New York ATB tug: Christian Reinauer - RC Groups
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This thread is privately moderated by steve mahoney, who may elect to delete unwanted replies.
Feb 08, 2018, 11:48 PM
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New York ATB tug: Christian Reinauer

I'm interested in model tugs. My first attempt at a model boat was an Artisan Latina 'Amsterdam'. As soon as it was finished I thought "I could do that, myself", and I started scratch building in 1/50 scale.

I like interesting and unique tugs – the type of boats that you don't find as kit sets.

Attached are a few that I've build over the last 10 years.

This project entailed making two identical ATB (articulated tug barge) tugs – one display only, for the owners in NYC, and the other RC, for me. I started in 2008 and it took 4 years to complete them both. Making two identical models at once has both advantages and disadvantages. After making something for one boat I'd usually find a quicker, better way to make the second but it was very repetitive. I lost steam several times although I'm happy with how they eventually turned out.

I have a full build log over at if your interested to see how it's possible to spin a build out for that long.
Last edited by steve mahoney; Feb 09, 2018 at 01:21 AM.
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Feb 09, 2018, 12:01 AM
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SDM mk 1

This one is a ship docking module (mark 1), also 1/50. The original and several sister ships operate out of Florida.
It's RC, but quite difficult to handle. Spins in its own length and crab walks but very hard to get it to go in a straight line. The hull had to be deepened to accomodate the drives, motors and electronics.

Just after completion I managed to accidentally destroy the superstructure. It needed a complete rebuild.

A full build is on:
Feb 09, 2018, 01:07 AM
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New Zealand coastal tug: Koraki

After those two American boats I realised that there were some 'interesting and unique' looking tugs right under my nose, here in New Zealand.
Not many people are making models of our local tugs so I thought that I'd give it a go.

The first one on the bench was rebuild of a tug I had made as a toy for my young son 20 years earlier. For this one I was able to get onboard to get a load of reference photos and even got some hull lines and GAs from the original shipyard. This boat is a very hard working little tug, only 21m long. It's currently based in Auckland, pulling cement barges up and down the coast but has worked in many ports around the country. We first saw it in Picton while on holiday, many years ago and my son drew a picture of it , so I thought I'd make a toy one for him. It was called the sea Monkey then.

I'm quite happy with this one as well.

There's a build log on this forum and also at:
Last edited by steve mahoney; Feb 09, 2018 at 01:28 AM.
Feb 09, 2018, 01:44 AM
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Otago, NZ, harbour tug: Rangi

The 1970s and '80s were a bit of a hey day for tug building in New Zealand.

Rangi and her sister ship Karetai were build in Dunedin for the town's Harbour Board. The hydroconic hull was designed in Sydney, Australia. At the time it was cutting edge technology. These boats have very pleasing lines and led a pampered life. After 30 years in Otago they are now working across the Tasman Sea, in Australia.

Fine tuned a few new techniques and processes on this model: drawing up hulls, brass photo-etching, laser cutting and 3D printing.

I like this little tug – the lines, colour scheme and big brass logo on the funnel make it look unique.

A more comprehensive build log is on this forum and also at:
Feb 09, 2018, 02:00 AM
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Westport, NZ, harbour tug: USN YTL625/James O'Brien

During the Pacific war 30 YTL tugs were built for the US Navy by various yards in Auckland, New Zealand. They were a 75’ YTLs and 41’ YTL Sea Mules. Most saw service around the Pacific. 17 were built by Steel Ships Ltd in Mechanics’ Bay, Auckland and 3 YTLs were under construction when the US Navy cancelled the contracts towards the end of the war. All 3 were already stamped with their YTL numbers on the bow.

Only one of these fine little vessels (YTL625) lives on.

In 1946 YTL625 was launched and passed on the RNZN, renamed Kawatiri and then handed over to the Marine Department for distribution to one of the smaller regional ports – the coal town of Westport on the west coast of the South Island. Kawatiri (deep and swift) is the original Maori name for the Buller River which flows through Westport.

Just prior to the tug’s arrival in Westport, the Minister of Transport, the Right Honourable James ‘Briney’ O’Brien (miner, engine driver and social reformer), who had organised the deal, and was also the local member of parliament for Westport, died. YTL625/HMNZS Kawatiri was renamed in his honour.

This is how the JO'B looked on delivery from the Marine Dept. She stayed in Westport for many years as a harbour tug and pilot boat, and is now a private launch in Picton. I've been onboard and she's as solid as a rock, the original Atlas engine goes like a charm.

A full build log is on the scale boats forum and also at:

It was a surprisingly easy build.
Last edited by steve mahoney; Feb 09, 2018 at 02:09 AM.
Feb 14, 2018, 01:59 PM
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Steve your work is beautiful!
Feb 15, 2018, 12:38 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
Hi Steve,
You should post in the Scale Boats section of BOATS in RC Groups. More people into model boating congregate there than here in the Blogs.

Beautiful models, btw!
Latest blog entry: WWII US Navy "Tidewater"

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