Some Aquacraft Bristol Bay Questions... - RC Groups
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Apr 16, 2012, 06:07 AM
Valiant Poultry
Gimpdiggity's Avatar

Some Aquacraft Bristol Bay Questions...

Hi everyone!!

New to the forums. My name is Jeff and I live in mid-Michigan.

I had a birthday this past week, and along with the Night Vapor that my wife got me, I decided to go hook, line, and sinker into a boat. (Pun intended, I know...har har.)

So, I was initially looking at sailboats, but a closer inspection of the lake that I would like to run on revealed that it wouldn't be a good option, due to lack of docks to launch from and shallow (less than a foot at times) water in the area where I really plan on piloting this craft.

So I stumbled on the Aquacraft Bristol Bay on Tower and fell in love with the way it looked. Most online reviews that I have found have been favorable, and the price fit the budget (even better than the sailboat I was looking at) so I snagged one up. I'm expecting it to be here in the next few days.

So anyways, I found quite a few threads here on RCG about the boat...more than on any other forum, pretty much. I have read through most of them and really like what I've been reading, seeing, and hearing about this boat. My plan for right now is to just use it this summer pretty much as is after hitting the lake for some paddle boarding, and then this winter to start working to make it a little bit more "scale." This will be my first experience with truly scale anything, so it should be fun.

Now, I've rambled on for long enough. Let me get on to my questions, which I have not been able to find answers to in my reading. I'm sorry if they have been answered and I missed them.

First, I have a pretty decent 2.4ghz radio. Is the receiver on the Bristol Bay built into the ESC, or is it separate which would allow me to put one of my extra 2.4 ghz receivers into the boat to have a bit better quality radio?? Going along with this question, I know that some people have mentioned that the boat is WAY too fast for "scale," so I was wondering if there would be any negative side to limiting the throttle on the 2.4ghz radio so that full throttle was still a relatively scale speed??

Second, I typically use LiPo batteries and have a couple of pretty nice 5000mah 40c packs. Is it possible to skip using the standard 6 cell and go with the nice LiPo pack instead? Going along with this question, if it is possible, is it recommended?? I know that I have read that the boat is a bit on the light side, and I know that the LiPo is lighter in weight than a maybe even if the ESC could handle the LiPo it wouldn't be a good idea to use it solely to help keep some weight in the hull??

Third, and my final question for now I guess...I have read that it's a good idea to add some weight to the hull of the boat. Seeing as I don't plan on tearing it down to just a hull any time soon, is it possible at all to add the weight without tearing the wood deck out?? If so, what is recommended to use for weight??

I'm kind of guessing that the third question might be something that I can answer for myself when I get the boat, but my newbish curiousity has got me itching to know!!!

Thanks in advance for any input.
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Apr 16, 2012, 01:35 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
Is the receiver on the Bristol Bay built into the ESC
No, you can replace it with your 2.4G receiver, no problem.

Is it possible to skip using the standard 6 cell and go with the nice LiPo pack instead?
Not recommended. LiPo batteries put out too much current. Might be bad for the ESC. This particular ESC does not have a LiPo LVC either. It will run a good long time on a NiMh battery. Buy yourself a 5000mAh 6-cell and run all day.

is it possible at all to add the weight without tearing the wood deck out?? If so, what is recommended to use for weight??
Yes, easy. Throw some pennies in a zip lock baggie and lower it down through the front hatch.

Welcome to boating and to the forum.
Apr 16, 2012, 05:02 PM
Valiant Poultry
Gimpdiggity's Avatar
Thanks Kmot. I have read quite a few posts about the boat by you.

Okay, I will skip out on the LiPos. I will look for a nice hefty mah NiMH. I have a line on a 5,00mah one for a good price, so I will probably snag that. I also have like 4 or 5 1,800mah six cells laying around, so run time probably won't be a problem.

Now I just have to decide which of my trucks is getting it's receiver removed!!!

I'm sure I'll have more questions over time, but for now I can't wait to get this thing!!
Apr 16, 2012, 05:37 PM
Old wreck in Milwaukee
Prins Willem's Avatar
Hi Jeff, welcome to the wonderful world of scale boating. I would not worry about it being over scale speed. I often run my tugs on the trim tab alone. Keeps my thumb from getting tired. You might also find times when a burst of speed will come in handy. I'm in a 50+ member club so it isn't uncommon to be running with several other boats. With all the jaw'in going on pond side a boat can go unattended for a period and you need to get out of the way fast.

A warning though. Be careful about wanting to just make a few small changes.
Apr 16, 2012, 06:51 PM
Valiant Poultry
Gimpdiggity's Avatar
Thanks Prins!!

I hadn't really thought of the idea of running it with basically the trim tab. That would be an ideal situation for me, really. Just trim it up so that it's moving at a nice slow speed, then use the wheel to steer. Awesome.

And I know what you mean about only wanting to make a few small changes. Unfortunately, I am the type that kind of goes "all in" when it comes to modifying things, as well. I'm certain that this $150 boat is going to end up costing significantly more once I'm done...if I'm ever done!!!
Apr 16, 2012, 07:10 PM
Registered User
Gimp Used 6 lb's in mine to get her down to real waterline. Might put all the spare batteries in the hull to be ballast. might need some kind of number system to keep track of which ones have been used each day. Might also keep for future plans a geardown for the motor and speed will drop and runtime be extended. But that probably will not happen as you will not want to take it out of service for any length of time.
Apr 16, 2012, 08:12 PM
Valiant Poultry
Gimpdiggity's Avatar
If I can fit the extra batteries in the hull, I may just go ahead and do that.

I could easily come up with a system for figuring out which ones were used when. Might actually give me something to do with the "smartphone" that I have...which I actually have no real use for!!
Apr 16, 2012, 08:55 PM
Great boat. I had one for about 5 years, and then gave it to my 6 year old grand son 4 years ago and he is still running it. Just keep looking at pixs of other boats and you will always have a new idea of changes you want to do. All good advice here. You may well end up changing out the esc also. I did. Try this...try that...try something will be hooked and have a blast.
Apr 16, 2012, 09:01 PM
Valiant Poultry
Gimpdiggity's Avatar
Thanks Tugger.

I like that the boat has pretty much universal praise. I don't think I've read a single account of someone that wasn't happy with the boat.
Apr 17, 2012, 08:14 PM
Valiant Poultry
Gimpdiggity's Avatar
Definitely excited now. The boat shipped today (I know, I know...I need to stop the cheesy puns)!!

It's coming from Champagne, Illinois, and I'm in mid-Michigan so I'm guessing it will show up on Thursday or Friday.
Apr 17, 2012, 10:00 PM
Old wreck in Milwaukee
Prins Willem's Avatar
Jeff you said your in central Michigan. Check out this link:

You should try and connect with these guys, even if it's only for one outing or event per year if there is distance involved. Always fun having buddies to run with.
Apr 17, 2012, 10:21 PM
Valiant Poultry
Gimpdiggity's Avatar

I will check that out. Thanks Prins.

I normally work on the days that they meet, it looks like, but there might be a few times this summer that I can try to make it work.
Apr 19, 2012, 10:15 PM
Valiant Poultry
Gimpdiggity's Avatar
I got my Bristol Bay today.

I put it all together pretty easily. I had to do some creative work to get some of the lines to hook up, but in the end everything is together and working well.

I was surprised as to how large it actually is. I don't know why, but from the dimensions I just didn't picture it the size that it is. I like the size, though.

Here's my next question for you guys.

When inspecting it around the front hatch for putting the weight in for ballast, there is a large piece of styrofoam in there. It looks like it's kind of just wedged in there for floatation if the boat were ever to capsize. It's blocking the way of actually lowering any type of weight into the hull. To get this out, do I just kind of go at it with a screwdriver to break it up and pull it out piece by piece?? Or do I need to leave it in there and find some other way to get the weight in the hull??

Thanks! Looking forward to getting out and running it this coming week if weather permits.
Apr 19, 2012, 11:14 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
Before you add any extra ballast. run the boat as is. There really is nothing wrong with it the way it comes. However, if you want it to look like it is loaded with full tanks of diesel, ice, and bait, then you could add some extra ballast. But it is not 'necessary'.

To answer your question, I seriously doubt the amount of foam wedged in the hull would actually keep it afloat. So yeah, I would just rip some of it out in order to add some ballast.
Apr 19, 2012, 11:25 PM
Valiant Poultry
Gimpdiggity's Avatar
Okay. I will leave it as is for now, and if I decide to do some modifying to it, I'll add some ballast to make it hit the correct water line.

The only other kind of question I have is one that I don't know if it can be answered. When I was putting the boat together, the front mast didn't fit very tightly into the hole in the deck. Of course, the lines all hold it on the deck very securely. But when I look at it, the front mast seems to kick at a VERY slight angle towards the aft of the boat. It's a very small angle, and if I give any kind of pressure on the rear mast or on the front, it doesn't cause the other mast to move, so I'm thinking that it's in there right. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any pictures of the boat directly from the side to compare it to. To be honest, I'm not completely sure it's even at an may actually just be my perspective. Should the front mast fit snugly into the deck?? Or is it a bit of a looser fit that is held in place by the lines?? I know that the manual says that the lines are there to hold the vertical masts in place, but it doesn't mention how snug the masts are supposed to fit with no lines.

I want to order a couple of figures for it. I've been reading that 1:25 scale figures are pretty good fit for the boat. I like some of the ones at HarborModels.

I also have been looking at different ways of weathering. I think I might try that a bit during the summer. Seems like a good way to start working on some modifications to make it look a bit more "real" and "used."

Oh, and thanks again for the help.
Last edited by Gimpdiggity; Apr 19, 2012 at 11:31 PM.

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