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Old Aug 12, 2014, 08:14 PM
Drydock Captian
Massey's Avatar
Spanaway, WA
Joined Jul 2006
1,466 Posts
Build Log
New Vac-U-Tugs, Tempest and Tom Cat Finished !!

Hey there, I know I have beein gone for a while but I finally found a good place to run some boats that is nearby my house and decided to dust them off and start building again.

One of my first boat builds back almost ten years ago was a Vac-U-Tug Jr. kit from Vac-U-Boats. Phil makes a really good kit that is stylish and durable, simple to build and above all else fun to run. I did a build thread about my first one way back when and I just gave my Kate Massey to my daughter (just turned 5) and bought 2 new ones for my son and myself.

In the last 10 years Phil has made some changes to the kit, the changes are not very noticable at first but over all it makes for a Version 2.0 of this great little boat. That being said I thought I would start another build thread on the 2 new boats. Oh and this is also my son's first build. I am helping him of course as he has never built any type of model before.

My son's boat is going to be basicly stock with the addition of a tow bit on the rear deck. Battery power is going to be stick packs.

My boat is getting the upgraded motor, tow bits in the rear and bow, and battery power is at the moment going to be 2 6V 3ah SLA batts in parallel.

My iPod didnt transfer over the pics to my pad before I left for work so I wont have any pics till tonight when I get home.

Stay tuned for more... and I know "this thread is useless without pics!"

Massey
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Last edited by Massey; Today at 01:44 AM.
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Old Aug 13, 2014, 03:55 AM
Drydock Captian
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Spanaway, WA
Joined Jul 2006
1,466 Posts
Ok here are the as promised pics

There is a new motor mount and electronics tray that is injection molded plastic (feels like abs) to replace the old one piece resin tray that liked to warp. The hull liner was also modified to mount the new motor mount. And there are also some little plastic reinforcement pieces that give the servo tray screws a thicker bit of plastic to bite into. This used to be covered by creating "epoxy nuts" in the old design. You can also see in the bottom of the hull is what looks like a big puddle of epoxy in the skeg mount area (that is the old way) but the new kits come with an injection molded piece that fits in there and reinforces the hull and gives you a good amount of material to screw the skew screws into.

Massey
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Old Aug 13, 2014, 07:01 PM
Drydock Captian
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Spanaway, WA
Joined Jul 2006
1,466 Posts
Just a small update here. I got about an hour in on the boats today. My son is learning how to build and I have been teaching him how to do all the basic stuff and I have been handling the more complex. I just wanted to show you all him drilling the vent holes in the hull liner. He is loving this!

Massey
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Old Aug 13, 2014, 09:44 PM
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I have been meaning to order one of those after I watched his video oh his in the surf. I really like the fact that you are getting your son involved with a fun hobby like this.
I will be following this build. I will probably be getting one of these myself since you reminded me of this great little boat.

Andre
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Last edited by Andre Anderson; Aug 14, 2014 at 12:19 AM.
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Old Aug 14, 2014, 12:55 AM
Drydock Captian
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Spanaway, WA
Joined Jul 2006
1,466 Posts
I have never had my tug in that rough of water but I have had waves break over the sides and bow with no issue. I love these little boats, and my Kate Massey will be in good little hands of my 5 year old daughter.

Massey
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Old Aug 14, 2014, 01:59 PM
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Prior Lake, MN
Joined Jun 2004
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My Vac-U-Tug kit arrived last week. My daughter and I are excitied to put it together, but we haven't started yet. Hopefully we'll get started on painting tonight.
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Old Aug 15, 2014, 12:47 AM
Drydock Captian
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Spanaway, WA
Joined Jul 2006
1,466 Posts
No work on the boats today, I had a few erands to run and tonight I took my amateur radio Technician exam. I passed with 100% and was offered the General exam, so I figured why not. I missed 8 on that one which is still passing!! So all and all a good day!

Dom
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Old Aug 15, 2014, 10:19 AM
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United States, ID, CDA
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Congrats!

W6leo
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Old Aug 15, 2014, 05:35 PM
Drydock Captian
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Spanaway, WA
Joined Jul 2006
1,466 Posts
So far a little progress. I had to work on some brakes for a few $$$ so, yea. Anyway just wanted to show you the reinforcement under the deck of my boat. This will help spread the loads of towing out over the entire deck instead of just one small area.

Massey
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Old Aug 16, 2014, 12:03 AM
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Well Massey,

I went and ordered a brand new Vac-U-Tug tonight, so it's all your fault. Not really but it sounded good at the moment.

Andre
Portland Oregon
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Old Aug 16, 2014, 12:13 AM
Drydock Captian
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Spanaway, WA
Joined Jul 2006
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Andre, you will not be disappointed. These are great little tugs. We got the stern tube of my sons boat done tonight and tomorrow we mount the motor and ballast the boats.

Massey
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Old Aug 16, 2014, 12:21 AM
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No I know I won't, this is a fun little tug that I have been looking at for a long time. I really like the fact that I can take it to the pond on a moments notice or when my wife and I go to the beach I can take it and play in the surf with it. If a little one at the pond is real interested in it I can let them have a go at it with our worrying about one of my good boats.

So thanks again,
Andre
Portland Oregon
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Old Aug 16, 2014, 12:49 AM
Drydock Captian
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Spanaway, WA
Joined Jul 2006
1,466 Posts
My Kate Massey has been captained by several little skippers and they have all loved it. Kate is 8years old now and still looks and works great. I decided to build a more powerful tug so I bought another one and ended up selling that one to my buddy so we could go out and play in the water together. Now my son is 8 and I feel it is time for him to learn how to do more than just play video games. I again wanted a more powerful tug and he needed his own kit to build so I bought 2 and got one motor upgrade. He has been really excited about the build and so my 5 year old daughter is not left out I gave Kate to her.

Massey
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Old Aug 16, 2014, 08:15 PM
Drydock Captian
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Spanaway, WA
Joined Jul 2006
1,466 Posts
Got the boats ballasted! I did mine first so that I could better assist my son in getting his right. I found that doing the ballast in the front first was the best way to go as you can hold the nose down to help keep the ballast in place. I know Phil has you put the ballast in a baggy and form it to the hull and tape it in, but I like to make mine a part of the hull that does not come out. Next I found doing the rear area in 2 steps. First use about half the ballast and line the area in front of the motor and under the shaft, let that cure a little then with the last half get the area above the shaft and to the rear. Here are a couple of pics to show our progress.

Massey
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Old Aug 17, 2014, 09:50 PM
Drydock Captian
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Spanaway, WA
Joined Jul 2006
1,466 Posts
One boat is almost done but my son wanted to play around so we didn't get as far along on his. My boat got fully assembled and the bottom of the hull painted black.

I built the tow bits out of brass rod and tubing and glued them to the deck, after drilling the holes in the deck. I glued them under the deck as well as on top. They are not going anywhere. The only thing I am not happy about is the bits on both boats are not perfectly centered. Serves me right for using a hand drill and not my little drill press. Oh well they don't look too bad and they will all work just fine.

Enjoy the pics.
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