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Member postings for Dave Cooper 6

Here is a list of all the postings Dave Cooper 6 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter
03/03/2021 10:44:08

Research has thrown up some line drawings of hulls. This one could be "Kindly Light" or, a near approximation.

kindly light hull drawings.jpg

Armed with a pair of proportional dividers, I could do with some advice on how to work towards a set of working plans. Sail, Rigging and deck details still under research...


Dave C

Thread: KeilKraft Mermaid
25/02/2021 15:27:00


Without trawling back through the whole thread, I can't remember if you've fitted a fuse ?

If not, it's generally regarded as good practice to fit one. With a multi-meter you can check how much current the motor is drawing - make two checks unloaded and loaded (in water).

Watts = volts x amps, this will give a rough figure to work with as battery voltage can vary. As an example, my 16" RAF launch with a 385 motor runs quite happily with a 2 amp car-type fuse.


Dave C

Thread: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter
17/02/2021 11:00:10

Slowly working my way through Tom Cunliffe's excellent book "Pilot Cutters Under Sail". There are several lines drawings including the Jolie Brise.

There is also mention of a very fast Bristol Channel cutter "Kindly Light", commissioned and operated by an enterprising fellow from Barry, South Wales. This rumoured to be the fastest of its era...(just before WW1, and no drawings found as yet).

I have also found other lines drawings on-line. These seem to have variations on the classic 'wineglass' hull sections. Pro's and con's are alluded to but all feature deep 'dead drops' at the stern.

As Tom's book covers Northern Europe as well as Britain, there may well be other gems to discover. The research continues....

Thread: MFA Spearfish unfinished kit
16/02/2021 10:47:02

Hi Mike

Welcome to the forum.

I was just thinking that after 35 years 'up aloft', all might not be well in the leaks department. May be an idea to pop it into the bath /garden pond /children's paddling pool etc and see if it floats....

It would be a pity to do a lot of other work and then find you have more fundamental problems to solve first.

All being well, I'm sure the others will be able to advise you on motors, ESC's batteries and superstructure (I'm not really qualified here).

Happy modelling,

Dave C

Thread: Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter
12/02/2021 18:59:15

20 cwt = 1 ton, those were the days Tim ! I vaguely remember, from schooldays, "Rods, Poles and Perches" as well. I wonder if they were ever nautical terms...or, agricultural perhaps ?

I think I've found Tom Cunliffe's book on Amazon - seems to have v.good reviews. I'll look out for Robin Bryer's as well.

Got a feeling I may have to work up a design of sorts from drawings in books etc. I think this would be good fun - especially the research side. A bit of a risky approach, but, I may make a part-size card model first to see how the hull shapes up.


Dave C

12/02/2021 16:44:57

Just found out that Tom Cunliffe has written a book about pilot cutters.

There is also a Youtube video of him sailing in "Jolie Brise" a French-built pilot cutter now owned by Dauntsey's School in Wiltshire.

56 tons and no winches ! Just one anchor windlass and everything else is done with pulley blocks and manpower (sometimes girl power too).

The boat has a history of fast racing including the Fastnet. Must try and get a copy of his book.

11/02/2021 14:54:10

Wise words Ray - I thought you've been keeping your powder dry !

Yes, Thames barges, Cobles, Norfolk Wherries and more on the list. Sail plan is a must as are good constructional details....ballast requirements etc.

Several experts have also mentioned 'over-scale' rudders to assist with tacking and the stronger wind days. Just how much larger I'm not sure - could be a case of making two or three then, trial and error.

What are you up to ? Building ?



11/02/2021 11:20:37

Just had a reply from Sarik and they will sell just the plan for the "Margueritte" pilot cutter. This size definitely fits my car.

However, with a bit of juggling diagonal spaces etc, I think I can carry a larger hull. Say, a 1/12 scale may be possible. Full-size of the photo above is 52 feet.

The Sarik 'plan' is more deck detail and side profile but could form the basis of a full design. Hence, more research required...

Looking at various videos, it does seem that the larger sailing boats are better able to cope when the wind gets up.

Will give another update soon.


10/02/2021 19:24:15

Thanks all for the replies. I think I've found one that will fit my car (problem is Sarik wants to sell the hull and plan in an "all-in-one" package - I'm trying to prise them apart !).

Eddie : thanks for the references....I'll chase them up now.



10/02/2021 11:05:15

Words of caution ringing in my ears Malcolm !

One technical question so far - most of the existing designs seem to be around 46" hull length. This would be a tad long for my estate car, so, I was thinking of maybe 36" or so.

I could make the bowsprit 'retractable' for transport, which is quite a long spar on the pilot cutter...

Thoughts ?


10/02/2021 09:15:37

Thanks for the reply Dave (all positive responses so far !).

Yes, Sarik list some GRP hulls for David Alderton's (and others) designs. I agree with you though, for maximum 'immersion' in the project, I should build the hull myself....

I have a stock of 3mm marine ply that could be used for frames, bulkheads etc. Not sure about the planking yet - may have to practice this on a mock-up first.


Dave C

09/02/2021 22:04:28

Thanks Jim - it certainly appeals.

Just at the research stage now - plans, drawings etc There are other working boats on my list, but, this one is tops so far.



09/02/2021 17:02:32

Hi all, quite fancy this as my next project. Perhaps it's too ambitious as a first sailing model ? If possible, I'd like your views - pro's /con's etc....Thanks

bristol channel pilot cutter.jpg

Thread: Cutting Plasticard Advice
08/02/2021 12:14:37

With windows, I always drill /cut under-size then file to final shape. Bitter experience shows it's easier to remove material !

Scalpel blades can be re-sharpened on a grinding wheel /Dremel type tool. Although having a stock of new blades handy is a good policy I think. Buy quality needle files and they'll last for ever....I tend to use the flat, round and 'crescent' shaped ones mostly.

Happy modelling,


Thread: Building a model from scratch
04/02/2021 11:19:39

Hi Jeremy

Welcome to the forum.

From your 4 photos, looks like you are carving from solid ? Pine perhaps ?

As Malcolm says, we really need more info' from you - eg what does the " 1 x 12 " refer to...

For a display model, carving from solid should be fine. If you are not working from drawings /photographs of a full-size boat, I would go with what 'looks right'.

For a model to actually sail on the water, there is more design and construction involved. In particular, weight - both above and below the waterline. Will it be radio controlled etc ?

Let us know what you're aiming to do with it.


Dave C

Thread: Model No2 for New RC Modeller
03/02/2021 11:01:55

Hello again Stephen,

Just a brief comment: when at the 'beginner' end of the spectrum (you and me ?), it's easy to be seduced by the available technology.

When I go to my next boat, I'll just add another receiver on the same frequency. I do the same with my gliders.

Most of the 'clever' stuff is all done at the transmitter - but, just how clever does it need to be ? There's a lot to be said for simplicity !


Dave C

ps If you have 2.4 Ghz, you don't even have to bother about frequencies any more

Thread: KeilKraft Mermaid
30/01/2021 14:54:17

Thanks Ashley - I'll try 3mm as a 'starter for ten'. Can also add more later if needed...

Sorry to have hi-jacked the thread Carl.


30/01/2021 11:19:45


As a matter of interest, how big should the spray rails be ? Say, as a percentage of beam, or, perhaps just a nominal width /depth...

I was thinking of maybe 1/16" square for my little RAF launch.



Thread: Kit or Plan ?
27/01/2021 11:04:14

That looks interesting Ray - it's quite 'beamy'. I expect a lot of model yachts are like this ?

Definitely on the short a few other modelling projects to finish first, one glider and one railway, then the yacht.

Best regards,


26/01/2021 11:11:52

I've just found some information on the "Loch Broom Post Boat".

It's not a cruiser but has a selection of sail plans and is shallow draught. No kit or plan found as yet....

The manufacturer is Character Boats I think (in the North West). Could be an interesting first sailing project if only as a display model.

The full-size was originally wood (all teak ?), but is now sold as a GRP hull with wood top-sides.

I'll see if I can hunt down some drawings.

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