Midwest Harbor Tug x2 - RC Groups
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Mar 11, 2016, 05:07 PM
hangin' around
Garage Ape's Avatar
Build Log

Midwest Harbor Tug x2


Ok, so I want to get into building RC boats. Not a speed demon boat, just something relaxing for an old fogey to run. Tugboats are very interesting so that is what I have decided on starting with. I don't care about doing a super scale model as I don't have the skills but I do want to attempt to build a reasonably believable example, so hope you all don't mind it being posted here in the scale forum. Also didn't want something too big or too small, 24" seemed just about right.

I have read a lot of good things about the Midwest Harbor Tug, particularly how stable the hull is on the water and that it is a good first build. But alas the kit is no longer produced, I guess in this plug-n-play instant gratification world they can't sell enough of them to justify it.
Thanks to a post by RCG member needabiggerboat I was able to download a set of plans complete with the ribs and have them printed. Since I have a small band saw and a disc/belt sander I will attempt to make my own kit.

I am almost embarrassed to post a build log after having seen the serious talent of so many here on RCG but thought it would help me learn as I know I will have a bunch of questions.
I'm old and slow and have limited funds to spend each month so this may take a while. Anyways, here she goes!
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Mar 11, 2016, 05:28 PM
lots of water; some of it thin
chum444's Avatar
Welcome to the forum. Don't worry, folks here are very willing to help. Everyone has to start somewhere. Said another way, you won't learn any younger. You might want to post a "Wanted" in the Boats FS/W forum. The Lord Nelson Victory tug is the same hull but converting it into a working tug might be more than you want to tackle.
We will all be looking forward to your build log.
Mar 11, 2016, 06:10 PM
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Tim B.'s Avatar
...........
Mar 11, 2016, 07:08 PM
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needabiggerboat's Avatar
Post away. I will be watching.
Mar 11, 2016, 07:11 PM
r/c ships and workboats
Quote:
Originally Posted by chum444
Welcome to the forum. Don't worry, folks here are very willing to help. Everyone has to start somewhere. Said another way, you won't learn any younger. You might want to post a "Wanted" in the Boats FS/W forum. The Lord Nelson Victory tug is the same hull but converting it into a working tug might be more than you want to tackle.
We will all be looking forward to your build log.
I agree that if you don't ask questions, we can't help. your boat will look pretty good once finished and in the water. You also picked a good boat in a good size/scale that is easily built. have built a few of these and always a good boat.
correction for Mr. chum as the Lord Nelson Victory Tug is not the same shape or build as a Midwest tug. Midwest tug better for tug work.
Mar 11, 2016, 10:46 PM
hangin' around
Garage Ape's Avatar
Yes, the folks on here have been very helpful. I started contemplating this build a couple months ago beginning by reading a lot of threads here on RCG. I learned a lot but still had questions (still do for that matter) so I posed questions and received a lot of good input from many members. Thank you all. And a special thanks goes out to CaptCB!

I then began to figure out where to acquire items particular to RC boats, and amass photos for reference and inspiration. And that is where it all went wrong, I became obsessed and hopelessly addicted. During all of this I came across a couple of photos that really caught my eye, more about that in another post.

I was fortunate enough last year to acquire some things for very little. A Dumas 6v #2004 motor, more balsa than I will ever use sheets & sticks, sheets of birch ply in various thicknesses, and a small shoebox of misc. brass shapes. So I had a lot to start with but still need items that I have begun to acquire.
Mar 12, 2016, 06:30 AM
lots of water; some of it thin
chum444's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by keith S
I agree that if you don't ask questions, we can't help. your boat will look pretty good once finished and in the water. You also picked a good boat in a good size/scale that is easily built. have built a few of these and always a good boat.
correction for Mr. chum as the Lord Nelson Victory Tug is not the same shape or build as a Midwest tug. Midwest tug better for tug work.
Right you are. I somehow missed 'Midwest".
Mar 14, 2016, 09:54 PM
hangin' around
Garage Ape's Avatar
In case anyone is wondering what the x2 signifies, it is that I am going to build 2 of them, a bit different from each other. Yes, I know I'm nuts, my wife tells me that all the time. The idea of two of them just sort of evolved, it wasn't planned in the beginning.

Originally I had been thinking about using a Prop Shop prop but ended up balking on it due to the high cost. So I started looking at the Raboesch props and wasn't quite sure of which style would be best 175 or 177 series. About the same time I came across a couple of photos of two different small tugs. Each has its own character, one well used the other well kept. That's how the idea of 2 came about, so I ordered both Raboesch props.

I realize the hull is not exactly correct for either but I'm not going for an exact model of either one, just want to capture the flavor of each of them.
Mar 14, 2016, 10:04 PM
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Tim B.'s Avatar
Like !
Last edited by Tim B.; Aug 15, 2016 at 01:39 PM.
Mar 14, 2016, 10:39 PM
hangin' around
Garage Ape's Avatar
I stumbled across the photos of the Halton and that is all I have been able to find on the boat.

The Cumberland tows a 3 car barge ferry back and forth between Rocky Hill & Glastonbury on Route 160 across the Connecticut river. The nation's oldest continuously operating ferry service.
http://www.ct.gov/dot/cwp/view.asp?a=1390&Q=501574

My boats will have different names (yet to be determined) because they will not be scale, just representative.
Mar 14, 2016, 10:51 PM
hangin' around
Garage Ape's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim B.
Like !
Tim B- It is a good looking little tug and the owner obviously takes pride in it.
I have seen some of your builds and you could really do it justice as a true scale model.
Mar 15, 2016, 12:37 AM
KC8WPF
CG Bob's Avatar
The Laughing Whale/Midwest kit is similar to the John Atkin designed HENRY JOHNSON JAMES. My Laughing Whale Tug, built in 1981-82 in Kodiak, AK is still running.
Mar 15, 2016, 06:21 PM
Old wreck in Milwaukee
Prins Willem's Avatar
The Midwest kit power package had a 45mm three blade prop made by Graupner. This gave the tug plenty of performance. My first harbor tug easily moved (pulling and pushing)a 36" barge ballasted with two 7lb sash weights. I bought the Midwest 45mm four blade prop and tried it. There was much less pitch in the four blade and power suffered badly. Make sure any prop you buy has sufficient pitch.

A question for the group. Do they pitch four blade props less than three blades generally or was this a isolated occurrence?
Mar 15, 2016, 08:41 PM
hangin' around
Garage Ape's Avatar
Prins Willem, thanks for the thought but I am already committed with the props. Both are 45mm, the smaller blade one (177) has a pitch of 46.1mm, the larger blade one (175) has a pitch of 40mm. I think they will be okay, but time will tell.

Looking at both Raboesch and Prop Shop charts, both show the same pitch for both 3 and 4 blade for a given diameter.

The Prop Shop props do have slightly more pitch than the Raboesch of the same diameter.
Mar 15, 2016, 08:46 PM
Registered User
Tim B.'s Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CG Bob
My Laughing Whale Tug, built in 1981-82 in Kodiak, AK is still running.
What a Great model and a Very cool story ...
Last edited by Tim B.; Aug 15, 2016 at 01:39 PM.


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