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Posted by cyberhoops | Dec 10, 2010 @ 05:21 PM | 8,577 Views
Our "P" Mono race boat is ready for the water again. Last season we broke the motor mount loose for the second time and snapped the drive shaft.

The old system was an ETTI motor mount for the front of the motor that was epoxied to the carbon fiber hull, and a Williams mount for the rear of the motor that was mounted to blocks that were bolted to the bottom. The rear mount was good, but the front mount broke free twice. The second time added some lightweight fiberglass cloth and epoxy - still broke loose.

So the new method is two V shaped aluminum brackets that bolt to the motor mount and to the bottom of the hull. It is much stronger now and if that breaks it will have to take the bottom of the hull along for the ride.
Posted by cyberhoops | Dec 03, 2010 @ 02:22 AM | 8,262 Views
The decals for the 1982 Oberto arrived today from Wesley's Custom Graphics and have been added to the boat.

I like how decals seem to add so much more realism to the boat.

The driver and exhaust items are due to arrive next week, so it gives me a bit of time to make the cockpit details next.

The primary colors have almost had the recommended 7 days drying time, so after the weekend the boat will get a clear coat.
Posted by cyberhoops | Nov 26, 2010 @ 01:17 PM | 7,441 Views
It was a battle - but the cowling of the 1982 Oberto is finally painted and ready for some detailing.

The first round of painting was pretty much a failure - the white paint didn't stick and proceeded to peel off when I taped it up for the red. After stripping it down, redoing the primer and repainting that seems to be fine now. Then when fixing up the green the paint wrinkled up - so that had to be stripped off and repainted again - followed by fixing up the white again.

I will probably do a bit more touch up, but now I am just waiting for the 70's era driver and Merlin exhaust stacks to arrive. I still need to build a steering wheel, some interior details and the Merlin's intake scoop.

Add clear coat and some decals... I think this will be fine.

With some paint on the hull, it is pretty close to matching the Mini cooper "Chili Red".

The green paint for the sponsons all worked out fine, so now it is just doing tape for red and green to paint the last bits of white. Then decals and detailing in the for the cockpit should finish the construction. The decals are already on order from Wesley's Custom Graphics.

With the paint finally complete I put all the hardware in the boat for a weight check. The total weight came out at 5 lbs 8 oz, which is right at the target weight.

The overall cost of the boat to this point for materials - wood, paint, glue, and so forth is $306.00. That includes the motor mount but no other hardware since that is all be re-used from other boats.
Posted by cyberhoops | Nov 19, 2010 @ 11:52 AM | 7,239 Views
The 1982 Oberto has made steady progress, but just not much for visible changes. The boat is now sealed with epoxy and there has been a lot of sanding.

The hardware has been all setup - rudder, strut, servo location and mounting plate, motor mount and the stuffing tube is installed. Since the bottom of this boat is 1/32nd plywood the bottom of the boat has been braced in several places with carbon fiber strips. Those strips certainly improved the strength and rigidity of the hull.

For finishing and paint the plan is:

1) Coat of finishing epoxy - sanded with 150
2) 2nd lighter coat of epoxy - sanded with 220
3) Duplicolor sandable primer - sanded with 320, nearly sanded off
4) Fill any obvious flaws
5) 2nd coat of primer - sanded with 400
6) Apply color using Duplicolor paint
7) Sand with 600???
8) Clear coat.

I have more time off now through the end of the year, so I should be able to get things moving a bit quicker.
Posted by cyberhoops | Nov 06, 2010 @ 01:28 AM | 7,279 Views
Work continues on the 1/10th scale Oberto, with the addition of the top decking. The center section of the deck will be removable and taped down for racing.

I have started to build up the cowling. I am building it over the taped down center section to that the proper curvature of the deck is maintained.

Right now the entire hull with the wood work nearly complete weighs in at 2lb 3 oz. I am hoping that the overall boat when ready to race will come in between 5.5lbs to 6lbs. That would be a more than a pound lighter than the 7-11.

Update: The cowl is nearly done - just some sanding and work on the fillet at the bottom of the cowl to finish. The nose piece is also on so that pretty much completes all of the wood work. There will be some scale detail work to do in order to make the driver cockpit a bit more realistic, but I like the basic shapes. With the wood working finished the boat weighs 2lb 7oz., which is ok I think. The next item on the build list will be to do some fiberglass work on the sponsons and deck joints for a bit more strength.

The scale driver is on order - a 1/10th scale 70's era driver from Hansen racing along with their Merlin exhaust stacks. The plan for decals is to get a set of scale decals from Wesley's Custom Graphics.

For power I hope that the new Proboat and Aquacraft 1800Kv motors get approved for use in 1/10th scale at the PSFE winter meeting. If so then I think that one of those will be a good motor for this boat.

...Continue Reading
Posted by cyberhoops | Nov 05, 2010 @ 10:23 PM | 7,375 Views
Well, I had a couple pinewood derby car kits around the house, so I decided to hack, slash and make some wood chips. The primary inspiration was to make a hydroplane shaped pinewood derby car. It was a fun project so I built a second one with a more modern shape.
Posted by cyberhoops | Nov 01, 2010 @ 01:22 AM | 8,375 Views
There has been some progress on the 1982 Oberto for 1/10th scale, with the sponsons completed and attached to the boat. THe build is going pretty cleanly so far - but then again it should be going pretty well considering this is the third time we have built this boat.

There was our first LSH boat as the 82 Oberto in 1/12th scale. That was a mainly balsa boat that ran great but was insufficiently waterproofed and fell apart after a few runs. Then we built that boat from plywood, reused the balsa cowling from the Oberto and painted it as the Executone. That boat is ok, but we didn't get enough angle on the sponsons and it didn't plane properly. (If we were to add some ride pads I think that could be fixed). Now we scaled the boat up for 1/10th scale. Hopefully the third time is a charm.
Posted by cyberhoops | Oct 28, 2010 @ 11:49 PM | 6,433 Views
The second race season is over, and the new building season has begun.

The race season was pretty successful and I ended up winning the end of year championship for SV27, and finished second in both 1/10th scale and LSH.

Kyle and I have already starting building a new boat for next year in 1/10th scale - and we are going to do the 1982 Oberto. We like this boat because it is pretty easy to build and it does not have a rear tail! For the most part a rear tail seems to be extra weight, easy to break and not much for up side.

We are going to try to build this boat a lot lighter than the 7-11, and are using thinner wood pretty much all around. The 7-11 used 1/8" wood for structural pieces and 1/16 for the bottom of the hull. The Oberto will be 1/16 wood for structural pieces and 1/32 for the bottom of the hull. We will try some carbon fiber strips to strengthen the bottom of the hull so that it does not flex too much.

So far we have the hull framed and pink foam shaped for the sponsons. The sponsons will be built flat, and then glued to the sides of the hull.
Posted by cyberhoops | Feb 17, 2010 @ 06:09 PM | 6,935 Views
The race season is now just about 1 month away and the building season is coming to a close.

All of my new 1/10th scale boats should be ready in time. The Miss 7-Eleven is complete and ready for testing while the Circus Circus is fully painted and just needs to have the hardware installed.

I hope to be able to test both boats this weekend, but it might take a bit longer to finish the Circus Circus. I just have no idea what to expect with the Circus design, but there have been very successful 4 point radio controlled designs so I am hopeful.

Jim Stephens
Puget Sound Fast Electric Model Boat Club
Posted by cyberhoops | Jan 17, 2010 @ 01:13 AM | 6,896 Views
The rain let up for a bit today and we did get out to test the Monster Cat. It ran ok - just over 40mph but it is still a bit twitchy in the turns. I think reducing the rudder throw will help some, but after that I am not quite sure what to do.

The decals are also on the Miss 7-Eleven now, and that really improved the look of the boat. Hopefully next weekend we can test this boat. The issue will be with how to hold down the removable cowling section. I still have not decided on a good approach.
Posted by cyberhoops | Jan 14, 2010 @ 11:59 PM | 6,048 Views
If the rain in Seattle would stop for a while I could do more testing. It has been warm enough, but wet, wet, wet.

In spite of the rain we still managed to get out and run the catamaran last week. It was quite successful until the set screw on the rudder came loose and we had to tow it back in. Some Loctite should fix that problem. I must say the catamaran turns on a dime and leaves change. It should not have any problems with the turns on the offshore course.

Meanwhile the Miss 7-Eleven is now about a week away from testing. All that remains are some details like the radio gear, the turn fin and applying the decals.

Rain, rain, go away.
I want to test another day.
Posted by cyberhoops | Dec 23, 2009 @ 06:31 PM | 6,473 Views
Today we went out to test some new props on our LSH boats, specifically an Octura 1445 made by Andy Brown.

The results were very positive - my 7-11 LSH boat registered 50.3mph on the 1445 prop running with the 4s Hyperion G3 batteries. This is the first time we have had a LSH over 50 mph. The standard prop we ran with for racing last year was 45.2 mph, so we picked up 5mph. According to the Eagle logger we were averaging about 55 amps through the UL-1 motor. I need to do some more work to see if I can properly duplicate the prop that Andy made because it certainly did work well.

Meanwhile, the catamaran build is coming along nicely and I have some paint on the boat now. The remaining tasks will be getting the hardware installed and doing the last bit of paint.

The new 1/10th scale 7-11 is also getting some paint, but has quite a ways to go yet.

The plans arrived for the 1980 Circus Circus and I now have all of the parts cut out for that boat. It looks to be a fairly complex build, but it can be done.
Posted by cyberhoops | Dec 03, 2009 @ 05:44 PM | 5,814 Views
The Miss 7-Eleven is making decent progress. The deck sheeting is in place and most of the construction bits are done. There is still more fiberglassing to do but things are looking good.

Currently the boat hull weighs 3lbs 8oz with hull, cowling and tail. That will incrase a bit with more fiberglass, but I think it will be fine. The old Atlas hull weighs 3lbs 2oz and that boat was built very light (and fragile). This boat should be much more durable.

I still don't have the FlightMetal for covering the turbine exhaust, so hopefully that will arrive soon.

For Black Friday at Newton Marine plans I ordered the 1980 Circus Circus - the 4 point canard style boat. The new and improved plan is to build that boat as the second 1/10th scale boat to go along with the Miss 7-Eleven.
Posted by cyberhoops | Nov 19, 2009 @ 06:57 PM | 6,570 Views
The parts arrived today for the 30" catamaran - all nicely laser cut, and they fit together perfectly.

The plan is to run the boat with a UL-1 motor and ESC, Offshore Electric drive hardware and 4S LIPO power for racing in the spec offshore category next season. The planned paint scheme will be a black and green "Monster Energy" boat.

I am quite excited.

Meanwhile, the 7-11 has been making progress with the bottoms of both sponsons now sheeted up and the cowling under construction. The cowling is all balsa, and will have a layer of fiberglass cloth over it for strength and ding protection. The plan is to make the exhaust from a Estes B-80 rocket body tube that will be covered with Flight Metal for the aluminum look.

After some weight and balance tests I think the tail is just too heavy and is really messing with the overall balance of the 7-11. The tail was made from solid basswood and all three pieces weighed 5.6oz. The new plan is to cut out the center section, fill that with pink foam, then put a layer of fiberglass cloth over the wings, as in the picture below. It looks like the modified tail will weigh 2.7oz, so basically cutting the weight in half.
Posted by cyberhoops | Nov 11, 2009 @ 05:38 PM | 5,863 Views
Now that the racing season is over it is time to start the building season.

First up will be the 1985 Miss 7-Eleven in 1/10th scale from Roger Newton plans. This boat has been started and the hull is framed up. The graphics for the 7-11 will be from Wesley's Custom Graphics ( who have a pretty wide range of boat graphics and can do them in 1/10th scale.

Next will be a 30" catamaran from plans courtesy of JesseJ on the Offshore Electric forum. The original boat plans are to make a 26" boat, but I am going to scale it up and go for 30" and race it in the P-Spec Offshore class. The plan here is to get the boat parts laser cut. I have contacted Alex Guzman ( to do the custom laser cutting and it should be shipping out today. At this point I would highly recommend Alex for laser cutting. He digitized the layout from a PDF file, scaled it up and will be cutting all of the parts in 1/8" light plywood for $40, plus $15 for shipping. I am pretty excited about this boat.

The 3rd boat will be a 1/12th scale 1985 Miss Rock or 83 Oberto for LSH built from the Dave Frank plans for the Oh Boy Oberto. We built this boat once before but used balsa and had it self destruct. This boat will be built with the plywood and pink foam method that worked out nicely for our other boats. Kyle is the primary builder for this hull and is using it to get his feet wet in the whole building process. However with Kyle being a dad and expecting a new daughter this month... I think I may be doing more building as time goes on.
Posted by cyberhoops | Jul 20, 2009 @ 06:09 PM | 5,518 Views
In the break between races we have been working on the boats and mostly on a new SV-27, a Titan 33, and repainting the older SV27.

For paint it is all Duplicolor automotive paint and we tried for a similar paint scheme on all three boats. The Titan and the new SV both use Duplicolor chameleon paint. The Titan has green/purple chameleon and the SV has red/blue chameleon.

The Titan will have Feigao 580 6L power, a Turnigy 180 controller, and Hyperion 4s 5200 batteries.

As an end of season update - we burned up the 580 6L and the controller in the last race of the season. I think the 6L and M445 prop was a bit too hot. We were getting pretty high motor temps which I think seized up the motor, which shot the amp draw through the roof and burned up the ESC. For next season we will try the Feigao 7L motor. Then we will be running more like 90 amps, have a longer run time with the 5200mah batteries, be able to check amps with the Eagle Tree logger, and hopefully run cooler.
Posted by cyberhoops | Jun 09, 2009 @ 11:20 AM | 5,505 Views
Race 5 for the Puget Sound Fast Electric Boat Club was the "Bandit Cup" and it was a very nice day at Lake Tye in Monroe for racing. The Bandit Cup itself is a big traveling trophy and was raced in the LSH class.

The format for the Cup was 3 heats to qualify 5 boats for the final, plus a consolation heat where the winner made the final. That put 6 boats into the "winner take all" final. Kyle and I were both in the final. Kyle had been running pretty good all day. My Miss 7-Eleven had finished all of the heats but was down on speed. I finally figured out it was the battery and switch to a different set of batteries for the final.

For the final I managed to get into lane 1 while the other boats were swinging a bit wide at the start and hit the line perfectly. Kyle was back a bit and racing side by side with Scott Bickford's UL1. The Miss 7-Eleven was running good and in clear water to pull away to a significant lead. But, on the backstretch of lap 5 I had a radio issue and went dead for about 10 seconds. That was just enough time for Kyle to pass me and win the final with the Twin Wing American Spirit. Woot!
Posted by cyberhoops | May 25, 2009 @ 07:10 PM | 5,425 Views
The weather has been really good for the last two races of the Puget Sound Fast Electric races at Granite Falls.

I had a pretty good day for the last race, actually winning the LSH class with the Miss 7-Eleven.

The Atlas is also looking much better after making a few modified X447 props for the boat. I don't have any GPS speed numbers yet, but the boat is much faster now compared to when it was running with the Graupner K45 prop. Now I have to work on getting it to stay down on the water with the faster speeds.

Jim Clark was also at the race and took some more really exceptional pictures. Check them out here:

Jim Clark's Pictures

Way too much fun
Posted by cyberhoops | Apr 27, 2009 @ 01:46 PM | 5,614 Views
Sunday was our second race with the Puget Sound Fast Electric club at Granite Falls. (It was actually the 3rd race for the club, but we missed one.)
The weather was far better than the previous outings. It started out cool - in the 40's - but the sun was out and it warmed up during the day. Roughly 10 racers were there racing SV27 (6 boats), LSH (6 boats), P-Mono (4 boats), P Offshore (4 boats), 1/10th Scale (5 boats), and Tunnel hulls (4 boats).

Kyle had a good day of racing with the American Spirit and 1990 Oberto getting a second place finish in both events. My 7-Eleven had a variety of problems including radio problems and never finished a heat. The Atlas raced to 3rd place in 1/10th scale and had some good battles with the Oberto including a couple deck-to-deck laps in heat 3. Kyle also ended up 3rd in the SV27 class which could have been higher until he flipped the boat running up a rooster tail in the 3rd heat.

The good news is that I don't have to build or rebuild any boats before the next race.

The race was sponsored by Team Kaos and they supplied some nice prizes and a great lunch.

Speaking of Chaos, that would have described the P-Mono and Offshore and wild with more flipping than finishing.
Posted by cyberhoops | Apr 21, 2009 @ 06:25 PM | 5,456 Views
Last weekend the weather was nice and we got in a test session for the American Spirit and the newly built 7-11. A short video was uploaded to the site for some of the testing. The camera focus had a little trouble with the light coming off the lake ... but any sunlight is a welcome thing about now.

Test Session

We ran the American Spirit with a modified X645 prop that had a Barr cut and detounged. We also lowered the strut down about 1/4th inch since pictures from the first race seemed to indicate it was a bit down and wet at the stern. The boat just runs great - stable and fast. I think we need to get some data logging done on the boat to verify the amp draw, but it sure looks good to me.

The new 7-11 also ran nicely, although it did hit a wake at one point that nearly flipped the boat. I don't know that I can really adjust for that. The 7-11 ran with the 42/58 3 blade Grim Racer prop. It cavitates a few second before it gets up on plane but overall it seems to be working. I think I want to try this boat with another modified X645.

I need to do more work on the Rigged Insanity. I found that I had not been careful enough with the sponsons and they were not all that accurately aligned. This was likely the cause of the problem where the boat just did not want to track a straight line. I think I have that fixed, but now the boat is taking on water, so that has to be addressed. I think the sides and bottom of the boat are no longer water tight. This boat has been a real challenge to get running anywhere near its potential.

The next Puget Sound Fast Electric race is just 4 days away, but I think we will be ready to compete. It would seem that Darin Jordan's new Miss Elam is running up near the 50mph mark... pretty impressive, but I think we can be close.