Kyosho Harbor Star - RC Groups
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May 12, 2008, 02:42 AM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
Build Log

Kyosho Harbor Star

Kyosho started a line of wood ARF boats called "Maritime Classics" several years ago. The first in the series was the "Stream Liner". The second was the "Harbor Star" . The third, which was pictured on the box of the Stream Liner but never actually produced, was another wood boat except it was an outboard powered speed boat. It did not have a name given to it. I suppose the boats did not sell as well as Kyosho hoped and they dropped the line altogether.

I bought a Stream Liner and decorated it with a lot of accessories. It was a very nice runabout. I sold it, and someone else is now enjoying it.

I purchased this Harbor Star used off ebay about four years ago. It has been sitting on a shelf collecting dust ever since. Now it's time to get her running.

The boat is missing a couple of deck fittings, unfortunately. Spares are of course not available. Otherwise, the boat is in decent shape for being used and I can tell from the motor it was run quite a bit. Interestingly enough, the former owner never greased the propshaft because it was dry and clean as could be.

Anyway, I cleaned the dust off and set to work. The first order of business was to remove the mechanical speed control. Next, out came the stock motor. It is a 550 but from prior experience I know the stock motors Kyosho uses are very, very tame.

Then I proceeded to vacuum the interior out, remove old tape and velcro, and wipe down everything with alcohol. Lastly, I removed most of the stickers the former owner had put on in far too many places.

I installed a new Hobbico (Hitec) steering servo, Hitec receiver, and Mtroniks ESC. I am using an RC-Hydros "Pistix" interface for the ESC and my Hitec Lynx 3D pistol grip radio.

For the motor, I installed a Traxxas Titan 12. This is a performance bargain! It's a 550 fan cooled motor that is 12 turns. It is very powerful, and on a 6-cell pack runs cool as a cucumber. I have one of these motors in the Pro Fisherman Bass Boat with the EP-1 outboard and it is a champ!

As I do with all motors that come with connectors, I removed them and installed Power Poles. I also installed 12ga silicone wires.
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May 12, 2008, 11:40 AM
Boaters are nice people.
Nice work Tom!

What's that nice gizmo you use to keep the motor vertical in?

I noticed you only mounted two caps, I usually mount a third from brushtab to brushtab.

I've got my eye on this boat for some three years now, it sits on display in a modelshop in Baunatal/Kassel (Germany); every time I visit the shop I ask them to drop the price to a level I'd prefer, every time they decline.

We'll see who has the longest breath...

Regards, Jan.
May 12, 2008, 12:00 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
Jan, the motor comes with those caps installed. I did not add or otherwise change them.

The "Motor Work Station" is a marvelous tool from RPM Products:

As a point of interest, this Kyosho boat is modeled after a real Chris Craft. The 28-foot "Sedan Limousine" built in 1929. Only three were ever built. There is a restored version at Lake Tahoe named Tuxedo Taxi:
May 12, 2008, 12:19 PM
Registered User
charlie eaton's Avatar
Keep up the good work Tom and more pictures!!!
May 12, 2008, 12:54 PM
Registered User
Gravman's Avatar
Agreed more pictures please. This will be very nice when you are done.
May 12, 2008, 12:58 PM
Is life for real?
pkboo's Avatar


Hair, hair.... oh OK Lucky you it's not curled, that would have really make you ponder ehh Nice addition to the fleet Kmot. Boo
May 12, 2008, 03:03 PM
Boats on the brain!!
green-boat's Avatar
One nice thing about those Kyosho series of boats was the fittings. When I finally decided to stock pile a few of those fittings, I found out that the line of boats was discontinued. In a nutshell, Jan, get that boat while you still can.
May 12, 2008, 03:28 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
More pictures?? I love you guys!!

Okay, I got the boat into running condition today. In my impatience, I nearly destroyed the boat!

But I am jumping the gun.........

First, I drilled new holes for the motor mount screws and installed the motor mount. Then I made a linkage for the steering servo and installed a different servo arm than the one that was on there. I tested the radio, and had to reverse the steering input on the Tx.

I was so anxious to test the boat in the water. So I did not install the rear seat and hatch cover. I just figured I would 'putt' around the pool a bit and see how it was.

Disaster was narrowly avoided!

What happened, was that the boat got water inside of it. I'm still not sure how. It didn't look like it was splashing over the top and getting in through the open hatches. But it may have. In any case, after a few minutes of running the motor went to full throttle. I let go of the trigger but no response! I still had steering, and had it in a hard left command when the receiver went totally dead. So now the boat was at full throttle, in a hard left turn. And I was thinking I was about to see the boat hit the pool wall and explode!

But, it kept turning a very tight circle. Fortunately!! I got my wits back, and went to one side of the pool and as the boat came close I tried to snag it but only managed to hit the flag mast. This in turn changed the way the boat arc was going. But the next go around or so I managed to snag the boat. I lifted it out of the water and it was heavy! Because during the time it was at full throttle in the hard left turn it was kicking up a big bow wave which was flooding the inside of the boat. So with the prop screaming I reached in and disconnected the battery.

I was ever so thankful the boat had not been damaged. I removed the plugs from the receiver and took the receiver out of the boat. Then I figured "oh, I better go get my camera and get a picture!" lol... so I did. Even after all that time you can see the water is still turbulent in the pool.

Lesson learned? Don't run a boat without the hatch covers under any circumstances!

I used a heat gun on low and tried to dry out the Rx as quickly as possible. The ESC is waterproof but I am not sure about the Pistix.

Next step is to put the Rx in a balloon. Then only run the boat with the hatches in place and good seals.

Oh, and I discovered another thing I had not noticed before. The roof is not flush with the cab. There is a gap on either side. The cabin got quite wet inside, water was puddled on the floor. Might not be a problem though, under "normal" running circumstances.

pkboo: lol...

One last thing, this boat is fast!
May 12, 2008, 03:48 PM
Registered User
dash8man's Avatar
Kmot, a video of the entire test run would have been priceless! Cheers.

May 12, 2008, 04:16 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
You know, I almost did that. I have set my camcorder atop my tripod many times before. Too bad I didn't this morning!
May 12, 2008, 06:13 PM
Big Boats Rule!
boater_dave's Avatar
If you ve one of these, but don't like the cabin, try this...

BTW, good job on the rescue. And they always say most accidents happen close to home.
May 12, 2008, 06:47 PM
Shanghai'd Expat
herrmill's Avatar
Nice runabout you have there, Tom! Looking forward to seeing her at Hansen.
May 12, 2008, 08:46 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
I dried everything out and tested it. All was good. I installed the receiver in a water tight box and sealed it with tape and hot glue. I installed the rear hatch and screwed it down. I installed the center hatch and held it in place with a rubber band per factory specification. I then took it to the backyard and did a range check on my radio. Everything was good to go.

I put the boat in the pool, and noticed the steering was good to the right but not to the left. I checked and saw the rear seat/hatch was interfering. No problem, I can fix that later. It turns to the right nice and tight. So I decide to run it.

I barely crack the throttle. I get the boat moving at light throttle and it is hardly making a wake. I complete two laps of the pool and it suddenly goes to wide open throttle. I am now holding it in a tight right hand turn. There is no water getting inside so if I let go of the steering it goes straight. So I keep it in a right turn and try to get myself close to the wall and get ready to catch it. As soon as I let go of the steering wheel it slams into the side of the pool.

The motor is still at wide open throttle and parts are falling off into the pool. I get the boat out and unplug it. Sever damage has occured.

There was no water inside. The first time this happened I blamed myself for not having the hatches on. I now know that was not the reason. The steering failed last time in the hard left because after it had been running at WOT and flooding with water it did kill the Rx. This time it could not. But the motor was at WOT due to an electronic problem.

I have used this same Mtroniks ESC on two other boats and never had a single glitch. I had it installed in that Sea Ray just last week. The only thing different this time is the installation of the Pistix interface.

The boat hit so hard, it knocked the roof off. The motor moved forward a 1/4" and broke through the interior wall. Several fittings came off. The point of the bow is crushed. The cutwater is severely dented. The wood at the bow is splintered.

Yeah, this sucks.......

Lots of repair work ahead now.
May 12, 2008, 09:43 PM
Irregular... need..fiber!
HorribleHarry's Avatar
Geez Tom, I'm sorry this happened. I know you can resurrect it though.
keep us posted on what might have caused it.
May 12, 2008, 09:48 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
It's either the esc or the Pistix. The esc has a history of working properly. This is the first time I have used the Pistix.

Can you guess what component is going to get sh*t canned?

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