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>> Home > Boat Building Blogs > Rescue Vessel - Springer Tug
>> Permalink
Rescue Vessel - Springer Tug Print Booklet
Author: Joe727   Posts: 21   Photos: 118   Subscribers: 1   Views: 1723   Responses: 31   |   Most recent posts shown first   (Show oldest first)

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Build Finalized - Posted: 9th Feb 2019
Finally put some finishing touches on my Rescue Vessel BUILD. Added rubber bumpers to assist in rescuing at bow and stern. Removed the smoker unit as these was complicating the build and was against one of my original objectives....Keep it Simple!

Overal all I am pleased with is build, it was fun, quick and built mostly with scraps and parts on hand. The Springer Tug design is a great starter design and can be easily modified to personal tastes. I recommend this to those out there to get some initial or just more experience at building. It's fun!

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by Donnieboy on the 9th Feb 2019
Nice clean build.It will look good on the water.Great job.👍
Response by figtree7nts on the 9th Feb 2019
Very nice, good details!👍
Great scratch build!👍👍
Response by Joe727 on the 13th Feb 2019
Ed / Donnieboy,
Thank you for the compliments, I appreciate it. It's the first quick build, most of mine take 1-2 years. It's making me think about how to improve on build times. Thanks again.
Nav. lights and smoker - Posted: 17th Jan 2019
The navigational lights and the smoker still need to be final wired with a power switch for each. The amp draw on the smoker is about 2.2 Amps as measured with my meter, so I intend to use a 2 1/2 Amp Fuse.

Will probably just use manual switch rather than remote just to keep it simple, we will see.....
Cheers, Joe
Can't stop adding stuff - Posted: 15th Jan 2019
Well, when I started this build I said it was just going to be a quick, easy build.....but I can't stop getting more ideas and adding on. Lights, now exhaust smoke!
Could not resist taking time last night to try my hand at a homemade smoker. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to build one and it works great. Then today I decided rather then put it inside the hull I would put it topside for easy access and to keep an eye on it....fires don't do well on boats. Mounted as shown, still in progress but I made an enclosure to cover it. Will fashion a new stack out of the white tube in the last photo.
Now what else can I add...... Joe

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by Joe727 on the 15th Jan 2019
Doug, Thanks for the suggestions. Can't do any sea trials as we have rain for four days here in sunny California where it ever rains..... Will take the time to further detail.

Yes, I will put together the details for the smoker. I did not photograph the smoker build as I was just experimenting. It went together in about two hours figuring out some things along the way. It actually works better than a brand name one I just purchased for $100 USD.

Will get to ASAP.
Response by RNinMunich on the 15th Jan 2019
Thanks Joe, look forward to that.
Been looking at some commercial ones but they're **** expensive and some are too tall to fit in some of my ships.
I have several of those small 5V computer fans in my stash, saved from obsolete PCs. I always saved the fans and the PSUs and various cables.
The ribbon cables and various connectors can come in very handy, esp. in smaller vessels 😉Also have plastic, alu and brass tubes of various gauges up to 10mm.
About to experiment with some small ones for model railways. Will have to build box and fan etc round them.
Ciao, Doug 😎
PS No sea trials here either, everything frozen for weeks 🤔
Response by Joe727 on the 17th Jan 2019
Those little cpu fans are perfect, plug into a spare channel and you get the 5 volts easy.

What gauge train are you building smokers for?

Reassembly - Posted: 14th Jan 2019
Continuing on, I finished mounting the light bar, all lights are functioning. For some reason my iPad does not like LEDs and they don't photograph when lit. Made an exhaust stack out of brass tube, mitered the top, soldered and painted.
Hull dry now so I mounted the superstructure onto the hatch, reinstalled the tow bits, switch and batteries, RX, motor, etc.
Getting close to sea trials, maybe this week schedule permitting. Cheers, Joe

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by figtree7nts on the 14th Jan 2019
She looks awesome, as a freelance Tugboat!
Response by Donnieboy on the 14th Jan 2019
Nice job.Looks really good.
LED Nav. Lighting - Posted: 13th Jan 2019
Two days ago I put what I hope is the final paint on the hull, hatch and misc. parts. I like to let it sit for several days to cure, especially in cooler weather.
I took the time to work out LED navigational lighting for my Brooklyn Tug and got that installed. I will photograph that tug later. Back to the springer tug, I had difficulty finding a good mounting spot for the starboard and port lighting so I decided to raise it on a light bar. Photos show the styrene structure in progress which will have the green and red side lights and a single white light on the top center post. Worked out the resistor values to reduce current and work off of my 6 volt supply, then soldered as shown. Fed the assembled LEDs through the plastic rectangular tunnel I created. The one photo I took with the red LED turned on is so bright that the camera just picked up a bright spot. I may have to reduce brightness but will test out in daylight first....

These LEDs are very bright and are 360 degree view! Ordered from "" in order to get the full 360 as the ones at the local store were very limited to 18 to 60 degrees. Ordered red, green and white and they arrivedin about four days, great service. I have used this company several times and am happy with them, good to know. More to come, Joe

Attached Photos - Click To View Large
Ships-Ladder - Posted: 9th Jan 2019
Back at it this afternoon, handrails are very solid after overnight cure. Trimmed the rail ends to the necessary length. Glued in place. Built a ships ladder, first time for this, think it will work. Need to get ships ladder set to finalize railing.

Ladder railing is seen in photo, I make bends like on this by applying heat and bending with my fingers. Styrene gets very flexible with heat, but can quickly melt if not careful. I learned not to use my heat gun (used for shrink tubing in my electronics) as it quickly gets out of control. I usually boil water, let it sit and dip the plastic in and out. Easy way to control bends. Joe

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by mturpin013 on the 12th Jan 2019
Nice to see some custom made fine detail
Response by figtree7nts on the 12th Jan 2019
Great Details!👍
Styrene source - Posted: 8th Jan 2019
Ed, I get my styrene at a local train model shop, all of the other hobby shops closed down. It is from Evergreen Scale Models and they do sell on-line as well. I buy both the shapes and sheet styrene and I cut all my materials with single edge razor blades as a, sharp blade is always good. Buy bulk packages and go thru a couple a day. See photos

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by BOATSHED on the 8th Jan 2019
I also have a pile of packets of the same stuff like that.
Response by figtree7nts on the 8th Jan 2019
Hi Joe,

Thanks, for sharing!
It's a good website to know of!

Regards, Ed

Hi Boatshed,
I'm going to order too, It comes in handy!
Railings - Posted: 8th Jan 2019
Last night I had done a quick railing mockup as seen in the first three photos. Decided to go with styrene and use a rectangular stanchions (verticals) and top handrail along with horizontal round intermediates. Drilled holes through the verticals and inserted the round rods, then glued. Worked pretty well.

Next few shots show how I typically sketch up to scale and determine proper spacers, dividers come in handy for this. Then drew some guide lines for assembly, taped it to my tack surface, covered in wax paper and pinned the assemble in place. Pins do not penetrate anything,just uses pressure to secure. Some drops of styrene cement and the parts are welded together. Then on to all the railings needed. Will let dry overnight and trim ends in place.

FYI -- Tack surface is just a piece of acoutical ceiling tile, I cut down the 2'x4' size to make smaller ones for my tiny workbench use. I learned this pinning method from building balsa airplanes, comes in handy a lot...... Joe

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by BOATSHED on the 8th Jan 2019
A good model shop has a rack of all different shapes and sizes of plastic strip. flat, round, square, box,channel all about 300mm long with various amounts in each pack. The model shop near me has it, TJD Models, Sutton at Hone. I have a bout 10 packs in different types I've used on a couple of models.
Response by Joe727 on the 9th Jan 2019
Boatshed, I see you are in the UK, I'm glad to see they sell this styrene there. Good stuff, it takes a while to get a good collection, you must have been at it for a while too. What are you building with styrene? Cheers, Joe
Response by BOATSHED on the 9th Jan 2019
I have made just a couple of bits for different models. As well as used it to make something for my granddaughters dolls house. But I keep a supply just in case I need it for the model boats and cars. This is the mast I first made from it on my 28" RAF Crash Tender. I shrunk the plan parts on a scanner and made it from 90% balsa. The water trial was a bit of a failure as the brass prop was too large and 4 bladed. I have since invested in 3 smaller ones 30, 25, and 20mm 3 bladed brass but not got around to another sea trial yet. Also as you can see she still needs to be finished with painting. I will get round to it one day.
Paint / epoxy work - Posted: 7th Jan 2019
No photos today as I prime painted the superstructure and did some cleanup on the skeg with some epoxy. Starting to plan on how to build the railings around the pilot house, mocked up a quick piece tonight, but too tired to photo, will get to tomorrow.
Response by figtree7nts on the 7th Jan 2019
Hi Joe,

Why not put stanchions on each corner.
And every 1" or so.
Go around to the back of the second deck.
Put the Pilot House ask flush to the front!
Then on the back have a ladder going.
Down to the Main deck!

Regards, Ed
Response by Joe727 on the 7th Jan 2019
Ed, yes, I plan to do a ships-ladder along with the railings. It will be my first scratch built ships-ladder. Will photo the process. Joe
Pilot House Structure - Posted: 6th Jan 2019
Hello, I was not happy with the pilot house and substructure location toward the rear of the tug, that was when I was considering a tug ferry. Repositioned now to the more traditional tug front location. Cut up the old structure and am reworking it. Photos show the progress from last night and today, very time consuming, but I enjoy working with styrene. Lost some time fooling around with some LED nav lighting, but I did not have all of the required sizes and colors, maybe later after sea-trials.
Hopefully I will wrap up the details in the next week and get on to final paint. Inside mechanical and electronics are complete. More tomorrow. Regards, Joe

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by figtree7nts on the 6th Jan 2019
Hi Joe,

She's coming along nicely.
Very well done!👍
Response by Joe727 on the 6th Jan 2019
Donnieboy, Interesting, I never thought about having several super structures. Thanks for the comments. Joe
Response by Joe727 on the 6th Jan 2019
Ed, Thank you. Joe

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