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Aug 13, 2012, 04:59 AM
Mr Happy
Build Log

Springer RC Boat Rescue Tug

At the first Nirvana National Regatta in May, I used my purpose built Springer Rescue boat to set and retrieve race bouys and as an unneeded but standby rescue assistant. I was asked for a build log by some of the attending clubs and I promised one in a month or so. Two months late, here it is.
I am new to RC and scratch building, so I started by building a couple of plywood footy sailboats and then tackled the Springer, first reading the entire Dock Talk Springer thread and collecting relevant PDFs and ideas. I urge anyone doing a first Springer build to do the same.
Many thanks to the postings of Umi, Arrow5, Toesup, WoodyBob, Aerominded, Bill Harris and many others that have posted since May '06, and especially Ken Riley and the NWRCSM for starting the Springer. This boat is a true Springer, but not a scale boat, since it was intended for boat rescue and to be a 'legal' polo boat.
The format I am using is captioned photos of major and slightly unique steps, with emphasis on some things not detailed in the main thread which left me head scratching as a modeling newby.
The wood used was 5mm and 1/4" luan and oak ply and 3/4" oak flooring lay abouts from previous home projects. Epoxy, 30 min, and medium CA were the glues and coatings. Various rattle can paints, all same brand, for primer and finish coats and workshop cans and bigbox hardware store skinny drawers for the hardware. Please ask any question on the Springer Thread to get the benefit of answers from many experienced builders. The pictures will be in groups over the next week. Pictures in the build log are not all in chronological build order, but grouped by build subject. Please read through the whole log and then start your building project.
Last edited by jppom; Aug 17, 2012 at 01:51 AM. Reason: Recommend reading whole log before starting.
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Aug 13, 2012, 10:10 PM
Mr Happy

Deck Attachment and Fittings

Second phase was attachment of deck, fittings and bumpers for an enclosed hull. Brass furniture inserts were positioned with a jig for consistency and flexibility. With the idea of having multiple boats, a degree of part interchangeability seems like a good idea. They don't look alike, but common means of attachment helps, like a Springer 'cootie' game, mix and match. Fenders made of boot laces woven in the cobra knot pattern with an added inner loop used for attaching.
Aug 13, 2012, 10:19 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
There are a zillion versions of the Springer. Yours looks interesting. I like the 'rope' bumpers and colors you used.
Aug 13, 2012, 10:56 PM
Taking care of the pond.
Nice build.
Aug 14, 2012, 03:37 AM
timo2's Avatar

A top build , great photos, looks like a new benchmark in Springer history

Aug 14, 2012, 04:58 AM
can you land on that ?
Ooh, I do like a grey ship. Nice.
Aug 14, 2012, 01:00 PM
Webmaster, MMCNE
RCBoater's Avatar
I built a Springer to use as a rescue boat at our joint Fun Float/ Float Fly-in we hold with a local RC airplane club. It worked great at rescuing stalled airplanes and airboats.
In hindsight, I wished I hadn't painted the decks gray-- it was hard to see when way out on the water....
Aug 15, 2012, 12:34 AM
Mr Happy

Weight, Balance and Cradle

This posting has to do with determining the amount and distribution of weight in the finished hull. (Pictures in the build log are not all in chronological build order, but grouped by build subject.) First is from earlier stage when primed and then getting wet in a small sink. Waterline is from PDF drawings (light pencil) and weight checked in two parts, things with a fixed position and things with installation flexibility. When design waterline achieved, take pictures and make notes, so predictions will holdup on finished boat.
Cradle is useful during build and makes a good stand and carrier when finished.
Aug 15, 2012, 01:13 AM
Mr Happy

Interior Parts and Pieces

Using the weight and balance details, it is time to place and install the internal elements of the hull and mechanics. It is a big jump from picture 3 to 4, but it is just step by step placement as required, working on both interior and exterior.
Aug 15, 2012, 06:39 AM
Capt.Crash's Avatar
I can attest to the awesomeness of this boat...the pictures don't do it justice....great job Footy.....on the build thread too....
Aug 15, 2012, 07:03 PM
Mr Happy
Originally Posted by RCBoater
I built a Springer to use as a rescue boat at our joint Fun Float/ Float Fly-in we hold with a local RC airplane club. It worked great at rescuing stalled airplanes and airboats.
In hindsight, I wished I hadn't painted the decks gray-- it was hard to see when way out on the water....
Try putting a 'polo' id flag with club/team/school colors on a 'Lawn just Fertilized' stalk at the back of the boat. Helps my old navigator eyes at a long distance.
Aug 17, 2012, 01:46 AM
Mr Happy

Exterior Underwater Parts

Rudder, skeg and prop parts need to be installed as a full process. Balanced rudder extends ahead of shaft and the design or type of shaft, prop and prop attachment determine where the back of the stuffing tube must be to provide clearance, yet be close enough for maximum efficiency. Draw it out, using the PDF and check yourself at each step. It is easier than solving a problem post construction.
I chose to make my own rudder stuffing tube following Umi's post early in the thread. After pricing s/s shaft, LH or RH prop, " or mm size, oilite bearings, etc., the cost of the parts and the multiple shipping costs, I decided to buy the whole thing from one source. It was custom made it to my specifications and delivered to me in about one week, at less than I could have done it.
After reading about oil, lithium and 'blue' grease, I decided to use the thicker, least likely to get thrown out and let water in, last one. Just pack it in like a wheel bearing.
Aug 18, 2012, 12:52 AM
Mr Happy

Springer Top Sides

Following the pattern of previous Springer builders, I used the shoebox approach for the decks. On the top of the box is a bolt to which I can attach a vinyl advertising license plate with anything that can be built up on it. Keeping things light and flexible, I have used LHS sheet foam, plastic bottles and caps, unused toy, etc. for whimsical tops which can be swapped whenever. Nothing I have done has yet hindered the rescue and utility capabilities for club use.
Aug 18, 2012, 01:45 AM
Mr Happy

Rescue Attachments

The last group of pictures for this build is the rescue and buoy setting equipment which I built for the boat. Scupper holes along sides, placement and size of holes in the bumpers and other hardware on deck are done with club utility in mind. CPVC, which is easy to work with and lighter than PVC, was used to make a front cradle for most rescue work. Foam noodles create drag when in place, but take weight off of the front of the boat when loaded or pushing a disabled boat.
Hook attachment works when the front approach won't. It goes on the boat through the same bumper holes. Though it also can work for buoy retrieval, a heavy wire hook, used with a hard, inplace turn is more successful at keeping the buoy hooked during haul in.
The release catch is modeled after a gate latch with a shaped, flat piece of brass and a cut down brass key. A channel 3 servo pulls on the string attached to the key and releases the string or cord through the back guide and therefore the buoy or whatever is being towed. The over center design of the key keeps it from releasing under pressure, so stop the boat, activate the catch and power away.
Last edited by jppom; Aug 20, 2012 at 03:01 AM. Reason: Add photos
Aug 26, 2012, 04:29 AM
Mr Happy

Deck Hardware revision

After multiple times on the water, I keep finding varying amounts of water on the bilge sponges, especially after my grandson had been at the helm. Close observation finally revealed the source. Normal use was ok, but when going from a speed run into a hard turn, the outboard side funnel vent was going under water momentarily, and the port side was scooping in the wet stuff. I had not accounted for power slide turns in my vent design; a problem with young skippers and older polo wannabes. Solution was raising the funnels about an inch and going to a DualRate of 75% on the steering channel. The bilges are now completely dry after a couple of hours hard use on the water.

Rear hatch was changed in an earlier attempt to find/solve the problem; did not.

Also took a picture of a dream I had after posting the Build Log, still just Springer One. Two is coming in a month or two.

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