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FWAL's blog
Posted by FWAL | Dec 14, 2014 @ 08:33 AM | 1,805 Views
It's such a shame to see these once lovingly constructed, pristine models being left to rot. There's a Catalina, Leopard Moth, A4 Dutton perhaps a DH Vampire and Sunderland.
If you are of a sensitive disposition you'd better look away, what you are about to witness could be very disturbing.
Posted by FWAL | Dec 13, 2014 @ 05:08 PM | 2,343 Views
Magazines from 1936-37, make sure you view all the photo's in this thread....Continue Reading
Posted by FWAL | Dec 10, 2014 @ 05:45 PM | 887 Views
The photo's below were taken just a couple of miles from my house. The 1951 National Championships at Fairwood Common Aerodrome. Awards being presented by Lady Whitten Brown. Wife of the then deceased Sir Arthur Whitten Brown the first man to fly across the Atlantic non stop in 1919. Photo's include Mignet's own Flying Flea, a Model of a Gypsy Moth which flew from Britain to Australian in 1934, Leopard Moth, Slinsgsby Grasshopper or similar and members of the Swansea Aeromodellers Club....Continue Reading
Posted by FWAL | Dec 09, 2014 @ 03:05 PM | 1,502 Views
This part of the build has got to be one of the most rewarding. With each plank the hull shape develops in front of you and you cant help but start imagining the completed model effortlessly gliding through the water.
The majority of the planking to the freeboard has been cut to taper from 5mm at the stern to10mm at the bow. Even though this design is slab sided and the freeboard could have been cut from a single sheet I chose to plank it due to the additional stiffness laminating achieves and also to reduce the likelihood of twisting by the alternate turning of each plank end to end. It's how they made the old wooden spars in the old days to stay relatively straight and strong.
When it comes to cutting the normal planks I cut the individual strips using two lengths of alloy angle, one placed on top of the other. It's quick and accurate.
Posted by FWAL | Dec 07, 2014 @ 10:24 AM | 905 Views
Yesterday I visited a friend to look at a pond yacht he had inherited. Specifically he wanted ideas and help to make a new rig and sails as the originals were long gone.
After a little searching I believe 'Endeavour' is an early (1929) 36R . I have come to this conclusion due to her size:
Length 35" Beam 11" Draft 7" weight roughly 11lbs. These measurements fit the 36 Restricted Class perfectly.
Now it's up to the new owner to decide exactly how far he wants to go with the refurbishment, but if it was up to me I would strip the existing finishes right back and complete the painting and fine coach work back to the original. Re-rig and have new traditional clothed sails made by Frank Nylet. Then go and show her off in the best arena possible, a Victorian built boating lake. Although, the nearest one is 50 miles away at the Knave in Barry, South Wales.
Posted by FWAL | Dec 05, 2014 @ 10:08 AM | 2,132 Views
Not sure if I've mentioned this is in an earlier post but in this case I don't mind repeating myself.
I love 5mm thick foam board! There you go I've said it
A scalpel slices through the straight cuts and the scroll saw makes light work of the curves. Yellow paper templates stuck with Pritt on to the white board helps to show you exactly where to cut. Pins have a fair hold just in the foam but for a better grip it's better to pin at angle to pierce the paper as well.
Next job is to strip down some sheets of balsa into 3,5 and 10mm widths.
Posted by FWAL | Dec 02, 2014 @ 03:57 PM | 1,439 Views
When my head hit the pillow last night and my imagination kicked into the usual modelling hyper drive a cantilevered sail control arm flashed into my minds eye. All of a sudden I could see how a normal length servo arm might provide enough sheet travel for my latest Rebel RG65 project.
This evening I set about knocking up a crude experiment just to see if my idea had any legs and I was quite impressed. A normal servo arm radius of 25mm provided 100mm of sheet travel. Another advantage is the torque isn't jeopardised and it's also relatively light. All together a win, win idea perhaps.
The first photo shows a standard futaba 3001 servo in the sheeted in position and in the second photo the servo is in the sheeted out position. The geometry can be improved slightly to further reduce the holding torque required whilst in the sheeted in position.
Posted by FWAL | Nov 30, 2014 @ 02:45 PM | 1,463 Views
Today at the lake three of my design and builds were competing. The wind was very light and kept us guessing which direction it would come from next but that was nothing compared to the course. For some unknown reason it was set back to front with the only beat from the gybe to the leeward mark and it wasn't impossible to complete a lap without a single tack.
Besides that it was a good feeling to watch my handy work being raced and enjoyed.
7 BOR 80, Vertex 99, Edge 35
Posted by FWAL | Nov 13, 2014 @ 04:00 PM | 1,867 Views
I have transposed the shearline, chine, rocker and beam dimensions at 14 stations to provide the shadow templates.
It may make look tricky in the photo's but please take a little time to understand how beautifully simplistic this method is to form the most natural curve from the chine to the rocker hull centreline. It really is amazingly simple.
photo 1
Draw the shape given the width of the deck/shearline. The depth from the shearline to the Chine and the width of the chine/beam. These measurements are taken off the hull section and deck/hull plan.
photo 2
On another piece of paper mark the centre line and chine
photo 3
Turn the paper 90 degrees, place the Chine mark on the rocker point and mark the intersection of the chine and centre line
photo 4
Turn the paper back to the original position. Then keeping the centreline mark on the centreline and chine mark on the chine line turn the paper a couple of degrees and mark the spot.
photo 5
Turn the paper again, check the centrelines and chine lines are still correspond and mark the spot
photo 6
Repeat this process until the edge of the paper reaches the centreline
photo 7
What a fantastic way to produce any ellipse shape
photo 8
Now I'm in a position to cut each one out. When it comes to cutting the curve I fold the template in half.
Posted by FWAL | Nov 11, 2014 @ 12:32 PM | 2,091 Views
The brain has been working overtime recently so it was about time I sharpened the pencil and started to put some lines down. I thought this might help take my mind off the RG65 design/build project but alas not, I've been truly brainwashed. The only cure now is to just get on with it.
So, The length of 65cm is a given. I have opted for a fairly narrow 9cm beam a 5.5cm transom and a max rocker of 3.7cm. Not sure what the draft will be as I haven't cast the bulb.
Below is the very basic hull section and deck/hull plan. Not too much detail as yet but this drawing will be tweaked and develop into a true working drawing encompassing some of my own ideas.
Given the info above (LWL, beam, rocker and shear line) I can now form the shadow section drawings.
Posted by FWAL | Nov 11, 2014 @ 12:29 PM | 2,049 Views
Not long ago Doug just had one of those days! It didn't matter what he did something 'rotten wood' happen!!

And earlier in the racing calendar I ventured to a District Event at Woodsprings and wasn't that impressed!!
Posted by FWAL | Oct 31, 2014 @ 05:02 AM | 2,001 Views
Brad and James enjoy an evening sailing their new creation. Best watched in HD on Vimeo and turn the volume up if you enjoy Primal Scream!

Electronica's (1 min 17 sec)

Posted by FWAL | Oct 22, 2014 @ 08:34 AM | 2,181 Views
Posted by FWAL | Oct 20, 2014 @ 04:11 PM | 1,828 Views
No words are necessary. The pic's tell the story of a great weekend of racing. Even when my luck went down the swanny it was still fascinating to watch Rob and Brad battle it out with a little friendly banter thrown in....Continue Reading
Posted by FWAL | Oct 14, 2014 @ 12:58 PM | 2,076 Views
I've added the Futaba connections to my new Titan Tempest winch and she appears to be working perfectly, silky smooth, remarkably quite and very, very accurate end pointing. It feels solid and is very compact as well as being waterproof.
The next job was to devise a suitable bracket to secure her into the hull. I've been thinking about this for a little while but in the end decided to keep it very simple and opted to use a flat aluminium 3mm thick plate. Rebated both for the fin box and winch drive shaft. This makes for very easy removal. By the way in the photo below the winch looks very small and the hull very big. In reality both are small. There's a 26mm dia drum on the winch and the deck aperture at present is 12cm.
I have also been busy preparing the plug for my newest IOM, Shwmae. I noticed that the last hull off the old plug was slightly twisted but at the time didn't realise that it was the way I had mounted the plug which had caused the twist.
A little bit of tweaking and the supporting feet were set true. The waxing could begin prior to laminating. However, after checking my stock of woven fibre glass there was sadly an insufficient amount to make a start. Unless I lay up in long strips!!!
Posted by FWAL | Oct 04, 2014 @ 11:45 AM | 2,618 Views
I awoke in the middle of the night as the wind and rain picked up. I awoke again at 05:30hrs, this time by the alarm. It was an early start as I had a three hour drive to a Metropolitan and Southern District IOM Championship Series Event hosted by Reading Sailing Club.
As I drove along the M4 East I managed to overtake the rain. I was one of the first to arrive but soon the Car Park was filling up. Within an hour of arriving I had made 3 sail changes A, B and back to A and also changed from shorts and Tee shirt to thermal trousers, wooly jumper and Gore Tex jacket. All the time people were positive and appeared to looking forward to a day of friendly racing amongst the twelve registered competitors.
However, as more people were launching their boats to check the tune etc it soon became apparent that there was a crazy amount of weed floating around the racing area. Even at this early stage I heard mutterings that it would be impossible to race in such conditions. Added to this the rain had also now caught us up. Although, stubbornly I was still remaining to be upbeat.
The first race did start, I was mid line and on the first run was in 2nd place going around the leeward gate. During the early stages of the next beat the weed had found me so I had to crawl to the control area. Once weed free and back on my way I managed to complete the course and finish 6th. The next race was much the same but this time I was in third place going through the gate. I chose to stay on...Continue Reading
Posted by FWAL | Oct 03, 2014 @ 04:55 PM | 2,730 Views
This evening we went for fly over Langland. A beautiful beach just West of Mumbles. The lift was very good with a fresh warm wind from the South West. The Sun peeping between the clouds whilst slowly setting. The landing zone is well, small! OK there isn't a landing zone as such, just plonk, drop, crash whatever it takes to land as close as possible to where you are standing. If you stray too far, then according to Murphy's Law you're going to find yourself waist high in Gower gorse. Oscar flew his SAS Cobra and I took my trusty 60" Wildthing and homebrew Tracer. After 20mins with the WT I launched the Tracer. Another 20mins later and I was starting to struggle as I was flying a silhouette quite often and loosing orientation. I took the Tracer up and out to do another bunt but during the manoeuvre she spun out and I lost orientation again. I started to panic and wiggled the sticks in order to try and figure out which and what direction she was flying in. However, in doing so she was haemorrhaging altitude fast. when I eventually managed to gain control and flying level she was so low I thought I was going to have to ditch here in the Sea. More by luck than judgement she started to bank and turn towards the land albeit rocks. I couldn't see the landing from where I was standing so was not 100% sure what to expect when I had scrambled to a vantage point to spot the Tracer. I was relieved when I saw here on the rocks but partially hidden. It took approx 20 mins to jog, climb, scramble and slip my way over the rocks to get a closer view and retrieve here. By this time it was dusk and after I had retraced my tracks to a proper path it was all but dark.
But you know what, it was worth it as a part form receiving a broken solid balsa nose cone she was in one piece. What a lucky break!
Posted by FWAL | Sep 29, 2014 @ 12:12 PM | 2,248 Views
Just a quick update on the new plug. I use a dry wall jointing compound for the filler. It's relatively cheap, sands very easy and the finish is more than adequate once sealed with water based varnish prior to releasing wax. Here, I'm in the process of applying the third and probably the last layer of filler.
I'm undecided on the name for this new IOM but on the short list is;
Cult or Shwmae
(and no it's not a spelling mistake. It's the Welsh word for 'hello'. We do have and can speak a different language to our neighbouring country England)
Posted by FWAL | Sep 26, 2014 @ 04:09 PM | 2,122 Views
It seems like and age since I was last in the workshop doing something constructive. Finally today I managed to make a start on a couple of improvements (not guaranteed of course) to two of my previous homebrew projects. There wasn't a lot wrong with the Bor in fact Graham Elliot was rather impressed with the design when he saw it in the flesh! It was then a great shame when I took the bung out whilst receiving his compliment that a load of water poured out which sort of dampened my proud feeling. A day or two after I found that the joint between the kicker well and mast tube had subsequently split causing the leak. (I digress)
So why cut up a perfectly fine hull? The Bor was just as competitive as any other modern design, winning the majority of Club races and even some District races. However, there were two major flaws. The skipper and the nose dive in the upper wind to rig ranges. Perhaps, again not changing down a rig could again be a skipper problem but I thought I'd just try a little tweak first. So it made sense to move the position of the winch as I have ordered a new Tempest winch from Titan.
The Bor was fitted with a BRC winch (Italian RMG clone) and the fixing bracket can be seen in the photo above. The batteries were located in a plastic tub on the opposite side of the fin case and the small pot just housed the radio receiver (rx).
The deck has been carefully cut away revealing the rear of the fin case, the new winch will be fitted just behind the...Continue Reading
Posted by FWAL | Sep 09, 2014 @ 03:51 PM | 2,599 Views
Frank Russell originally designed the Goth and since its inception various versions have been produced. In fact so many that I don't think anybody is that sure where we are with them at the moment. However, a good friend of mine has recently purchased a second hand Goth EVO mx 3
It was built in 2013 and looks to have had a fairly hard upbringing! I have been asked to give it a bit of a once over so here goes;

The very first job was to remove the Specky 5ch Rx and replace it with a Futaba FHSS Rx as the Futaba 6J TX is a far superior. Next I weighed the hull ex batteries but including corrector weight = 1205g + fin and Bulb = 3705 + rig at approx 300g = 4005g OK now add the 6V 2600 mAh Ni-MH battery and we were 184g too heavy. I have since removed the 236g of original corrector weight and will add back the required amount after an accurate weight for the rigs has been established.
Talking of corrector weight there seems to be some debate about the best fore and aft positioning. I think I'll place it directly under the pot just to keep the bow up slightly to start with. The main sheet post isn't ideal as there appears to be a ligature point between the post and S/S ring fairlead. The rudder servo linkage is also off set so the throws are unequal from side to side. This particular servo is a Hitec HS5086wp. It's has quite an impressive specification for it's size with a torque of 3.6kg at 6V so probably wont be replaced at this moment in time.
The winch is a MX...Continue Reading