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Member postings for Dave Gidman

Here is a list of all the postings Dave Gidman has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: J-Class
27/12/2019 11:02:30

Sorry Ray, you’re right 3mm is a bit narrow for such a large hull, don’t know what I was thinking.

I’ve now finished the hull building board and formers/shadows etc. I’ve just committed myself to building two more Starlets and I’ve got my eye on a footy kit to try so my year is planned out! Oh, and a kitchen to fit to keep the wife happy. All the best to everyone reading this.

20/10/2019 14:21:47

Thanks Chris, yes I’ve been there and downloaded a Nottingham 90 build manual but as you say they base them on a grp hull. I’m planning on reading it this week.

Ray, 3mm balsa planking for the hull should be fine once fiberglassed etc I’m also planning to leave the formers/shadows in, cutting them back and leaving three whole to support the deck. (Sorry I’m not so good with the technical terms) I built my US1M the same way but took all the formers out. That’s the plan upto now anyway.
Just got back from B&Q with bits for my hull building board. I’m using the kitchen table at the min but swmbo will get hacked off pretty soon and I haven’t a clue where it’ll go, it’s massive!!

19/10/2019 23:01:22

I’m not too experienced Tim, as I say I can blag my way through most things. Google is my best friend!!! That, and I love sanding!
The website I got it from gives a lot of details about the boat but I think they were using the hull as a mould to make a fibreglass hull from so it doesn’t go into detail about the the rest of the construction, rudder, sail control etc. There’s a zip file containing all the frames as pdf files that print out the correct size, so that’s what I’ve done. From what I can gather there’s two hull types. A Nottingham with lead ballast inside the keel (which this is) and a Canterbury with a lead keel that bolts up to the bottom of the boat. There’s a decent frame mounting plan and a sail plan, all of which an experienced boat builder would understand but it’ll take me a while to get my head round. It was a guy called ‘Claudio’ that did the frame plans in A4 with Coreldraw apparently (on from 2010) I plan on planking the hull and then covering with fibreglass and epoxy, I don’t really understand why they’re going to the trouble of making a female mould from the hull, but hey. If nothing else I’ll end up with a nice looking hull then I’ll come up with a plan for everything else.first thing is to find some 3mm balsa sheet 1.5m long if that’s possible.

18/10/2019 16:55:40

Hi Ladies and Gents,

I’m sort of a beginner but have built a one metre racing yacht and a Vic Smeed Starlet from scratch, both sailing, and are lovely boats thanks to info gleaned from here.
Anyway I really, really, want to build a J-class. I’ve downloaded the formers for a 1/28 scale ‘Enterprise’ and am about to construct the hull building board. The hull will be approx 1.3m apparently and made from balsa strips, fiberglass cloth and epoxy (if I attempt it). Any info anyone can give me would be fantastic. Building materials, websites to look at etc. I’m planning this as a long term project as I haven’t got a clue. I can blag my way through building the hull I suspect but up to now haven’t a scooby’s where to go from there. I realise this post is a bit sketchy but that’s how I roll!! Thanks in advance

Thread: Question About V. Smeed's 'Starlet'
18/10/2019 16:19:10

I laminated a few bits of scrap balsa for the bow on my Starlet and shaped it by hand. A block of balsa would be good then whittle and sand it to shape. A very satisfying job actually.

Thread: Vic Smeed Starlet
29/05/2019 15:29:40

Starlet sails great. Racing rudder works a treat. Although where I sail is surrounded by trees so the wind blows a bit strange and it has loads of weed coming and the water is really low so not ideal.

I positioned the rudder servo slightly aft of where it supposed to be and I cut a flush fitting hatch to give me access. Will have to weigh the boat because it looks a little high in the water but it’s not a problem. I coated the hull in light weight glass fibre sheet and epoxy sanded smooth then gave it 4 or 5 coats of Halfords gloss white enamel, wet and dried between each coat then gave it a couple of coats of clear lacquer. Sails from Frank at Nylet as i’m not confident enough to have a go at sails and Jobs a good ‘un.

29/05/2019 14:56:58

Racing rudder, Skegness and rudder

29/05/2019 14:55:20

Starlet dry

29/05/2019 14:54:04

Starlet 1st sail

17/10/2018 20:55:56

Quick update. Done the keel bulb halves and my face hasn't fallen off and my lungs, liver and kidneys are still functioning I think, thanks to the windy weather we've been having, (and the PPE)

Had to order a small amount of scrap lead from fleabay. The Lorry battery didn't give me as much lead as I was expecting. I got 4lb 5oz, basically the terminals and the bits connecting the plates.

I first emptied out the acid then neutralised the plates with a bicarbonate of soda solution, left it overnight and emptied it out. Then with the help of an angle grinder I opened the battery, I had overalls, glasses, facemask and gloves on obviously. The terminals and bits connecting the plates were easy to liberate and melt down with a blow lamp the plates however needed more processing than I was able to give them, they yealded very little lead. The amount of energy used to get the lead from the plates outweighed the amount of lead I got so I gave up.

Anyway, I'm glad I did it, it was a dirty job but I won't be doing it again! I'll buy it from eBay!

Sail winch and rudder servo fitted and working, just got to work out how to get the sheets through the deck and the cabin roof, made both booms as per the plans from 3/8 inch spruce. Next step is the mast, deck on and cabin built, obviously after I've sorted the sheeting conundrum.

22/09/2018 23:59:09

Thanks Neil, I'm still having a drama posting pics but I'll stick them in my album.

Have done the hull and rudder. There's quite a bit of chamfering to do before the panels can be fitted. I've gone with the larger "racing" rudder for straight line stability in the end instead of the Skeg.

I've crafted the bow from balsa which has turned out really good then this week I'm covering the hull with lightweight fibreglass cloth and epoxy and waterproofing the inside of the hull ready to start planning the sail controls etc. Still need to purchase a mast and fittings etc but I'm waiting till I've got the sail winch fitted and fairlead positions sorted. I'm pretty new to this so updating the plans and instructions from the 1960's takes some thinking about. I'm possibly going to make the hatch larger (for access) by making the whole roof removable somehow, I'll see. Anyway good luck with your build.

Regards Dave

02/09/2018 09:37:27

It’s all gone pear shaped. No photo’s. will keep trying. They’re in the albums section under “Dave’s projects”.


Edited By Dave Gidman on 02/09/2018 09:38:42

Edited By Dave Gidman on 02/09/2018 09:45:38

02/09/2018 09:37:27

Sorry about the pants photo’s but that’s the rudder. Obviously needs shaping and it’s laminated from 3 pieces of ply. Hopefully it is a rudder, can’t see what else it could be and I can’t see another rudder shaped thing in the kit.


02/09/2018 09:26:08

02/09/2018 09:24:26

01/09/2018 21:59:29

Just a quickie,

I received my wood from Belair and in the kit is another rudder and it’s absolutely mahoosive! Easily 3 times the size of the original. You obviously use it instead of the original rudder and Skeg which are supplied as well. Anyone used it? I was kindly sent a copy of a magazine article in which it was advised to widen the keel fin by 3 or 4 inches and increase the rudder by 50% to help with side drift. Will this huge rudder save doing the other alterations?

I’ve just ordered the wood to finish the rest of the hull. Any help would be greatly received.

26/08/2018 00:45:02

Thanks for the concern. Got a Lorry battery but I haven't decided whether to use it or not. If I do I'll be using all the PPE i can get on. It's free and I'm a tight northerner!! Sulphuric acid is a drain cleaner and neutralised by a solution of Bicarbonate of soda apparently. There's loads of video's on YouTube of people doing it so it's a toss up. I made the Moulds today so it'll take weeks for them to dry properly.


23/08/2018 14:19:56

Hopefully I can start soon, wood’s coming tomorrow, Got a copy of The building instructions just need lead and the rest of the wood for the hull etc. Thanks to everyone who replied, As a beginner I greatly appreciate the help. Regards Dave

22/08/2018 10:59:55

Thanks for he replies Fellas.

Charles, I've very kindly had an offer of a scan of the "Simple model yachts" book, which I believe may include casting the lead keel. Thanks for the offer. That's good info for the future mind, I bought my last keel bulb but I'm keen to have a go at making most things.

Malcolm, I've been gleaning info from YouTube video's on casting lead. Most of them pre-heat the mould with a blow lamp or some such fire breathing apparatus to eleviate the thermal shock I think. Never done it myself but looking forward to having a go. Even harvesting the lead from an old Lorry battery, watch this space for the accident report lol.



Edited By Dave Gidman on 22/08/2018 11:02:02

21/08/2018 14:25:15

 Hi Ladies and Gents, This is only my second build, the first being a US1M racing yacht that took me 6 years to build as I knew absolutely nothing about boats or their rigging etc or radio controls.So quite a learning curve.

I've got the plans and i'm waiting on the wood kit from Belair for the Starlet this week hopefully.

I'm itching to get started so I've mocked up the keel bulb half from balsa, sanded it and painted it ready to make a 2 piece plaster mould. Now, no doubt there's quite a few folk out there who've built one of these, am I right in thinking I have to cast two lead halves or can I use lead shot and epoxy? Is there enough room for 2.5lb of lead shot in one half?

No doubt this will be the first of many inane questions and hopefully I'll try and do a build log for the simpletons out there like myself. Any help would be greatly received. Regards Dave



Edited By Dave Gidman on 21/08/2018 14:30:29

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