Don Brown

This was my first go at building a model boat ( after many years of aeromodelling).

It (the sailing boat) is a 1/8th scale model of my Westerly Pentland Ketch ( well it was mine - I've sold it now - getting too old for long nights at sea). I built it with a GRP hull from a mould which I made from foam. Decks and superstructure made from lite-ply. Masts and sails and fittings are all home made plus a 500 electric motor with a three blade prop from the Propshop.

"Dolfyn" is a bilge keeler so the model has bilge keels, moulded in GRP, filled with lead encapsulated in resin, and bolted to the hull. They give ample stability for most normal winds.

I sail on the lake at Llanberis (in the shadow of Snowdon) with the Gwynedd Model Boating Group. On most sailing days the assembled model boaters motor off in convoy along the lake and up the feeder stream out of the lake as far as we can go (about a mile and a half or so).

On this occasion I accompanied them just motoring,  (I hadn't made the sails at that time) and ran out of battery power, so was towed all the way back to base.

My airboat is 26 inches by 11 inches. Basically its just a block of foam two and a half inches thick covered with 1/16 balsa (but styrene sheet underneath for when it comes up the concrete slipway).

Powered by a standard 500 electric motor and a MFA belt reduction gear with a 9 inch propeller using a 7 cell pack of 3000mah nicads. The performance is VERY good, and it can easily push other boats around (even when they are in reverse !!)

Capsized on a particularly windy day - the motor continued to run even below water and the prop, whilst turning rather slowly pushed the airboat to the bank!!!

( If you are using the airboat picture you should know that as not everyone likes fast boats going past,
the pilot gives them an irreverent gesture !! )


However my very latest - finished only this weekend is not on there . Its the RNLI Hovercraft - constructed from scratch using photos only (I could not get a plan). Its powered with a 6oo motor for the lift and two brushless outrunners driving the props through shafts. 11.1 volt 2000mah li-po batteries for each motor. Just finished, it has not been out on the water yet but has powered its way from my workroom and out along the hall (didn't dare use much drive power  with the restricted room - very promising though).

Hi Martin

Following on from the last photos which I sent , you may like to see that the RNLI Hovercraft has now taken to the water. I got frustrated waiting for weeks for the wind to die down on the main lake so tried it out in one of the small "lagoons" which was more sheltered. Pleased to say it went well.

Don Brown