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Old Apr 24, 2012, 11:41 AM
made of fire and pop rocks
bgnome's Avatar
Richmond Virginia
Joined Oct 2009
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A little 17 inch sloop.

Being as it is mid-spring, it was my day off, and there was a lot to get done around the yard, a freak nor-Easter swung through town and left everything cold and rainy for two days.

So, instead of converting that old oil drum into a smoker, I decided to dive into the scrap wood pile and begin a little experiment.

What this little guy is, is an attempt to make a RC sailboat out of a Classic Free sail model. in particular, its a clone of a Dumas Ace Racing sloop.

I've made several clones of this model that were given away as Christmas presents to my Co-workers kids, they have all been well received and seen plenty of time on the local ponds.

This will be Boat #7 in this little fleet.

Diving into the scrap pile, digging out some templates, making some modifications to the design based on what I had on hand, and what I want to do, I had a skeleton built up within 3 hours.

Check out the pics below for where it is at so far.

I've only ever really sailed the little free sailors, though I've played with regular RC boats at a local club and I have a good idea on the mechanics and the operation.

This build will be to help build up the confidence to start working on a RG65 hull set I have
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Old Apr 24, 2012, 03:08 PM
Spreckels Lake, GGP, SF, CA
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USA, CA, San Francisco
Joined Apr 2007
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We be watchin'
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Old Apr 24, 2012, 07:40 PM
made of fire and pop rocks
bgnome's Avatar
Richmond Virginia
Joined Oct 2009
1,711 Posts
Thanks Craig!

A little movement today after posting those pics earlier. The weather, of course was a lot better today so some spring time garden stuff was in order.

Repair the pull start cord on the tiller.

Finally till in all that spent brewers grain and Manure into the front yard garden (you can't eat grass, and that's where the best sun is!)

Span that patch with garden felt, fun stuff, lets the water in, keeps the weed seeds out, cut a hole in where you want your plant to be.

Then I was conscripted to build another 8'x30"x12" raised bed in the back yard.

The people here are still on the fence about the construction of a chicken coop..

BUT!!! I DID lay in the side wall planking on the little guy, 1/32 basswood sheeting. walk it down from the nose block, to the tail locking it down with CA, Trim off the excess, then scarf (that's the term right?) flush to the side rails.

All the decking will be done this way. then glassed over. and I do believe I'll make use of some scrap mahogany veneer to make all the top sides all pretty like.

Once I get the bottom planking done, I'll further brace the radio bay area. It's probably over kill, but I will be chopping out the back bone in that area to make way for the servos.

I'm going to hold off on decking the top fore deck until I have constructed the.. thingy that holds the Keel bulb... I plan to construct that with using a piece of 1/4" CF tubing I have lying around left over from a "yard stick" park flyer that suffered a critical failure when a 500 watt Peavy 6 channel PA head fell on top of it. Long story.. cats were involved.

In any case... that tube... 8 inches long, another 1/8" poplar dowel behind that, 1/32"x2" basswood wrapped around all that to form a foil. There well then be matching holes going through the keel bone and the back bone to lock the keel bulb boom thing in place. This could either be fixed or removable I believe.. have the CF tube stick up through the top deck and a RC car hood clip hold it in place?
The keel bulb itself would be a torpedo style fishing sinker epoxied to the bottom end of all that.

The mast will be about 24" to 28" tall... recommendations for keel ball boom length? in the free sail version it's 2" down, I'm thinking about a 4 to 6" keel ball boom in this version

I Have a couple of HS-65 micro servos. while I'm sure this should be perfectly fine for the rudder, the sail winch servo is my only concern. My plan is to attach an extended arm to the winch servo which will allow between 4" and 6" of boom line out

what ya think folks? am I on the right track here?
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Old Apr 25, 2012, 01:22 AM
Taking care of the pond.
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United States, CA, Sanger
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Me to.
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Old Apr 25, 2012, 01:23 AM
made of fire and pop rocks
bgnome's Avatar
Richmond Virginia
Joined Oct 2009
1,711 Posts
Moving right along.

Bottom side decking applied. seams filled, scarfed and sanded. further gap filling still needs to be done at the seam.

flipped over and additional bracing added to the radio box area. probably not necessary but done anyways.

Then I chopped out the poor things spine.

She's okay!!

The model is quite rigid with no noticeable flex or bend.

I'll next have to run a small piece of brass or copper tubing through the back bone and into the radio bay for the winch lead., then I can seal the inside of that compartment and close it in.

the rudder mount will be just forward of fifth bulkhead "F"

Then the keel bulb boom between the second and third bulkheads, "C" and "D". seal all these interior areas and close them up.

after that? build up a hatch making a shadow of Bulkheads "D","E" and "F"


it's getting fun!!

It will only just be a simple exercise though.. apparently this poor thing has no class.

that I know of... just a little too big to be a Footy

Hope y'all are enjoying it though.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 11:26 AM
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USA, VA, Powhatan
Joined Nov 2010
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Boat looks good -
If you really want a little challange you could build a RG65 Class legal "Star". I've built several of these free-sailors (photo attached) for my grandkids to sail in the pool and have often thought of scalng one up, or down (I have plans for AMYA 45" Star Class boat). Might not win many regattas, but would make a nice looking boat.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 06:36 PM
made of fire and pop rocks
bgnome's Avatar
Richmond Virginia
Joined Oct 2009
1,711 Posts
Thank you for saying so, And that's a good looking boat as well! looks fairly close to the little free-sailors ive built and am now converting to RC.

I see you are in Powhatan.. are you part of the crew that sails over at Innsbrook? I've been out there once on a Monday sail to check things out. my work schedule over at the brewery has me working weekends so I usually can't make it out to the Sunday sails.

I picked up a round ranger hull from robert last year and have yet to dig into it. This boat I'm working on here, like I said earlier is to knock it out, engineer it, make it work, and THEN hit the round ranger after building up a bit of confidence in the model build.

This boat itself is a knock off of a Dumas Ace racing sloop, and as I understand it, itself is a knock off of a Star 45. you saying that's legal in the RG65 class? or am I misreading all this?

and if yer not part of that group that hangs out at Innsbrook.. there is a group that hangs out at Innsbrook and its headed up by a guy named Robert

back to the build! nothing got done last night, but I'm getting ready to start up the next thing on the checklist, hopefully I'll have something to show off later tonight folks.
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Old May 01, 2012, 01:13 AM
made of fire and pop rocks
bgnome's Avatar
Richmond Virginia
Joined Oct 2009
1,711 Posts
Progressively moving forward.

there wasn't a lot done today but what was done was.. in my mind a critical "don't mess this up moment.
Fabrication of the Keel Bulb vane, mounting and installing the dang thing. and beginning the rudder post

I'm sure it's old hat for a lot of you folks out there..

In the original Free sail version of this thing, the keel bulb is mounted to a piece of sheet steel. that is then inserted through the seam between the two sticks of 1/8"x1/4" basswood that forms the keel bone of the boat. its then hung on Former "K" via two little dowels and epoxied into position.

The Rudder post on the original version is a piece of brass tubing, 1/8" OD that goes all the way through from the top deck through the bottom hull, this allows a piece of 1/16" spring steel wire to be used as the rudder mount. the rudder itself is a piece of brass sheet stock that is soldered to the wire after its bent for the freesail tiller/boom attachment.

I'm obviously tying that to a servo now, so a post had to be made.


the boom for the keel bulb was made from left over 1/16" birch ply. first ripped to 1'x2", then split in half for two 6"x2" sections.. a center line was drawn on those, then a piece of 1/4" poplar dowel was cut for 8"

run a bead of slow CA along the center line. roll the dowel onto it, hit is with some kicker, repeal for the other side. 15 minute epoxy painted along the edges and binder clips to hold the edges in place. work diaginaly, top left corner, bottome right, top right, bottom left, repeat walking down to the middle of the piece.. wait for the epoxy to kick... viola! a a foil shaped structure.

I know earlier I said I was going to use some CF tube for this, but I figured... why? its certainly strong enough as it is, and I'm really not gaining any thing in wieght savings for this particular model..

in either case.. there was an inch of dowel sticking out either end of the piece.

the top side was to be for a further locking the piece to the boats back bone and passing through so a clip could be used to hold in place for removability.

Unfortunately.. my drill skillz weren't on mark and I had to abandon that Idea so the boom is now permanently affixed. In the future, A hole like this will be drilled before construction begins on the drill press..

at least the hole passing through the keel bone was centered, if not straight, so I was able to use it a "whittling guide" for the vane. stick the dowel through the hole, mark it out.. whittle it out, adjust the vane till it was straight vertically and horizontally. We cant have it functioning as a static rudder, and the boat sitting canted in the water, now can we?

once the vane was alligned, it was "spot welded" in place with slow CA and fixer, then I painted the entire internal area around the vane and all the forward bulk head sections with thinned 15 minute epoxy

that entire area of the boat should now be plastisized and water proof.


as for the radio bay?

well.. like I said.. rudder post mounted. needs to be drilled out.. I have a section of 1/8" brass tubing.. I'll drill out the post to take that, a section of threaded 4/40 threaded push rod will pass through that. The rudder will be built up off of that. the threaded portion will go up into the radio bay, a control horn will be made of suitable material and locked down with jam and nylon lock nuts. A micro servo will control that.

Sail winch control? a standard servo will not fit upright in the space, it will have to be a mini. A high torque Micro should do as well.

I need to bend a length of tubing that will connect the radio bay, turn 90 degrees and pass up through the back bone.

There are some very tight corners that need to be worked with while maintaining a kink free flow for the line to pass through.. its a wee little boat after all. once that plumbing is done I can put the upper deck sheeting on the tail end of the thing.

as it is.. I can put the upper deck sheeting on the forward bulk head area. I'm pretty comfortable it's safe to do that now.

upper deck sheeting will be in more basswood, then a decorative overlay.
Mahogany planking.
once I get the rudder tube in place I'll glass the hull with thinned 45 minute epoxy and 3/4 ounce fiberglass.

Thanks for y'alls interest in this product. enjoy the pics
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Old May 01, 2012, 08:29 AM
Still showing up for breakfast
lilleyen's Avatar
Ontario Canada
Joined Mar 2009
1,100 Posts
Nice work, looks like fun.

Kind of inspiring actually, I might follow suit.

Haven't built anything for quite a while now, getting the urge again.

I particularly like your boat stands.
keeps your mug full I see, getting enough stands to do the job.

Is it possible to get that threaded rod in stainless steel or galvanized steel?

You know what that plain steel rod will look like in a few years right?

Barring that, I guess the old tried and true, fill the rudder tube with grease will work.

Keep the pictures coming, very educational.
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Old May 01, 2012, 02:56 PM
made of fire and pop rocks
bgnome's Avatar
Richmond Virginia
Joined Oct 2009
1,711 Posts
Oh yeah, the rudder shaft and stuffing tube will be stuffed with lithium grease and after forming, sealing and painting, there shouldn't be any bare steel left exposed enough to rust.

and rest, stainless or galvinized would be ideal but, its a scrapbox build. and I had this rod lying around not being used for anything else so, Blammo! it turns into a rudder shaft!

Yeah.. the Saturday night dock stands. Not the first time they've shown up in one of my builds. Those bottles are from the brewery I work for by the way. When I get up to building the Ranger 65, I'm probably going to paint it up in the breweries colors. Fearless leader is a big sailing person in his own right, he just runs the 1:1 scale boats.

Get to building!! I always say that nothing gives you "ownership" of a model than building itself, weather its putting together a kit or scratching out something like this. oh sure, there the whole aspect of tweeking the off the shelf stuff, but I was raised in a world that did not really know the all the shelf stuff, so I really feel more comfortable going this route.
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Old May 02, 2012, 04:44 PM
made of fire and pop rocks
bgnome's Avatar
Richmond Virginia
Joined Oct 2009
1,711 Posts
Further progress, no pictures at the moment, maybe later in tonight if I can get to it..

But,

I went ahead and put the upper deck on the forward area in front of the radio bay, shaped it all in, and it looks good.

I'm thinking that I could still open up that bulk head if I need to for holding the actual radio and battery pack, if I need to. we will see what adventures await once I mount the servos. for the boom and tiller.


Like I said... I have two micro servos available. Hiteck HS-65's these are the ones with BB support and all steel gears. I KNOW one will be good for tiller control, heck, an HS-55 would be fine for that, but would it also be good for letting out and taking in the line for the boom?

if anyone has an opinion on this, I would like to know. I dont want to lock out the servo mounts until I'm sure what I'm doing.

If I'm not mistaken the HS-65 is just like the HS-55 but with BB and steel gears. I said earlier, a standard servo will not fit in the area. and I'm wrong in thinking that there are half height standard servos out there?

in any case.. boom controll is to be a long arm attached to the servo that's tied to the line that's attached to the boom. Radio throttle all the way down pulls the boom tight, full throttle lets the string out so the boom can swing to max deflection.

and that's the next step, the little guide tube that will lead from the center of the back bone to the bulk head that leads into the radio bay. it will be brass, and I'll be using spring benders to get the right shape.

because it is such a tight fit, I'll be drilling out the holes for the tube, and cutting out a channel so I can lay the tube in place rather than trying to bend and thread the tube. into position.

these are my thoughts at least, opinions are always welcome, this is my first.. dedicated sailboat, and a learning exercise for a regulation boat which will present it's own issues.
drilled out the rudder stuffing tube post for the stuffing tube. not exactly straight, but but that hole can still be waggled out a little. its off by something like 1/16" not much, but that can add up really fast the longer the thing gets. its straight vertically, but not horizontally. but it will be fine.
I was actually more concerned with the keel bulb vane being square.... I guess the proper term would be the Skeg?
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Old May 02, 2012, 05:28 PM
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Asturias, Spain
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Originally Posted by bgnome View Post
...
I was actually more concerned with the keel bulb vane being square.... I guess the proper term would be the Skeg?
Fin or keel are normally used. A vane was usually reserved for the self steering unit on non r/c boats.
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Old May 02, 2012, 08:13 PM
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Minnesota, USA
Joined Aug 2002
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The "Design" of the Star is acceptable in the RG-65 class, but as noted in the one meter thread - there is more than just design involved in class rules. Unfortunately the length at 17 inches is much too short of the RG65 class which is 65cm or "about " 25 1/2 inches. If you have the ability to scale up the Star design, go ahead and make one for the RG65 class - keeping all of their class rules in mind. Probably can sail it locally against other RG65's and see if it is competitive.

Good luck
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Old May 02, 2012, 10:39 PM
made of fire and pop rocks
bgnome's Avatar
Richmond Virginia
Joined Oct 2009
1,711 Posts
Thanks for the input guys.
Dick, I have a styrene hull and Keel Bulb for a RG-65 "Round Ranger" that I got from the club I talk to. I'll be tackling that next. this wee little boat is a warm up to, and a fun build for THAT boat.

lets see if I have... I DO!
picture of the next hull down below.

the intent behind the little sloop here is to take a design I'm familer with, build up, and convert to RC, it mostly figuring out the engineering for the sail control, first hand, so I can apply it to the big boat..

my only real experience with preformed hulls has been with kits, where all the bulk heads and stringer and measurements have been laid out in front of you. I don't have that luxery with the ranger, so I've been studying examples of the beast to make it my own.

Ill be stringing the top edge of the hull mold with bass wood strips, then bass wood spreaders to get the defined width correct, then...

well.. I'll be laying out wet spagettie noodles at 1cm intervals down the length of the hull to get the hull shadow shapes to transfer to make bulk heads.

I have a 4 sheets of 4'x8" x1/4" balsa, I'm thinking of using that as bulk head material, but I'm honestly more comfortable with ply or bass for that.
it was a mis-shipment that the vender didn't want back.. I'll find a use for it somewhere

while I got y'all.. how do you usually form the rubber bow bumpers? just glue a piece of rubber to the nose and shape it down?

along with the round ranger hull picture...I've also attached the latest pic of the sloop with the upper sub decking in place.

I think I'm actually quite close really.
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Old May 02, 2012, 11:33 PM
made of fire and pop rocks
bgnome's Avatar
Richmond Virginia
Joined Oct 2009
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no building tonight.. I rebuilt a toilet for a freind, that's enough fussing for one night.. doing research at this point..

so servo for the boom.....
The ones I have on hand, the HS65HB mighty feathers... those are good of 30 ounces. it will fit with no issue.

on the other hand... for the same round about price I could go out and get a HS-77bb low profile standard servo which will give me 60 ounces

best fit, best value, best use...

now lets keep in mind these servos cost about the same, my LHS might have the 77 in stock and they might just trade one out for the other.

then again.. they might not, and... they might not. I like the idea of the low profile servo for the boom.. I'm just wondering if it might be over kill though and that the servo I have is fine.

lets keep in mind the main sail will be triangular, 10"x17"x17"
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