RC Groups

RC Groups
    Dock Talk
        Discussion Pat Tritle's "Marina" Build

#1 buzzltyr Mar 03, 2007 06:05 PM

Pat Tritle's "Marina" Build
2 Attachment(s)
OK, so I am a diehard airplane guy. But, I've been lurking in the boat forums for a long time. I happen to love boats, but just never felt I had the skills to build one. I don't know why, but they always look a lot more complicated than airplanes, to me. :)

So I decided I would build one. I have my heart set on building a Chris Craft 19' Racing Runabout. My family owned a mahogany Chris Craft back in the 50's and 60's (yes, I'm that old). After getting the kit, I looked at it, and having read all the build threads here, I decided the CC should be my 2nd boat, and that I needed something else with which to "stick my toes in the water". So I began a hunt here and elsewhere for "beginner" kits. While I have nothing against foam and plastic (I own one foam airplane), I really wanted to do a wood boat.

After a lot of searching, I found some boats at Dare Hobbies that looked like they fit the bill. Small, wood, laser cut, and advertised as easy to build. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Pat Tritle was the designer! I have built a number of Pat's airplanes, and have always found him to be extraordinarily helpful with his knowledge and advice, not to mention his good humor. I religiously read all of his airplane build threads, and think I have read most, if not all, of his boat build threads as well.

The next thing I did was to do a search here for build threads on the Tritle-designed Dare boats. I was surprised to find absolutely nothing. :eek: So I wrote Pat an email, and asked him about the designs. He responded that he thought they would be a good first foray into wood boat building. He also offered (thanks, Pat!) to keep an eye on a build thread, and respond with suggestions and corrections.

I would also encourage all of the experts who frequent these forums to weigh in as the spirit moves you. All contributions will be gratefully accepted. I am in awe of much of the work that appears in the boat forums, especially the scale forum.

So, what is the Marina? It's an 18" "Sport scale" Sport Fisherman. Speed 400 powered (I have several of those on hand), using a micro servo for rudder (I plan on an HS-55, of which I also have a bunch sitting around).

As Pat told me, the kits are from his "pre computer days". The kit includes two nicely hand drawn plan sheets (full size), all the wood and running hardware. A few scale touches include a ship's wheel, cleats and a plastic scoop for the foredeck.

This morning I opened up the box, read through the instructions a couple of times, studied the plans a bit, labeled the parts, tacked one of the plan sheets to my board, rolled up my sleeves and started building.

The first pic is of the built up keel and the sheer. The second pic shows the formers (do boat folks call them formers?) attached to the sheer, the keel in place, and the chine stringers in place, along with the transom. Next up is to sand everything so the chines, keel and former all are as even as I can get them. After that, the hull is sheeted, bottom first and than the sides.

So, my first question for the experts: When sheeting a hull, do you make a pattern and cut the sheets accordingly, or do you glue the sheeting in place, and then cut to match the chine and the sheer? I've done airplanes both ways, but I wonder if there is a preferred methodology. Any thoughts and advice would be appreciated!

This may be my first foray into model boats, but it will not be my last. I plan on being a regular here, time and disposable income permitting.


#2 Tug Guy Mar 03, 2007 06:28 PM

Not everyone does it the way I do so I will only offer my method. I take manila stock and make a template then cut the material. That way I can place the template on either side of the keel to make sure I don't vary my hull.
This is really a personal decison, how ever you feel most commfortable working is the best for you.
Pat's kits look like a good choice for a first time boat builder. Good luck on your build. I look forward to seeing your progress.


#3 Kmot Mar 03, 2007 06:43 PM

Welcome to the boat side Buzz!

We always enjoy Pat's boat building threads. He mostly does Dumas now I think. It looks like you are off to a good start, and no doubt your airplane building skills have given you a big head start.

#4 buzzltyr Mar 03, 2007 07:44 PM

Thanks, Don and Kmot. It's nice to stop lurking here! Don, after I finished up my post #1, I actually pulled out an old manilla file folder and traced out the keel to the chine on it for the bottom sheeting. I haven't cut it out yet, or trimmed it up, but I figured that a template would probably be the way to go, given the compound curves. Better to make errors on paper. Especially in the bow where the sheeting is going to have to curve upwards.

I sincerely appreciate the interest and advice. Please keep it coming.


#5 larryg Mar 03, 2007 08:41 PM

hello buzz, i am building PATS daphne , i am sure its the exact same hull as yours, they look idenical, bouth 18 inches, i am new to boats also but have built rc planes for years, i sheeted my hull with balsa , but i used a balsa block and sanded to shape at the bow section to make that part easyer, ill be glassing mine next week if we get a warm enough day, i really like the Marina also , keep us posted on your progress :)

#6 P. Tritle Mar 03, 2007 08:48 PM

Buzz, Glad to see you got started on the Marina. Will be following the thread to see how things are going.

Larry, Yes, the Marina, Daphne, and Miss Stephanie hulls are all identical. The 3 designs use different decks on a common hull design. As a matter of fact, I still run the Marina hull, using the different decks from time to time, just to keep it interesting.


#7 Aerominded Mar 03, 2007 11:35 PM

Welcome to the boats section, Buzz! I'll look forward to seeing this one come together! :)

#8 delsol Mar 05, 2007 07:53 AM

Hi Mark,
Being fairly new to RC airplane building I have seen some of your
airplanes. If your boat turns out as nice as your airplanes it should
look great.

#9 P. Tritle Mar 05, 2007 08:17 AM

Mark, Thought I might offer a suggestion that will make skinning the hull a bit easier -- if you're not already too far along.

Anyhow, the sides can be skinned in one continuous sheet from stem to stern, but making the curve up front can be challenging. I use watter and steam to pull mine around. Another way is to run the grain vertically on at least the front two bays, though a vertical grain all the way back is also acceptable.

Hope this helps.


#10 buzzltyr Mar 05, 2007 11:59 AM


Originally Posted by P. Tritle
Mark, Thought I might offer a suggestion that will make skinning the hull a bit easier -- if you're not already too far along.

Anyhow, the sides can be skinned in one continuous sheet from stem to stern, but making the curve up front can be challenging. I use watter and steam to pull mine around. Another way is to run the grain vertically on at least the front two bays, though a vertical grain all the way back is also acceptable.

Hope this helps.


Thanks, Pat! I've got the bottom sheeted, and the first of the sides soaking in water. Periodically I've been refreshing the water bath with hot water. But, I have a new appreciation for what you told me about wood boat building being all about "making wood go places it doesn't want to go, and doing things it doesn't want to do". :D

In one of your other boat threads you talked about steaming planks with your covering iron, so I will give that a go if I can't soften the wood up enough with soaking. If that fails, I'll look at doing the sides in a couple of pieces. I have plenty of 1/16" balsa sheet on hand, so that wouldn't be a problem.

Thanks again for the thoughts and advice. I appreciate it!


#11 crash 101 Mar 06, 2007 09:41 PM

Hi Mark, I'm John, Brad's friend. I have said to Brad many times that I want to build a boat. I will follow this thread through each step and learn as much as I possibly can. I too have a love for boats and own a boat now. I will build a boat as soon as I feel confident in my building experience. I have so much to learn.

Keep up the awesome work Mark!!


#12 buzzltyr Mar 07, 2007 04:39 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Hi, John. Thanks for the kind thoughts. I appreciate them. This is my first attempt at a wood boat, so I am at the steep part of the learning curve at this point. :)

I finished up sheeting the hull yesterday. Pic 1 is of the bottom sheeting, and pic 2 is of the completed sheeting.

I had some clamp marks and depressions in the balsa, so I spackled them up and sanded them down. Next time I'll put some scrap between the clamps and the sheets/planks. Lesson learned. Any thoughts on the hull thus far? The sheer lies flat on the building board, so I don't think the sheeting process caused any twists in the hull. I had a few gaps which have been filled with epoxy and spackle, and sanded down. The hull has been sanded with 100 and 220 grit, at this point, and seems pretty smooth.

Next I have to glue on the second transom piece, and sand it to shape. After that, the instructions call for installing the prop shaft and rudder tubes. However, one of my goals for building this kit is to get some experience with fiberglassing. I have virtually no experience with fiberglassing. I've ordered up some fg cloth and West System epoxy, due in sometime next week.

So, a question for Pat (or anyone else who would like to respond): Should I wait to install the through hull bits until after the fiberglassing has been done?
It would seem to me that I would get a better fit that way at the outer hull joint. But I'm open to suggestions from the experts. Looking forward to the fiberglassing, I'm assuming that it will be done in four pieces: bottom, transom, and one each for the sides.

Also, if I am reading/understanding the plans correctly, the entire deck is removable (correct, Pat?). If that's the case, I would think I could continue on with building the deck, even if the hull has not been fiberglassed/finished.


#13 Tug Guy Mar 07, 2007 06:06 AM

If it were me Mark I would installl the shaft now making sure I had a good alignment with the motor. Then glass the hull.


#14 buzzltyr Mar 08, 2007 06:06 AM

Thanks, Don. I didn't get much of a chance to work on it yesterday. I did drill the holes for the prop shaft and rudder post, but that's about it.


#15 green-boat Mar 08, 2007 07:42 AM

I would install the stuffing tube and get it all aligned before glassing the hull. That way you end up with a nice tight seal.

As for glassing, I cut a piece of cloth big enough to go over the entire hull with some hanging over the edge. Glass cloth will conform to the hulls surface so you can do all of the surfaces at once. You might have to do some trimming of the cloth to get around those square edges on the transom.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:07 PM.