Aquacraft's KING'S Ransom - RC Groups
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Oct 12, 2008, 11:26 AM

Aquacraft's KING'S Ransom

I bought two of these boats for the out-of-town grandchildren, but have not been able to test them in the local pond. A bathtub test was inconclusive, but the "instructions" create great doubt that this boat will sail. Thus my tentative plan is to re-rig one with a relatively small Mayflower rig. As far as I can make out I /we will have to free sail these boats after I make a new arrangement of braces, tacks and sheets. That is ok in our local pond, but I have a suspicion that the boat does not have sufficient stability to sail well. Thus plan B is to make a sailing keel of fiberglass with lead low down (say 14 inch draft as the depth of the pond at the edges is nominally 12 inches.) My recent discovery that AquaCraft has discontinued sales of this boat adds to my fears!
Have any of you bought and sailed this boat? One video shows one motoring with the square sails rolled up half way up the masts.
Any news or ideas will be appreciated.
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Oct 12, 2008, 07:26 PM
gpzy's Avatar
The Kings Ransom is not a true sailboat, it looks like one but it os powered by a 500 size electric motor. The ones I have seen seem to motor along just nicely.
Oct 12, 2008, 07:44 PM
CG Bob's Avatar
The KINGS RANSOM is a motor boat that happens to look like a pirate ship. You need to have the two square sails furled up when it is out on the water, AND you need to insure that the "sailing" keel is firmly attached to the bottom. You could replace the kit sails with new ones made of a fabric with a looser weave, like gauze or bridal veil material. You should also consider making new masts and spars out of something else, like carbon fiber or fiberglass. The kit masts and spars are plastic tubing.

I found that even a slight breeze can cause the model to heel over so that the lower lee rail is at or under the waters surface.
Oct 13, 2008, 12:13 PM
Those are good photos. My plan B is to install smaller wooden masts and install "Mayflower" like sails (except the spritsail as it would seem too complex for r/c. So my plan is to install a much stronger bowsprit for the jib and a lateen sail on the mizzen mast.) I am also wondering how I can convert the motor and prop into a "machine" to brace the sails about. Doing this through the hatches seems like brain surgury for a klutz so perhaps I can take off the prop and substitute a "wheel" that would be roped to another horizontal wheel on deck to which the braces and sheets would be attached. I guess that both square sails would have to have "bentick" books at the foot of the fore and main sail. Wow, what a problem. George
Oct 14, 2008, 10:47 AM
Registered User
Hi George, I too considered something like this when I started, however I decided that it wouldn't look like a proper model, although I'm sure its great fun to sail.
My first sailing model was an C18 type topsail schooner based on an old glassfibre tugboat hull I bought very cheaply from a second hand store. I glued liteply planks to the outside - a good cheat - and looks like a wooden model.
For my next project - Mary Rose - I had to build the hull from scratch. I got the lines plans for the hull from Sailing Ships by Colin Mudie scaled them up on the computer and added a superstructure similar to the model in the Mary Rose Trust's museum in Portsmouth.
The keel and frames are from 1/4'' birch ply and the planking is liteply cut into 5mm strips and secured with cocktail stick treenails and white glue, she is coated with glassfibre resin on the inside and several coats of satin varnish on the outside. decks are balsa sheet.
The hull is as near to scale as possible. The masts and spars dimensions are all based on various subdivisions of the length of keel and beam. These can be found in many good books on the subject.
It seemed a very daunting project, as I'd never built a plank on frame ship before, but by taking things very slowly and carefully it gradually came together, over a period of about 4 years on and off.
I found it very satisfying to build the hull in this way.
I've put a couple of pictures of her and an explanation of how I rigged the spritsail, in reply to your thread about the 'Mayflower'
Oct 14, 2008, 10:49 AM
Registered User
I have thought a lot about tacking with a lateen rig. The only way \i can see it is using a loop pulley system on deck and using two channels on the radio. And even then it gets complicated. And I don't think it would fit on this boat.
Oct 16, 2008, 03:39 PM

The Maryland Dove

Tigerbay: I have a promotional colored poster photo of the Maryland Dove sailing close hauled on the starboard tack with the spritsail, foresail, maintopsail and the lateen mizzen set and she is almost rail down and going well AND the lateen mizzen is on the weather side of the mast and seems to be drawing fine!!!
Similarly I have read that the three masted Mediterainean Xbecks normally sailed with one or two of their three lateen sails on the "wrong" side of their masts.
So I guess it works.
Oct 16, 2008, 03:58 PM

King's Ransom again

I think that I can re-rig the boat to FREE SAIL on our local pond even with a spritsail on the bowsprit if I build a smaller, lighter Mayflower rig. This will be one way sailing but I can have radio control of the rudder IF the boat has enough stability to stand up to the smaller rig.
The current lead saiing keel is poorly designed as it has most of the lead at the top of the sailing keel. If the boat then does not have sufficient stability with the smaller, lighter rig the next plan (C) is to take off the supplied sailing keel and make a new one out of fiberglass and lead shot (or hammer down one or two lead pigs into a bar shape) and extend it down so the draft is about 12-14 inches (the nominal depth of the pond at the edges is 12 inches.) (The battery for the supplied motor and rudder is relattively heavy but if I remove it I will have to move the center of gravity of the new sailing keel a little forward- which is no problem, but I would lose radio control of the rudder and the boat would become a completely free freesailer. Which is ok for our pond. The grandchildren are going to Holland and will not be back until June so I have some time to work on the models.
Oct 25, 2008, 11:29 AM

Mary Rose

Hi B. Roberts Your Mary Rose is a great looking ship. What do you do about sheets and tacks on the courses?
Oct 25, 2008, 12:08 PM
Registered User

Mary Rose

Hi George, the sheets of the courses lead back from the sail through a brass ferrule in the side, across the ship and out the other side to the other corner of the sail. They just form a continuous loop of the appropriate length. They are hooked on to a wire loop in the corners of the sail so that I can remove the main course. I have made a fake furled sail to clip on in its place. Since these pics were taken, I have sewn thin but stiff wire in the sides of the courses to stop them lifting as you can see them doing in in the stern shot.

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