Steam Yacht Gondola
CHRIS BROWN, an Australian reader, describes his model
For the running gear, I bought a close to scale three bladed propeller and propshaft. Creating the cabin and engine room was fun, as was using veneer strip for deck planking and other features, but I decided that I didn’t like the current addition of a mini-bridge. This type of bridge is probably necessary to comply with current maritime legislation but does nothing for Gondola’s good looks, so because I had an old picture from years gone by, I put a pulpit and wheel behind the cabin, just like in those days.
I had help from a local shop which caters for those ladies who make their own jewellery. It had amongst other items; little frames for the travel pictures to go in the saloons; beads to make bollards and little brass pins for supporting the whistle pipe on the funnel. I like to find things like this to use rather than shelling out for the more usual (and often quite expensive) model boat bits. The whistle itself is a bullet crimp connector with the insulation cut off and it looks the business! Indeed, I have been asked how much I had paid for a whistle that looks so real.
Not everything was perfect though!
The model was actually too small to change from electric to steam power at a later date, my being advised that there was insufficient width or length to accommodate a practical boiler and engine because of the internal stern layout of the model. A two metre long model would have been better in which to fit a steam plant. On the plus side though, a metre size model is more practical for display in the lounge.
The calculated displacement meant that up to 1.5kg of ballast might be needed, so this was tested in the back yard pool – well I do live in Queensland, Australia! Anyway, using 400gm food tins to check my calculations, it so happened a maximum of 1200gm (1.2kg) would do the job not allowing for other detail items to be fitted. In the end, 1kg of lead sinkers spread along the hull together with the motor, battery and r/c gear was near enough, leaving scope for further adjustments later if need be.
As I endeavoured to check the response to a bit of helm, the model shot across the pool and tried to climb out over the pool edge when it reached the far side. The shapely prow did not help as it caused the bows to rise up over the edge of the pool and consequentially the stern sank under the water surface. Rather rapidly, I legged it round the pool and rescued the model, but the damage was done and the electrics were sadly ‘kaput’ as well as some model damage.
(Chris Brown is a member of the Triple S Model Boat Club which meets at Boondal Entertainment Centre, Ponds, Brisbane, Australia)
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