Scratch Building a Sailboat From Plans... - RC Groups
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Sep 25, 2008, 04:34 PM
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Scratch Building a Sailboat From Plans...

I'm fairly new to building RC sailboats from scratch & I want advice on what methods are out there.

Also, how to build from actual plans of the sailboat I want to build which is a 1956 Hinckley Custom 36' Yawl.

I managed to locate several plans at a historical plans library but I'm sure what type of plans I'll need besides the lines & sail plan/outboard view...

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Sep 25, 2008, 08:51 PM
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Try doing a search for 'build log' on this site, there are several. But look at other boats as well as sail boats. The hull construction for sail boats is similar to that used for many cargo vessels and other working boats, that are plank on frame. And laying the deck will be similar.
Even if you decide to make mould for a fibergalss hull the methods for making the plug are similar for these types of ships. Usually plank on frame/bulkhead, or carving foam.

On (this site also has build masterclasses that give step by step instructions).

Also Google 'build log models' or variations on that theme.

Regarding plans. If you have the lines you can build the hull. What you will need is some knowledge/idea of how you are going to rig your control lines for the sails, as this will effect where you put your servos, batteries etc.
If the boat is less than one meter, a sail arm servo is a simple option, but you must leave room for the control lines under the deck. So a plank on frame construction (not plank on bulkhead) is needed.
Some people prefer to use a sail winch servo. This gives you the option to have your control lines running under the deck or on top of the deck.

If you have the sail plan, then you can make the sails, masts and booms. You will need to simplify the rigging from that of the original boat. You do not have a crew to drop sails and alter standing rigging. So it needs to be able to operate/tack freely.

As long as the plans you have show the basic plan and elevation of the deck housing, that is all you need for the superstructure. Remember you will have not detail below decks.

Think about the level of detail you want. My boats have a 'stand off' level of detail. At 10m out on the pond you cannot see that much of the detail anyway.
You may choose to go for a high level of detail. But remember that every extra pulley (even if decorative only), every little bit of equipment etc, has the potential to foul the running rigging. And siting them shoule be carefuly considered in planning; or should be done after the boat is fully rigged, so you can see if it snags before gluing down.

Beyond the plan
You will need to design/re-design your keel. As you are probably aware, when you scale down you scale down the volumes on the vessel by a cube root, and the areas (e.g. sails) are reduced by the square root. Wind and water cannot be scaled. So the sails are effectivley too large when scaled down. The heeling forces from the wind will easily overpower the boat, so you will need more ballast lower down. An exetended/drop keel with a keel bulb may well be needed if you want to sail in anything more than light airs. If you are unsure if you need a drop keel, then plan it into the build. It is easy then not to use it, the alternative is a very difficult retro fit.
One other option is to stretch the vertical dimensions of the hull, especially at the keel (on a long keeled boat like yours) so that it is deeper than scale. This will allow you to get the ballast much lower down to help counter the heeling forces. As most of this is underwater it will not be noticed that the boat is out of proportion in this plane.

There are some good books by Traplet Publishing some of these specialise in sail boat modelling. They should give you more information about basic design considerations, including ballasting. I have two books on historic sail, a different subject, and they are worth the money.

Hope this helps.
Last edited by tigerbay; Sep 26, 2008 at 04:38 AM.

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