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Aug 13, 2006, 09:47 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
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Build Log

Midwest Products USCG 47' MLB ARF Build

I have had this boat, purchased new about 3 years or so ago, sitting on my reloading table gathering dust. It's time I got it running.

First thing was to move it from the spare bedroom to the workshop, but stop outside for a minute to blow the dust off. Then use some rubbing alcohol to remove the 'factory fingerprints' and smeared adhesives. Second step was to open all the hatches, and locate the fitings that had broken off. The tripod mounted bollard was already broken off when the boat arrived in the box and I epoxied that back in place years ago. Today I had to re-glue the overhead spotlight and one of the chairs armrests.

I then installed the servo. Next I removed the rudders and linkage. Bone dry on the rudder shafts, no lube. Typical soft crappy hardware and the screws were already peeling their threads as soon as I loosened them. I replaced them with 18-8 stainless steel socket head screws. The rudder tiller brass bushing was not drilled and tapped at 90*, it is more like 100*. I am not sure if this will cause an offset steering problem so I may go ahead and make a new bushing.

I noticed the large red decal on the port side had a tear in it. I was going to place a piece of clear tape over it but as soon as I touched it more of it broke off. I then used the tape to 'suck' the decal right off. Will get some others made by Callie Graphics if possible.

Overall this boat is light years ahead in quality compared to their PT-109. They really dropped the ball on that one. This one looks so nice already and it will be fun to work on it and get it rigged for running.
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Aug 13, 2006, 11:15 PM
Rampage's Avatar
Does Midwest still sell that? And how much does it run?
Aug 14, 2006, 09:15 AM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
Thread OP
I believe this boat is out of production now.
Aug 14, 2006, 11:14 AM
r/c ships and workboats
Kmot, FYI
The guys in my club found that they need to rebuild the comming around the hatch higher to eliminate water sepage when running the boat at high speed and turns.
Aug 14, 2006, 01:46 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
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Thanks for that info keith S.
Aug 14, 2006, 07:39 PM
Grumpa Tom
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Did a little more poking around on the boat today. I removed the motors and prop shafts today. The shafts did have a trace amount of vaseline on them. More as an anti-rust protectant than a lube. I give credit to the factory Midwest Products Co used for the prop shafts. They are absolutely true. I rolled them on my milling table and they are straight as can be. Not so the plastic props. They are going in the junk box along with many others. I ordered some 4-blade Raboesch props from Loyalhanna Dockyard. The motors, once out of the boat, I could see are labeled "FULLY" and made by the Fully Motor Co Ltd of China.

I pulled out some electronics from the toy box that I am going to use in this boat. An XTM Sportsman esc; a 60mm muffin fan; a piezo warble siren; and a JJC Electronics Turbo Cat Diesels sound module. I have some small speakers. I am going to start with a 2" speaker and see how it sounds. I also have a couple 4" speakers.

Some other things I have been noticing on the full size 47'MLB are the exhaust ports. I think I will make some for this model and have the cooling water flow out like in the 1:1 version. I also noticed the rudders are tilted outward on the 1:1 but straight up and down on the model. I don't know if it would be worth it or if it even matters enough to reposition them.

I am thinking about doing this in the Canada Coast Guard livery. But I need to find some good pictures online. There are very few and none show the deck from the top looking down.
Aug 14, 2006, 10:43 PM
Registered User
Nice looking boat. I look forward to seeing it. I like what you have planned for it. Have fun!
Aug 14, 2006, 11:43 PM
Grumpa Tom
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Thread OP
Thanks Matt. I'll try.
Aug 14, 2006, 11:55 PM
Registered User
heres some pics i found at

those should be useful..

no longer directly linked
Last edited by ziobrop; Aug 15, 2006 at 06:45 AM.
Aug 15, 2006, 12:06 AM
Sea Dragon-Lover
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Hazegray does not allow direct links...
Aug 15, 2006, 12:44 AM
Grumpa Tom
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ziobrop: Thank you for the link!
Aug 15, 2006, 08:36 PM
Registered User
Kmot- I have an Midwest 47' MLB ARF on the way as we speak. I have enjoyed reading this thread, now I really can't wait to get it!

Any recomendations for a radio and ESC?


Aug 15, 2006, 11:36 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
Thread OP
Hi Rob,

So you scored an out of production ARF version? Congratulations!

I will be using the Spektrum DX6 radio in mine. But you can use any two stick or pistol grip radio as long as it's on surface frequency or a Spektrum frequency. The ESC I am using is also out of production, lol. But most any esc would work. The Midwest manual recommends a Novak Rooster. But it is now out of production. If I were buying one I would probably just get a low cost marine esc from Hobby People. Either an Mtroniks or the XTRA brands they sell.
Aug 16, 2006, 07:32 PM
Registered User
Yeah, I was pretty suprised I was able find one too. I have been kicking around buying one for a while. Your thread and my wife convinced me to bite the bullet."You know, they won't be making any more of them", she said. (for once she was right, and I admitted it.)

I have the kit version but I just can't seem to find the time to complete it. I figure the fiberglass version would hold up better anyway. I'll let you know when I receive it.

Thanks for the info!

Aug 17, 2006, 01:20 PM
Registered User
rlboats2003's Avatar

I found one too.

Our local hobby shop was trying to move the Midwest RTR boats they had with a great price and a no -return policy. I got both the Lobester boat and the 47' Coast Guard boat discussed here.

In fact the price was so low that I couldn't have bought the 30" lobester boat kit they sell for the rtr price.

The firist thing I did was to print out this Thread to use as my checklist as I start to get the boat ready for sea (lake).

Thanks for a timely Thread,

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