Ocean/Harbor Tug Based on Fiberglass Hull off eBay - RC Groups
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Oct 23, 2006, 12:48 PM
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Ocean/Harbor Tug Based on Fiberglass Hull off eBay

I'm making a harbor/ocean-going tug. It's based on a 45" long hull with about a 11" beam that I bought on ebay. It's kind of long and narrow, but I think it should make a good post-WWII diesel tug. The hull appears to be built for a single 3" screw - haven't decided how many blades yet. I've given some thought to fabricating one - but think I'll probably go with a commercial 4 or 5 blade prop.

I bought some plans on ebay for the "Stackgarth" - here's a picture - Pictures of the Stackgarth. The Stackgarth is close to what I want - just kind of going with what will work with my hull.

I just started scoping out parts and accessories. Need to build/buy a gear reduction and figure out how to drill the hull for the stuffing-tube, and etc...
I have a benchtop drill-press. Maybe I'll be able rig something up and clamp the hull and hang it off the edge of the table. Any other thoughts/suggestions?

More to come - I'll have to post some pictures of the hull.

Thanks to Mitchlandry - we started discussing this on radiocontrolzone, but I thought it was getting away from the original topic of modeling in Houston so I'm starting a new thread here .
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Oct 23, 2006, 12:53 PM
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Welcome aboard not_in_houston,
You will find this is a great forum and a lot more going on here than radiocontrolzone.
Always great people here to answer any of your questions, like they have helped me many times over.
Oct 23, 2006, 01:40 PM
Registered User
Do you have a hand drill for the prop shaft? I very carefully drill an undersize hole into the hull then hand file the hole to the correct size.

Oct 23, 2006, 02:36 PM
r/c ships and workboats
Not in houston, do you have any photos of the hull? Be easier to give advise if we have something to look at. Also might be able to tell what hull it usally is.
Oct 23, 2006, 02:52 PM
Mmm, tugs...
patmat2350's Avatar
Your Stackgarth is quite modern, well beyond "post WW2". She'll have a completely different set of lines than your longish hull, and will be set up for twin props or even Voith-Schneider drive, not a single prop.
For that 1950's look, see below for example (though the type could be twin as easily as single prop, I believe...).

Pat Matthews

Oct 23, 2006, 04:36 PM
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Okay - Here are some pictures. I haven't had a chance to take my own yet - these are from the guy I bought it from.

I'll try to take some closeups of the prop area and any other areas that might be helpful for identification.

I know the Stackgarth isn't really the era I'm looking for, but it's about the right proportions. I'm open to any suggestions.

Thanks guys.
Oct 23, 2006, 05:40 PM
USA'd ex Brit
toesup's Avatar
You might consider some of the early Thames (UK) Tugs, possibly the 'Sun' series of tugs owned and operated in the 50's and 60's
..might be an interesting site for you to have a look at...
Oct 23, 2006, 10:29 PM
Registered User
The Thames tugs look like a possible fit, I also like the Moran tug.

I saw a really good article in Ships in Scale, Volume XVII, Number 4. It's titled "Part 1 - The Harbor Tug, Semi-Kit by Hartman Fibreglass R/C" It's about a Hartmen Fibreglass semi-kit for a DPC tugboat. It's similar in size to what I'm looking at. I

The article suggests buying the plans for it if you get the kit. Has anyone had any experience with Hartman's kits or plans? Or know how much they cost? In general, how much should I expect to pay for a decent set of plans?

One of Hartman's tugs, built by Tom O'Dell:

I'm considering fabricating a gear drive for prop - anyone have any experience with this? I figure I'll drill a couple of aluminum plates and add some gears from SDP (Stock Drive Products). I've never done this before - any hints or tips?

Also - where could I find a good deck plan to figure on what kinds of fittings I might need? Or should I just wait until I have a decent set of plans?

When I install the bollards and cleats, should I make some kind of struts that run down to the hull if I plan on them being usable for practical towing?

More questions soon - I'm making a list !
Oct 23, 2006, 11:01 PM
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killick's Avatar
I'd build your boat like the "Moran" Tug shown in Pat's Photo. A single 3" diameter prop with a 3:1 gear reduction would be all the power you'd need. Harbor Models sells an excellent 3" diameter, 3-Blade RH Prop by Prop Shop. (Other good Props are also available in this size as the other Forummers can tell you!)

On the Tugs I built, I made my towing bollards out of two sizes of wood dowelling. One size for the bollard "stem" and the next slightly larger for the bollard "cap". My decks were wood reinforced underneath with hardwood strips laid crosswise and epoxied to the underside of the deck: I drilled holes through the deck and into the hardwood to receive the "stems" and then epoxied the stems into place.

I only went this "extra step" on the bollards actually used for towing. I used this technique on my 45" Single Screw Shelley Foss -- and towed a canoe with 2 adults and 2 children around a Lake in Regina, Saskatchewan!

(That was the 45" F/G shelley Foss hull, by the way, which was supposed to have twin screws....)

Your hull should build into an excellent model of the Classic American Harbour Tug --
90' in 1/24 scale, the very size of the "Salvage Monarch" I was on in Montreal years ago. I wish I had photos to send you of THAT tug...!

Good Luck, and Happy Building --!

Oct 23, 2006, 11:17 PM
Boats on the brain!!
green-boat's Avatar
Hartmans' kits are top notch and worth the price. I personally don't have one of his kits as of yet but there are a number of them in our club.The tug is modeled after the 60's vintage Revell plastic model kit. Dwight Hartman is a member of our club. The fiberglass kit minus fittings goes for about $355. As for the price of the plans, I don't know right off hand. Longbike had a thread here on his tug which is also a Hartman tug.

As for gearing, I like toothed belts and pulleys. Gears are noisy and need lubrication. Belts on the other hand are quiet and need no lube.
Oct 23, 2006, 11:19 PM
Registered User
Well - I said I was making a list...

Prop questions:

What size of prop should I run in this hull? A 3" would fit snuggly into the prop area, but should it be that large? Is it okay to have a big prop, just spin it slower? What's a rule of thumb for this decision?

How many blades should the prop have? I think the 5-blades look cool, but is that overkill?

Anyway - here are some more close-up pictures with a tape-measure of the the hull.

Motor/Stuffing box questions:
I was thinking about using a Johnson HC973 motor that was mentioned Here .
What was your luck like with them Don?
What's the best way to link the 1/4" shaft up with the standard 3/16" shafts? Do they make ends for dogbone links in 1/4"? Then I guess I'd do a dogbone link from motor to gear box, then run U-Joint to the prop shaft. The SiS article I mentioned earlier had the gear-box running out to a miniature pillar bearing and then onto the prop shaft.

(In my last post I meant to say that it's the July/August 2006 Ships in Scale - Sorry - I got in a hurry an just copied and pasted the issue info from my scan of the article.)

Karl (not_in_houston)
Oct 23, 2006, 11:30 PM
Boats on the brain!!
green-boat's Avatar
A toothed belt pulley with a 1/4" bore on the motor shaft and a 3/16" pulley on the prop shaft. No U-joints or dog bones.
Oct 24, 2006, 12:10 AM
Registered User
The belt/pulley route could be a lot easier...but don't you still have the same issue of needing to get everything properly laid out and square? At least between the pulleys?

What's your source for the belts and pulleys? I saw some at SDP-SI. Do you use plastic or metal pulleys?
Oct 24, 2006, 12:21 AM
Registered User
Paul (killick),

I like the The Salvage Monarch - it's a unique tug. I found a couple of good shots of it:

(from Boatnerds: http://www.boatnerd.com/news/newsthu...thumbs_277.htm)

(from http://www.wellandcanal.ca/shiparc/t...ch/monarch.htm)

Yet another cool tug to consider
Oct 24, 2006, 12:27 AM
Boats on the brain!!
green-boat's Avatar
If you mount you motor in a frame/ bracket, you make it so there is some play in your bolt holes that hold the bracket down and that will be your adjustment. As for a source, you can't beat Stock Drive Products. As for plastic or metal, I will go either way. I try to stick to the plastic just due to the weight but sometimes the one you need can only be found in metal.

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