Army STL Tug 45' - RC Groups
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Jun 24, 2012, 04:08 PM
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Bob SF's Avatar
Build Log

Army STL Tug 45'

Hi Everyone,
Here is my latest project, an Army STL Tugboat, built on a Microglass 34" fiberglass hull. As usual, the quality of the Microglass hull is fantastic. The hull is smooth and is complete up to the level of the deck. On this hull, you have to add the bulwark and the rub rails. There are three rub rails per side of the hull and the novelty of torturing wood wears off pretty quickly. The base of the rub rail is 1/8" x 1/4" spruce, covered with 1/4" half round stock. Since this will be a working tug, there is a framework under the deck that will support the strain from the bollards. Power is supplied by a large 12 volt Pittman motor (14204C637), drawing from a PowerSonic 7 amp/hr PS-1270. The case on the motor is about 4" long and has a 2" diameter. The prop is a 3-blade 2 3/4" diameter brass unit, while the speed control is a 40 amp Viper. The sound generator is from Harbor Models, and Callie Graphics did all of the vinyl lettering. If you do a search on the Internet, you will find that there are many STL tugs in private hands and the color schemes vary a great deal. The idea behind this model is that I bought the boat from Army Surplus and maintained the stock color scheme, but added a little bling in the form of brass fittings (Wet Goose Marine). Since this is a working boat, I'll let the brass dull out naturally. The cabin interior is complete with ship's wheel, throttle, gear shift, binoculars, coffee cup, magazine, fire extinguisher, and a toolbox full of tools. I was able to get a small figure, named "modern father" and he is pretty close to the proper scale. In the cabin, he looks fine, but on deck he would come off as a little big. He is sitting in an oak chair and he looks pretty alert, so I'll let him drive the boat. His dog, Red, is on deck duty, watching for seagulls. The navigation/search lights will work as soon as I install a switch/fuse, and two sub-C NiMh cells. The float test in the DFTF (Domestic Float Test Facility) went well and I had to add pretty much all of the lead that I could find in my shop (estimating 5-10 lbs.). The power from the motor is really good (note evil grin and slight snicker...that good!). I hope to run the boat this week and see how she goes. The layout of the hull, motor and electronics was a pretty easy build as there is ample room for whatever you wanted to put in the hull. I hope she goes well....fingers crossed. Bob SF
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Jun 24, 2012, 04:12 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
Beautiful job, Bob!
Latest blog entry: Two new additions to my hangar!
Jun 24, 2012, 04:18 PM
Retired for now
Absolutly. Very nice indeed. Lets take Daisy for a ride. Cute pup there. Pete
Jun 24, 2012, 05:35 PM
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Tim B.'s Avatar
Yer Killin me here ...
What, like, one week to build ?
Jun 24, 2012, 05:39 PM
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Rmay's Avatar
Looks great. Love the clean layout both on deck and below.
Jun 24, 2012, 05:47 PM
woodybob's Avatar
Jun 24, 2012, 05:49 PM
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Bob SF's Avatar
Hi Guys, thank you for the nice comments. This build started probably more than a year ago. It was one of those projects that stalled and got picked up again later. I will hopefully be able to share some pictures of her running on Monday. My shop buddy, Daisy, is always ready to go boating. Her favorite thing in the world is to hang out on a surfboard with her boys...and hang 20. Bob SF
Jun 24, 2012, 06:12 PM
Registered User
BOB- Super job on a great subject. Who says you have to build them big to make a great model.
Jun 24, 2012, 07:09 PM
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Jerome Morris's Avatar
Very nice Bob.
Jun 24, 2012, 09:09 PM
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catchthis's Avatar
that is a cool looking tug! Great work!
Jun 24, 2012, 09:23 PM
Boats on the brain!!
green-boat's Avatar
Nicely done tug. You been raiding flat screens for speakers.
Jun 25, 2012, 01:18 AM
Taking care of the pond.
I like it.
Jun 25, 2012, 01:37 PM
r/c ships and workboats
That boat looked great in the wood finish before you even painted it! Now with paint--outstanding.
Jun 25, 2012, 03:10 PM
Registered User
Bob SF's Avatar

Tug Reliant Sea Trials 6-25-12 Spreckles Lake GGP

Hi everyone,
Just back from the lake and all went well. Air temps were in the low 60's and winds were low. Slightly overcast skies made for great boating. First off, the range check was fine and all systems powered up. The boat went in the water and waited patiently while I started the diesel. I really like the Harbor Models sound generator (Diesel Version 1, with extended idle time). I advanced the throttle and headed out into the lake and played with the rudder. The boat is set up on high rates with no exponential (but that may change). Power is really good and at top speed, she could pull a skier. Cruise speed is a couple of clicks off neutral and run time is around two hours (mixed running). Handling could best be described as "slippery". With power on, she will gladly turn any direction you choose. With power off, she wants to track straight. She will also back down straight (as long as you want) and corrections can be made right or left. There is some prop walk when aggressively changing forward to reverse. All in all, the STL is a really good tug and she should do well in competitions. The motor is staying cool, with no sense of temperature difference between my fingers and the motor case. Before I make any radio tuning changes, I want to have some more run time on her. At two hours in, I'm really happy with the way she turned out and can't wait to take her out on the lake again. She had no water inside and came home in one big piece....good day boating...she didn't sink..Yay! Bob SF
Jun 25, 2012, 05:41 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
She looks awesome, and your Golden looks suitably proud.
Latest blog entry: Two new additions to my hangar!

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