Dumas USCG 41' UTB - RC Groups
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Feb 05, 2005, 02:04 AM
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Dumas USCG 41' UTB

I have started the build of my 41, thought i'd document it here for all to see and critique. Feel free to chime in. I'm very new to building boats. I did build a few trainer planes back in the 80's. This will be a pool/pond boat so not sure how much detail i'll put in as kids will be playing with it as well. I'm not real sure what to look for in a "good" kit, but will say the die cut parts easily pop out of the plnaks. I did pick up a tip on the boards to hit the backsides of the die's with 80 grit paper, this will help remove them as well.
On a side note, sitting under the bench is a 1940 BB Chris Craft that was started by another builder (soon to be finished by myself), and 2 Robbe kits, the Najade and Sandiego.
Last edited by cshelden; Feb 05, 2005 at 02:14 AM.
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Feb 05, 2005, 02:13 AM
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In this series, I've built my building board out of partical board shelving, and have drawn a 1" square grid. One thing I'll do next time is cover my board with some form of clear coat to protect my grid lines.

So far just the parts are marked and punched and layed out dry to check fit.
Feb 05, 2005, 07:14 AM
Registered User
Good idea on the grid for the building board, I'd have never thought of that. On mine I covered it with wax paper, pretty much any adhesive won't stick permanently, so it stays smooth longer, and if some glue gets on it, the model isn't glued to the board. Best part, when its a little ratty, take it of and put new down. Looking forward to seeing this build. I was looking at this boat before I got the Midwest 47' (thread "Just Arrived").
Feb 05, 2005, 07:29 AM
Registered User
Wax papaer is a good idea, but the instructions call for glueing the frames to the board to hold everything down while you build it. There are "feet" built on to the frames, once the stringers and bottom plank are on, you just chisel it loose. I used thin CA and it will pop right off with a little preasure. Then you trim the feet off the frames. The board/grid is another idea from the Dumas manual. Total cost was less than 7.00 at Lowes, mine had a slight bend in it so I screwed it down to my work bench. I will get some better pics today. My original ones were to large to post, so i had to trim them down.
Feb 05, 2005, 12:20 PM
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Stringers installed ready for the hull planks.

Here is a better pic of the progress. There was some confussion on stringer placement, so the starbord side is a bit different than port, but once the decking is on you won't be able to see that. What is the school of thought on holding down the hull plank as the glue dries? I've been using 30min epoxy and slow CA. Is CA ok? then reinforce with epoxy after the hull is removed from the board? I plan to apply f/g on the hull once it is done for water tightness.
Feb 06, 2005, 10:06 PM
CG Bob's Avatar
Here are some pictures of the real boats in action, from the USCG web site.
Feb 06, 2005, 10:37 PM
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WOW thanks for the pics. I can see that I'll need to make some changes to the existing kit. I wonder what a good 05 motor would be for this? I was thinking maybe a 17tx2 to get it up to scale speed. I have serveral so I can play with them.
Feb 07, 2005, 02:14 AM
Useful Idiot
You should have plenty of power for scale speeds on 2 stock 540 motors without needing "exotic" car motors. They are also allow neutrally timed motors which makes contra-rotating props easier.
With regards to your hull planking, an overnight soak in water contining a little ammonia should allow them to be bent to approximate curvature. Then they can be tacked at one end with CA and glued down with normal PVA glue and clamped until the glue sets.
Feb 07, 2005, 08:23 AM
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And I always thought those 'Coasties' had a rough life!

I just ordered the 'other' Coast Guard lifeboat from 'Midwest' so will be enjoying some of this 'fun' in a few days. It would be helpful if you would document some of the 'goofs' during the building process so I won't have to make them too. This won't be my first 'planked' boat, but I haven't done balsa planking before, that ought to be different. Also haven't done any fibreglassing (I'm sort of allergic to the resin, that's going to be lots of fun - lol. May have to borrow one of the hazmat suits from the local fire department.). I'm following the thread about this boat so shouldn't have more than the 'normal' problems I usually have, hopefully.
- 'Doc

PS - Thanks to the guys who do the 'how to's...
Last edited by LtDoc; Feb 07, 2005 at 08:39 AM.
Feb 07, 2005, 11:03 AM
CG Bob's Avatar
I just ordered the 'other' Coast Guard lifeboat from 'Midwest' so will be enjoying some of this 'fun' in a few days. It would be helpful if you would document some of the 'goofs' during the building process so I won't have to make them too.
The prototype and first few production boats were painted white. The remanining production boats were left in "bare" aluminum, with only black antifouling paint. On the bare aluminum boats, the letters/numbers were white; a CG Commandant Boat Alteration (BoatAlt) later changed the letters/numbers to black. The 47' MLB kit provides 3-blade props; the real boats have 4-blade props. Here's the 47' MLB replacement project link.

Another BoatAlt authorized the 41' UTB to have the white paint removed to reveal the bare aluminum hull. I check and see if I have a listing of the BoatAlts for the 41 UTB. If I do, I'll posst a list of the ones that changed the boat visibly. Some BoatAlts changed the electronic or engine room systems.
Some of the visual boat alts were:
Adding "U. S." in front of "COAST GUARD". (1990)
Adding the white rub rail. (1986)
Removing two plexiglass domes on the main cabin. Replacing the plexiglass dome on the forward lower cabin with a square plexiglass hatch.
Relocating the enginr room vents from the twin towers (as in the Dumas kit) to smaller vents near the gunwales. The two towers were removed.

For USCG photos, you can do a search for boats, cutters, and aircraft.
Last edited by CG Bob; Feb 07, 2005 at 11:12 AM.
Feb 07, 2005, 10:39 PM
CG Bob's Avatar
When you get to painting the various parts, the clossest match to the CG color Spar or Buff is Badger Model Master Marine Colors "Deck Tan" #16-405. The following items on the 41' UTB are painted Spar: mast; handrails; engine room vents; towline reel; mast; and radar pedestal.
Last edited by CG Bob; Feb 07, 2005 at 10:46 PM.
Feb 07, 2005, 11:29 PM
CG Bob's Avatar
Some more pictures of the USCG 41' UTB. The rudders are set perpendicular to the bottom hull plating; not parallel to the skeg (keel). In the bottom picture, the bottom hull plating extends aft beyond the transom about 4 inches - forming a trim tab. About 1996, this trim tab was later extended and standardized throughout the fleet at 7 inches. The four rectangles above the trim tab are zinc anodes, roughly 12 inches long, 3 inches wide, and 1.5 inches thick. The zincs are cast on a metal bar that is bolted to the hull.
Last edited by CG Bob; Feb 07, 2005 at 11:34 PM.
Feb 13, 2005, 09:18 PM
Registered User

bottom planked, deck layed

It has been a while since my last progress update. Been a hectic two weeks, but I managed to lay the bottom planks as well as the deck. I don't think it is too bad considering it is my first boat.
Feb 21, 2005, 11:43 PM
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Just a note for those who may be following the thread. I have the hull completed as of this evening. I'm going to start on the superstructure now (right term??). I plan to glass the hull later in the week. Spent a good amount of time reading the "glassing" threads, went to the local west marine and purchased the West Systems setup. So will give that a try. I hope to work any "gotchas" out before my CC needs glass after this is done.
Mar 01, 2005, 12:52 AM
Registered User

REady for Primer...

Well I've made some good progress in the past week or so. I've glassed the hull (thanks to a great article here on RCG), plan on glassing the deck and cabin tomorrow night. Now for a few questions:
1. what is a good paint/primer? this will be a pool/pond boat, sometimes kids will use it.
2.I'm trying to figure out what motor to use, I have access to 2 stock 05 motors, or should I go with the Dumas 6v's? Any insight would be great.


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