive, but I used it in my 1:1 boat shop and am far more accustomed to it's properties. One point of note: West epoxy will stick to polyester resin, but the resin will not give a good bond to West.

    6. Waiting for the cure......
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comments
    πŸ‘€ 93 Views
    6
    3
    πŸ’¬ Re: Phantom Tug
    4 months ago by Black Shoe ( Chief Petty Officer 1st Class)
    Flag
    No Ron, I'm not that quick! I'm only a half-fast builder!
    These next several hundred "chapters" will be catch ups.
    Just kidding, it won't be that many....😊
    The boat is a long way from finished where the detailing and weathering is concerned, but has actually done sea trials and found to be very stable with smooth operation. One does have to anticipate where and how fast she's going because with the weight and size it won't stop on a dime, but I wouldn't want it any other way...a scale boat should act scale...
    I've done a few unorthodox things with the "machinery" which I'll describe as we get deeper into this saga.
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 91 Views
    2
    πŸ’¬ Re: Phantom Tug
    4 months ago by Ron ( Captain)
    Flag
    Wow!Quick build...or, maybe you are just catching us up with the build.
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 94 Views
    1
    πŸ’¬ Re: Phantom Tug
    4 months ago by Martin555 ( Fleet Admiral)
    Flag
    Hi Black Shoe.
    The hull is looking really good.
    Well done.

    Martin555.
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 92 Views
    πŸ“ Phantom Tug
    4 months ago by Black Shoe ( Chief Petty Officer 1st Class)
    Flag
    View All
    There isn't a formal name for this tug yet. There are a couple of names floating around, but I'm waiting for the personality to develop a little more before I commit.
    This build will hopefully represent a turn of the century harbor steam tug. She would have been employed shuttling barges around a local area and would usually tow her charge on the hip. It's totally scratch built and not representative of any particular boat, but of a class.
    I gleaned photos of the grand old tugs and made notes of the details I wanted to incorporate and although an item here and there may be unlikely, that's the beauty of a phantom build...almost anything (within real possibility,) goes.
    This build is 1:18 scale and represents a boat about 86 feet. Reverse stem, tumblehome counter, timber (barge) fenders, and a few extra's here and there. She's 55" long, 48-50 pounds ballasted, electric 2:1 reduction belt drive, to a 4 1/2" four blade wheel.
    At this point the build is underway, so the first several "chapters" will bring the build up to date.
    I'm a really slow builder. I often take two steps forward and one step back, but I do enjoy the journey.......
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comments
    πŸ‘€ 100 Views
    11
    8
    πŸ’¬ Re: Phantom Tug
    4 months ago by Ron ( Captain)
    Flag
    Oh my, Mr. Krinkle, icy you 🀑
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 94 Views
    1
    πŸ’¬ Re: Phantom Tug
    4 months ago by Black Shoe ( Chief Petty Officer 1st Class)
    Flag
    I don't think so, all the water around here is hard now. You probably heard a thud and some unkind words about the ice.πŸ˜€
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 91 Views
    1
    πŸ’¬ Re: Phantom Tug
    4 months ago by Ron ( Captain)
    Flag
    Did I hear a SPLASH πŸ’¦
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 94 Views
    1
    πŸ’¬ Re: Phantom Tug
    4 months ago by Black Shoe ( Chief Petty Officer 1st Class)
    Flag
    Hi Ron, I'm mulling over a couple of ideas on how to do that. There are a few versions of launching methods that I've studied, and I'm trying to consolidate a vertical wall launch as well as a sloping sandy beach method into one device. I've come up with a couple of possibilities, but haven't proven either of them.
    Will keep you posted.
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 92 Views
    1
    πŸ’¬ Re: Phantom Tug
    4 months ago by Ron ( Captain)
    Flag
    I suggest you also make a launching cart that you can wheel into the pond. Much safer when dealing with that amount of ballast.
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 95 Views
    4
    πŸ’¬ Re: Phantom Tug
    4 months ago by Black Shoe ( Chief Petty Officer 1st Class)
    Flag
    You are right about that! My biggest fear is getting over center and following the boat into the pond.
    My system has become launch then ballast, and hauling out take out the ballast then the hull.
    I use divers weight bags that are sewn into "bean bags". Red are five pounds, blue are three pounds, and yellow are one pound. They're compact, and won't shift in the bilge.
    There's no way I could do it any other way without damaging myself or worse, the boat! 😊
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 93 Views
    2
    πŸ’¬ Re: Phantom Tug
    4 months ago by Newby7 ( Rear Admiral)
    Flag
    Looks good so far.At 55" and 50 LB keep eating your Wheaties as you need to keep strength up for water testing.
    Rick
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 98 Views
    2
    πŸ’¬ Re: Phantom Tug
    4 months ago by Martin555 ( Fleet Admiral)
    Flag
    Hi Black Shoe,
    Looking good so far.
    Keep it up.
    I will be following with great interest.

    Martin555.
    πŸ‘ Like
    πŸ’¬ Comment
    πŸ‘€ 97 Views
    1


    About This Website
    Terms of Service
    Privacy Policy
    Cookies used in this website are gluten free, wheat free and dairy free. By using this website you agree to our use of cookies. More Info