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The Big Heavy Model Boat Launching Blues by Jerry Todd Lieutenant   Posted: 8 hours ago
Fully set up, I'm guessing Constellation weights between 100 and 110 pounds (I haven't had the opportunity the get an accurate measurement yet). Taking her to events with pools requires lifting her into the pool. I haven't figured out a way to do that easily, or safely, or more importantly, alone. I built her to sail in open water, so the 2 or three times I have to ask for help at a pool isn't a big deal. I'm sure that most of the time I'll be launching her at a ramp or shoreline, and that I'll need to move her from the parking area to the shoreline, however far that may be. There's times I may be faced with a bulkhead, but like the pool, there's no easy fix for that with a model this size. My first plan was a hand-truck set-up like the picture of my friend Ray from RCGroups, and his SC&H model of Surprise, a very similarly sized model to mine. The hand-truck is plastic and the cradle is wood, and you can see it's pretty bulky to hold a 100 pound model. Ray said his issue with it was it floated. When launching he had to push it down to get the model clear, and when retrieving he had to hold on to it or it would fall over, while trying get hold of a big model with spars sticking out everywhere. If the water was choppy or boaters were making wakes, it was that much more difficult. He also didn't like that he had to go into knee-deep water, at least. Dan, also from RCGroups, and the fellow that developed the sliding-brace-winch, has an SC&H brig he's modeled as the US brig Syren. It also came with the same hand-truck Ray's Surprise did. Dan wasn't all that enamored with it either. He pointed out how when you lean it back to move the model, it put you in among the rigging risking damage or even injury. Dan altered his hand-truck into a cart and has not looked back. In my mind, it's a boat. I have a 16 foot sailboat, and to move it, and launch it, I use a boat-trailer, so it would make sense to make a boat-trailer for the model. I scribbled an idea on paper, but then turned to some old 3D modeling software so I could see it better. My model has a 4 foot long ballast tube bolted to the keel. So I figured a U shaped channel to cradle that tube and support the model would be the basis of the cart. While Dan's cart has worked great for him, I didn't care for his 3-wheeled arrangement. Like an actual boat trailer, I opted for a single axle right under the model. I figured this would be more easily maneuvered and handle terrain a little better. I figured on making the cart from angle steel I dould bolt together. I over-designed the thing a bit, drawing a framework that would cradle the model that the more I looked at, the less I thought I needed. Going back to my real boat trailer, It just had center support and a pair of carpet cover skids (bunkers) to hold the boat up-right. Simple is always the best approach - and I had just the right material to build this cart from - a steel bed-frame. This L-angled steel had the strength to easily carry the model while using a minimum of material, and it certainly wasn't going to float! Two girders would form a U shaped channel to cradle the ballast tube. I figured a rod axle would need support or it could bend with a 100 pound model bouncing on it, a third angle would be set across for the axle. A couple of upright posts with padding would hold the model upright. Nearly all the weight of the model rests in the channel, so there's not a lot of strain on the uprights. I didn't have a cutting wheel so tried cutting the bed frame with a reciprocating saw. Bed frame steel is hard, it ate both blades, and two more I bought before finally getting the three main pieces cut, though I had no trouble drilling it. I used the u-bolt portion of a set of wire-clamps to hold the axle. A bit of flat steel to brace the axle so it wouldn't try to twist. It's all held together with nuts and bolts. I wanted short pieces of steel for and aft to hold the loose ends of the channel, but I wasn't gonna try to cut that stuff again, so I just used some scrap 2x4. To hold the handle I tried mounting a wood block with a hole forward, but then I remembered I had a flag-pole mount from when I replaced a rotten post on the porch. It took some searching, but I found it and screwed it on. The wheels are shopping cart wheels bought new from Ace Hardware online for about $5 each. I looked into inflatable wheels to give a softer ride, but they were too expensive for me. I watch the local thrift shops though, and if something shows up with nice wheels, I'll grab it. A fender washer goes on the axle first, so the wheel doesn't rub against the axle support; then the wheel, another washer, and a hitch-pin holds it all on. I can pull the hitch pins and remove the wheels making it easier to stow the cart. The uprights are simple 3/4" pine with some pipe insulation for padding (as opposed to tennis balls in the 3D model). They're bolted to the axle support, but I want to alter that a little so they can be folded in to make the cart flatter for transport. The handle is an old wood closet pole I've had for a long time. A bit too old it would turn out, but that's a later story. I painted it white for visibility as it also serves as a guard to protect the model's bowsprit from cell-phone wielding idiots that seem to be the most common form of life on this planet now. I painted the cart blue, because it wasn't black, white, or red; the other colors I had. Unfortunately, I wasn't ready in time to the museum event, and didn't go, but I wanted to sail the model before it got cold, and see if this thing worked.

Just Keep Swimming by Jerry Todd Lieutenant   Posted: 2 days ago
The maritime museum's event, scheduled for October instead of May, was cancelled as a hurricane blew up the coast and pushed water up the bay flooding a lot of coastal bay towns like St Michaels. I couldn't make the next Port Expo in 2016, but I tried to be ready for the maritime museum in October. I started making the forward bulwarks. The real ship had sections that folded down on bronze hinges a few of which still exist as she still had her forward bulwarks when she came to Baltimore. They could also be removed. I mad all the section as a single piece and I don't intend to make them functional, just something to snag and need to be repaired. As mentioned, the original winch drums warped and I made new ones with styrene drums instead of wood. These vanished around the time I moved and haven't been found yet, so I got some sheet plastic to take the place of the CDs and made a new pair. I have to say, I'm not happy with these at all. I did add a small block of Delrin to each winch to brace the drums against the pull of the braces/springs. Constellation's board at her entry port were carved. I took a photo of an original at the ship and traced it in PaintShopPro. Scaled it to the model and printed it. I glued this to some bass wood. I have some mahogany I can slice some thing slabs off of, and I may try using a rotary tool to carve a set for real, but till then, these will do. I tried to make the tops'l yard parrels which are iron hoops lined with wood. There's a pin for the yard's yoke to ride on, and the hoop can be opened and hinged to be removed. I wanted all that in case I need to remove a yard at some point without pulling down the whole rig. I tried it with some sheet brass, and again, I wasn't too hgappy with the result. We'll come back to that. So, I fiddled around with cutting combs to make hatch gratings, and actually managed to get something done, which led to making the main hatch cover. I had cut a bit of plywood as a cover, just to keep dust from going below while I was working - I based my hatch cover on this piece, framed the bottom; installed ledged for it to sit on inside the hatch coaming, and made gratings and fake beams on top. It's a bit simplified buy what the ship actually had, but it gets the point across. A couple of smaller gratings also got installed giving the deck a more finished appearance. I wasn't thrilled at bumping the bottom of a pool again, but the maritime museum is on the Miles River. I needed to be able to launch and retrieve the model at a boat-ramp or shore, so I started designing a launch-cart....

Triton by Krampus Lieutenant   Posted: 5 days ago
With my boats getting routinely stranded in the middle of nowhere, I felt compelled to commission a rescue vessel and "Triton" was born. "Triton" is a Springer-type tug push boat. With a hull and superstructure consisting of an “Indiana” style command cabin, it was built using a pretty basic birch plywood American kit designed for swimming pool water polo. Kit altered to resemble a fictitious Salvamento Marítimo (Spanish Coast Guard) unit following Salvamento Marítimo’s actual boat markings. Equipment and deck layout inspired on actual Springer tug push boats supporting larger vessels and barges found in US and European ports and rivers. Model built during September – October 2015. Approx. 1/18 scale. Real life boat could be a 30-footer (9.14m) vessel. Equipped with 9v LED navigation lights and sound system. Powered by an HPI Racing 1145 Gt 550 Motor, NiMH 7.4v battery, a 3-bladed 44mm propeller, and a 6-12V 320A RC Ship & Boat R/C Hobby Brushed Motor Speed Controller.

Sailing for the First Time by Jerry Todd Lieutenant   Posted: 7 days ago
In April 2011 I set a deadline to sail the model for the first time on July 10th. I had places to go and other things to get done, so I figured that was far enough ahead to have her ready in time. There were a lot of things that needed to get done if the model was going to sail; * Shape the still rough cut yards; fore course, fore tops'l, crossjack, and mizzen tops'l yards. * Complete the yard trusses with mast bands and banding to attach them to the yards * A gammon "iron" for the bowsprit. * Rudder control & steering. * New winch drum for braces (the originals with wood drums warped badly). * Sails for planned sailing suit; 3 tops'ls, spanker, and jib. She was basically jury-rigged, with all three course yards linked together to a single winch. July 9th's forcaste was for perfect weather, light northerly wind, blowing up the creek so if there was a problem, the model would drift back to me. Unfortunately, I wasn't ready by the 9th and the 10th was light, variable, fluky, 90°, and humid. The top mast fids were pulled and the topmasts lowered. The model with some tools, her ballast, and what I thought I might need were all placed in the truck the night before. The radio and main batter were put on charge. Next day we drove the couple of block down the street to the Sloop Cove public dock on Stoney Creek. The rig was raised, ballast attached, electronics connected and tested, and she went into the water. With her ballast and extra lead I had she still sat 2" high in the water. I set her out, but the iffy light wind sent he back, then she threatened to get tangled with a powerboat on a lift until I managed to squeek her out into open water. She sailed a bit, but just when she'd get moving the wind would shift or reflect off something and catch her aback. Then suddenly she stopped responding at all. Something of a gust caught her and she headed for a dock. I headed over, which meant swimming, and not being a great swimmer realized I should have brought my flotation vest from my sailboat along. It being so hot, the swim wasn't exactly unwelcome, but it was a lot of work. The model sailed right into the end of a dock about 100 feet away, bounced on her forestay, and basically parked there. I got her back to shore looking like a drowned cat myself, but there was no damage at all to the model. As it turned out, the main battery failed.

Masts, mast steps, inside the hull, the rudder by Jerry Todd Lieutenant   Posted: 9 days ago
The model's lower masts are made of white cedar. These were cut square, a taper hand-planed in, made 8-sided, then round. The bands are the same brown paper tape the hull was covered in. A visit to the real ship in Baltimore to get measurements, and look at some artifacts netted me some bits of live oak original to the ship. The Navy began stockpiling live oak for ship-building in 1816 with the Gradual Increase Act. It was from these stockpiles that Constellation was built. These trees were as much as 200 years old when cut, so this wood I have could be as much as 400 years old. I wasn't sure how to incorporate this bit of the ship into the model, and opted to make the mast steps from it. One piece is the size of a business card and stamped USS Constellation 1854. I'll stamp the year she's finally finished and my name into that and install it as her builder's plate. The masts step on what I call her mechanical decks. These are simple 3/8" plywood panels where her mechanics and controls will be mounted. Beams were epoxied into the hull for them, and they are held in place with brass wood screws. The aft deck is where the mizzen steps and the rudder servo is mounted. The battery lies on it's own deck just abaft the main mast as low as it can possibly be inside the hull. The cross-section drawing shows deck beams, decks, ballast rods, the external ballast, etc etc etc. The rudder is made from Plexiglas as shown in it's drawing. A brass tube passes through the stern that the rudder's head just fits into. There's no room behind the rudder head for a bell-crank setup to work, so I again went with real boat tech and installed a tiller, made of copper plate soldiered to a set-collar. There's a couple of pictures of the aluminum tubes for the ballast rods in there. You may want to right-click on an image, like the drawings, and "View Image" then click on it to see it full size and legible. Use the browser's "back" button to get out of that.

Dumas Chris Craft finishing by don6398 Chief Petty Officer   Posted: 10 days ago
I completed the Dumas 36" CHRISCraft several years ago. I made sure all of wood planking was completely smooth and minus all dents. I covered the model in 5 oz. fiberglass cloth and cover it with resin/Hardener. The planking immediately shine out. I then did a light sanding and gave it one more coat of resin/hardener. When dried I put some auto wax on it. You can purchase this material in marine stores or a good hardware store. My father and i did this a long time ago a real 22 foot ChrisCraft barrel . We did a small corner of the boat first, you can do the same on the model. We did fiberglass the whole boat so that we didn't have to soak the boat at beginning of the summer

What wood to use for a Boat Stand by RNinMunich Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 14 days ago
Well done that man 👍 Maybe you could also stiffen it up by laminating some 3mm ply onto it? BTW, just stumbled across 'My R&C Center' Now I see where the nickname comes from 😉 Cheers Doug 😎

What wood to use for a Boat Stand by figtree7nts Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 14 days ago
It worked with great success...👍

What wood to use for a Boat Stand by figtree7nts Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 14 days ago
OK, I'm back to making the bow support for my boat stand! No wood of fret saw to be had. Eventually Serenity will have a proper boat stand made. This time I cut out three pieces instead of two. I will laminate them using contact cement. Lets see how that goes.....

Fairy Huntsman by Sparkman Chief Petty Officer   Posted: 17 days ago
Sorry yes ,it's a refurbishment of a 34 " all wood boat .found in a loft and been there a long time , I prefer brushed motors and would like it to plane ( can always slow it down .thanks for your interest Brian

Stanborough Lake. by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 1 month ago
Hi Kipper. Thanks for the link, I had already looked at the site and unfortunately could not visit on the 27th May for their regular lakeside meeting to make contact with club members. However I had previously paid a visit to the lake on Sunday 21st May expecting to see a few boats on the lake on a what was a gloriously sunny afternoon and found not a single boat but plenty of wildfowl and the lake clogged with weed and leaves. It's a nice big stretch of water with plenty of landing stages around the shoreline and on the wooden bridge that separates the pleasure boating lake from the model boating lake but the amount of weed and detritus would make me wary of making a maiden voyage there. By contrast, I visited the lake at Verulam Park St Albans a week earlier and, although not as big, had little or no weed, but a few alarmingly large branches were being thrown into the water by dog walkers who were encouraging their pets to retrieve them, but were ultimately abandoned. Sadly no boats were being sailed there at the time so I could not make any inquiries with their owners. The first 3 pictures are Stanborough and the last 3 are St Albans. I think I know which I prefer but I would still like to have the view of others who use these lakes regularly. All responses welcome....please ! Thanks. Rob.

Slowly does it. by fid2b Sub-Lieutenant   Posted: 1 month ago
All getting involved now! I suspect it looks worse in the pictures because the prop thrust will definitely pass over the rudder although perhaps not ideally. And I don't have a cardan shaft, just a uj because as I said, simple appealled for a part time hobby as this is to me. My aim was to see if I could form the wooden hull like my Dad did on the fireboat cos I always admired the shape but of course I would like to finish the job eventually 😀

How do I resolve my varnish problem? by Inkoust Admiral   Posted: 1 month ago
Hello, I recommend grinding the whole body with fine sanding paper, then take the "LORD NELSON" pore filler and then re-grind it again. Subsequently, the final lacquer of the best brand. I have been treated like a wooden boat DIVA and already for 6 years on the water without any problems. What happened to you is that you used a bad lacquer that does not resist water. Two-component epoxy lacquers are also good for large yachts. I'm sending a link to the Czech site where the varnishes are designed for ship modellers. Just use the Gogle translator and the same merchandise you can get at the shop. Or on EBay. https://www.modelylodi.cz/Laky-a-plnice-c11_86_2.htm😉

Hydrofoil by Stour-boy Chief Petty Officer   Posted: 1 month ago
Hi shipmates, has anyone ever made a hydrofoil for a model boat, I have got a wooden fire /sea rescue boat single screw which to me seems about right for a hydrofoil system. So where do I start ????? any ideas ? Steve.

3 Footer on a very rare outing by RNinMunich Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 2 months ago
Hi Don't know of a film but ... "Dog Boats at War: Royal Navy D Class MTBs and MGBs 1939-1945 By: Leonard C. Reynolds (author) Paperback ISBN13: 9780752450452" Built of plywood and measuring 115 feet long, powered by four supercharged petrol engines and armed to the teeth with heavy weapons, the 'D' Class Motor Gun Boats (MGBs) and Motor Torpedo Boats (MTBs) were better known as Dog Boats and played havoc with enemy shipping in home and foreign waters. During three years of war they engaged the enemy on more than 350 occasions, sinking and damaging many ships. "Dog Boats at War" is the authoritative account of operations by the Royal Navy's 'D' Class MGBs and MTBs in the Second World War in Home, Mediterranean and Norwegian waters. As well as drawing on official records - both British and German - the author has contacted several hundred Dog Boat veterans whose eyewitness accounts add drama to the unfolding story. £17 at Smiths 😉 cheers Doug 😎