I thought I'd share a few pictures of my current project, a Dravo Viking
class American towboat (pusher tug). It's based on a boat called the
Robert M Kopper, a 140 foot by 42 foot towboat, and built at 1:32 scale.
That gives me a model 52.5" long and 16" beam...
The hull is made from 6" * 1" floorboards cut to the shape of the hull
sides, and the bottom is 1/16" ply. The superstructure is made from "foamex"
a lightweight plastic used by signwriters.
The model is powered by two "Spiral" motors from Mobile Marine Models and
it uses two 85mm props in fixed korts. Batteries are two 12v 12Ah lead
acids which should give a runtime in excess of 6 hours! These boats have
six rudders (yes, SIX) and with independant throttles it will turn on the
spot and happily steers just as well in reverse as it does forwards - In
fact it will even move SIDEWAYS with a bit of practice!
There's still a heck of a lot of detail to add to the model, but what you
see is the result of two months work so far..... In the first few photos
of the hull, there's a 12" steel rule to give an idea of the size of the
I thought you might be interested in a pictorial build of my latest
I've been looking for a sailing boat for some time, but never really
fancied a normal yacht, they just aren't my thing! :-) After searching the
web I eventually found a boat that I liked, a Bristol channel pilot
cutter. So then the hunt was on to see what plans/hulls etc were available
- I was disappointed to find there were very few hulls or plans,
everything that I found was either HUGE and would be impossible to
transport or tiny and would never sail properly, but eventually I did find
a chap called David Alderton who did a range of hulls and promptly ordered
one for the "Breeze". The hull is 40" long with a beam of about 13", still
quite big, especially when the bowsprit is added, but at least it will fit
in my car - Just! The hull arrived within a few days and the quality is
So on with the build.... This will be my first sailing vessel of any
description, so I have a LOT to learn as I go, these sailing boats seem to
have a vocabulary all of their own! A trip down to the CADMA show at
Doncaster last weekend allowed me to get all the materials I would need to
complete the model to deck level, including a sail-winch courteously of
Scoonie hobbies. These first photos
show the bulwarks, transom reinforcement, and deck edge supports
fitted.... Two days work and 2 expensive (bloody expensive!) packs of
Stabilit Express to glue them to the fibreglass hull. but I can now
continue with ordinary woodworking glues which is much more my cup of
The next stage will be to add the lead ballast (all 18 Lbs of it) that the
model requires... The ballast needs to be added BEFORE all the deck beams
are fitted and make the job awkward. David Alderton tells me that I can
pour the lead straight into the hull as long as it's immersed in cold
water and do it slowly so there isn't too big a build up of heat - I'm not
sure I'm convinced, but I'll give it a go.... If anyone else attempts this
be VERY CAREFUL! Molten metal and water can be an EXPLOSIVE combination!
I'll let you know how it goes in my next update...
Eddy Matthews (Darlington & District MBC)
Update Aug 2004
I've been making some great
progress with the "Breeze" over the last couple of weeks. The hull now has
it's rubbing strakes fitted and the first coats of paint applied. The
planked deck is almost ready to fit.
In the photos below, the planked deck is just lying on top of the hull, it
isn't fitted properly yet, so it probably looks a little strange!