Steve Middlebrook's Yorkshireman Blog!

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The Man Himself - Steve (Babe Magnet) Middlebrook

Gíday Martin

Hope things are starting to Thaw out. Another beautiful day here in paradise (any day that you donít have to work and can go boating is that). A nice 32 degrees Celsius calm wind, good mates and getting to try out the new build for the first time.

All went well and the hull performed better than I expected. The Bow Thruster is able to spin the boat either way with no problems. The main motors went absolutely fantastic, but at this time I encountered my first problem, they go to good and the bow wave pushes up the anchor wells and dropping water into the hull, but the bilge pump took care of that fairly quickly, as you can see from the pictures the easiest way to fix it at the time was just to tape over them. Turning was good doing a full turn within 2 to 3 hull lengths. The water cannon pump was great and went well.

So a few problems as they stand at the moment
1; Seal the tops of the anchor wells, either that or slow the boat down, but I would rather keep it throttled back and keep the extra speed for any emergencies that might arise (like having to get out of another boats way in a hurry.

2; Fix the rubber in position, as the White metal clamps on the rudder post tops donít have enough bite in them.

3; Find and fix the small water leak in the bottom of the hull, I think this is around the pick up for the water cannon pump, might have to inject some silicone in there somehow.

4; Get on with the rest of the build.

One of the most pleasing things is that the hull floated just above the water line leaving enough room to ballast it down to the right mark and I could not believe the pulling power with the twin 50mm propellers in the Kort nozzles, I did have one small problem here though and that is that the starboard prop sucked in a bit of rubbish that was sitting on the bottom of the lake during the pull test. Have to keep an eye out on that one as there is on easy fix to that one. Look out anyone I find throwing rubbish around the lake

Cheers Steve

Ps; its bloody good to see some result after looking at the think in the shed for the last 12 months or so and it has given me a bit of a spur on to get the rest of it finished. ( Nothing like a bit of progress to get you spurred on! - Mayhem )

 Part  9 

Before you start looking at this lot of Photos (and there is a few of them) I have to apologize, this is not a scoop of my tug being finished (I just hope I can get mine as good as this) The Yorkshireman/Irishman (depending on which end you look at) belongs to Andrew Wang from Singapore (the same gentleman who has a couple of pictures of it on the Model Slipway web site) who has just recently arrived in Melbourne Australia and found his way to our Club and is now a new member.

There is nothing to say about this model and I donít care what anyone says it is at this time the yardstick that I will be using for my build of the same kit. It just goes to show what a well built kit this can be and is a credit to the people at Model Slipway for producing a great kit.

Twin screws direct drive to 45mm four blade propellers in fixed Kort nozzles, a working bowthruster and sound system. Perfectly balanced and running like a dream.

I have to admit as well that it did make me a bit depressed, looking at her and thinking back to the mess on my bench and shed, it so depressing I am going to have an anti-depressant (the on that comes in a can and when carefully poured into a glass has a beautiful head on it)

 Part  8 

Good news, got the week off (hooray) bad news, got to work this weekend (bugger). But trying to put the time of work to good use and get a bit more done on the Yorkshireman.

All the electrics are fitted and working just needs to tidy up a bit of sloppy wiring and hopefully get to work on the deck. There are six (6) electric motors in the hull.

Two main motors on a 2.5 to 1 reduction driving a left and right hand 50mm four bladed brass propellers in fixed Kort nozzles, each motor is running on 12 volts using its own Electronize speed controller off a Y lead from the radio receiver.

One Bow Thruster running on 6 volts controlled by a single servo using the two limit switches that I spoke about on a previous update.

One windscreen pump using 12 volts that is mounted straight through the hull on a rubber grommet, this pump is to be plumed up as the water cannon, and I think itís going to work extremely well, at the present time it having no trouble shooting a sold stream of water out of a 3mm hose (I cant give an estimate of how far at this time without getting into all kinds of trouble, I think she who thinks she is boss might spit the dummy if I shoot the water across the bathroom)

One 6 volt motor on a diaphragm pump that is to be used to clear any water that might find its way into the bilge. That goes out an outlet just above the waterline.

Both of these pumps are controlled by a single servo, using a similar method to the Bow Thruster.

The last motor is a gear pump on 12 volts which gives the effect of cooling water coming out above the water line on three outlets, the hardest bit of this system was trying to balance the flow out of each outlet, but using a couple of cable ties on the tubes to the first two outlets quickly solved the problem. Also if required this pump can also be plumbed up around the two main motors for cooling if necessary.

Iíve attached a couple of pictures of the outlets with the boat sitting in the bath (just hope she doesnít see them) and all the other systems work well, cant wait to get it out to the lake and see how it goes, if the bath trials are anything to go by its going to get up and charge through the water like a Tug Boat should.

The only other problem is getting all the other jobs done before its time to go back to work, the car needs a service as well as the brakes are due for a pad change front and back, the back garden has to be cleaned up and to top it all off I have to cook dinner each night. She said if I get some of the work done a can go to the lake for a sail on Wednesday (that big of her to let me go out) so I better get cracking and get stuck into it.

 Part  7 

One of the problems I wanted to solve was how to run the Bow Thruster with out the need for a speed controller, I couldnít see a need or slow revolutions flat out one way or the other seamed the go, so after searching the links on the above mentioned web site I found a way of running it of a single servo on Alanís Boatyard:
and it works a treat (see I could always use the servos that are being given away as a prize on a web site). So the switch was set up and I am happy with the result. Been thinking of making another in the same manner to run the fire pump and I bilge pump of the one channel (there goes another servo).- Hey! You just won two off Mayhem!! ;-) Martin

Have cut the freeing ports and other holes around the Stern, fitted the portholes down both sides of the hull. The weather is a bit on the crappy side today, cold with a forecast of heavy rain so the water line was marked up as well. With a bit of luck and a bit more work I am hoping to get the deck on in the next couple of weeks and then plan on taking her to the lake to see how she is going to perform.

 Part  6 

Iím pleased to say tat a little bit more progress has been made on the Tug.

After looking at a lot of different bow thrusters and how the motor is connected I decided to do away with the idea of mounting the motor directly on the thruster tube, so as you can guess by now this required a bit of thinking time (more Beer) and the decision was made to mount the motor to the hull, so this is the result. Two blocks of wood are glassed onto the inside allowing another block to be fixed to these two mounting blocks, this also allowed me to get the correct alignment of the motor with a universal joint allowing for any minor discrepancies. All in all I am happy with how it turned out.

I think the next problem is how to tackle the water cooling pumps, so it might be time to go to the motor car wreckers and get a couple of water pumps and see how to get the solution to the problem (I think its just an excuse to drink more Beer), after this stage it might be time to get working on the deck and superstructure.

Looks like we are going to have to move house soon, bugger this will put the breaks on the build for a while, at least until I can get a new workshop set up.


 Part  5

Got some work done on Tug, and took the big step of the first launch of the hull in the bath. All went as well as I could expect and I was more than happy to find only one single water leak around the bow thruster tube, not to bad well at least itís only in one spot. The motor performance was better than I expected and it looks like she is going to need a fair bit of ballast up at the bow (maybe see how many batteries I can fit up there, might as well put the weight to some use) The rudders seam to be working fine, not that I can really tell in such a confined bit of water.

So as I sit back and congratulate myself with another Beer, or 6, maybe 12, I bask in the glory of my first endeavor as a master ship builder and skipper, all be it for a short time and look at the rest of the plans and try to decide what to do next, keep working on the hull. I want to get a fire monitor pump and a water pump to get a trickle out each side, or do I take the next major step and put the deck on as to start on the superstructure.

Lifeís great mysteries, what to do next, think I will have another Beer.


 Part  4
Gíday All.
Itís been another hot one here 35o Celsius, finally got the work done on the yacht and have got a winch working on her, and what a bastard of a job that was. Its not made ant easier when I wanted to do 3 sails of the one winch and one of the lines has to go on to the cabin roof, with the thought that I still have to get inside the hull for battery access and other work, but problem solved by running the line of the mainsail over the roof and down to another pulley. As you can see I have put in a drum winch, the main reason was I wanted to save as much space as possible, went for a sail today and she handled it beautifully, all that work wasnít for nothing. You might also be asking what the motor is in front of the main drive motor. Itís a bilge pump that I picked up from a mate that is running on 6 volts working a diaphragm pump, itís controlled by a home made float switch using a cork from a wine bottle and a bent up bit of coat hanger wire, it works a treat not that much water gets in there, if itís really windy she picks up a bit but it only takes a short time to pump any water out.

As you can also see I have already decided to do away with the standard Model Slipway cast white metal props (the main reason is that one of the props had the thread over size in it and was spinning on the shaft so I have got a pair of brass props and problem solved (shit if I keep solving all these problems I might have to go to NASA and become a rocket scientist). I was also toying with the idea of putting a small thrust bearing between the prop lock nut and the shaft running block which is made of white metal as well, what do you recommend, I was thinking Teflon or something similar, when the shafts are spinning it will push the nut against this block and I would rather stop any problems now before they start.

Well its getting closer to Christmas every day so I might have to lay of the tug for a week or two, its probably going to take that long to get over the hangover, also being the big brave bloke that I am I think it might be best to concentrate on the good lady of a week or two.

So Kath and I wish you and your family all the best for Xmas and the new year and hope that you all have an enjoyable, safe and warn holiday (if you get one that is),

And you never know if you have been a good boy Santa might bring you a nice boat as a present, or a couple of bottles of good Scotch in the stocking.

Cheers and Merry Christmas to all,


Part  3

As promised here are the pictures of the project. I am happy with the way it is going at the moment and have all ready had a couple of minor problems, the first was cleaning up the filler around the white metal castings, the weather has been that hot causing the filler to start to go off before I can get it how I want, which left a fair amount to clean up after it had set properly, the second was after cutting out the section to go between the two Kort nozzles and the keel that it was to small, luck was on my side though and there was enough sheeting to cut a new section for a good fit.

Putting the Bow Thruster in was a bit daunting but after the first cut (with the usual sweating) everything went to plan and I am more than happy with the result. But the holes look bloody big before the tube goes in place.

Off to see a mate on the weekend for a few dozen beers, itís not that far from home only about 350 kms each way so wonít be getting on the water Sunday.

Ps; The pictures on the web site look great but we havenít seen a picture of you yet, so how about it??
I don't want to frighten the children and horses! - Mayhem

Part  2
Gíday Martin - Here is the latest progress on the build, after a lot of thinking and a beer or two it was time to glue in the under water driving gear. As you can see I havenít as yet fixed the shafts in place, I thought that it might be best to fix them in after the other bits have set so as to get the tubes at the same length. This job was a little bit fiddly but after it sets I will give the whole area a clean up and then use bog to smooth up after the shaft tubes and covers are in position.

Its properly not the way to go about it but in my wisdom (or stupidity) I though it would be for the better. 

Part  1 -  October 2004 
Finally after a 10 week wait it here. The kit has arrived. So I guess its time to get head down arse up and get he thing Built, Iíve been looking forward to this day for a while now. I feel like a Kid in a toy shop at Xmas time (so excited that I think I made a mess in the front of my pants) (well not that excited but bloody happy).

Well at last progress is underway. After reading the instructions twice (and still not having a clue) I finally got of my arse and made the stand of the model and as you can see it still needs a bit of finishing, but then again Rome Wasnít Built in a Day, or something like that (thatís what my Pop says). I want to take my time on this job as what's the point in rushing (and I want to go for Quality) so after a few beers and a few more it was worth doing the job right the first time, not to mention that Model Slipway have put some hard work into the model and I donít want to let them or myself down.

MMMMMMMMMM might be time for another Beer, all that saw dust is still in my throat (if you believe that ! )

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