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Old Sep 08, 2014, 03:13 AM
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South Africa, GP, Johannesburg South
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RC Rescue Boat for RC Yachts

I have done some extensive searching on this forum, but could only find a handful of references to the construction and implementation of dedicated RC rescue boats for RC yachts.

Yesterday my SeaWind got stranded with a jammed rudder and with no club rescue kayak on hand it was left to a friendly passing canoe paddler to recover my boat. I was lucky.

I need to have my own electric RC boat on hand to effect my own rescues. I am thinking slow and powerful rather than quick. Does an electric motor produce more towing power running through a reduction gearbox? What about prop diameter?

I believe in the KISS principle so I see the use of cradles or booms as being unnecessarily complicated. I think towing a line with a flotation on the end (I saw a tennis ball suggested) makes sense to me - circling the stranded keelboat a few times to lasso it and then towing it back to the jetty. Is this a workable option? It makes the depth perception less of an issue because it is quite easy to just motor in a circle around the stranded boat a few times and then head for home, rather than trying to aim a cradle when you can't judge distances far out on the water.

Having my own simple rescue boat on hand will enable me to sail on my own at unfamiliar ponds without facilities if I choose to, such as when I am away on holiday.

How have you solved this problem?
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Old Sep 08, 2014, 05:28 AM
Boaters are nice people.
Sneek, Netherlands.
Joined May 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 22KV View Post
How have you solved this problem?
Hi 22KV,

1) Make sure your boat is technically 100%, by securing all nuts and bolts against getting loose and having a 'flawless' set-up of the sailcontrol.
2) see 1).
3) Stick time to acheive 1&2.

The flotation on a (floating) line does indeed work best if you can't get near the place where your boat is stranded.
The tug in question needs to be powerful enough to pull the sailboat back against the wind, even if the line is snatched on the rudder and the boat is being pulled against the wind with boat sails let out (goose wing).

I've tried this with my similar sized Voyager I being towed backward by my modified Dickie Tug, which struggled to get the sailboat back against the wind.
In gusts the sailboat pulled the tug backwards...

Regards, Jan.
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Old Sep 08, 2014, 08:07 AM
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Here's what I did and it works like a charm. Rescued a Victoria a few weeks ago with the setup. I decided to use a speedboat because in high winds it wouldn't take long for a sailboat to outrun a slow barge. I found I could make good time with my setup do to the fact that the foam is angled up a bit and it's out of the water. I could get the little boat up on a plane with no problem, foam and all
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=2438

And here it is in action.
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=2460
I found I could either bump the sailboat around to point it in the direction I wanted it to go and let the sails do the rest of the work or approach the sailboat from the stern, give the motor a quick boost and the barge attached it's self to the sailboat and pushed it around just like a real barge. I could guide it in any direction by using the rudder on the barge with no problem. I pushed around several Vics for about 20 minutes and found the battery was only down about 1/2 charge. I purchased the pusher boat at a local hobby shop for about $135.00 dollars.

Is this KISS enough? It took me about 30 minutes to construct the barge.

Fred
fredsheldon@aol.com
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Old Sep 08, 2014, 10:44 AM
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Prior Lake, MN
Joined Jun 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 22KV View Post
I need to have my own electric RC boat on hand to effect my own rescues. I am thinking slow and powerful rather than quick.
Vac-U-Tug, Zipp Kit Tugster (or other Springer class tug) would fit the bill. Vac-U-Tug has a motor upgrade available for extra towing power, but you may not need it.

Quite a few Vac-U-Tug and Tugster builds going on at the moment, join the fun!
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Old Sep 08, 2014, 10:51 AM
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Thanks Fred, that looks like a workable solution and it's 'KISS' enough too. Just the price which is a bit of an 'Ouch' on this side of the pond where US$135 translates into the equivalent of enough petrol to drive my car for 2,500km!

I will take a look at my local hobby shop and see what's available. I am sure there are electric speed boats more in the toy range, but they may come with very poor RC range and may need to be modified to be fit for purpose. It's no good having to rescue the rescue boat! Hopefully all that would then be required would be a 2.4GHz RX, a battery and a couple of small servos.
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Old Sep 08, 2014, 11:31 AM
Boomer1
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I have collected a number of photos of number of different approaches to rescue vessels and alternatives. You can pick your favorite and perhaps draw some ideas from those
I have a Miss Geico but don't think I am ready to convert it just yet. Must say it does the job well!
I use my Motor Life Boat using a drag line to snag the rudder or keel of the sailboat. Most of the time a little push will free any boat snagged on bottom growth.

Boomer
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Old Sep 08, 2014, 11:48 AM
crazygary
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Good on yah, Boomer!!

Nice rescue team, too!!

crazygary
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Old Sep 08, 2014, 12:03 PM
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Andyzib, that Tugster looks like being the answer. Unfortunately the shipping costs might be six times the cost of the boat, but I have asked Zippkits for a quote.

Thanks Boomer for some great suggestions. Some of those accessories are probably worth getting too. Do they come with visas and work permits?
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Old Sep 08, 2014, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by 22KV View Post
Andyzib, that Tugster looks like being the answer. Unfortunately the shipping costs might be six times the cost of the boat, but I have asked Zippkits for a quote.
There's a Euro company offering a very similar Springer Tug kit but I'm having trouble remembering the companies name.

Edit, I was thinking of the Aeronaut Ramborator
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2190752
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Old Sep 08, 2014, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 22KV View Post
Andyzib, that Tugster looks like being the answer. Unfortunately the shipping costs might be six times the cost of the boat, but I have asked Zippkits for a quote.

Thanks Boomer for some great suggestions. Some of those accessories are probably worth getting too. Do they come with visas and work permits?
Please let us know what the total cost will be including shipping for the Tugster.
Fred
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Old Sep 08, 2014, 12:27 PM
Boomer1
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I have seen many custom recovery boats over the years and believe that with very little hobbying skills one could be created out of some readily avalaible parts. As I mentioned in my previous post, most of the time a little push frees a sailboat from the grasp of bottom growth.
Now if we are talking about rescuing a flipped FE or a damaged boat, more is required.

Where you sail can dictate what you can use or might need. The larger the body of water and the more serve the conditions, the more imagination it might require to come up with the right combination to do the job.

Boomer
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Old Sep 08, 2014, 03:32 PM
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Boomer:

We use my Vac-u-Tug with the more powerful motor and "power prop" to set marks with a barge and as a rescue boat. It works well towing a toilet tank float to wrap around and snag disabled Seawinds, US1M and Canterbury J's, but not so well with larger and heavier boats if the wind is more than about 5 mph - too much mass and to little power.

I have tried it with a Santa Barbara (25+ lbs) and it works in flat water, but struggles in higher winds. You do have to make sure the deck is totally watertight. If you want something bigger, there are larger Atlantic tugs that were sold RTR with reduction gearboxes that should work in almost any conditions, but even used they are in the +$300 range.

Lacking that and assuming you don't need to do a rescue very often, a cheap one person blow up kayak from Wally World, a PFD, a battery powered HVLP pump and emergency automotive power pack would probably be cheaper.

Some of those options pictured above would be great....but it is not the cost of the acquisition that is the problem, its the upkeep that kills you

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Sevylor-1-...ingMethod=p13n
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Old Sep 08, 2014, 06:14 PM
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Here is a video of an alternate method intended for yachts with a keel fin. The idea is to deliver a line around the dead boat, there is a hook on one of the floats and the end result is a lasso around the dead boat's keel. The delivery boat only needs to be powerful enough to haul the line out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=kiqO37qd2s8
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Old Sep 08, 2014, 09:23 PM
Boomer1
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Mr.P
Watched the video with great anticipation. The video I watched would suggest a trip back to the drawing board
I appears the tail was too short to catch the keel or rudder. That is the same basic method I incorporated on my recovery boat. I use a much longer line with a simple fishing bobber and a couple of de-barbed treble fishing hooks.

It takes a few attempts to get the space between the bobbers and the hooks worked out but once you find it, you can snag almost any boat with a keel and or a rudder in one circle around in distress yacht.

My Motor Life Boat is powered by twin 550's and has more than enough power and steering control to handle sailboats 1 Meter or larger in pretty decent winds.

FoamCruser = you've got a winner there - to handle a big boat like a Santa Barbara would be a test for my MLB as well. I know it could push one, and might be able to un-stick one if it weren't "hard a-ground". There is a lot sail area on one of those and would present a challenge for sure.
Boomer
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