Lynn Leaich ....Loves Park, Illinois

[ Click here for Lynn's $10 Lighthouse - Meet Cullen! ]

Hello all,
My name is Lynn. I'm a 62 year old grandfather of 4 and have a 20 year love affair with a Dumas 44' scale model powered lifeboat. I picked her up about 20 years ago in an arts and crafts store, partially done, and throughout the winter of that year, got her up and workable. Raising 2 kids, I didn't have a lot of money to put into her, but being a  mechanical engineer at a small shop had access to machines when needed  to make parts. The stuffing boxes were telescoping brass tubing, the rails were brazing rod, and some things were a lot of "imagineering!" When recovering from colon cancer surgery and treatments about 4 years ago, I pulled her out of drydock and started refurbishing her, from her years in a dirty basement. And now even, I've hauled her out again and added  new features, such as rotating radar mast, workable winch, and am about to outfit her with my own electronic speed control, thanks to Wm. Zumwalt's site, replacing a 5 watt pot and p.c. relay. I've also picked up pointers from Clive Lawford's 44' motor lifeboat site, where he has put some of my building tips on the internet as 'Lynn's modelling tips'.

My other 2 boats are not as noteworthy as the lifeboat and are not r/c.  They are both about 50 years old and fully refurbished. I'm attaching pix of all 3 for for you to see. Thanks for a great site on the internet.

 Today I'm going to see if I can finish up the helmsman's seat in my lifeboat. I wasn't  happy with the one I built 20 years ago. The new one actually swivels.  Am attaching a not so good photo. The old one was wire and balsa. The new one is brass flat stock and balsa, plus my new swivel. Will check back soon. Gonna get some more shuteye, It's 5:19 a.m.

If no one outbids me on some battery packs, I'll be getting  both the one for my tx and one for my rx for a song.  With shipping costs they'll be less than $10 apiece.  If I don't get these. I'll just bid on some nicad batteries and build my own for less than a song.  Ebay has some going for next to nothing right now and I've built my own packs before.  The last set I built lasted me 5 sailing years. I also had built up the 12 volt pack for the boat motor power.  I recently picked up two 12 volt batteries awhile back at Wally World for $7 apiece with a 2.3 amp hour rating.  That would mean that I could sail  my boat for 2.3 hours using 1 amp an hour and my motor only draws about 750 milliamps, giving me 3.06 hours of sailing per charge, per battery.  Even with my running lights on, since they're LED's, I could sail almost  3 hours.  As soon as I get her running, I'll take some pictures at Martin Park for you.

After many trials and tribulations, I have all the "guts" back in the  lifeboat and all systems are go except the lights. I'm still thinking things out on that.  I've a switch rigged for on/off for them, but  haven't decided what to rig for power to them.  As I may have told you, I have converted all filament type bulbs to LED's.  I could run resistors to each LED and run them off the 12 volt main battery, or run them on my 1800 mah receiver battery with a small dropping resistor to each, or get 5 volt LED's and still run them off the receiver battery.  With 1800 mah, there's still plenty of run time on the boat.  If I go 5 volt, I'd have to strip all the lower voltage LED's out and start over......too darned much work.  After all, I do want to get it going this summer , for sure.  Decisions, decisions, decisions.  Back to  square one, large resistance or small?  Oh, well, a nap should clear my head.

Just got back from "Martin Park" from a sailing session.  The water was pretty calm, but it was cloudy and dreary, so my pictures aren't the best they could be.  All systems were go and it went great.  I did  forget to take a picture of the "Martin Park" sign, so that you would  believe me when I talk about sailing there.  I started getting cold, so I broke off my session early, if truth be told, me bladder started to overflow....too much coffee before I went to the park.

Catch you on the flip side,
The Crazy Yank

Thanks for the note of recognition. This is just the way I feel about modelling. It's something to express yourself, when you need a lift to escape the humdrum. My only problem is, I've too many hobbies and not enough money. When my kids were growing up, I didn't have the time or money. Now that I'm retired, I don't have the money. I have found that you can, with a lot of imagination, come up with some pretty neat  things. As a 'for instance', I was rummaging thru some 'junk' from one of my wife's real estate foreclosures, and found an old cassette type answering machine. I checked it out and it wouldn't work. Rather than pitch it, I started disassembling it and found a 3 volt motor used for  rewinding the cassette. The motor still worked, so I removed it. After  looking at it for awhile, I thought it was just about the right size to motorize my radar antenna on my lifeboat. With some imagination, I came up with a decent looking, within a' scale inch' of the real thing, radar antenna. I've attached a photo. I'm debating with myself now as to when to build a pulse generator to make the rotating speed realistic. I found  the circuit for one in an old electronics book of projects by Forrest Mims, printed in the '80's. I think you can still get reprints of the book at Radio Shack. That's where I originally found it. The winch drive on my boat is an old servo motor. Another is, I took a banana plug and socket and a length of piano wire to make my antenna for my radio  receiver. The socket was mounted in the deckand wired to the receiver  and the plug soldered to the right length of piano wire. The idea was to keep it from getting bent or damaged when loading the boat in the car after an afternoon of sailing. It works great. I caught my old standard antenna in the car door once. Not anymore. Well, I guess I've robbed you of enough of your time for now.

Happy modelling.

( ...... included because it is such a great email! - Mayhem)

.......  I've been modelling since sliced bread began. My first efforts were as a kid of about 10 or 11 years of age, which puts me into the 'Grandfathered in' group, about 52 years.

I've built my own  design planes, flown with control lines, then built my own boats, again my designs. My first power boat was a tethered little beast about 12 inches in length and powered by a .049, which I still have.  It was an "OK Cub" engine. Fuel was about $1.00 a quart and lasted me almost all summer, as I didn't live too close to a lake or pond, and it was a task on a bicycle, to haul my toolbox, boat, and fuel. The same was true when I was flying planes.

At about 12, I had to teach my little brother what to do, so we had what you might call a 'flying circus',  when we could con our buddy Glen to pit crew for us. We popped balloons with our planes and made up tissue paper walls to smash thru without damaging our planes. Boats began to be the most cost effective of our hobbies. All you had to avoid was rocks. We didn't yet have r/c controls. Later, when my wife and I were raising kids, I went back into  planes with radio controls.

Too many crashes later, I decided it was time for boats again, hence my love affair with the lifeboat. Lately, I've been adding more features to her. If I sent the pix of my  speedboat, I bought it when I was 11. The rowboat was my cousin's and had no oars, anchor, bow seat, oarlocks, rope cleat, and was all chipped paint when I got it about 30 years ago. It took colon cancer recovery time at home to get me going again with  detail work. I love small details.

I built a Santa Clause's workshop,  ages ago, with operating sub-miniature light switches, a revolving  Christmas tree (lighted), airplanes flying around the ceiling, all kinds of lamps (table lamps, floor lamps, wall sconces). My wife picked up a 2  inch porcelain doll at a craft sale for Santa's shop and I scratch built a rocking cradle for it. Everything in the shop is 1"=1'. I also love  doing artwork and cartooning. I've had a standing contract with one  couple to do their Christmas card artwork, for the last 9 years. They  are really into square dancing and round dancing, so the card usually relates to this, with their caricatures as the theme. Well, guess I'd better get busy and get something done today. I'll be in touch again soon,

More Memories....
I like the bit about modelling being somewhat of a form of insanity. I  think a grown man has to be a little bit nuts to occupy so much of his time building 'toy' boats, myself included. I can remember making up small boats, as a child, to sail down the gutters during a gulley washer of a rain storm, and it being a competition between my brother, myself and our best friend, Glen. From those humble beginnings to the hundreds  of hours and dollars we spend now to sail our toys in overgrown puddles. I was told once, that the only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.

When my wife and I were first married, she was a little surprised to see me still building and customizing model cars, until I won my first  contest trophy. She was also surprised when I started building some small hot air balloons and launching them from the front yard of the house we were renting, watching them drift off into the cold winter sky. I never retrieved any of them because they were expendable, since they were made of tissue and bamboo. The largest I ever launched was about 6' tall and about 4' in  diameter, but the largest I built was12' high and 10' in  diameter, which was badly damaged when we moved to our own home, so I never had the chance to see if it would carry my camera platform aloft.

This was the end of my modelling for awhile until I got the radio  control airplane craze. She was a little more tolerant, when she saw my model airplane designs come to life and actually fly, but had, I'm sure, the thought of 'Idiot', when I crashed one. After 5 years of this insanity, I turned my thoughts to boats again. The rest is pretty much  history, what with my Coast Guard lifeboat, and years of other hobbies, such as fishing, camping, cartooning, artwork, square dancing, collecting miniature kerosene lamps, and carpentry, each being another recurring insanity, that run through cycles, that in many cases result in the raised eyebrows of our spouses and the refrain, 'Boys will be Boys'.

Fondest regards,

[ Click here for Lynn's $10 Lighthouse - Meet Cullen! ]