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Jun 25, 2008, 12:34 PM
Tinkerer in Training
RGinCanada's Avatar
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Build Log

Salvaging a Lindberg Diesel Tug

Part I (the long-winded back story)

The Lindberg Diesel tug was my "Springer Class". It was a quick, cheap and and easy build to introduce me to R/C boating. I built this boat around 1998(?) with a hacked servo mod and a cheap motor stuck to the hull with fabric hockey tape.

Anyone who's built one knows that the parts don't fit together terribly well,
and if you use the molded in guides to assemble the upper works, the wheelhouse winds up looking like it has a bad overbite. The boat was slapped together with no attention to detailing, a crappy brush paint job, and I even managed to install the lightboards wrong.

Having said that, it was a riot to sail. We would shoot rapids, run it on an open lake in chop, and drop it anywhere could find water. Without fail, every boating session would end when the little tug sank, stern first.

Eventually, I got a Victoria sailboat, and scratchbuilt a pair of boats for my boys. The tug was pillaged for its radio, the servo driver "esc" got clipped for its leads, and the tugboat suffered many other indignities as it languished in the basement.

No matter how pathetic it looked, I couldn't bring myself to throw it out. I tripped over it again the other day, and starting wistfully looking at it... Hmmm...

I think folks, the time has come to resurrect my Lindberg tug!

PS: You can still pick these up for around thirty bucks, if you look around.
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Jun 25, 2008, 01:19 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by RGinCanada
stuck to the hull with fabric hockey tape.
Hockey tape! Only in Canada!

This should be a fun thread! Sounds like a lot of great times with that little boat!
Jun 25, 2008, 02:07 PM
"day ain't over yet-"
der kapitan's Avatar
RG, the crappy paint will come right off without damaging the plastic if you use brake fluid.

(old IPMS trick)

If your glue job was as bad as the paint, the parts should pry apart fairly easily---.

Hockey tape, Eh?
Jun 25, 2008, 02:44 PM
Tinkerer in Training
RGinCanada's Avatar
Thread OP
Part II (the plan)

I need to set expectations here. This boat is never going to be transformed into a work of art to be proudly displayed on the mantel. I am shooting for "mediocre but reliable" ( Aim high! ). My work time will be divided between this and the sardine carrier.

On the mediocre side:
No added rivets. No working lights. No detailed cabin. No clever scratch-built scale pieces. No million hour paint job.

On the reliable side:
No leaks, a new hacked servo esc (for old-times sake), a no-nonsense paint job, and a better assembly job.

Aero and kapitan:

The hockey tape actually worked surprisingly well . The current paint job is a tasty blend of Testor's enamels and various acrylics. I don't think anything safely removes enamel from styrene but sandpaper. I've used brake fluid with ABS, it is safe with styrene too? Photos of the ugly beast to follow.
Jun 25, 2008, 03:19 PM
Kurt Greiner
seaphoto's Avatar
By the way, anyone who builds a Lindberg tug, and would like way better performance should consider purchasing one of Microglass' replacement hulls. The water flow to the propeller and the slight increase in draft gives you a much better running model. I have one of those hulls for my future YTB project.

Jun 25, 2008, 03:30 PM
Registered User
Try using a med torque servo for power plant 60-80 in-lb with a nimh AA 1700 4 pack and it will do nicely. Mine is in for a conversion to Kap's fiberglass hull, may have to go to sub-C's to ballast out correctly.
Jun 25, 2008, 03:35 PM
Tinkerer in Training
RGinCanada's Avatar
Thread OP
But Kurt, that's cheating

The hull for the Lindberg tug is the Generic Tug Hull No.13. If I were to go that, route, I'd probably scratch build the whole thing, thought, because the Lindberg quality is pretty dodgy. Why ruin a beautiful glass hull with an ill-fitting deck and wheelhouse?
Jun 25, 2008, 04:04 PM
Retired for now
Say RG; You know a guy in Guelph named Harold Hoffman? Owns a body shop? Pete
Jun 25, 2008, 04:55 PM
Tinkerer in Training
RGinCanada's Avatar
Thread OP
Not personally, but dollars to donuts if I mention his name, someone will. Guelph is pretty small
Jun 25, 2008, 05:15 PM
Retired for now
Originally Posted by RGinCanada
Not personally, but dollars to donuts if I mention his name, someone will. Guelph is pretty small
Harold is my neighbor in the winter. I think he does something with Mustang cars like restoring them or something. Really nice guy and a good friend. Say hi if you come across him. get him to build a boat. Pete
Jun 25, 2008, 09:02 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by RGinCanada
[B]The hockey tape actually worked surprisingly well

Hee hee, I'm sure it does! Just giving you a hard time, re: hockey!
Jun 25, 2008, 10:50 PM
Registered User
I have always liked the lines of the Pyro/Lindberg diesel tug. I have a kit that hasn't been started; sounds like the Microglass hull would be the way to go with it, especially if it gives you a little bit more freeboard aft.
Alternatively, a somewhat larger hull would be even better. The plastic model of the "Cheryl Ann" of TV fame many years ago made into an appealing tug model that was a more practical r/c size. Every once in a great while, one shows up on eBay and goes for a healthy price, regardless of condition or completeness.
Jun 25, 2008, 11:04 PM
Registered User
P_J_Glor's Avatar
The Pyro/Lindberg tug is the same configuration as the Model Shipways static model of the Despatch No. 9. You can find pictures here: and download the manual from the lower right side of the web page for some hints on constructing detail items.

Pete G.
Jun 26, 2008, 12:04 AM
Registered User
rlboats2003's Avatar


The CA was a popular late 1950's tug boat- that commends a higher price - If you don't want to pay the high Price consider this the Fineline Herclues from the mid -1960's It on commands about 1/3 the cost of a Cheyrl Ann.

The other thing you may want to consider is Hartman Model Boats Little Toot. This is a gel-coated fiberglass hull similiar to the Cheyrl Ann The Plans package contains a long and short cabin version.

Hope this helps,
Jun 26, 2008, 04:39 AM
Tinkerer in Training
RGinCanada's Avatar
Thread OP
Oh, she's an ugly litttle beastie, and has taken much abuse!

I'm pretty sure the reason she kept sinking on me was because of the large opening around the rudder works. I had tried to seal this off, but the bulwark piece fits poorly and there is a gap right at the stern where the deck piece is notched for the rudder arm.

I'm convinced that if I can seal this up, the boat will stay afloat, and the low freeboard is no longer a worry.

I started by filling that gap with styrene.

The bulwark is a single piece that is about 1/8" to 3/16" too long for the model. (mine anyway) and when you glue it down there is a gap at the bow, or the stern, and it doesn't conform to the hull. I pulled out my trusty razor saw and chopped it in half.

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