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   A day out with our Australian correspondent! 

Sunday 6th February 2005

No your eyes arenít playing tricks on you; yes it has two propellers, two rudders.
So what you say thatís nothing new, but at different ends of the boat.
One motor runs one propeller shaft that comes out each end of the hull with a couple of limit switches working of a servo wired to the speed controller to lock out the rudder that is at the forward end (which ever that might be) and its of and sailing. So the rear propeller at the time is pushing and the forward propeller is pulling.

Itís not a new idea being used in Sydney Australia for the ferry service and this model is a copy of a ferry that worked in Hobart Tasmania. It is a clever system that cuts out on manoeuvring time for the ferries (forward in and forward out) all the skipper has to do is go to the wheel house at the other end and away it goes.

Very clever and it works well good thing it didnít burn down to the water line when it was a steamer, and you cant see the burn marks either.

Another chapter in the Surrey Park Model Boat Club file

Gíday Martin
Here are so more from The Lake today 23/01/05, the crash boat was looking good and going well until it lived up to its name and was unfortunately dropped as she was back to the water after a recharge and slipped out of the hand, falling on the ground keel up and that was the end of the super structure, which is a big shame but them again thatís why we call them accidents, I think it wont be long and she will be back out on the water soon.

Mikeís new one is a lovely ketch built from scratch out of fibreglass by the gentleman who has the two yachts made out of timber with the wonderful vanish job on them, it was the first time out for this boat today and she sails like a dream only a few minor changes to get the sails working properly and the jobs done, a nice bit of work and Mike tells me the mould is still available if you would like to get your hands on the hull and deck which is also moulded fibreglass.

The Freighter is a gas powered steamer and gets along at a good scale speed when she is throttled back, with a mixed deck cargo, I donít think I would like to be one of the rear gunners on her, well not with all the drums of fuel where they are, but thank god we donít have to worry about that at the moment.

The Kestrel is another nice steamer from to same slipway (thatís Lesís shed who has the YH152 steam drifter) and a credit to the young bloke.

Yachts of all shapes and types in the first pic thatís my yacht at the back of the picture.

This is the last lot of pictures for today nothing unusual just a couple more boats I sent so pics of The Missouri but this time she is on the water so I thought why not thatís where a boat belongs.

Forgive me if I have got the name of the other boat wrong but I think itís an S Boat but I can say that she looks bloody good on the water and has a very realistic scale speed. I must say though that I have had a good look at the Mayhem site and have enjoyed the movie/video clips of the build project on one of these beautifully balanced boats and I think everyone has to admit that they are a magic piece of craftsman ship and design.

So all in all it was a uneventful day at the Lake today, a few lessons were learnt, first was that when you 16 year old daughter chases and finally catches a little yellow baby duck, is that the babies mummy doesnít like it and will follow the same 16 year old daughter to the end of the world to get her baby back, not to mention that the same said mother can run really really fast. (I wish I had a video camera at the time J )

Second is that you MUST NOT TAKE YOUR EYES OF YOU BOAT, just ask Phillip who did take his eye off his for just that split second, resulting in the beautifully finished model boat of the HMAS Arrow hitting the side of my yacht, leaving a final score line of my yacht Ė nil, His HMAS Arrow Ė about 6 stanchions bent and or broken, he was most apologetic, what with the sail verses power rule and all, but then again it was an accident, at least he didnít do what the Royal Australian Navy did and run an Anzac Frigate, HMAS Ballarat aground on The Christmas Islands yesterday.

And last but by no means the funniest but defiantly the sadist the sickening bang and crunch of a fellow boaters boat hitting the ground at terminal velocity deck first, it was heart breaking to here this sound and I hope I will never have to here it again or for that matter let any other fellow boater have to endure this sound of his or any boat suffer this mishap.

Catch up again soon.
Cheers Steve

PS: I had a few comments at the club about the Mayhem Web Site especially the page you have put up there for our little club down here and all the guys love it, the other week I was introduced as The Surrey Park Model Boat Clubs International Correspondent, so when are you going to send me My Press Card? J

Sunday 9th January 2005

Today was a big day for young Ken with a big smiles his newly built Tug boat was launched.

It was decided that the Champagne would be drunk (why waste it?) and at an age of 87 Kens latest project was launched with the usual fanfare and performed well. Is this your last build or is it time to decide if the next build is going to be a bigger ship so that you have something to push?

Job well done Ken she looks good on the water as well as land.


Gíday Martin
Another enjoyable day at the lake, and a heap of pictures.
Got a few this lot is a good one, donít let the name fool you, itís a lovely little boat and as she is going a sound system is playing sea shanties, it took me a couple of minutes to work out where the sound was coming from. The tiller even turns on the top and gets a few laughs.
Cheers Steve.

HMAS Arrow is the pre runner to the Fremantle Class which I sent you a while ago, good detail on this boat; the pictures donít give her the justice she deserves.

There are a few paddle steamers at the club this is the one that runs on steam not battery power and is also a project on the workshop bench and in my mind she is a clever engineering job. I think the winch on the front is to be plumed up with steam. There is a weeks worth of work just in making the two Paddle Wheels.

The steamer is a project on the go, have a look at the clever reversing system, yes it works.

The Missouri looks good on the water.
"The spell check just told me I didnít get it right when saving, expletive!")

donít let the name fool you, itís a lovely little boat and as she is going a sound system is playing sea shanties, it took me a couple of minutes to work out where the sound was coming from. The tiller even turns on the top and gets a few laughs.


Dramas at Surrey Park/ GRAY LADY DOWN
All hands were to the rescue on Sunday 31/10/04 when the submarine sank. It was most unfortunate for young Bill as he had spent the day before in the bath getting the trim just right. As soon as the boat was put in the drink at the lake and went for its first dive it didnít come back up until all avenues were exhausted with the bottom search and the touchy feely method and the big rope was weighted ready for dragging but the sub surfaced on its own accord 40 minutes later. When it surfaced nose up going backwards in an area that nobody was looking

After dry-docking the sub was deemed to be in need of a full rebuild of the control system and will hopefully be back in service next week.

Itís a pity the destroyer didnít turn up earlier the sonar would have been most helpful !!!


Yes as promised its back after a lengthy dry-docking and refit its back on the water.

I still believe that while she was on the slipway a set of bow tubes should have been fitted. It would make good fun watching one of the pesky kidís boats bubbling down by the stern (just after the little darlings have arrived and put their boat in the water without checking that they arenít on the same frequency as someone else) (donít you hate that?)

Cheers Steve


Another day at the lake and here are a few more pictures from Surrey Park Model Boat Club hope that you like them.

The Surrey Park Model boat club is about 70 members strong and they are a great bunch of Blokes (its even better when I am classed as one of the young members, 40 years old Young? I donít feel like it in the mornings) got a bit more done on the build and will try to send a progress report soon.

Gíday Martin
Late Sunday Afternoon and as I wind down from another stressful day out sailing (have you ever heard so much B......t?) so I thought that I will send more pictures from the Lake.

In sure you will know the first Ship of The Grey Funnel Line, she cuts nice through the water and has some good detailing on her.

The Fremantle Class is a Patrol Boat that is used by The Royal Australian Navy for coastal patrols and what ever it is that they do, this model is fitted with 3 props and gets along at scale speed looking good.

Iím sure you also will know the last boat; I was told that it is a Thames Cruiser, but I donít know if that is correct. A lot of work still has to go into her as I think this was the maiden voyage, and she still needs the finishing touches, but also looking good even though in need of the paintwork being finished.

And the last pic is just one of the obstacles that I think we all encounter on the water, but then again thatís half the fun.

Cheers, Steve Middlebrook

Gíday Martin

Itís that bloke who is a pain in the arse again, (he a great guy really - Mayhem). As its early spring down here everyone at Surry Park Model Boat Club in Melbourne, Australia is getting geared up to enjoy our warm summer and have some fun boating.

A few weeks back the club had a steam day and there were a lot of boats there so I thought that I would send you some pictures from the day, more to follow on a CD.

I am still having a great time down at the lake and it looks like I will be doing it for a long time as the more that I do go there the more I enjoy my time there. Its so relaxing, why dint I find this hobby earlier?

Anyway cheers for now and hope to catch up again soon
Steve Middlebrook - (Steve's page here)