Eddy Matthews - Breeze & Dravo

Here's the latest photos of my Dravo towboat. I've started to make and fit some of the smaller odds and ends that make it start to look like a real boat... The last photo is an interior shot showing the speaker that will be used for the onboard sound system.

Next job is to paint all those railings - over 20 feet of them!



Hi Martin

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 beast!


Hi Martin,
I thought you might be interested in a pictorial build of my latest project....
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 superb!
 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 tea....
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 - 1

The "Breeze" build continues....

In the first photo you can see the lead ballast (all 18Lbs of it) that was poured into the fibreglass hull - A nerve wracking time pouring molten metal into a brand new hull!

The next two photos show the bulwarks being constructed. A capping rail still needs to be added to complete them. And finally the last photo shows the bowsprit support.

The next stage will be the bulwark capping rails, and the planked deck - Updates will follow soon....

 Update Aug 2004 - 2

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!