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Old May 23, 2005, 12:24 PM
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DanL's Avatar
United States, MN, Brainerd
Joined Oct 2004
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Tugboat "Rosco" - pics 1-5 of 8

Took a break from building the Calypso to build a tugboat. Chose the Vac-U-Tug from
www.Vac-U-Boat.com for simplicity and cost, and for it’s upgrade power kit for recovery duty.
The kit is great – comes with ABS hull with a liner that essentially gives you a two layer ABS hull. Also comes with motor, drive and everything needed to get the boat in the water except batteries and radio gear. Excellent assembly instructions and tips.
It’s not designed as a scale model, but its size makes it a great candidate for a 1/48 scale tug in the 90ft or so size range. I found tug profile reference pictures and used those to heavily modify and detail the VacUTug superstructure. Left hull stock except for scupper and bollard addition.
Not quite finished – some cabin/deck lights and a couple of railings to add – but thought I’d post these pics and info:
1. VacUTug as built from kit
2. As built as the “ROSCO”. Includes operating lights, horn, fire monitor, winch, smoke, added scuppers and bollards, power upgrade (avail from VacUBoat – Phil is great to deal with)
3. Front close up. Searchlight is modified “D-ring” keychain light (2 for $1.99 at Walgreens)with superbright LED.
4. Mast detail. 2 fwd white lights and rear yellow and white (towing lights) are LEDs. Flag is laser printed paper formed and sprayed with Krylon matte acrylic.
5. Superstructure. Mostly scratch built.
6. Stack with aluminum tube liner to protect ABS from heat of “fog-juice” smoke unit. Liferaft module rotates – attached to “on-off-charge” switch.
7. Rear deck. Winch works – servo drive and reel is inside cabin. Winch reel is “dummy”. Deck pattern is fine mesh fabric layed on styrene deck and washed with liquid solvent cement to bond it. Finished with paint and satin clearcoat. Bollards are brass tubes with nailheads as endcaps.
8. Non-prototypical prop, but it really can move - both speed and load. Rosco is our dog – has a passion for “tugging”. Stack “DL” and “Rosco” decals done on white laser decal paper.
Not a Billings or Dumas, but built over less than 2 months, stable and dry in the water, great (non-frustrating) instructions and a lot of fun.
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Old May 23, 2005, 12:26 PM
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United States, MN, Brainerd
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Tugboat "Rosco" - pics 6-8

Last three pics
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Old May 23, 2005, 12:36 PM
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Monterey Bay California
Joined Feb 2004
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WOW! That has to be one of the nicest Vac-u-tugs I have seen! Nice job!!!
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Old May 23, 2005, 05:56 PM
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Sydney, Australia
Joined Feb 2005
382 Posts
Hey Dan,

Nice job.

BTW what are the 2 black things on the stern just behind the name. They look like hook'n'loop (velcro) tape.

Cheers
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Old May 24, 2005, 01:20 AM
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United States, MN, Brainerd
Joined Oct 2004
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Rescue tug

Capt Christo
They are velcro tabs. They hold a piece of mesh fabric in place - part of a rescue system. See the pics. The ship is a Billing Calypso, not quite finished yet.
The mesh roll is tied to the line on the winch and attached to the rear of the tug with the two small tabs of "hook" material yu saw in the pics. No loop material is necessary on the mesh - it snags into the hook material by itself.
The boat to be rescued has a small fishing treble hook attached on the bow about an inch above the waterline - matching the height of the mesh on the rear of the tug.
To rescue a boat prepared with the small bow hook, the tug just has to brush the mesh fabric into the hook. Instant snag. As the tug pulls away, the mesh pulls away from the velcro tabs, the towline pays out (from a length on the tug deck or from a working winch) and you have a fairly prototypical stern-to-bow tow.
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Old May 24, 2005, 02:13 AM
Grumpa Tom
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United States, CA, Los Angeles
Joined Sep 2003
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Geezus! I couldn't build something that cool in my dreams, and you do it as a diversion!
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