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Jul 21, 2016, 01:37 PM
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Build Log

Improving the Dumas US Coast Guard 36500 Lifeboat


I thought about posting this on Bob's build thread, but I don't want to hijack what is a great (and completed) build thread.

So I'll start my own. Instead of doing a classic start to finish build thread, I thought I'd instead just focus on modifications and improvements that can be done to the basic kit.

I'm thinking about how to handle the scuppers. Should they be functional?

I'm not planning on building in the forward well.
So that means the forward-most scuppers will not be functional. I'll still cut them out, and block them off with a suitable backing. Some dark paint will make the hole look like it goes through.

I did toy with the idea of opening up that forward scupper, and simply connecting the two (port and stbd) with an athwartships tube like a bowthruster. That would make the scupper look real, even thought the interior of the compartment wasn't there. Also, when the boat plunged into a wave, some water would get into the tube, then drain out as the bow rose up. But the limited effect probably isn't worth the extra work......


I considered opening up the bow area like Bob did, but I decided not to. My current plan is to frame out the coaming the same way Bob did, then put put a cap on the bottom that closes it off- so it is just a shallow waterproof well. I'll then cut the legs off of one of the figures so he fits in there properly, with a magnet in the base to hold him in. I'll then make a canvas "cover" for the well, so I can remove the figure if I choose and cover the hole.
Last edited by RCBoater; May 04, 2017 at 02:39 PM.
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Aug 08, 2016, 09:49 PM
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Here's my plan for the running lights. I ordered a pair of running lights from Harbor Models, and are going to light them with some 5mm LEDs from Superbright LEDs.com.

The first picture shows the modifications I made to the light boards:



This picture shows the LED energized with a 21mA current. It looks "greener" in person. The light comes with a clear green plastic lens. I tried both a clear and a green LED inside the fitting, , and I like the green one better. It isn't as bright as the white one is, but the green color is more intense- and this is supposed to be a navigation light, not a spotlight!

Last edited by RCBoater; Aug 25, 2019 at 09:07 PM. Reason: Aug 2019: fixed broken photo links
Dec 09, 2016, 07:20 PM
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I'm still working on my boat-- hull is planked, fiberglassed, sanded. I've added the false keels- all I need are the rub strakes and the bilge keels, and I'm ready for some primer on the hull.

A couple of new questions have come to mind. Here's the first one:

1. What should I use for the filler that reinforces the rub rail and the bilge keels? My thought was bondo, but the boat is glassed with ePoxy resin and bondo is a polyester-based product IIRC. I assume it would still bond (no pun intended) to the hull just fine. But the big problem is the odor. I just can't use the polyester products indoors, and it is 20-30 degrees outside!
I considered using spot/glazing/putty-- I've used 3M red to deal with the imperfections on the hull, and it is working fine. But I'm not sure a solvent-based product is a good idea for making what are essentially fillets-- even if I build it up in a couple of layers.

So I'm thinking- maybe I should use some more epoxy resin, and miz some microballoons into it to make a paste? No worries about it shrinking as it dries with the epoxy product base.

Am I overlooking an easier/better solution?
Dec 09, 2016, 08:34 PM
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Question #2: I'm looking at the kit parts for the dashboard area. (Not sure what to call it-- the structure that supports the windshield.)

I saw in CGBob's thread that he found the dash as designed in the kit to be too high-- and my research agrees. Based on the drawings I have, it looks like the top of the C11-C12 part should be 16 scale inches above the top of the engineroom cabin top. Dumas's parts work out to be about 2 feet - so it is defintely too high! At 1/16 scale, it is a little over 5/16" of an inch too tall.

In any case, the kit parts C11 and C12, cut from the same 3mm ply as the rest of the kit parts, seem awfully thick. Since they need surgery anyways, I figured I might as well just replace the parts with thinner stock. I thought about using styrene, but I the real boat was wood, so I bought some 1/16" thick stock to make those parts-- seems more likely to be in scale.

Looking at the photos I have, it looks like these parts were thinner with a piece of trim on the edge. The photo I took of the restored 36500 when I visited last spring is below. Unfortunately, there was a canvas cover over the windshield and dash, so you can't see much... but it almost looks like sheet metal instead of wood?

CGBob or others-- any input here?

Last edited by RCBoater; Aug 25, 2019 at 09:11 PM. Reason: Fixed typos
Dec 09, 2016, 09:03 PM
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OK, question #3:

What did you other builders do for the boat's bell? The Dumas part is a single piece, bell and frame-- I'd like to replace it with a separate frame and bell. I don't think it is feasable to cut the kit's fitting apart, as it is case as a single metal piece.

Ans should the bell be polished brass? Or a weathered brass? Or some other material/color? Was the bell always mounted topside, or only when needed? (Generally, a bell is only needed when moored in fog.

I spent some time wandering around the local Michael's Arts and Crafts store-- figuring that at this time of year, I had my best chance of finding a little bell I could use. But no luck....

EDIT: In going through my photos, I found this picture of the top of the engine room cabin-- with the bell mounted. It clearly isn't polished-- but I wonder if that was the norm in 1952? The bell also looks to be smaller than the one included in the Dumas kit, if scaled down to 1:16 scale....

Last edited by RCBoater; Aug 25, 2019 at 09:14 PM. Reason: Fixed old typos, probably added some new ones!
Dec 10, 2016, 01:07 AM
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I'll try to answer your questions.

Bilge keels & rub rail - I didn't use any filler, just glued them onto the hull. They were coated with some epoxy finishing resin after being attached.

Dashboard - the kit supplied unit is too high. Mine is 1/2" taller than the engine access hatch on top of the engine space; 11/16" above the top of the engine space turtle back (hatch not installed). It appears to be galvanized steel in some pictures I took in Duluth, MN.

On some boats, the dasher and surround were sheet metal with a pipe reinforcing the edge.

I used the kit bell, and polished it the used a brush electro plating system to copper plate then bronze plate it. The frame was painted black. The CG "Boat Outfit List" shows: BELL, Ship's, Cast, copper-silicon alloy body, 20 pounds, 9 - 3/4" diameter.
Dec 10, 2016, 03:57 PM
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RCBoater those lights turned out Great !

1. I used Famowood filler to reinforce the rub rail;

2. The bell was a part from harbor Models with a little strip of brass for a bracket then weathered them for aging;
Last edited by Tim B.; Jan 22, 2017 at 02:25 PM.
Dec 11, 2016, 11:33 AM
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Tim,

Looks like you didn't attach the middle cabin to the deck- did you not make the deck removeable?
Dec 11, 2016, 12:03 PM
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Servicable interior


Yes, had to make the deck removable ~

As designed, the kit allows water to come in the boat from wet decks so those big gaps had to be sealed.

Had to Engineer and make multiple deck parts, the front and rear decks come out so you can get to all parts of the interior but no water can come in ( a tight fit was achieved ).

The bench seats in the back are in with magnets, the forward seat and pilots stand are in with brass pins.

The pilot's grating is hand made.

This done in January 2012.
Last edited by Tim B.; Jan 22, 2017 at 02:29 PM.
Dec 11, 2016, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CG Bob View Post
I'll try to answer your questions.

Bilge keels & rub rail - I didn't use any filler, just glued them onto the hull. They were coated with some epoxy finishing resin after being attached.

Dashboard - the kit supplied unit is too high. Mine is 1/2" taller than the engine access hatch on top of the engine space; 11/16" above the top of the engine space turtle back (hatch not installed). It appears to be galvanized steel in some pictures I took in Duluth, MN.

On some boats, the dasher and surround were sheet metal with a pipe reinforcing the edge.

I used the kit bell, and polished it the used a brush electro plating system to copper plate then bronze plate it. The frame was painted black. The CG "Boat Outfit List" shows: BELL, Ship's, Cast, copper-silicon alloy body, 20 pounds, 9 - 3/4" diameter.
Thanks for posting the Boat Outfit List-- that is very interesting. The one thing I don't see on the 1968 version you posted is a portable searchlight, as used on the 36500 in 1952. Do you have any info on that light that was mounted on aft part of the forward cabin? Looks like maybe it was around 9 -12 inches in diameter?
Dec 11, 2016, 10:55 PM
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After consulting my set of prints, the searchlight is about 9" diameter. The plans I have show the searchlight mounted on the starboard side of the coxswain's flat, above the door to the engine space. The upper edge of the spray shield (dash board) is 10" above the top of the engine compartment roof.
Dec 15, 2016, 11:18 PM
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Any advice on installing the bilge keels? I was making mine last night from the kit materials-- they seem rather flimsy. I broke two of them while trying to sand the "V" profile into them. That has me wondering how sturdy they'll be once installed......?
Last edited by RCBoater; Dec 17, 2016 at 10:15 PM.
Dec 16, 2016, 08:55 PM
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Basswood


Quote:
Originally Posted by RCBoater View Post
Any advice on installing the bilge keels? I was making mine last night form the kit materials-- they seem rather flimsy. I broke two of them while trying to sand the "V" profile into them. That has me wondering how sturdy they'll be once installed......?
Pre - shaped Bass wood with 8 tiny brass locater pins each, sealed then painted.
Dec 17, 2016, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CG Bob View Post
I used either bass or balsa wood, laminated two pieces in place on the hull. The bilge keels don't have much of a V to them. IIRC, Dumas has them shaped almost like a knife edge.
Thanks for sharing those pics, Bob! Boy, am I glad I asked!

The Dumas kit has knife edge pieces- the look like the type of bilge keel you'd see on a larger cutter. I'm going to dump the ones I made from the kit material and plans and scratch something that looks more like the ones in the drawings.

-Bill


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