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I have also coated my 46" RAF Crash Tender with fiber glass matting and used West Systems two part epoxy. i coated the entire hull in one piece apart from the transom. I left it for two days to harden off. it worked very well. I am fitting the rubbing strakes over the top of the fiberglass using modelling pins and 5 minute epoxy.
The prop-shaft, coupling and motor mount that I ordered from ModelBoatBits has arrived so it seems a good a good time to make up a supporting wedge for the mount to fix to. I do have a rigid brass motor alignment aid that I used when building the Crash Tender but do you think I can find it in the workshop?....nope! 😡 I expect it will turn up when I need it least! 🤞 Not wanting to waste time I used a length of heat shrink tubing over the motor coupling to make it as rigid as possible, a trick I had seen done elsewhere, and this enabled me to position the motor on its mount in the desired position and measure the angle that the mounting wedge needs to be made to. I used an offcut of beech that I had in the workshop which I cut to size and then shaped it on the rotary sander that I bought in Lidl, fantastic piece of kit !!. The wedge was then drilled to take the nylon motor mount and also the fixing screws that pass through the beech block, through the balsa base of the box and into the ply reinforcing plate that I put in during early construction of the hull. After cleaning up the hole through the keel the prop-shaft was keyed with some abrasive, smeared with some epoxy and then pushed through to mate with the motor coupling. I used the excess epoxy resin around the shaft inside the hull and used some packing tape to stop it running out when I inverted the hull to seal the lower end. A quick spin on the motor confirmed that the alignment was spot-on and the hull set aside while the epoxy set. The next step will be to plank the deck.
Before I can apply the final coats of epoxy on the hull I need to fit the two rubbing strakes. I started with the bottom rubbing strake which runs along the chine where the side skins and bottom skins meet. The strakes meet the external keel at the bow and also extend across the stern. I used a length of square section of obeche which needed a gentle curve towards the bow, rather than steam the wood I soaked it in water for a few minutes to soften it and then used a heat gun while bending the strip gently to the required curve. When the wood had cooled and dried the bend was set I did a test fit and drilled very fine holes through the strip so that the modelling pins I use to hold the piece in place would not split the wood. A 30 minute epoxy was used to fit the strakes on both sides of the hull and stern. Above this bottom strake is a second rubbing strake and this also meets the keel at the bow and runs across the stern, I used a broader and thinner obeche strip for this and it was prepared and fixed in the same way. The final pieces to fit will be the gunwales which run around the hull where the sides meet the deck but I will not fit them until I have planked the deck.
I used glassfibre cloth and epoxy resin successfully when building my 46” RAF Crash Tender and I chose to do the same with the Police Boat. See: https://model-boats.com/builds/view/23951 for the Crash Tender blog. The application of the cloth and resin serves to strengthen the hull enormously and produces a completely watertight hull, and after additional coats of resin are applied and sanded between coats resulting in a surface that is absolutely smooth and the perfect substrate for the subsequent paint process. With the benefit of my previous experience and greater confidence working with these materials I used a ‘fast’ hardener with the resin which gives a working time of 30 minutes and a much shorter curing time where previously I had used a 90 minute ‘slow’ hardener. The basic process is to cut the cloth roughly to shape with a good margin of overlap and then use masking tape along one edge so that after the resin has been brushed onto the hull the cloth can just be lifted over onto the resin. I then lightly brush the cloth into the resin and push the cloth into any tight angles, without any further resin on the brush, until the weave of the cloth is filled and there are no air pockets and the cloth is completely flat. At this point DO NO MORE as the resin will start to harden and any more fiddling with it will cause the cloth to lift and bubble, less is definitely more in this instance. The resin should cure completely overnight and can be trimmed with a sharp blade. I tend to cover a hull in five stages, as there are five ‘faces’ to the hull and thus it’s a five day process for me, this may be time consuming but I think the results are worth the effort. I will brush on two further coats of resin when the rubbing strakes and gunwales have been added, this will completely fill the weave of the cloth to create a nice flat surface but it’s essential to rub down each coat after curing. All the materials were bought from ‘Easy Composites’ https://www.easycomposites.co.uk
hello i'm trying to epoxy finish on my dumas CC commander and having a hard time getting a smooth surface each time try to put on a coat. it comes out wavy and not even. have tried foam and reg brushes, auto body spreader, try a foam roller, better it was even but not smooth any hints would be helpfully... samc
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
Hello, 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. Joe
The bow of the boat has a compound curve and to create the shape a single block of hard balsa is supplied in the kit, although in my pre-production prototype this had to be formed by laminating some pieces of thick balsa together to the required size. Rather than laminating up a single block separately I did the laminating and glueing in situ on the hull to ensure a solid tight block, and after the glue had cured I set about shaping it. Initially I used a razor saw to roughly remove the surplus at the sides and bottom and then began the process of shaping it to the final form. My sanding plate proved invaluable for the final stages of making the block flush with the hull sides. The underside of the blocks were very carefully shaped with a combination of the sanding plate and abrasive paper around a series large round formers. I was careful not to just use abrasive paper over fingers as this can create grooves and unevenness in the soft balsa. I had already created a concave shape in the bulkhead former F1 and with the ply bottom skins in place it was relatively easy to extend the contour into the bow blocks being very careful to ensure symmetry on both sides. A line was drawn on the blocks that extended the curve of the hull strakes to define the shape. I also used the outer keel as a template throughout the shaping process to make sure that I was not removing too much material. It would be very easy to remove too much material so it pays to do this slowly and carefully, checking all the time for symmetry. Finally when I was happy with the shape I formed a slight flat on the blocks for the outer keel to sit on, using a back light helped greatly with this, and the whole hull was given a light sanding with a detail sander. The prototype kit was supplied with keel components made from thick balsa which would easily be damaged in use so I recreated this in thick ply laminations to the required thickness and shaped it so that it was completely flat and square on the inner edges and with a curved profile on its outer edges. The keel was checked for fit on the hull throughout so that only a minimum amount of filler would be required to blend it to the hull. It was fixed in place with epoxy adhesive and firmly pinned until it fully set and very little filler used to finish it. The kit, which is available now from VMW, includes a single piece bow block and ply keel parts as standard, which makes construction much quicker and easier. I’m glad that bit is over and I’m very pleased with the result. Next stage will be glass fibre cloth and epoxy resin….
I checked, and it looks to me like they changed the design. The current oen shown is plank on frame. If you seal the inside with epoxy you can cover most of the interior to seal it up. I honestly don't think you would have a problem
Given that the inner core of the riva is some sort of plastic (onto which the planks are laid and glued), and given that the one shown has some 15 coats of clear epoxy and varnish, it is quite well sealed. And stable in our experience. I should have mentioned that you may be carving out space for the electronics and motors as well. (I say "may" because it has been a few years, and my memory is not photographic...)
Merry Christmas to All! Yesterday I made a brass strap to secure the motor, then aligned the drive shaft and stuffing tube. Tacked tube in place with a gel superglue, will be covered with epoxy later. Used a short piece of aluminum tube to help align the motor and shaft. A coupler will be placed here. Cut some plywood pieces to create keel at the shaft tube. White stuff is marine epoxy by locktite, just enough to set everything. I will then coat and finish this assembly. Finished the day's work by constructing a rudder, no photo yet. Enjoy Christmas! Joe
Ed, Tilt the boat up and just pour two part epoxy into this area. I always do this, first I glue tack the stuffing tube to insure alignment. Then pour in the epoxy usually along with lead bird shot or bb's for ballast. Joe
Double thickness of tinplate formed by folding along it's length shaped round a former and soldered in place. Epoxy if on alloy .If you want lugs just fold and pinch in a vice or pliers.Drill holes as required for stays. Or just solder on.👍 Takes patience but very effective.