Paul M. Lalli - 'Vac-U-Tug' - PUSHER

I just finished a tow boat made by 'Vac-U-Boat'. This is the second offering by Phil and I think he has a winner here!

The model is sort of a generic tow boat, not exactly 'scale' of any particular boat. The kit is as complete as one can get, you only need to provide a battery, ESC, radio system, a few hand tools, and glue. There are a number of extra parts in case you 'goof', a couple of pieces of sand paper, clamps for gluing, and a couple of sheets of plastic for testing paints and glues (even the @#$% little Allen wrench I always seem to loose).

The instructions are simply the best I've ever seen! Lots of pictures and text to explain every step. They are in 'black and white', but then, so is the boat! If you just have to have instructions in colour, down load them from Phil's web site, there's a set there. One word of caution. Pay attention to the pictures in the instructions. For instance, the rudder arms are perpendicular to the pushrods, not the boat centre line. Makes a big difference in the handling of the boat. The flanking rudders, when set up correctly, will make the boat turn in it's own length. In reverse, it'll spin like a top!

I didn't take a second boat to the pond for recovery testing, but did happen to find a couple of battles and cans to test with. This thing makes the best recovery boat I've found! I would guess that it would 'handle' a medium sized boat ('V-32' for example) with no problems. I used a 7.2 volt battery, but with a 9 or 12 volt battery you should be able to ski behind the thing!

Building took maybe a day. Painting at least twice that long (including fixing the 'goofs'). I like to use CA glue, and I did for everything.

Epoxy is recommended for 'potting' the rudder bearings, though. Epoxy would have been simpler to use, but I didn't have any. Using baking soda with CA glue makes a joint that never turns loose, but isn't something to do with out practice (lots of practice!).

As with the 'Vac-U-Tug', if you can get your shoes on the right feet at least half the time, the tow boat will be no problem. (You also want to be careful not to CA your thumb to your nose or forehead!) I'm having a ball with the tow boat...