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>> Home > Boat Building Blogs > Aerokit Sea Scout 'Jessica' Renovation
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Aerokit Sea Scout 'Jessica' Renovation Print Booklet
Author: RNinMunich   Posts: 19   Photos: 131   Subscribers: 4   Views: 4782   Responses: 174   |   Most recent posts shown first   (Show oldest first)

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The Saga of the Cabin Roof or - Arrrgh! - Posted: 15th Mar 2018
Typical of Aeorokits the cabin roof skin was made of two thin pieces of ply < 1mm. Over the 50 years or so the overhang corners had started to curl up and crack 😲 Pics 1 & 2 show the 'off the shelf' condition after 25 years of neglect 🤔.
First I tried to correct this by soaking in hot water and flattening under a car battery (flattens most things😉). So far so good. Then some super glue in the cracks and back under the battery. After a day or two it just curled up again. Ho hum! Pour a glass of wine and back to the thinking board.
Seconds Out - Round Two! Thought, OK make new pieces from the 0.6mm ply I still have and paint it - then my eye fell on some 1mm mahogany sheet (Ouch 😭). Tried to make the whole roof skin in one piece of this but the compound curve defeated me. The skin was steamed and soaked in hot water and clamped across the roof frame. Next morning - Arrrgh! Had started to crack along the centre line 😭 More thinks!!

Carefully cut down the middle and glued and clamped the separate pieces; pics 3&4. Getting the two pieces to match in the middle was a tedious ***!!! Pic 5. Then mucho sanding. followed by 2 coats of Lord Nelson sealer, sand back with 600 grit sanding sponge. Then two coats of Lord Nelson matt varnish, sanding with 1000 grit in between.
then two coats of Lord Nelson gloss varnish, sanding with 2000 grit in between. Pic 6. So far so good, pic 6.
3rd coat of varnish and - Arrrgh 2! 😡 Pic 7. No idea why!
Sand off and start again, pic 8 😭
Treated each side separately, pics 9 & 10 and flatted off with 2000 grit. Then applied three coats of clear protective lacquer, sanding with 3000 grit between coats.
Finally cutting back with auto paint restorer / cutting polish and finally polishing with anti-hologram finishing polish. Pic 11.

Now I'm happy 😊 Pic 12. Only took a week 😉
Next week in this theatre -
"I love you too Flash but we've only got 15 minutes to save the world"!
'Will I ever get this hull finished?"

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by RNinMunich on the 17th Mar 2018
Evenin' MT, Thanks👍
Yep I know blooming from my car restoration days. Causes a dull satin effect with some whitish fogging 😡 That's not what happened here, suddenly a patch of yellowish spots appeared under the gloss!😭
Only thing I can think of is that with the last flattening with 3000 grit I used a drop of liquid soap to lubricate the sanding sponge, gives that almost glass finish. Maybe some soap residue was still there and the next lacquer coat reacted with it?
The soap is a trick I learned during car repairs. Of course then I could wash it all off with a big sponge and chuck a bucket of water over it! Not such a good idea with a model wooden boat🤔

Re 'Your skins' 😲
I used mahogany 'because it was there' and I suddenly had a picture in my mind what it could look like (Riva style😉) if I could do the job right!
I'm pretty happy with how it eventually worked out 😊
Not sure that a mahog roof fits the image of an RAF boat? and painting it would be a shame 🤔 But if you do decide to use it you may have more luck with 0.5mm, mine was 1mm+.
What are the 'existing skins'?
Re clothing: I didn't do that, didn't want to risk obscuring the wood grain on the outside and the inside I had sealed with two coats of EzeKote anyway. Cloth would have been superfluous. But if you're going to paint the roof anyway then - why not? Would give strength and rigidity.
Thicker ply? More than 0.5 / 0.6mm and you may have the problem I had with the compound curve!!!
Cheers Doug 😎
Response by onetenor on the 3rd Aug 2018
Could you plank it or would matching the joints be hard to do?🤔. I suppose they could be veed to disguise them?🤔👍
Response by RNinMunich on the 3rd Aug 2018
Did you mean me John? Or Mike?
I had considered planking but my mahogany planks are very very thin about 0.5mm x 5mm wide, and I would still have had the problem of 'warping on' a plywood base skin.
So I persevered with the mahogany veneer and I'm happy now with the result of making it in two pieces. matching the edges for the centre line joint took the most time 🤔
More power to your plank cutters Gents👍
New drive Train and Oiler - Posted: 12th Mar 2018
Most of this actually took place last August / July!
Regular readers may have seen that when Dad built this boat in the 60s he put a Taycol Target field motor in it. About 25 years ago I put a Decaperm and 'modern' transistor ESC in her to provide forward and reverse. Performance was sedate to say the least.
I have since modified the Taycol (see below) so it can be run forward and reverse and decided to put it in an ancient Billings Boats Danish fish cutter (Gina) that I inherited from an Aunt. The cutter is badly in need of renovation (see pic 1) and the Taycol will be more suited to her performance requirement!
On advice from Canabus in Hobart I obtained a Propdrive 2830 1000kV brushless motor, appropriate ESC and a 35mm 3 blade prop from Raboesch. Pic 2 shows the old and new motors. Next step was to trial fit new motor mount, coupling and prop. Pics 3 &4.
While doing this it became obvious that a new shaft was in order, as mentioned in last update. Soooo, -
appropriate stainless steel rod, thrust washers and set ring were acquired and back to the workshop.
After cutting to length to accommodate the new coupling type a 3mm thread was cut a the prop end. At the inboard end I milled recesses for the grub screws in the set ring and the coupling, pics 5 - 7.
I don't like to just file(or even mill) flats for the screws cos they have a tendency to slip and work loose😡 Trial fitted the new shaft and found I'd boobed a bit with the measurements and need extra thrust washers to make up the difference. 😲 Pic 8. No sweat, they came in a pack of 50 anyway😊 You can also see in this pic that I decided to fit an oiler pipe
while everything was in bits anyway.😉
To solder it on in a cramped space without setting the boat on fire 😡 I packed a wet rag underneath and used a gas Kitchen Torch! Known as a 'Gas Gourmet Burner'. Yep, those handy little gas torches like your Missus uses to melt the brown sugar on her Crème Brûlée!! So do I, delicious 😜😉
The torches are not expensive, small, very handy, refillable with lighter gas and can be adjusted to a very small hot flame. Ideal for this job. See pics 9 & 10.
Pic 11 shows the new motor & mount, shaft and coupling all trial fitted after using a brass alignment tool I quickly made up on the lathe. Pic also shows the trial electrical installation after cleaning up the 'machinery compartment' a little and painting with silver Hammerite.
A Quickrun BL ESC is sitting in the bottom in one of the trays my Dad originally fitted for the 2 wet cell (very wet!) 6V lead acid batteries.
The home made board on the left carries the battery and ESC connectors, main ON/OFF switch with LED, blade fuse holder with a 20A fuse and a green LED which tells me if the fuse is blown! Stuck on the walls (OK Bulkheads!) with so called Servo Tape are a 6 ch Turnigy iA6 2.4Gig RX and the arming switch for the ESC. Battery compartment is sized to fit 2S and 3S hard case LiPos. For trials I can fit my Wattmeter forward of the switchboard and splice it into the battery supply using Tamiya connectors.
Might change these to XT60s later if current drain is more than 12 to 15A.
All for now, all this was pulled out again preparatory to cosmetics on the hull, decks, cabin roof and walls inside and out.
But that's another chapter so, 'Tune in next week, same time same channel when once again it's time for
Or 'The Saga of the Cabin Roof' 😉
Cheers Doug 😎
BTW: After drilling the shaft tube for the oiler pipe I flushed it out with light machine oil (pumped in from a big syringe)
and shoved a few pipe cleaners through (rotating them on the way) to remove any remaining drill swarf!!

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by mturpin013 on the 17th Mar 2018
your milling machine looks so clean can you come round and clean mine
Response by RNinMunich on the 17th Mar 2018
Cross my palm with silver!!! (Just call me Fagin😉)
Labour and materials free of charge. Travel expense only will be charged: 'At Cost'! Business Class of course😁😁
Before I started on that little exercise I spent an hour or so cleaning, oiling and adjusting the set screws! The actual work only took about 15 or 20 minutes😲
Progress on the hull - At Last! - Posted: 25th Oct 2017
After many distractions and accumulating 'stuff' to go in and on the boat I finally got around to tidying up the hull this week.
After flattening with 180 / 240 wet and dry I sealed with Ezekote flattened again then sprayed with a professional grade primer / filler from the auto branch.
As usual this showed up all the pits so I filled them with Revell Plasto and primed again. After going round this loop a few times I was (reasonably) happy and flattened with 600 W&D.
Then sprayed on Royal Blue from a giant rattle can, also from the auto pro market. Flattened off with 1200 W&D between coats. I have Tamiya Royal Blue acrylic for my air brush as well but couldn't be bothered to set up the compressor🤔 Can worked pretty well though. 👍
Last pic shows the 'Before'!
Will leave the final finishing, nameplate and lacquer coat until I have finished the internal fitting out and the cabin. Have decided to plank the cockpit with mahogany😲 just ordered from Krick! First attempt at planking - Wish me luck!
I like the blue hull so much I think I will just mark the waterline with a red (or white?) boot topping stripe. Comments welcome.
Cabin will be white with a blue roof.
Now to continue with the new prop shaft, old one is showing signs of wear at both ends and rust at the wet end 🤔 Anyway it's got an imperial thread which is useless when all my brass props are metric.
More soon, I hope 😉 Cheers Doug 😎

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by Donnieboy on the 17th Mar 2018
Nice paint job.What about using a light blue pinstripe.The white I feel will overpower the blue.Just a thought.
Response by RNinMunich on the 18th Mar 2018
Mornin' Donnieboy, Thankyou😊
That was just the first phase of the hull job, see above for the latest instalment!
You might be right about the white 👍 Light blue may not stand out enough though? Have been pondering gold? Ciao, Doug 😎
Response by Donnieboy on the 18th Mar 2018
Gold sounds good.What about a cream colour.Beautiful job on the boat.
Taycol Test 2 with reverse :-)) - Posted: 15th May 2017
Success 😊 First attempt as per cct with + &- from bridge connected to field --> Zilch 🤔
With + & - outputs connected to brushes and the two ~ to the field coil --> perfect, Full power F and R 😊 Confirmed my suspicions!
Pic 1 shows the breadboard lash-up.
Pic 2 input waveform to brushes forward power, average 'DC' positive.
Pic 3 input with reverse power, average 'DC' negative.
Pic 4 typical current drawn near full power @ 6V. Well within Taycol spec.
Pic 5 shows the waveform with the motor in standard 'out of the box' setup, complete with sparks! Have also videoed the change in waveform with 'stick' movement.
😊 I'm happy with that. Will now tidy up the layout and make a compact board for boat installation. Tomorrow is another day 😉 Cheers all 😎

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by Dave M on the 15th May 2017
Glad you got it working. The secret is to change the polarity to just one set of coils otherwise you reverse both magnetic fields. The bridge rectifier achieves this.
Current draw is as you say well within spec.
Pic 5 says it all really. Those spikes are nearly full voltage and will defo be a problem for any ESC that doesn't have fast protection diodes.
They are acting as spark transmitters and explain why early TV sets were so vulnerable to interference.
Modern Rx are much more sensitive and ESC's will react to this high pulse, so it is not surprising they suffer from interference if no suppression is in place
Hope you do an update when you have completed the wiring
Response by RNinMunich on the 15th May 2017
Yep! I remember the snow and prancing round the room with loop antennas trying to get a half decent picture!
Marconi transatlantic tests!!

Will update as appropriate. Missing the ozone scent 🤔 Oh well, you can't have everything I suppose.
Cheers Doug 😎
PS the 'secret' was clear!
Taycol First test with ESC. - Posted: 14th May 2017
Taycol Target test 1, with Graupner V30R brushed ESC. Running on 6V.
As expected full speed control with ESC connected to field terminals as usual but no reverse. Now about to try the 'lecktrickery'. More soon. 😎
Response by RNinMunich on the 15th May 2017
PS to Taycol Target / ESC tests: Interesting side effect! The sparks have gone 😊 Sorry Dave 🤔
Presumably they are damped by the diodes. The 800Hz switching frequency, as opposed to constant DC, may also play a role.
"Veeery interestink, but don't forget to tell Lucy!!". Showing my age again!
Cheers Doug. 😎
BTW copying expressly desired!
Response by Dave M on the 15th May 2017
Hi Doug
The sparks are being controlled by the diodes as you suspected and as shown on the skope. The frequency will be a factor. I suspect you can probably hear the tone through the coils, depending on your hearing.
Last I heard Lucy was still up there with the sparklers!
Be interesting to see more skope pics once you have tidied up the wiring.
Response by RNinMunich on the 15th May 2017
Yep, I can hear the tone, now the motor growls!

Not the Beatles Lucy! I meant the little guy with the German helmet who always appeared at the end of the Rowan & Martin Laugh-In on Saturday nights! Many many moons ago 🤔
Cheers Doug 😎
Taycol Pt 3. New Brushes Pt1 - Posted: 12th May 2017
1) Carefully flattened first old brush with flat jaw pliers and traced it and stick-glued to the fozzy sheet,
2) Raw cut of blank. I use tin snips with fine serrations on one blade.
stops the snips skidding and minimises curling 😉
3) First raw blank next to original after careful flattening with tack hammer and anvil and removing minor twist. For the next one I think I'll drill it in stage 1 🤔

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by RNinMunich on the 13th May 2017
Yep, or 5.6mm! My micro is metric! Checked the thread as well ~ 3.2mm or 0.126" 👍 Hmm, just started peeing down - again 😆
So, onward and upward, will start on he actual boat after lunch. Ciao for now 😎 Many thanks all for the offers of help with the nuts😊
Response by Westquay on the 13th May 2017
Excellent. So now it's all up and running.
That was a quick restoration too.

Response by RNinMunich on the 13th May 2017
Sometimes (often!) takes me a while to get started, but then -
Don't get in the way!
Since working outside (sanding etc) has just been nixed by the weather think I'll start on the reversing circuit. Cheers Doug 😎
Target Renovation Part 2 - Posted: 9th May 2017
Hurrah for the Cyber Shot ! Here are the missing pics 6 & 7 of the 'nail polishing boards' from last post!
So, last night I used this board to clean up the rest of the parts. Results in
pic 8. The bitza bazaar!😊
Back to the brushes 🤔 Caught them just in time before they fractured and started chewing up the commutator! Pic 9.
They are simple phosphor bronze strips with a dimple pressed in the end for the contact.
The crest of the dimple (the actual contact area) is burned / worn away but the rims are intact so, until I can get some phosphor bronze strip I will make a temporary repair by soldering a tiny piece of thick copper wire under the hole and polishing it to shape. Wish me luck 👍😎

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by RNinMunich on the 10th May 2017
Noggin the Nog ?? 😁
Response by Scratchbuilder on the 12th May 2017
I had the same problem a couple of years ago with my Taycol Target.I removed the Existing brushes, flattened the worn segment ends and soldered new carbon handmade sections onto the old brass brushes.They have worked fine to this day.NOT original I know but effective.
Response by RNinMunich on the 12th May 2017
Caaarbon!! Aih Say Sir, Gadzooks! 😉
See Part 3; I just made new phosphor bronze brushes, about to reassemble and test! 😎
The Taycol Target Renovation - Posted: 9th May 2017
Progress 😉
Dismantled and armature / field coils separated to inspect the damge-
Pic 1: 'Les Bits' or Oh gawd! How am I ever goin' to get this back together?

Pics 2 & 3: It's actually in better nick than I expected 😊 Didn't get much use as I recall.
Commutator is meatier than I expected pic 3, brushes not so good, pic 2. More to that later!
Pic 4: Cleaning up the commutator on 'the lathe'! Good enough for this job, not worth starting up the Proxon. The stand is an ancient Black & Decker accessory, the drill is an also ancient Buffalo. Think it was an AA special offer when I still lived in UK about 35 years ago. Automobile Association not what you were thinking😉
Pic 5: Commutator cleaned up a bit. Can heartily recommend the ladies nail polishing boards for this sort of job. See pic 6 & 7 . NOT nail files, they're much too coarse. The boards are a handy size for our big mitts come in packs for peanuts and have three 'grits': fine, super fine and ultra super fine👍 So I started with a nearly knackered piece of 600 wet&dry and finished off with the board.
Damn! Samsung Stupidphone won't connect to the PC😡 have to go and dig out a real camera, more soon 😎

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by RNinMunich on the 10th May 2017
Yep, inside the box is a little 'Caviar' 😉 glass for the remaining nuts, screws and washers! 😎
Response by Westquay on the 10th May 2017
We had started throwing the Chinese pots away again as I was getting too big a pile, but tonight's meal came in an extra deep one, so they will be looked for in future. Something like a Mini won't fit in a normal one.

Response by RNinMunich on the 10th May 2017
Great Minds👍 Guten Appetit
I'm making some fish n chips 😜
Aerokit Sea Scout 'Jessica' Renovation - Posted: 6th May 2017
Some of you may already know part of the story but, spurred on by Martin 'Westquay' and commanded 😉 by Admiral 'Dave' here goes 😎
Dad built her originally when I was about 12, so ca 53-54 years ago.
She was 'No name' and free running with a Taycol Target, ahead only, and a 6V (very) wet cell lead acid. (Down to the garage again for a 'top up!)

Anyway, to cut a long story slightly sideways 😉
MY daughter Jessica found the boat in the cellar when she was about 12!
And immediately wanted to run it on the local lake in Munich, as I was doing with my HMS Hotspur (but that's another shaggy model story!).
Sooooooo, she was cleaned up, resprayed pink (😡!) and white, Taycol Target field motor (no reverse) removed and replaced with a Decaperm 6V 7A with 2.75:1 gearbox. 6V 4000mAH SLA (weight half ton or so) Performance was rather sedate. Well it seemed like a good idea at the time!
RX, battery and rudder servo were shoehorned into the aft compartment, Jessica nameplates stuck on and off we went. Jessie was happy with the boat and I was happy with the Biergarten. Can't remember where 'the management' was 😉

Jessie soon lost interest so I used the boat as a test bed for a while.
So now, 25-26 years on; prompted by Martin, I took the old lady down off the shelf /I TOLD her not climb up there!😉) and started inspecting the damage. Photos attached. (Yes I know 35Megs is not for boats but I didn have nowt else then🤐) The ancient DIN Audio socket was for charging the RX bat, double throw switch on starboard quarter. The big 'ole was for the telescopic antenna borrowed from an old radio. Needs must when ...
The funny looking 'thing' hanging out the transom is a dummy exhaust hiding the bolt holding the antenna bracket inside!

Have also started dismantling and renovating the Taycol, which I want to put back in with a reversing circuit and a 2S or maybe 4S LiPo. That was day before yesterday. Yesterday I took out the junk (siren, water pump, servos & micro switches to operate them and the running lights) and wiped the dust off - last two photos, incl. THE JUNK.
Stripped of all the junk & Decaperm she weighs 1214gm (about 2lb 11oz).

Also tested (cautiously!) the Taycol with a regulated / current limiting PSU. She rattled and protested but ran 😊 Now being dismantled, cleaned up and brush gear refurbished. Might also fit proper bearings!
Next step: clean up the old gal, check for leaks and load capacity.
I will probably use the 4S LiPo ca 310gm, the SLA was 660gm, so lots of spare capacity, or maybe I can get her nose out of the water for once
More soon Cheers from Munich 😎
PS to DAve and Martin: NO! I don't propose to go full authentic nostalgia with a wet cell accu 😉

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by RNinMunich on the 9th May 2017
Hi, do you have a pic of a 'Huntsman' so I can see if your vison coincides with mine? Thanks. 😎
Response by Westquay on the 10th May 2017
Here's one, Doug. Nice, innit?

Especially with the gold cove line. One could almost see old Prinny Phil at the helm, eh, what?

Response by RNinMunich on the 10th May 2017
Mmmm nice! Yep something like that is what I had in mind. But first the Taycol Target. The bits an bobs should be here tomorrow, then 'Los geht's'!

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