Tugboat Bumpers - Materials - RC Groups
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May 18, 2005, 06:57 PM
Registered User

Tugboat Bumpers - Materials

I want to install realistic front bumper on my tugboat (either rope or rubber bars) as on Navy Harbor Tugs. I tried to cut / paint foam rubber but it acted like a sponge and became very heavy when wet. I want to stay light yet realistic. Ideas?
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May 18, 2005, 08:25 PM
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ol'guy's Avatar
Here's some ideas from a couple months ago:
May 19, 2005, 11:57 AM
CG Bob's Avatar
Buy some small diameter rubber hose from an auto parts store. I used windshield washer hose for the simple bow fender on USCGC ILLINI. You can use small chain or string to attach the fenders to the hull. On the HELEN MORAN, I used brass chain.
May 19, 2005, 11:59 AM
CG Bob's Avatar
I again used windshield washer hose and brass chain on the tug YOOPER. YOOPER was built from the Freedom Song Boatworks kit of the tug PRESTON.
May 19, 2005, 03:06 PM
"Old 8140"
Old 8140's Avatar

Tug bumper and fenders

I used some fuel tube left in my box from my racing days and wrapped it with hemp string and CA helped to hold it in place.
May 19, 2005, 04:27 PM
CG Bob's Avatar
On the HELEN MORAN and YOOPER, the chain is attached to eyes superglued to the hull. I cut some links of chain in half to form a "U". I drilled some holes in the hull to match the legs of the "U". Then I CA'ed the chain half links into the holes in the hull. Paint the links the hull color. Attach the fenders by threading a length of chain thru the hose. At the bitter end of the chain, carefully open the last link to attach it to the hull eye. After attaching the chain to the hull, I carefully closed the link with some needle nose pliers. Pull the fender around the bow, center it as needed. I used some masking tape to temporarily hold the fender in place while I make the second chain to hull connection.
May 24, 2005, 06:21 PM
Registered User

Thanks for inputs - Final Product

Thanks for ALL of the helpful inputs.. I combined many of them and sort of structured my effort afrer a bumper that I saw on a Tug boat while fishing out of Tacoma Washington. It is attached to the hull wiith chain. Hope the picture below makes it..
Jun 19, 2007, 01:56 PM
Registered User

Tug Bow Fenders

Any help or opinion will be appreciated.
Which should I go with? THis is obviously the Carole Moran kit, but I am making a few changes and will end up call it the ficticious "Sabine Leader".
Jun 19, 2007, 02:42 PM
r/c ships and workboats
Decide on the year you are repesenting. Rope for older style, tires for more modern.
Jun 19, 2007, 02:56 PM
Registered User
I know I need to "date" the tug. However, I am still a little undecided. Post WWII or right before? I think I'm leaning more to 1946-1950 or so. I can add radar and a few other things not seen on tugs prior to the war. I really enjoy the detailing!
Last edited by gulfcoastie; Jun 19, 2007 at 03:16 PM.
Jun 19, 2007, 04:03 PM
Registered User
Make friends with your RC Monster truck folks and have them give you their worn out tires. This is a almost unending supply due to high usage, cut them to fit the bow and stern areas, attach as above. can fill the inner area with that white soft packing for a bit more give in the push strength.
Jun 20, 2007, 07:19 AM
Registered User
rlboats2003's Avatar

Hey Gulf

Since the Carol Moran series were built in the 1949-1952 era - it is after WWII

Allot to these tugs used the rope bow and stern bumpers (pudding) into the late 1930's - Tires weren't that big or wide until the end of the 1930's (after you got past the Model B Fords. The Carol Moran made it to 1990 when she was destroyed by a fire and sunk for a fish condo. The rest of here class made into the 2000's and have been replaced with more modern power. I beleive that most have been scraped at this point - The bigger towing companies have a tendency to scrap than sell as second hand. So you got youself about 50 years to pick a point in for your tug.

Now for method:
Bow bumpers for 1/87 -1/72 I use old worn large loop terrycloth washrags white perfered. I make a 2 - 2 1/2 inch square cut it in half then roll with line in the middle with a little white glue inside, I then install ring bolts on the deck and the hull to attach the lines to. The lower part of the bumper, I cut the loops and try to shread the terry cloth to get that rope effect. More recently, I have painted the bumper with water colors tan, a brown and some gray then put the model in the water so that the all wash together. The gray gives that dirty oil look that the bumper seem to aquire. The picture attached was taken in 2003 before water colors became part of modeling.

Hope this helps,
Last edited by rlboats2003; Jun 20, 2007 at 01:14 PM. Reason: Pat Made a valid point about tires
Jun 20, 2007, 07:57 AM
Mmm, tugs...
patmat2350's Avatar
Tires- I read apiece from a 1942 "Motor Boating" article where Bill Atkins was discussing his plans for a small yard tug... he noted that he was STILL seeing tires on tugs in the harbor, and isn't it time those operators turned in their tires to the war materials effort? Bundled staves would work just fine, he said...

Jun 20, 2007, 01:55 PM
Registered User
tim slocum's Avatar
I was just looking on the Harbor Models website,they have both premade bumpers and material to make your own.Quite a selection. Check it out.
Jun 20, 2007, 03:25 PM
Capt.Crash's Avatar
Originally Posted by tim slocum
I was just looking on the Harbor Models website,they have both premade bumpers and material to make your own.Quite a selection. Check it out.

I just ordered 2 ea of the "Rubber Gunwhale Fender" (half-round material in 3/8" and 1/2") . Should be here Friday. I will let ya know how they turn out.


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