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Old Oct 25, 2010, 02:07 PM
Capt. Jack
USA, CA, Petaluma
Joined Oct 2010
321 Posts
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TUG Boat Rebuild - 36" Dumas

This is a Dumas 36 inch Shelley Foss tug that I picked up from e-bay.



I typically build my own, but needed something relatively quick as a recovery boat for a gas hydro.


This will do! It does have duel korts and seems to have been cared for and in good shape. Yep – I noticed the smoke stack right off the bat too but no biggie – easy fix.



The radio was a bit dated too but I kinda thought a bit of nostalgia would add uniqueness to the boat.



ARRIVAL:

I will say it was a heavy box and although it screamed “FRAGILE” and this side up, I think it took a few tips and turns. The smoke stack was broken (posed here) along with the radar and light tower which was reaffixed with a little ingenuity, the search light just wouldn’t stand on end – that broke off too.




The radio antenna was broken – but 24 inches long – how could it have survived, right? This Tug – trugged across country.



A few broken guard rails too.



Then I noticed a little – rear end damage.



Not bad – just some rubbed off (chipped) paint and should all be fixable. All that was insignificant compared to ….

Wait…??? What’s this???



What I thought was another paint chip turned out to be a hole in the hull. (Drat!). I was so hoping I could get this boat sea bound quickly. Upon further examination, seems that hull breech extended 12 inches along the seam.



The seller from E-bay – did try to make for a safe shipment but this IS a big – heavy boat so no worries…

… I can fix it.

I figured I better do a complete check of the hull so I started pulling the electronics. Besides, it didn’t come with instructions and it didn’t seem that straight forward…. at first.



There were a lot of wires – round thingies, boxes that had wires going to it….



This was straight forward tho – Run, Charge. Can’t go wrong there…



Since the original builder was an electrician, I figured it was done right and just needed a little problem solving and I would have props turning in no time.

Once I got the main circuitry out, I got my first look at the transmission.



A bit dirty but geared for some slow moving. Actually, the whole interior of the boat was a bit weathered.



So it was off to the ship wash!



And then back to the dockyard.



A bit cleaner and smelling a more fresh. Now I had a clean area to work with. Having had several boats with stuffing tube risers for filling lube, and those not working that well, I felt it might be a good idea to pull everything and inspect the shafts. I mean, what else was I going to find, right?





Well, the props that I thought were brass were really just painted that color. The good news was the shafts were straight, clean, smooth, and seemed ready to reinstall with a bit of accompanying grease added.

Figure I’ll replace those props with some cool brass ones. A 5 blade might look nice in there…



The control arms were a neat setup and seemed to work well so that stayed.



Unfortunately, while I was checking the steering, I noticed a bit of “play” in the steering servo. I had to check that out.



It didn’t take long to find the problem.



Poor gear, must have put up a fight when I got dropped in shipping. Well, this won’t do. And… this radio is a bit old. I checked everywhere for a replacement and found nothing so the servo would have to be replaced.




I just so happened to have a spare Futaba servo lying around and thought to give it a try. I guess the output of the receiver’s voltage just wasn’t enough to power the servo so… sadly, the radio system was going to radio heaven.

An easy modification to the servo mount and I was back in business. Now I regained control of the steering but had not checked out the rest of the electronics yet. A battery check and charge revealed the two 6V batteries that caused the hull damage – just wouldn’t hold a charge.



No battery power, no engines turning over (or even wanting to). This was pretty important, the hull was going to have to wait. I needed to diagnose the electronics before I could feel good about working on that hull. No power, and the boat would need a complete overhaul. This was frustrating.



There didn’t seem to be a problem with the above electronics (I mean wiring). Nothing was fried and everything was connected. Now onto the motors.

Aside a bit of corrosion, they seemed to be in good working order. Turned over with direct power and had good bearings. The armature rebound seemed strong so the problem didn’t lie in the motors.



I grabbed by brass wheel and started cleaning the old speed controller. I remember these when I was a kid and before the Electronic speed controller. Back then, it was either the coil (seen below) or a couple contacts ran from the servo.



I checked it out with a volt meter and not surprisingly, it worked fine. There was really only one other option I could see. This big box that had the bulk of wires going to it.



I had no clue what this was (and if you’re an electrician, my apologies) but, might as well take it apart and find out what it does.



It seemed to be a bit rusty inside. And, the insulation on a couple wires were burned (probably my fault when trying to hot wire this sucker), and one needed to be re soldered. Figured I would clean the contacts, re solder the wires, and give it another try.





I got nothing….



So – it was time to draw out a schematic and really try to debug this thing. Having limited drafting knowledge (last engineering class was over 20 some odd years ago), I started drawing in layman’s form.

The builder had a schematic “he” drew back in 1979 (dated drawing) but that didn’t really give me a solid wire -to-wire idea of where everything was going.

In the mean time, I had read in the Forums the Dumas transmission was noisy. Some build a housing to reduce the sound of the gears. Figured, I’d give that a try and rest the electrical side of my brain for a while.
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Last edited by Fodigo; Nov 03, 2010 at 12:14 PM. Reason: Learned what a Kort is :)
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Old Oct 25, 2010, 03:33 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
United States, CA, Los Angeles
Joined Sep 2003
23,286 Posts
Wow, you sure are a gentle, forgiving soul. I would have railed against that seller for not packing it solidly in a wood framed crate. As well as all the other defects. I remember seeing that tug on eBay.

Anyway, you did a remarkable job of restoration and your tug now looks great!
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Old Oct 25, 2010, 04:49 PM
Capt. Jack
USA, CA, Petaluma
Joined Oct 2010
321 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmot View Post
Wow, you sure are a gentle, forgiving soul. I would have railed against that seller for not packing it solidly in a wood framed crate. As well as all the other defects. I remember seeing that tug on eBay.

Anyway, you did a remarkable job of restoration and your tug now looks great!
Thanks Kmot!

It actually was wood crated but likely stood on end or dropped that way. I guess it could have had a few extra pillows wrapped inside or around it for shipping but no need to bum over spilt milk, just clean up. The seller was pissed too. The tug was his late uncle's boat.

I guess it all worked out in the end. I wouldn't have done so much or learned so much about the boat if it was shipped perfectly or worked without without any flaws. Thanks for the kudos on the work. I just got the props in today. NICE. Big ol' 5 blade daisies.

In the next few weeks, the UK should be sending me a few other items. It will really dress it up. I'll post updates on the progress.

Cheers!

Although, the wife would have not been so upset from the hours spent on it.
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Last edited by Fodigo; Oct 25, 2010 at 11:25 PM.
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Old Oct 25, 2010, 06:22 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
United States, CA, Los Angeles
Joined Sep 2003
23,286 Posts
Well I suppose the seller did all he could do then. Be sure to post the updates.
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Old Oct 26, 2010, 12:05 AM
Taking care of the pond.
MILLERTIME's Avatar
USA, CA, Fresno
Joined Apr 2004
7,296 Posts
Nice rebuild.
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Old Oct 26, 2010, 12:20 AM
Registered User
United States, LA, Houma
Joined Jun 2008
1,399 Posts
very nice rebuild!
i was watching the auction on the bay for this boat,first thing i noticed was the backwards stack....lol.
still.....she looked very well put together.
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Old Oct 26, 2010, 11:25 AM
Capt. Jack
USA, CA, Petaluma
Joined Oct 2010
321 Posts
Funny, seems to have been a very popular ebay boat and now we can follow it's travels. Currently harbors in Northern California.

Anyone know how (know someone who's) built a smoker?
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Old Oct 27, 2010, 04:05 AM
Registered User
United States, LA, Houma
Joined Jun 2008
1,399 Posts
heng long smokers are cheap,under $20 shipped.
but they are built cheap and fragile!

id build a volume tank for the smoke to build up in,before it exits the stack.
run the motor so that when your engine rpm increases,the smokers rpm increases.
when you nail the throttle the built up smoke should bellow out the stack.
on low speed it will lightly puff out the stack.

smoker
http://cgi.ebay.com/Heng-Long-German...item19c01bfd11

this one looks to be decent aswell.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Lionel-8141-50-S...item2c51a9799c

heres a stock heng long smoker vid!
not sure if it will be visible on windy days though.

smoke generator (0 min 13 sec)


and here it is in a nice boat!
Smoke generator installed in S.T. Canning (0 min 31 sec)
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Old Oct 27, 2010, 04:51 PM
Capt. Jack
USA, CA, Petaluma
Joined Oct 2010
321 Posts
smoke generators

Re:"heng long smokers are cheap,under $20 shipped.
but they are built cheap and fragile!"


thanks IGOTIT (interesting ID by the way )

In the lower static video - seems to put out a nice amount of smoke but in checking some youtube videos, doesn't seem to be so plumbful (Heng Long version that is). Maybe there's different versions - the one I saw from Heng Long was for a tank. You did mention a resevior though as a possible solution to add more puff.

If you know of different versions to this smoker - let me know.

The unit is a great size - small - yet affective. And yes - definately will try to make it variable smoke according to throttle control but this Tug runs off an "old style - mechanical" electronic speed controller (Swing arm style) so I'm sure that will add a little monkey wrench in the Research and Development side of things. I guess it will be a matter of trial and error

BUT - I AM STILL LOOKING (SEARCHING) FOR MORE IDEAS AND INFORMATION.

I discovered this thread yesterday.

http://www.scale4x4rc.org/forums/showthread.php?t=25024

After looking at it several times, I think I got it figured out. To the point I will only cause a small fire when attempting the build this type of device versus burning down the house. It looks doable. Just a matter of parts and the scientific process (try - fail - retry).

Thanks again for the heads up on those other units - at least the price is right.

Anyone else what to chime in ???
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Last edited by Fodigo; Oct 27, 2010 at 05:06 PM.
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Old Oct 27, 2010, 06:23 PM
USA'd ex Brit
toesup's Avatar
Back.. In California
Joined Aug 2006
5,780 Posts
Fodigo

You have the patience of a saint to sit there and work through those electronics problems!...

Your re-finished tug looks wonderful!...

You might want to upgrade the electronics (even after getting the old ones working) to an Electronic Speed Control (ESC) and simplify the wiring.

Keep up the good work!
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Old Oct 27, 2010, 08:07 PM
Registered User
catchthis's Avatar
USA, NY, Laurel
Joined Aug 2010
1,098 Posts
wow, what a transformation!
Congratulations
i was also someone who was watching it on ebay!
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Old Oct 27, 2010, 08:18 PM
Just Limin'
laser110's Avatar
United States, NJ, East Brunswick
Joined Nov 2008
1,366 Posts
Tug looks great. Have you looked at the smoker from Harbor Models?

Scott
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Old Oct 27, 2010, 09:41 PM
Registered User
United States, LA, Houma
Joined Jun 2008
1,399 Posts
i got it....lol.

ill stay tuned to see how the smoker turns out.
ive seen that thread on scale4x4 before,im a active member there aswell....same name.
i used to have the smaller shelly foss in the late 90's,not sure what happened to it though.
ill build another tug soon,ill use 2 heng long units,hooked to a 20 oz volume tank.
ill keep you guys posted.

i agree on upgrading the electronics,im not fond of a wiper arm type mechanical speed control.
if battery gets too low,boat keeps going with no raido control.
lost a few cars and boats in the early 90's due to wiper arms.
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Old Oct 27, 2010, 09:42 PM
Tugs Rule!!
tugs53's Avatar
Canada, BC, Victoria
Joined Nov 2007
220 Posts
Nice rebuild!!

Ironically, I went through pretty much the same procedure as you, when I bought a 'Shelley' off ebay about 10 yrs ago.

Same breaks in the same places....but you faired much better (not knowing what you paid for your tug)...as mine had obviously been "soaked" at some point, and all the running gear and elects were shot.

A few suggestions for ya':

Add some epoxy or polyester resin to the inside of the hull to add structural integrity to the shell. Especially at the 'chines'. You'll be glad you did!!!

Toss the electrics, and get a couple of ESCs.
The 'stock' elecs (essentially a rheostat) don't idle all that well, and gobble up lots of amperage.

Those gear units are noisy for sure.
Not much you can do about that short of replacing them.

That hull is a great design! Fast, stable, and seaworthy.
Again...well done on your refit, and congrats on joining the world of modeltugs

Mike
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Old Oct 28, 2010, 09:24 AM
Capt. Jack
USA, CA, Petaluma
Joined Oct 2010
321 Posts
LOL, you guys are great. 

Tug53: Thanks, I didn't really show any interior retrofitting pics of that hull breech but I did go as far as adding several fiberglass layers (one at a time) so I fiberglassed over the fiberglass and added chines. The last layer looks crappy and didnt turn out as well as the previous others so I was embarrassed to show it (at least until I can make it look more appealing .  I was thinking of adding a circuit plug board in that area for the (all the) lighting [ that is yet to come- yes, more is planned]. 

Rhiostat! I totally lost that word from my vocabulary until you reminded me. And- forgot about the lowering of power ='s bye-bye boat.  I like vintage stuff and the swing arm was appealing to me. The advantage of that over today's ESC's is that you don't have that high pitched "whine" sound that similar to the constant ringing in my ears. I did a dry dock test and it seems to pull some very slow rotating speeds. However, a separate battery source for the steering is warranted for sure. 

Definitely! Thanks for the reminder and incite! I totally forgot.

Regarding the amps, check out the top of those two motors. Each have 2 home made magnetic coils with 3 capacitors (?), looks like the amps will be a bit boosted there so no problem in those regards. Eventually, I hope to change it over to a 12 V system (my motorcycle battery). It's currently only 6v in there and that 12v battery will hold one heck of a charge. I should be able to run all day on it (knock on wood).

The gears, well... I think your right. The trainee cover I built helps a tiny bit, but it's still noisy. Hopefully less noticeable in the water. I tried custom fitting a styrofoam block in there too under the shroud, but it didn't really help either. Just left a lot of popcorn pieces for me to have to clean up later. On the upside to the cover, on it is mounted a 3rd channel servo for my aux operations so it's serving another purpose other that adding a little extra weight and looking cool.

Sry to hear about your e-bay shelly. Would like to see the new build when you start tho- thanks for the warm welcome aboard.


Laser110:  yea- I looked at those Harbor smokers. Great unit but $100 bones. However, building a cheaper 'new' mouse trap sounds like a fun time. Don'tcha think? The idea now...

at least the plan in my head, 

is a really modified one and I can custom fit it. Should look impressive regardless. I hope it functions the same way


Catchthis: Thanks bro. 
Hey,,, you weren't one that bid against me and jacked the price up? Were ya!!!!

.\/.

Just kidding ...

Cheers

I'll post an update shortly on the progress. Glad you guys are liking the Tug
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Last edited by Fodigo; Oct 28, 2010 at 12:27 PM. Reason: Typos
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