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Oct 18, 2018, 08:11 PM
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As I fiddle about with the planking preparation, I am also thinking about installing the RC. The kit gives a simple diagram for a suggested RC install, but working out the details is up to the builder.

I did some test fitting, and quickly determined that a sail arm servo isn’t going to work, so I bought a drum sailwinch. I realize that working out the layout and geometry will be a lot easier now, before the planks are installed.

There are other considerations I need to sort out in regards to making this an RC model. One is the rudder linkage- the suggested install has the rudder servo in the cabin, and a Gold’n’rod aircraft style “flexible” pushrod linkage to the rudder. I bought one at the LHS, and it seems like an awfully tight radius at the stern for the pushrod to make. The next more flexible rod uses a small diameter cable center, and I’m concerned that it wouldn’t be strong enough to handle the loads imposed by the boat’s huge unbalanced barn door rudder. So maybe I need a bell crank aft...?

I’m also concerned about watertight integrity. As designed, the entire aft end of the boat is open to the bilges. (The fish well and the fore peak are sealed compartments.) That would be OK for a calm water motorboat, but seems like asking for trouble with a sailboat....

Last edited by RCBoater; Oct 18, 2018 at 08:20 PM. Reason: Added picture
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Oct 20, 2018, 03:40 PM
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I love my plastic competition sail boats but I check in with scale sail every so often because it's much, much harder. Please continue your rc build as I have similar questions about rudder and the smack is a build more within my current abilities.

Pram Dinghy R/C Sailboat from RC Modeler April 1991 Plans Kermit the Frog Skipper Dingy Scale (1 min 2 sec)


In the video of kermet above, he is in a scale pram with a single channel radio with a traveler and it does everything it needs to. I would call your smack 1.5 radio channels with the rudder control and a small sail servo that is frankly more for trimming weather/Lee helm than for total control. My cue is that the jib is not motorized in the plans (on second look the jib is sheeted the long way, I would still consider fixing the jib though and limiting the travel). It's not a boat for heavy winds or rough seas but rather those light days. The cowling is a great starting point for a wood or plastic cap if you remain concerned about swamping.

Keep up the good work.
Last edited by pwallace; Oct 20, 2018 at 03:46 PM.
Oct 20, 2018, 10:00 PM
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Success on the sheer plank!

I made a jig out of some 3/4” plywood. After soaking the basswood plank for about 45 minutes, I was able to bend it to the curve, with the aid of a few clamps.
“ I have too many clamps” said no modeler or woodworker, ever!!
Oct 20, 2018, 10:07 PM
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pwallace,

Neat video- thanks for sharing!

You’re right- the Smack is not a boat for heavy winds. The real ones carried a lot of sail to enable them to work in light air. I am not going to use the kit’s jib sheet arrangement— I am intending to install a jib boom. (That is a prototypical practice, found on some smacks and their descendants, the Friendship Sloops.)
Oct 20, 2018, 10:47 PM
Registered User
Thanks.

I have a graupner collie which has radio in the cabin but the tiller is at deck level and the rc solution is to just add a rod. It works, but it breaks scale. Also on my particular boat the sheet is way down in the cabin so if the footwell gets wet water gets in the boat..

https://goo.gl/images/Wsog2P

I am thinking a "quadrant" with push/pull lines from the servo. Are you thinking of staying with a solid cable/wire (maybe in a Cu tube) or something more compact? Do you have details on the bell crank solution?

Thanks in advance.
Oct 21, 2018, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCBoater

..................
“ I have too many clamps” said no modeler or woodworker, ever!!
The old saw ; "If you didn't use them all, you didn't use enough. If you did use them all, you don't have enough."
Oct 21, 2018, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwallace
Thanks.
I am thinking a "quadrant" with push/pull lines from the servo. Are you thinking of staying with a solid cable/wire (maybe in a Cu tube) or something more compact? Do you have details on the bell crank solution?

Thanks in advance.
I don’t have a plan, yet- I was just thinking about using a 90 degree aileron bellcrank like you would in an RC aircraft— like this:

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...98&postcount=2
Jan 06, 2019, 08:16 PM
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I set this project aside to build a plastic model of the USCGC Duane as a gift for an old classmate whose first duty station was there.

I delivered the model today, so now I’m back to working on the Smack. I spent an hour playing around with the RC tiller and aileron bellcranks and a servo to figure out the right geometry to use. Sorting something out is complicated by the open cockpit and the fact that the rudder axis is about 30 degrees from vertical. This makes the geometry of the linkage rather tricky, as a tiller not only moves port - stbd, but has a vertical change as well.

My conclusion: I am going to mount the rudder servo aft. I will cut an access hatch aft, and then install the servo at the same 30 degree tilt as the rudder, to put the servo arm and the tiller in the same plane. This will give me a simple direct linkage for the servo to tiller connection. My plan is to use a high-torque metal geared servo, as I expect a standard servo may not be able to handle the loads imposed by the large, unbalanced rudder.

With this plan in mind, I am going to go ahead and plank the hull, as the new hatch will allow me to defer servo installation until afterwards.....
Last edited by RCBoater; Jan 07, 2019 at 12:47 PM. Reason: Fix typos
Feb 10, 2019, 09:50 PM
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I am still slowly working on the model. It is rather chilly in my basement shop, so Am not spending a lot of time down there these days,..

But I have made a start on the planking. I’ve got the first two added to hull P&S. My procedure is to put a 1/8 by 3/8 basswood plank in the PVC pipe to soak over night. The next day, I’ll pull it out, and clamp it in place to dry. A day to three later, I glue it in place and put the next one in the soaker...
It is a slow process, drawn out longer than it needs to be, but it allows me to at least make some progress while it is so cold out...!

Here you can see the wet third plank on the port side clamped in place to dry. Once it dries, I find the pre- formed plank is much easier to glue in place.
Last edited by RCBoater; Feb 10, 2019 at 09:51 PM. Reason: Fix typos
Feb 12, 2019, 07:54 PM
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Great work.

Take a look at my cat boat build. This is my 2nd open cockpit sailboat. the first turned into a submarine and I needed to go for a swim. TO keep this I raised the cockpit floor to above the waterline. This also gave me additional room to run the adequate length of sheets for the drum winch I am using. I have an access hatch in the cockpit in case I ever loose the drum lines or main sheet.

Feb 13, 2019, 10:21 PM
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That’s a great idea. I have a Laughing Whale catboat kit in the pile, your idea would work well there, too.

The Smack does benefit from having two sealed compartments- the forepeak, and the fish tank amidships. Plus, the main cabin is water resistant, with access provided by the removeable roof. So in a knockdown situation, only the cockpit would flood, at least immediately....
I envision this boat mostly being a decoration in the living room, and only sailed occasionally. I will be picky about the conditions, especially at first, until I see how tender she is....
Jul 11, 2019, 07:53 AM
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Hull is planked!


Hit a major milestone last night- the hull is planked!

I started the kit on August 30. Now, 10.5 months later, the hull is planked! It was a tedious process at times, but the main reason it took this long was that it was a long cold winter, and I didn’t spend much time in my basement workshop.

Next step: a thorough sanding to smooth the less-than-perfect planking joints, to prepare the hull for fiberglassing..
Aug 15, 2019, 09:22 PM
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I have been working on a variety of other projects, but I have done a little bit of work here, too. I have hit the hull with three rounds of filler and sanding. I had read a recommendation for MH Ready Patch as a filler- I am very happy with it. It is very fine grained, and is easy to apply in very thin coats with a putty knife. It sands well, too.


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