J-Boat Ranger - RC Groups
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Nov 24, 2013, 07:42 PM
Build Log

J-Boat Ranger

Last year I bought the hull, but I still had some other stuff going on. At 101 inches I had a little space problem, which I have quiet nicely solved.
Since a built like that is a rather slow process, finding the right materials, like 3/8 cabinet grade ply, or the boards out of which I can cut the decking lumber, or plans, or, or is a little time consuming if the next really big town is 300 miles away.
I do not intend to bash the gentleman who built the fiberglass hull, but it has some major problems, concerning quality, which will explain some of the stuff I will do to that hull.
First I had to cut the hull apart, because the fiberglass with which the hull halves had been glued together was a cold weld. I could peel the mats of like old tape.

Next is the edge of the deck. It should be flush and not angeled up. Its fiberglas and so no way to bend it down, and it has some dry spots were the mats did not get soaked good enough It has to go.
Same for bow and stern sections of the deck.

My plan, cut the stuff off, install 3/8 ribs with the stringer and all the hatches I need for the rc stuff and than cover it with 1/16 ply and than do the planking.

I found a great source for plans the Maine Maritim Museeum, which send me already and very fast the first set of plans, they are copies of the originals from 1936.
I have ordered the deck planking plan, so I can do the planking as close to scale as possible, which will be a lengthy process, since I cut my planks myself and looking at the beast it will be a job.
I probably will get laser cut parts for all the deck houses. But no rush on those.
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Nov 24, 2013, 08:59 PM
Registered User
What a major bummer. Build quality of the hull sounds like it was not that good. Hope the boat turns out. I have always been interested in J boats, but there are none that live out here in California that I am aware of. Ryan
Nov 25, 2013, 09:20 PM
No not a bummer, by all means.
One has to understand that all of those boats are handcrafted and not made by professionals. They are very rare. How many are there in the US, maybe 20, 30 at the best.
Yes at the first, one takes a step back, but than on second thought, considering, the base is very good, and cuts the time of a humangous plank on frame job, with all its problems.
Just finished a 6 feet plank on frame, it is tedious, at best and unforgiving for mistakes.

I am just stating the facts, to explain the steps I am taking.

Challeng, not RTR,
Nov 25, 2013, 10:14 PM
Registered User
I will be watching your build, J boats are way cool. Hope all goes well, I know that model boat construction is tough. Ryan
Nov 26, 2013, 12:15 AM
Taking care of the pond.
Nov 30, 2013, 12:17 PM
Registered User
Nothing looks better on the water than a J boat. I recommend you make a least part of the ballast removable for ease of handling. I had an Enterprise fiberglass hull and I poured all the melted lead into the keel in one pour and it made the yacht very cumbersome to handle. She came in at about 60 lbs. I believe the Ranger will weigh in at about 90 lbs. There was a trend to over ballast the hull to acomodate a bigger rig but AMYA rules now require the models to float on their intended LWL.
Nov 30, 2013, 05:54 PM
Bill I live at the End of World and will probably never compet that Boat. My idea, based on my experience with my Schooner Voodoo, is that I will extend the keel a nother 3 inches with a detachable Lead weight.
Making the ballast removable is my intention.
Meanwhile I have installed the rib where the Mast will stand. I intend to have a nother rather solid one 10 inches back, towards the stern and than built what I call a strong box, for the mast and the shrouds.

But first I had to do the plug for the ballast. First I layed out some plastic shielding in the keel and than dumped around 30 pounds of gypsum into it.
Let it sit over night and than hope to get it out again. As usual I missed one thing in my planning. I need to stuff something into the gypsum so I could pull it out. I could not find anything real fast so I stuffed a plastic coat hanger into it. I knew those things were good for something, but never for what, now I know.
Meanwhile Denver had lost in the last minute.

Next afternoon I went to work on the plug. It did not move, nada. I pulled as hard as I could , food in the tub and me jerking on that hanger.
I was about ready to cut that tub up again, split it, when the sucker moved, just a little. But that was it. So of to the big shop, crowbar and very large screwdriver.
20 minutes later the plug was out, just the very narrow tail end broke of.
But I know now that I got a rather healthy hull, that one is strong .
Nov 30, 2013, 06:13 PM
Second rib of the strong box.

To get the inside shape of the hull, I used 1 inch blue foam board and a scribe
Cut 2 about 5 inch piece of board, a foot long, than attach to a straight piece of wood hang them in the hull and than use the scribe to follow the line. Than cut them. Check everything again in the hull and than lay them attached to the straight on the ply, trace the lines and voila.

Since things on this tub are at time a bit long and measuring is one of those things I use a string to get the ribs properly in place. First I established a middle at the bow, than glued a string to it.
Center measure the correct distance from the bow, kinde square it up and than use the string to get it perfectly square.
Dec 01, 2013, 12:32 PM
Registered User
My Enterprise had the 2 inch keel extension and with an 8 ft. mast sailed very well in light to moderate wind conditions. I don't know if you care about the AMYA class rules but they do allow an additional keel extension which many of the original J's had. I've only participated in a couple of regattas and was very concerned about having a hole poked in my hull by other model yachtsmen who are either reckless sailors or tend to disregard the rules on right of way. Thanks for sharing your techniques on ballast
Dec 01, 2013, 01:33 PM
Registered User
Dick L.'s Avatar
Hint on finding interior/exterior hull shape:
Visit a local glass artist or supply shop and buy a piece of lead "came" which is the lead strips used between pieces of art glass when making stained glass windows or art decorations. The stuff is inexpensive and can be bent/formed to the hull shape at whatever point you need. It will usually hold the shape so you can trace around it to make templates or cross sections. When done, just straighten it out and wait for next project when you might use it again.

Takes up very little room, and can be hung from a small nail in your workshop when not in use.
Dec 01, 2013, 07:02 PM
Dan I tried that one, but with the size and length of those ribs, the lead turned out to be to flimsy, or me to clumsy.

Bill the hull has the AMYA extension.
I built a schooner based on a Robbe Atlantis hull as a flush deck. I needed a little more above the water line. Mounting an additional lead weight, shaped along the lines of the keel, under the keel, gave me what I needed and than reduced the interior weight accordingly. I even was able to reduce the overall ballast by several pounds. I gained 15mm above the waterline and on top of it a better ship in strong winds, I have a original Atlantis and can compare.
It is amazing how much a few inches do.

My plan on the ballast, cut it once length wise and than everything in 3 pieces.
Built 6 forms for the casting.
But no hurry there.
Dec 03, 2013, 07:58 PM
2 more Ribs in, no barbq sauce with them.
I found a source for good ply in a town nearby, just 100 miles and so I bought all they had. Not much but better than nothing.
3/8, 1/4, 1/8, hogs heaven. They promised to get more and give me a call.

After I got those 2 in, 3/8 high quality ply, I cut the stern open and installed a 1/8 piece of ply, with a 1/2 inch brace cut from a nice piece of spruce.

everything got glued with PC7, I like it very much because it is a paste and will not run.
Now I will continue towards the bow.

By the way Denver won
Dec 03, 2013, 09:24 PM
Registered User
That hull is starting to look real good !!
Dec 04, 2013, 12:32 AM
Taking care of the pond.
Yes it is.
Dec 06, 2013, 09:43 AM
Now I am pretty much done cutting up the hull. I got all the ribs in and finished of the bow section the same way I did the stern.
Meanwhile it got a little wintery outside and last night we had -18F

Next I will install the subdeck and the hatches. I am waiting for the planking and hatches plan from the Maine Maritime Museum.
Mast from Larry Ludwick and the RMG Winch are ordert. Have not heart from the fittings guy, Harkim Mini,

I have not jet decided which wood I will use for the deck planking, Teak?, Mahogany?, Oak?.
Once decided I have to get the lumber.

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