Building a Modern Tug Mast - RC Groups
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Dec 17, 2007, 11:23 AM
Captain at the helm

Building a Modern Tug Mast

I am a new member as I have been looking at the site for some time I thought I should join an become a member.

I am about to start my first attempt at building a TUG and I want to create my own mast, I do not know where to start so thought I would ask the members for some advice.

I want to build the mast from brass tubing, the TUG will have modern lighting i.e. all round vision so it will have quite a lot of lights, as in navigation, towing and all other lights required by a modern TUG.

So what I need help and advice on is the mast construction and how to do the wiring, I hope some members can steer me in the right direction.

Yours Aye

captain at the helm
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Dec 17, 2007, 11:30 AM
Give the dog a bone
Boatfox's Avatar
Best bet is to look through some other build threads. Tito has exactly what you want starting on page 9 Tito Build Ask away and I'm sure others will chime in with suggestions. Take pictures too.
Dec 17, 2007, 11:42 AM
Mmm, tugs...
patmat2350's Avatar

Learn to solder! Learn to SILVER solder! Plain solder doesn't have adequate strength for butted structural joints (for those times when you don't have any other mechanical joint).

Plan your joins so that you use high temp silver solder first, then stick little things on with electrical solder. Also use heat sinks, heat pastes, etc. to protect previous joints. Search at places like under "solder"...

Commit yourself to making fixtures to hold parts for soldering... it's nice when one part can be drilled to accept another, then you get the benefit of an assembly aid. See the ceramic soldering pad at Micromark which accepts push-pins.

Minimize the number of wires by running the hot lead(s) up the tube, then using the mast itself for a ground (Tom Gorman tip).

Have fun, good luck, and post pix!

Pat M
Dec 17, 2007, 03:52 PM
Registered User
What scale are you doing this in?
H o scale bulbs do wonders ,l.e.ds work great if the scale is on the larger size.
lets see some picks
Dec 17, 2007, 04:29 PM
Retired for now
try his link. If it doesn't work look at the very top of the topics under "scale boats" where it says wiring diagrams. Theres on there just for the mast on any boat. Add or subtract from it what you want on your tug. Pete
Dec 17, 2007, 05:10 PM
r/c ships and workboats
Welcome to the group. Question, as to what type of modern tug mast as there are different types base on the type tug as well. Some are square tubed, triangled, and others round tubed. If you follow all the previous advise, you should be able to create any style of modern mast.
Dec 17, 2007, 07:47 PM
CG Bob's Avatar
You want to look at Part C of the NavRules, which deals with lights and shapes. The tugboat will have a specific set of navigation lights (side lights, mast head light(s), & stern light) for its length, over or under 50 meters. The actual towing lights are the same regardless of the size of the tugboat or towing vessel; and indicate the length of tow, over or under 200m. Be prepared to install a few switches (manual or rc) as well, as not all of the lights are used by all tugs all of the time. Six switches will get you the tug light combinations shown here: 1 - side lights and mast head light; 2 - white stern light (could be combined with #1, not good for some Inland rules); 3 - 2nd masthead light; 4 - 3rd masthead light; 5 - yellow towing light; 6 - 3nd yellow towing light for Inland rules.
The following diagrams are generic in nature, and are of various towing combinations. There are other lights needed as well, for vessel rectricted in ability to manuever or vessel not under comand.
Last edited by CG Bob; Dec 17, 2007 at 08:03 PM.
Dec 17, 2007, 08:39 PM
Captain at the helm

I am overwhelmed at the response and help so far!

The TUG will be 1.50 scale; I am not sure just what mast will be yet probably hollow brass and maybe part enclosed at the base.

I intend to try and create one from different types by using what I like from ones I like.

It will have quite a lot of lights based on the current rules for sight rather than direction.

I am new to this so have to first of all get the right tools for the job, and of course the right materials such as brass rod and hollow brass tubing, silver solder and the right gun to do the job not sure what that will be?

Once I get underway I will post pictures of my progress but it will be after the festive season now.

Thanks for all the advice and help and please if you think you have more it will be humbly received.


Captain at the helm
Dec 17, 2007, 10:59 PM
USA'd ex Brit
toesup's Avatar
Originally Posted by captain at the
....please if you think you have more it will be humbly received.
Have a look at some of the details on this..

Might give you something to aim for...
Dec 22, 2007, 12:52 PM
Registered User
The main mast of the AHTS Smit Kamara under construction in 1:50.
All done with brass tube and rod, and plain solder.

And an other one
Dec 22, 2007, 01:38 PM
Sea Dragon-Lover
Umi_Ryuzuki's Avatar

Gorgeous work. Is this AHTS a new addition to your Wagenborg fleet, or
will you paint it in the actual Smit Colors?
Start a new thread with a build up when you get a chance we want to see
the rest of the boat....
Dec 23, 2007, 06:38 AM
Registered User
The "Wagenborg fleet" is no longer mine. Last spring I have sold the last ship of the fleet, the Waterman, to make space for the Smit Kamara.
In schipmodelling I have gone back to my "roots", and this is building (offshore related vessels) in 1:50.
This is a scale I like the most.
So the Smit Kamara comes in the orignal Smit colour, and she will fit perfectly with the other ships in my fleet, the AHTS Smit-LLoyd 123 and the most beautiful tug ever build, the oceangoing salvage tug Zwarte Zee.

A build log is a bit difficult for me, because my english is not that good to discribe in details how i have done things.
I will try to write a very summier log with pics.
One pictures tells more the hunderd words
Dec 23, 2007, 01:01 PM
Give the dog a bone
Boatfox's Avatar
Originally Posted by Adam66
.....A build log is a bit difficult for me, because my english is not that good to discribe in details how i have done things.......
Yes pictures please. We appreciate it.
Dec 23, 2007, 06:02 PM
master boat slacker

she will be a very nice ship in 1/50

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