Sterling 32' Cruiser or the Berkley 22' Express Cruiser - RC Groups
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Oct 25, 2009, 09:45 PM
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RussellTate's Avatar

Sterling 32' Cruiser or the Berkley 22' Express Cruiser

Hi Guys,
I just did a favour for a buddy and he has offered to repay me with a part cash trade on some boats.
He is offering these unbuilt kits to me at US$250 each (Boxed + complete)

I'm not sure I can stretch to taking both kits off of him and wondered if either of them was a more desirable boat to have! or if one was harder to build than the other?
I am half way through my first ever build (Dumas Utility) and I don't want to start running before I can walk, but I'd like to have one of these lined up for my next project.

If anybody had any photo's of any of the boats made up i'd sure love to see 'em!

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Oct 25, 2009, 10:54 PM
Registered User
Russell, I can only state the obvious; with the Sterling kit, you get a 28-inch long model, while with the Berkeley model, you get a 22-inch long one. There's a bit of difference there in the overall size of the completed models. Don't know how important a factor that is for you.
I hope you share a build thread with us on whichever one you choose. Good luck; let us know your decision.
Oct 26, 2009, 12:15 AM
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RussellTate's Avatar
Originally Posted by jeepers1940
with the Sterling kit, you get a 28-inch long model, while with the Berkeley model, you get a 22-inch long one.
Ah, I did not know that Bill, I couldn't see the size on the Sterling box!
Does the larger size reflect more detail in the model etc.?
Oct 26, 2009, 12:33 AM
Registered User
Russell, since I'm not at all familiar with the Berkeley model in question, I don't know which one would be more detailed. The completed Sterling model does have a fair amount of detail and a pretty good assortment of cast fittings to go on it.
If you can open the boxes and look at the contents, I would do so and look at the apparent completeness of each model, including the metal fitting sets.
BTW, it would be interesting to see a photo or two of your Dumas Utility, even if it's uncompleted, if you could manage it. I really like the older 40' Utilities; had a chance to ride on one many years ago.
Oct 26, 2009, 03:27 AM
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RussellTate's Avatar
Originally Posted by jeepers1940
If you can open the boxes and look at the contents, I would do so .
BTW, it would be interesting to see a photo or two of your Dumas Utilit.
Hi Jeepers1940, I am waiting on some photo's to arrive of the kits but anticipate them being a series of flat sheets of wood and plastic bag full of dusty metal (don't think he would open the bag for the photo).

I just want to gauge how the kits might look, completed and work out how pleased my wife might be to have another boat in the house (joke )

My Utility build is here I am awaiting it's return after sending it out for a drive line installation.
I was inspired to build a Utility after seeing the build thread by fellow RCG member Aerominded. (see photo)

Would love to see a photo of YOU riding in that boat of yours ))
Oct 26, 2009, 05:32 AM
Registered User
Sterling kit because I need copy for printed balsa sheets
I have one kit(half build) but missing 25% parts
Oct 26, 2009, 05:39 AM
Spreckels Lake, GGP, SF, CA
craig_c's Avatar
Whichever one you get, the VERY FIRST thing you is to scan the balsa sheets on a flatbed scanner at at least 300 dpi (600 better) to document and preserve the lines of the parts for posterity and the community! remember to include a scale, like a six inch machinist's scale to provide a working reference.

Save as '.jpg" and '.pdf" files and upload them.
If you can talk your buddy into letting you scan both, please do it.
Latest blog entry: Ah, To be young again...
Oct 26, 2009, 10:32 AM
Retired for now
I don't know about how rare either of these two models are but I think $250 is a little on the pricy side so maybe your friend isn't offering you such a great deal. In any case I'd take the Sterling model because I know they have good quality and I'm not familiar with the Berkley model at all. Charlie Eaton would be a good guy to ask about these two models. Pete
Oct 26, 2009, 11:18 AM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
I refurbished a Sterling 32' Deluxe Cruiser and it is a very nice model in size and looks great running on the water.

I have seen some examples in photos that were built and the time you put into building is the difference between having a good model or a great model.
Oct 26, 2009, 11:29 AM
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charlie eaton's Avatar
The 250 for each kit is a bit on the high side. The Berkeley kit is small of similar construction to the Sterling kit but can be made as an inboard or an outboard. A kit of it in good condition should not go or more that 125 max. The Sterling can go for up to maybe 200 in good condition. You may or may not get the cast metal hardware with the Sterling but the Berkeley should have it in the kit. I have the plans for the 22' c/c and although small it would make up into a very nice boat. Keep in mind that the quality of the wood in many of the older kits was not the best.
KMOT shows what can be done with an older boat and his thread on his rebuild is outstanding,much of it can be used toward a new build.
Oct 26, 2009, 02:40 PM
"day ain't over yet-"
der kapitan's Avatar
Tom, isn't that the boat you brought to St. Louis last year?

Sure looks like it---.
Oct 26, 2009, 03:24 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
Yes, kap.
Oct 26, 2009, 04:00 PM
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P_J_Glor's Avatar
The Berkeley kit is a bunch of die cut mahogany sheets and balsa sheets with a plan and a flat celluloid windshield and some hardware. I had one years ago, and got it partially completed. It is plank-on bulkhead construction with the planks made from die cut pieces of sheet mahogany.

It was stored in an attic "cubby" next to my bed in an upstairs bedroom. Last summer, when my sisters were getting the house ready for an estate sale, they mailed me the partially completed hull, but it had been done in by mice, and was beyond repair. Still have the plans. I would not say that it was a beginner's kit, but one could probably do it if you had any airplane opf boat modeling experience, especially when looking at the various builds in this forum. The construction is very typical, with bulkheads assembled to a keel.

Pete G.
Oct 26, 2009, 04:24 PM
GILL RC's Avatar
I kind of like the Sterling. It was the frist boat I built and R/C'ed. Still running wit and F&M Electronic single channel radio and Boat-a-matic actuator.
Oct 26, 2009, 06:19 PM
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RussellTate's Avatar
Thanks for all your advice guys.
I could not have gotten this knowledge so quickly from any other source!

Craig C
Point noted on the balsa shapes.
I have actually scanned my Utility boat parts and pieced together the longer shapes in Photoshop but did not lay down a ruler scale, will remember for next time.
My Buddy has no scanner only a digital camera.

Norgale and Charlie Eaton
Thanks for letting me know i'm "buying high" I decide on the purchase once I see the photo's.
I understand all is complete and untouched inside, but we'll see

Kmot and Gill RC
Thanks for the photo's, a great help.

I think based on what you've all thrown in $500 for 2 boats is too much and Sterling might be the better of the two!

so ... Dixie
I'll let you know!

(Is there a thread or separate forum where plans for out of production boats can be made available for others to download?)

Actually i'd be keen to know if there was a thread where folks could offer skills and services etc.
I can turn out pretty good water slide decals, for boat,names and dials etc. and I'd love to know if any body is offering to Nickle plate boat hardware

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