Sterling Century Seamaid - RC Groups
Thread Tools
Dec 08, 2010, 08:04 PM
Kit Kannibal
Mars Rover's Avatar

Sterling Century Seamaid

I think I'm about a week from finishing this and I'll have some questions on the running gear (already installed) and rudder setup. The plan is to make it period-correct (all parts except for the radio gear) so it will be glow-powered. Except for cockpit combing, no interior detail. Decent detail and finish on the exterior.

Thanks to Pat Tritle's how-to on fiberglassing, it may even stay together. I started 'glassing on the bottom and by the time I did the deck, my techique was much improved. May need one more thin coat and finish will be done.
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Dec 08, 2010, 11:02 PM
Registered User
kylewp's Avatar
Mars Rover - The Century looks beautiful, very nice work. Interesting to see another Sterling model. I built Sterling's version of the Chris Craft Racing Runabout a couple of years ago which was my first model and only one so far. Very similar to your model in terms of construction.

Very interesting that you're committed to making it glow-powered. I remember showing my dad the instructions for my Sterling runabout which showed an example of a glow installation. My dad just couldn't believe it -- he said that from his experience with these engines as a kid that they were so messy that putting one on a wood model boat just wouldn't make sense.

Anyways, I think it would be really neat if you finished the model in a period-correct fashion with the glow engine.

I'm a beginner, but if I were to offer any advice I would say to mount the steering servo right up against the transom, with a short rod connecting the servo arm to the tiller arm. It worked well in my boat and was a heck of a lot less complicated than the way Sterling suggests it to be put in.

Look forward to reading your thread!
Dec 09, 2010, 06:26 AM
Kit Kannibal
Mars Rover's Avatar
Kylewp, thanks for the advice. The exhaust will be routed through a muffler (used as a header) coupled to the tube that exits the transom. Modern fuels aren't as messy as the old all-castor lube fuels. I built the boat for an old K&B greenhead .35 (plans show a greenhead .29) but switched to a Torpedo .40 model 8011 with the Irvine carb. Greenheads had the exhaust port on the right side so I'll be flipping the case on the Torp so I can couple to the exhaust outlet. I'll probably get the marine head for the 8011 (because I think it will look cool) but I also have an Octura Kool Klamp if I don't find a good deal on a water-cooled head.

Aside from the interior, the transom will be the biggest departure from scale. With the shaft I selected, there's no room for the rudder on the bottom so it will a transom-mount (the reason for the wood block) rudder of my own design. I will probably will be seeking advice on that. The Sterling decals crumbled so "Century" is written in paint pen. I ordered some decals for the boat name, license numbers, etc.


Does anyone think the pick-up tube is too close to the Prop?

What kind of lube goes into the shaft oil tube?

The nylon prop shows "Octura 2050". I want a bronze prop instead. Is 2050 a good choice and what would be the bronze equivalent? Is there a better choice for a 29" boat with a .40 glow engine? Would it match the prop driver that I have?

Thanks for any advice!
Dec 25, 2010, 10:16 AM
Kit Kannibal
Mars Rover's Avatar

Dark Star

Here's the old K&B 8011 with case flipped, muffled and coupled to the exhaust.
Boat still needs a tank mount (just forward of the engine), rudder work, radio installation, cockpit combing and 2 flag masts.
Dec 25, 2010, 01:00 PM
Registered User
Mars Rover-I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I would hate to let you continue with your project with out letting you know what I see as being wrong.

First you said that you wanted to finish it a period model with a nitro motor. OK! But a .29 or even worst the K&B sport .40 is way to much power for that boat to the point of destruction.

Second the shaft angle is way to much and the prop to big with much to much pitch for the boat, not the motor.

Third you moved the rudder to external on the transom instead of under the hull as on the original model. This will change the way the model turns and behaves a great deal from the original set up.

I have built a couple of the Sterling Sea Maid 20í, both nitro and electric, but always keeping the running hardware under the hull. As for nitro power, a .12, .15 or .18 would be a good choice for good running , and you can even get them now with pull start and water cooled. As for running the model, I bought a simple exhaust header and ran straight pipe out the transom like the real exhaust with no muffler. I did however dump in the water cooling from the motor head in to the exhaust after the header.

Please do not think I am criticizing your build, just trying to help you before it is to late to correct something which could turn you off of model boating after you run the boat the way you have it configured.
Dec 30, 2010, 05:44 PM
Kit Kannibal
Mars Rover's Avatar
Thanks for the suggestions. Since the boat is still being mocked up, itís not too late to make some changes, while others may be a little too difficult. Out of all of your concerns, only the shaft angle really bothers me.

Shaft angle and prop. The angle is per plans and supplied parts. Nothing is altered. It looks too steep to me also but even the kitís dummy scale shaft and fittings have the same angle as the aftermarket shaft assembly that I installed. The running shaft and prop that Sterling supplied looked way too weak. As for the propeller, I did ask for suggestions in my earlier post. If a smaller screw is in my future, the tube could easily be trimmed for length until the prop-to-keel clearance is correct, whatever that measurement is. I canít do much else about the angle. I think this issue could make or break the project so I hope it works out OK.

Motor and model strength. The motor mount was built per plans with supplied parts and it would be way too wide for a smaller motor. The .35 required thin wood shims on the inside of the mounting beams for a proper fit. With the shims removed, the .40ís crankcase fits perfectly without grinding away any wood. The boat is covered with fiberglass cloth on the exterior (completely), in the interior (mostly) and some Ďglassing was done at strategic points between the sheeting. Many of the voids were filled with expanding foam. The tank mount Iím building will tie the engine mount in with the sides andincrease contact with the floor, sort of like the back of the supplied bench seat. I may also do something similar with the aft end of the mount for additional strength. I think itís more about engine smoothness than it is about raw power or smaller displacement. Although the windshield is a weak point, I think that most of the cheesy lead fittings will even stay on. Theyíre epoxied on then coated over with the last coat of epoxy finishing resin.

Transom-mount Rudder. The point of the build was keep to the plans (which took preference to glow power) and also to use all period-correct parts (except for radio gear). I donít exactly know how long the kit was made but my kit is from the early or mid Ď70s so thatís the period Iím looking at. If I donít count the lack of interior detail, all of the deviations from plans take place at the transom. I liked the look of that long, elegant conical prop nut so it kept it and there was no way to squeeze in a sturdy rudder assembly without moving it back, even with a thinner prop. I think the worst thing that may happen is that my homemade rudder rig is not strong enough and Iíll have to buy a commercial rudder and mount of some kind. I donít think it will cause a handling problem and it may even be an improvement.

Thanks again for your advice. If I run across an age-appropriate marine engine of less displacement before I get the itch to run this model, I may consider changing the engine. With the thin, brittle mahogany veneer and no sub sheeting, I did (and still do) have strength concerns. However, before the Ďglass work was done, the boat bit the concrete floor of my garage from about 5 feet up without so much as a dent. On the other hand, the bottom did developed one huge crack that was caused, I believe, just by the drying of the bottom paint. Hopefully the fiberglass cloth will make it strong enough.
Dec 30, 2010, 06:09 PM
Registered User
MARS ROVER- I understand what you are saying , but to be honest, the instructions for that Sea Maid kit were drawn up back in the 1950ís when the kit was first released. I am posting some pictures of the model I built some, HOLY CRAP, almost fifty years ago now. Man where does the time go?
Dec 30, 2010, 06:12 PM
Retired for now
When you put the boat in the water do a slow acceleration in case the torque of the engine is great enough to turn the boat over. Pete
Jan 03, 2011, 12:02 AM
Kit Kannibal
Mars Rover's Avatar
Great work on the Seamaid Frank. If those are recent pics, she sure did age well.
Thanks for the advice Pete. I have an RC Club meeting Tuesday night. I may take the Boat and see if anyone has done boats before and has further suggestions.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion Sterling Century Seamaid on Ebay E-Challenged Scale Boats 31 Nov 06, 2008 09:46 AM
Rave 1950 CENTURY SEAMAID (sterling models) frankg Scale Boats 9 Feb 24, 2008 11:30 AM
Discussion Sterling Century Seamaid plans Gary Mullens Scale Boats 2 Jan 19, 2008 04:50 PM
Discussion Sterling Century Seamaid and Catalina on Ebay Now E-Challenged Scale Boats 23 Apr 25, 2007 08:16 PM