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May 07, 2021, 02:09 PM
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carlfmiller's Avatar

T52 Questions Answered

Hi Fred-- Nice to know you are interested in T52, it is a fine boat and sails well. I built Hull #36 and am pleased with the boat, but I had so much fun I made many changes t make it more "Yachty". So I understand where your questions are coming from. I guess you haven't yet actually started on the model but ask the Qs based on reading the manual? I hope these answeres help-- it is a great project.

1. I installed the rudder control horn 'neath the deck, accessed through a hatch above. The actual hull depth there is over 2" and IMO presents no problem to cut the rudder port shorter. I attached two pictures of the rudder control, one before the deck and one after. The CF rudder post was cut of with just enough room for the control arm to move below the desk. A support beam was epoxied across the inside of the hull to support the top of the CF tube, so the turning circle tensioner spring still has the specified location. The servo was mounted I think in the specified location midships on the RC deck. This arrangement is not as water tight as with the rudder tube above deck, but never mind that. An o-ring can be added to the shaft at the top of the rudder post if necessary. (much as the T37), and the hatch can be taped for a seal.

2. The triangle boom vang arrangement and slanted boom I thought looked way too weird for a yacht. Credit Will Lesh for creativity but this one is not for me, at least not on my yacht. You could build it with the boom at 90 degrees to the mast, just as you say by flipping it over and use the solid triangle as a vang. I chose to make a gooseneck fitting and a conventional 4-part vang with a bowsy . You will note some other details in this photo such as the planked deck, cabin house, and wood mast. The wood mast is a two-part "sleeve" epoxied around the CF tube supplied with the kit. Yes this adds weight aloft, but I never intend to race this boat. Will made the sails special, so the mainsail luff has a bolt rope that slides in a slot on the aft edge of the mast.

3.The clearance to deck under foot of the mainsail is about 2 1/2". My boom at 90 degrees to the mast clears the deck at 2 1/4".

4. Keel height top to bottom is 13 1/2"

5. I have a photo here of the mast top on my boat but it might not really answer your question. I built the masthead fitting with a backstay crane, and I asked for some nice roach to be cut in the custom sail. (he didn't add much roach) I cannot remember how the standard sails are attached but if it was anything like the T50, the luff will have grommets and the sail is bent on using wraps of the Spectra line. The halyard is a hole through the mast., and a simple tie-off with the spectra line. If you have the book there you can see what is called for for the rigging, but I think I bought this SST cable from Will and made my own rigging plan which included lowers below the spreaders. Fishing gear is used to crimp the wire loops.

6. Very little help here sourcing IOM hardware, since I make most of my own from brass tube and sheet. Screweyes suck for this job I agree. I buy turnbuckles from Harbor Models or Cornwall Model boats in UK. I add a photo here of the types of chainplates that are pretty easy to make. These I think look pretty OK for a yacht. I have seen some beautiful model hardware from other places. In AMYA I see Midwest Model Yachting advertising at www. Also try RMD marine, at And, Roger Cousineau at I have not dealt with any of them.

Feel free to make any more inquiries. I have loads of detail photos and I think it is a fun boat to build and sail. I hope maybe you will get psyched and do it! There are a lot of features to make the job interesting and personal.

And BTW we really are getting close to have a Tippecanoe steam yacht, the Stormy 45. There is a detailed thread on the subject at the RC groups thread: (maybe you have seen it)

Have fun!

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May 07, 2021, 03:28 PM
My hangar is,... "almost" full
No Step's Avatar
Outstanding! Nice work! Thanks for taking the time to reply. Its exactly what I needed. I have not purchased the kit yet, so haven't read the instructions yet. I'm just deciding what to buy next, and how I could make it even better. The T52 is the frontrunner so far. I really enjoy "beautifying" a kit. "Bashing" is too harsh of a word. I just cannot resist the process of making it "my own". Thanks again. Now I have to finish reading your post. I was so excited, I had to immediately reply.
May 07, 2021, 04:27 PM
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carlfmiller's Avatar

T52 Personalized

Go get it Fred, no question good value and best fun.

One more aspect we didn't cover is the transom. Will designed the boat for easy construction and the reverse transom is smart looking but I didn't think it should be flat. So I lengthened the LOA by almost an inch by making an arc in the transom, which required adding a bit to the bottom. In the end (another nice pun) the curved transom is handsome I think. I suppose violates any one-design rules, but....

So by the time you modify the rigging, add a planked deck, change the transom, and add a cabin and some cockpit coaming, you have quite a different boat. I am sure you can think of other changes/improvements.

May 07, 2021, 05:04 PM
My hangar is,... "almost" full
No Step's Avatar
Simply outstanding,... Only two quick questions:
1. Wood mast? Adequately rigid? I would be tempted to go with carbon fiber tubes ($$) for that length (roughly around 60+"),... Two sections joined with internal sleeve.
2. Bolt rope on luff of main sail? How is that attached to the wood mast?
3. Georgious brass work!

My current thinking is CF or fiberglass mast with standard luff sleeve as done on the T37.
May 07, 2021, 05:53 PM
Registered User
carlfmiller's Avatar

Wood mast on T52


Well, my T52 mast really is CF, it's just that the tube is epoxied inside the wood sleeve. These CF tubes are part of the kit, the wood sleeve is not. Photos explain it. You see the CF in the center, this runs almost to the top and stops where the top of the mast is tapered. Boltrope slot runs to the top in the aft edge of the mast. Other picture is a different mast but shows you how the shaping was started before the layup.

So you see the open slot for the bolt rope. The boltrope (the ONLY so-called "rope" on a boat, BTW) is a .09" nylon tube sewn into the front edge of the luff. The luff /boltrope slides up the slot before the mast is stepped. When the boat is unrigged, the sail stays on the mast.

The sleeved-over -the mast sails on T37 were a challenge for me because I added spreaders to my T37s and thus has a punch a hole through the sleeve for the spreader pin. The hole was actually a slot that would the luff to be tensioned with the Cunningham. My T37's are probably non-competitive and lack a ll the funny go-fast things that Will has added for the serious competitors. But they are more yachty with planked decks and cabins and curved transoms. (Plus I am not a practiced racer, and have no one to race with!)

Thanks for compliments-- making the brass parts is a lot of fun, and very gratifying.

Last edited by carlfmiller; May 07, 2021 at 05:55 PM. Reason: Correct Fred spelling
May 07, 2021, 06:09 PM
Registered User
carlfmiller's Avatar

Sail Attachment

I agree the bolt rope approach is a big pain and only possible. with the wood sleeve with a groove fro it. But on the larger Tippecanoe boats, the sails made by Will are meant to be "hanked" on using a tie of the Spectra string, or as my case with a wrap of stainless wire to make a hoop.

Just checked the T52 Construction Manual and indeed he is providing a mainsail with a sleeved luff that slides over the mast. So anything different is a custom sail.

Oh and I found a note that spec's the height of the boom at 2 3/8", this is a little different hat what I mentioned before.
May 07, 2021, 06:31 PM
My hangar is,... "almost" full
No Step's Avatar
Sir,..... you are a master craftsman. I am in total awh! (sp? ). Thankyou for your input.

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