Disney Nautilus has her Maiden Voyage! - RC Groups
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Sep 05, 2009, 08:54 AM
Crazy bubble-head!
Nemo's Avatar

Disney Nautilus has her Maiden Voyage!

The maiden voyage has occurred! We chose the man-made lake at the Quarry here in Naples for her first trials. The water was bathtub warm and fairly clear. There was a substantial bank of weeds about thirty feet out, however the bottom up to that point was sandy, soft and clear!

Al Nucifora, the owner of the boat, and I had prepped the sub for operations back at my shop, so when we got there, we just needed to drop it in the water and have some fun!

She performed beautifully! There was a small issue with my emergency buoy system not being set properly, and it popped after only a few minutes of operation. The good news is that it worked (just too quickly!). It will be just a matter of adjusting the potentiometers to properly set the delay time in order to get that rectified. With just a turn of the skiff, we locked it down, electing to continue running rather than take the model out of the water and reset everything.

Speed was not quite as fast as I had anticipated, however in retrospect the Nautilus' hull is not conducive to speed at all, with tremendous drag induced by the salon pushouts and the thousands of rivets on the hull. She did put up a huge bow wake, though, and was very impressive on the water. That is really the advantage of having a substantial-sized hull! You WILL notice it on the water!

The turning radius I would estimate as being 18' in open water. I think that could be reduced with the addition of a clear rudder estension, however for lakes or other larger open water it is just fine! Diving was perfectly flat and very predictable.

We did have one "incident" however!

Both Al and I were having so much fun and concentrating so much on taking photos that we neglected to count the blow cycles, and the model ended up out of gas for the ballast system! What ended up happening was that when Al noticed the lack of gas for ballast, he let off the throttle as a precaution. The model settled onto the weedy bottom of the lake and became entrapped to the point that it could not force its way through the weedy forest and back to shore. Al and I bit the bullet and elected to wade in after it immediately. Fortunately the water was very warm and fairly clear. After only five minutes of searching, we came across the Nautilus resting peacefully and waiting for us to find her. The very bright LED lights (especially the tail light behind the skiff) made finding her a lot easier. We brought her to shore, checked out the systems and popped her back in the water for a few final shots before we packed up for home!

All in all, a very successful first voyage! Both I and Al were really happy with her performance, and she will no doubt be a huge head turner both in and out of the water at the pond wherever its taken!

Onto the video, of course!:

Disney Nautilus Shakedown Cruise! (1 min 40 sec)

And the photos!:

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Sep 05, 2009, 10:06 AM
Suspended Account
Stunning, stunning work, Bob. Wow! More ... I want to see more pretty pictures! And I want to see them now!
Sep 05, 2009, 11:51 PM
Ask and you shall recieve Mista Merriman, Ahead All Engines, Collision Speed, Full!!
R/C Disney Nautilus Maiden Voyage (4 min 29 sec)
Last edited by alligator; Mar 31, 2010 at 12:50 AM.
Sep 06, 2009, 06:33 AM
Suspended Account
Beautiful. Thanks.

Sep 06, 2009, 10:13 AM
Registered User
Great videos, Alligator, always like to see a Nautilus slicing through the water.

I can see the smile, well deserved.
Sep 06, 2009, 11:14 AM
Registered User
No kidding....ear to ear drool faced grin....
Sep 06, 2009, 11:38 AM
Registered User
Can you tell us more of the emergency buoy system you're using.
Sep 06, 2009, 01:22 PM
Redboat, I've responded to your question in basic form on the Caswell site. However, Let me say again that Bob Martin, ( Nemo) (bob@rc-sub.com ) was the builder/designer and force behind this magnficent work of art which was made available by Custom Replicas thru Bob. I'm certain Bob would have no objections answering any tech questions directed to him regarding the Nautilus build. Hope the Caswell site info. to be of some help to you, and on behalf of Bob, let me say thanks to all of you for your positive comments made to this post. Regards, Al
Last edited by alligator; Sep 06, 2009 at 04:35 PM.
Sep 06, 2009, 02:56 PM
High Dynamic Thrust
stoneenforcer's Avatar
Never posted on sub forum. That's one nice sub. Awesome detail!!
I've had the itching to build one,, just may take the dive!
Sep 06, 2009, 05:33 PM
Shanghai'd Expat
herrmill's Avatar
Very nice boat you've got there, Al. Excellent work!
Sep 06, 2009, 09:52 PM
Permanently Banned
Hi Al can we see the inside she is very interesting on the inside?

Glad to see she is runing well for you..

Sep 07, 2009, 08:40 AM
"Damn The Torpedoes...."
PT-333's Avatar
Really stunning! Walt Disney himself would approve! Thanks for the video.
Sep 08, 2009, 03:31 PM
Crazy bubble-head!
Nemo's Avatar
Here is a shot of the scratch-built drive module built from the Valterra sewer pipe sections. I truly think that this system (or one similar to it) is the evolution of the endcap. While bayonet systems have been around for a while in Europe, you never see them in North America for some reason. The system uses four lugs to hold the cap on, and I have not had any issues with water leakage to date. Opening up the WTC literally takes just a twist of the wrist.

Here is the inside of the sub:

The sub runs off of a 14.4V power pack with 4500mAh capacity. Main drive comes through a Globe Motors electric motor rated at 19V running direct drive.
Sep 08, 2009, 04:42 PM
Permanently Banned
Looks great Bob could you say where you got the set?
I noticed that your useing the 2 lug on this sub have you started on the updated 4 lug cap?
On your site there are more pictures.
Yes this is the future of the RC sub casing!
Sep 08, 2009, 04:50 PM
Crazy bubble-head!
Nemo's Avatar

If you're making an overt attempt to flog your stuff, I guess I can happily say that I got the Valterra parts from you! In all fairness, the parts are available from a number of online retailers, but I like supporting other sub guys!

I did upgrade the endcap to the 4 lug, and it works a lot better than the 2 lug. The face is also flat, which is a lot nicer!

I'm not saying that these will ever replace the SubDrivers or other mainstream WTC's, as there is a lot of scratchbuilding and engineering involved in getting these containers to work. Its a big difference between buying a container and converting it to a WTC vs. just buying a beautifully engineered WTC ready to go. There is a market for both.

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