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Posted by cyberhoops | Mar 28, 2009 @ 11:11 PM | 4,145 Views
Race day 1 is completed on a wet and rain soaked Saturday at Granite Falls. We raced the Pay-n-Pak and American Spirit in LSH, an SV-27, the Oberto and Atlas in 1/10th scale, and the Rigged Insanity in P-Hydro.

Overall the results were good. The Atlas finished 2nd in 1/10th scale, the SV ran a respectable 2nd, and the American Spirit was 3rd.

The Pay-n-Pak ran one heat and just 5 feet after crossing the finish line at the end of the heat it "blew up" - where the right sponson tore off the boat. Up to that point it had looked good in the water. I will not be using any balsa on any boats in the future, that's for sure. Now it is time to build another Pay-n-Pak.

The American Spirit Twin-wing ran perfectly. For a new boat with zero testing it ran exceptionally well and finished 3rd out of 8 boats.

The Rigged Insanity was a total handful where it had issues with pulling right, then left. It finished one of 3 heats and rolled over and played dead on the other two. It actually ended up second - but only because there were only 2 boats.

The 1990 Oberto was running quite nicely, but broke the strut a couple laps into the final heat, but fortunately it did not cause too much damage.

The Atlas had some radio receiver issues, but after changing out to the reciever from the Pay-n-Pak, that solved everything and the boat ended up 2nd out of 7 boats. I guess that was the up side of having the Pay-n-Pak scratched.
Posted by cyberhoops | Mar 25, 2009 @ 12:49 AM | 4,030 Views
Well, the twin wing has some paint now, and the hardware is here, so unless something goes wrong the boat should be ready for the first race in 4 days.

The paint is in the style of the American Spirit with decals to follow.

[Edit] The graphics are now on except for the vertical tail graphics.

[Edit] The boat is now totally done and ready for racing. The final weight is 4lb 4oz and the balance point is between 1.5 and 2 inches behind the sponson. Racing is tomorrow...
Posted by cyberhoops | Mar 19, 2009 @ 09:14 PM | 4,872 Views
Except for some final sanding/filling/buffing the construction of the hull for the twin wing is complete. The upper hatch was covered in light fiberglass and the wood work is done.

I still need to figure out how I will attach the cowl, install hardware, build a bit of a waterproof radio box, etc, etc...

The current weight is of the boat hull is 1lb 10oz.
Posted by cyberhoops | Mar 17, 2009 @ 01:21 PM | 4,246 Views
The construction of the new twin-wing replacement boat for the lost American Spirit has made some additional progress with getting the hatch/cowling built and more of the surfaces sheeted.

The next step will be to temporarily install the hardware so that I can check the CG. Since the deck sheeting has not been applied it will be easier to add nose weight if needed.

Once I have the CG close... then I can see about finishing the sheeting and doing some fiberglassing. I have never done fiberglass over balsa before as a finishing technique, so this should be interesting. The plan for paint and decals is to get another set of American Spirit decals and name this one the American Spirit 2.

I still don't think it will make the first race is 10 days, but the second race two weeks later should be good.
Posted by cyberhoops | Mar 12, 2009 @ 07:51 PM | 3,930 Views
So, construction is underway for a new boat after the American Spirit sank. I had a set of 1/8th scale plans for the 1993 Circus Circus, so I reduced them down to 1/12th scale and started building.

The sponsons were initially created by building them flat with just the bulkheads for shape - no stringers that were in the plans. The pink foam then forms the shape which will be covered with 1/32nd inch plywood and then fiberglassed.

From what I can tell there will be enough room in the body for the running gear and the battery will be positioning right over the front wing - hopefully that is far enough forward to get the CG close.

The overall shape seems to be working and there will be plenty of foam in this one so that it does not sink.
Posted by cyberhoops | Mar 09, 2009 @ 01:39 AM | 3,791 Views
We did a little testing today with the American Spirit and it looked like it was running pretty nicely - until it flipped... and then sank in 25 feet of water. There is almost no hope of recovery.

I am not sure why it sank, there should have been flotation in the sponsons, but I guess it was not enough. Very annoying. Even my GPS went down with the boat.

That makes it time to build another boat for LSH racing, and there are only 3 weeks from yesterday before the first race. I don't think it will be possible to get another boat built and ready to run in 3 weeks. I have started building a 1993 twin wing Circus Circus hull from Roger Newton plans, but I just barely have one sponson completed. This was going to be my experiment in building a fiberglass hull since the center section of the twin wing Circus is a very rounded shape, but now it will have to be more than just an experiment. That boat it will be slower to build since I am not exactly sure how to build it and it will require some building techniques, like the lost foam method for the hull, that I have not used before.

It would be nice if Randy Naylor had one of his 27 inch Zephyrs for sale now, but no such luck.
Posted by cyberhoops | Feb 28, 2009 @ 12:05 AM | 3,439 Views
Today was a boat test day and we made test runs with all of the boats.

Rigged Insanity: We adjusted the strut and moved tbe batteries about 2 inches further forward. That got the boat running nicely but it had a big tendency to turn right. It turns out the skid fin was not aligned properly. Once we straighten that out then the trim was good and the boat ran nicely. I must say it turns really quickly even at speed. We ran with a GrimRacer 40x57 3 blade prop and it hit 43.6mph.

Pay-n-Pak: Was tested with the Proboat motor, ETTI speed control and a X640 prop. The water was pretty rough during this test and we got to about 38.4mph. It was airborne quite a few times but stayed flat and didn't tend to flip - but it sure got banged around.

Atlas Van Lines - I think we need to change out the ProBoat speed control for an ETTI 100 amps speed control. We run both the Oberto and the Atlas with Proboat motors on Graupner K45 props. The Oberto has the ETTI speed control and runs just fine. The Atlas has the ProBoat speed control and after about 3 laps it shuts down briefly then it will run again. From the data logger we are getting pulling about 55 amps, and I think we are getting thermal shutdown from the Proboat controller. Other than that the Altas is running smoothly.
(Update: The Oberto now has a UL-1 motor and controller so the ETTI controller is now in the Atlas. This should fix up the shutdown problem)

1990 Oberto - Smooth and pretty fast. With better...Continue Reading
Posted by cyberhoops | Feb 24, 2009 @ 05:22 PM | 4,020 Views
At long last the white ghost gets some decals and becomes the Pay-n-Pak - and more or less like the 1981 Pak. The graphics were created by the guys at Cal-Grafx... I like it.

Boat testing will be Friday, weather permitting - and racing in 3 weeks.
Posted by cyberhoops | Feb 23, 2009 @ 06:28 PM | 3,607 Views
We made a quick test run of the Rigged Insanity at the local lake. We ran the test with the Grimracer 42x57 3-blade prop that is intended for the UL-1 hydro. I should have pictures when we run the next test on Friday along with some GPS speed numbers.

Initial Results: It needs tuning.

It got up on plane quickly, but at full throttle the sponsons were coming very high out of the water and it was certainly going to flip.

We ran it about 5 laps at 1/2 to 3/4 throttle. Overall handling was really nice and it turns very quickly at that speed without spinning out or digging in.

So, we are either going to need to adjust the batteries and CG, or change the strut depth... or both.
Posted by cyberhoops | Feb 09, 2009 @ 01:12 AM | 3,360 Views
There was not too much left to do and as of tonight the Rigged Insanity is ready to run. The final steps were adding the radio receiver, antenna mount, and routing the water lines.

For the water lines - they run from the rudder to the lower side ESC, then the motor, back to the top side of the ESC and exit from the boat.

For the antenna I used a Bru Line boat antenna - cut down to 5 inches since it is being used with a Spektrum radio and receiver.

The final weight was 3lbs 15oz.

The receiver will get a bit of water proofing from something I read in another post. The seams and top of the receiver will be painted with a couple coats of Parma liquid mask. The mask is waterproof dries to a thin rubber coating to seal up the basic seams. The slots where the servo connections are made will be covered with Blu Tack - which is a bit like chewing gum, but never gets hard.

Unfortunately I am going to be out of town the next two week ends, so testing will have to be delayed quite a while - and the first race is only 5 weeks away.
Posted by cyberhoops | Feb 07, 2009 @ 12:36 AM | 3,251 Views
In building up the Elam/American Spirit the first thought was to use a Speedmaster rudder, but it would need to have the control arm reversed. After fighting a bit trying to get the pin out to reverse it ... and not being successful ... Plan B was to use the stock Elam rudder.

The stock rudder arrived today - well I can say a rudder arrived today, and it is a ProBoat rudder, but not for the Elam. The hole pattern for the rudder bracket is horizontal and not vertical like it is on the back of the boat. Not that it could not still be mounted, but the 1/12th scale rudder and bracket from the Horizon Hobby site that is listed in the parts list for the Elam... it is not the Elam rudder.

Back to plan A, or C with the Speedmaster rudder. A bit more effort and I got the pin out, so I am thinking I am home free. Just reverse that control arm and we are set to go.

Somewhere the gods of boat building were snickering.

Not so fast. When you flip the control arm around the screw that tightens against the pin to hold the control arm does not have enough clearance with the rudder to get to the proper angle. But, with some help from a round file to grind in a slot for the set screw and ... tada... a flipped control arm on a Speedmaster rudder.

Next step - mount it on the back of the Elam/American Spirit - I hope.
Posted by cyberhoops | Feb 05, 2009 @ 08:59 PM | 3,135 Views
I have been doing some hardware placement and was a bit surprised with the CG location. With most of by boats it seems I am fighting having them be tail heavy. Not so with the Rigged Insanity.

As you can see from the attached images of the hardware and batteries I ended up with the batteries coming back very close to the motor in order to get the CG to 13.5 inches from the transom. The speed control also moved aft. The battery wires will run just to the left and right of the motor mount in to that middle aft section for connection to the ESC. I built a little foam and 1/32" plywood box to be a platform for the batteries that is the same basic height as the two nuts that hold the sponson boom. The batteries will velcro down onto the platform.

Now I have a hole to fill as well. My initial placement for the water exit was forward of the motor. Nope. It was going to be in the middle of a battery. I will have to move it back into the middle aft section.
Posted by cyberhoops | Feb 03, 2009 @ 05:02 PM | 2,985 Views
The paint job on the Rigged Insanity is pretty much complete, except for a little touch-up around the spars.

This is what it looks like now before the hardware goes back in. The paint is all Duplicolor automotive spray paint...
Posted by cyberhoops | Jan 31, 2009 @ 10:03 PM | 2,979 Views
I am going to test out the Rigged Insanity color scheme on the sponsons before I commit paint to the entire model.

The general color scheme plan right now will be copper/orange flames over a blue background (with maybe some airbrush highlights on the flame edges). I applied the copper paint and a vinyl paint mask (the yellow), so next comes the blue.
Posted by cyberhoops | Jan 30, 2009 @ 07:13 PM | 2,858 Views
The ProBoat brushless Elam hull arrived today - just the bare hull that we plan to fit with a UL-1 motor and speed control along with various other bits of running gear from the now defunct 1982 Oberto. It certainly was well packaged as a box inside a box, inside a box, inside a bag, surrounded by foam.

The bare hull weighed in a 2lb 1oz, and included the radio box.

Step one will be to remove all of the decals since the plan is still to repaint the boat to be more like the 1991 American Spirit and race it as a limited spec hydro.

After that I am will be guessing a bit in how to fit other hardware, like a Speedmaster strut and rudder onto the hull. It should be interesting.

[Edit] On closer inspection it looks like the Speedmaster rudder will work, provided the direction of the control arm is flipped. The Speedmaster strut also looks like a fit, although a bit tight.

For the turn fin, I think I need to get the "original equipment" turn fin for the boat. The mounting plate is slanted and the Fuller's aluminum turn fin that was used on the Oberto would need some major tweaking to fit. I guess I will have to check into more options for the turn fin or go stock.

For the servo, I have been using the Traxxas waterproof servo, but that one is too big. Also the standard Spektrum Z270 is too big. Hmmm...

The decals all came off very cleanly, so that was a plus.

[EDIT] - it is now Feb 3rd and the basic paint job for the American Spirit look is complete except for some touchup painting. Next will be to add the decals and clearcoat.
Posted by cyberhoops | Jan 30, 2009 @ 01:46 AM | 3,045 Views
Here are some images of the initial rudder and servo linkage for the rigger. I added two 1/8" plywood plates epoxied to the bottom of the rigger to make a 1/4" thick mounting plate. The I used a JR aileron servo tray held by screws into the mounting plate. There is just enough room to get a screw driver into the 4 mounting screws, but it does make putting in the two rear screws a bit of a challenge.

The servo is a Traxxas waterproof servo. With a slight expansion of the hole in the radio compartment bulkhead made it a straight shot back to the control horn of the rudder.

It seems pretty solid.

And not surprising I guess that it is nearly the same layout that Hotwater posted as a reply to a blog entry.
Posted by cyberhoops | Jan 29, 2009 @ 07:20 PM | 3,064 Views
I have made a little progress on the Rigged Insanity - adding the 1/4 inch stuffing tube for the .150 flex drive with a teflon liner. The Speedmaster strut is also mounted now on the transom.

I did try annealing the brass tube this time, but since I don't have a propane torch I just set the brass tube on a burner of the electric stove and turned it on max. In just a couple minutes you could see the brass tube turn a bit of a gray color...not exactly red hot... but it worked.

Afterward it was much easier to bend the tube. The tube was secured with epoxy and Micro-Balloons filler. I am not sure if I am going to do something to reinforce the area with fiberglass and epoxy.

And, I have decided on a paint scheme now which will be light blue with gold metallic flames. I purchased a vinyl paint mask of flames made by Parma from the LHS, and the paint will be the Duplicolor automotive spray paint.
Posted by cyberhoops | Jan 27, 2009 @ 07:23 PM | 2,876 Views
I have been working on the sponsons for the Rigged Insanity. I must say that one sponson takes longer to do than the entire tub. I guess the sanding and shaping required is slowing things down a bit.

Attached are some pictures. It took a bit of time to make sure that the alignment was correct for the carbon fiber tubes, but with the laser cutting it all worked out without too much effort.

The left sponson will probably go a bit smoother now that I know a bit more about what I am doing.

I like it.

And... the second sponson was much easier, both because I knew more about what I was doing and because I did not have to set things up for the turn fin.
Posted by cyberhoops | Jan 27, 2009 @ 01:07 AM | 2,990 Views
Maybe the best boating investment we made was getting a rescue tug. In this case the tug is a Vac-u-Tug. More than once we have been able to send out the tug, hook up to a disabled boat and bring it back to shore.

This picture does not show the fishing line, but the spool in the back has about 25' of green fly fishing line wrapped around it. The fly fishing line floats so there is less chance of getting it caught in the prop. There is a swivel hook on the end of the fishing line that connects to a short leader off a tennis ball.

The Vac-u-Tug is not fast, but at least for hydroplanes it has more than enough power to bring back in the boat. We have since upgraded to the 4 bladed prop that is sold by the Vac-u-boat guys and that did make a noticable difference in the pulling power.
Posted by cyberhoops | Jan 26, 2009 @ 08:00 PM | 3,066 Views
Under the heading of "You can't have too many boats", I started a build of a Rigged Insanity from Osborne Models. My initial impression is very good. The directions are good, the laser cut parts fit together smoothly and in under an hour I have most of the tub complete.

It is quite a bit bigger than I thought it would be, or at least the center section tub is wider than I imagined. The inside of the tub is about 3.75 inches wide, which will be plenty of room for the motor, speed control and so forth.

I am planning to make this is P-Spec powered rigger using the UL-1 motor and speed control.