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Member postings for James Hill 5

Here is a list of all the postings James Hill 5 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Returning modeller
21/10/2020 00:31:43

Hi Ray,

Batteries at the stern was my thought as well. It would make it sit naturally in the water.

With this dry run I can get some idea of how much to cut out and from the best places.

I`m going to use the 1/16" marine ply that I have here and double diagonal plank for as much as I can. A lot of cutting out making planks ahead!!

My only problem at the moment is that the hull starts as a double chine at the bow and changes to a round bilge from mid boat to the stern, something I`ve not tackled before.To me that means I may have to plank differently at the bow end. Possibly plank at a different angle, we`ll see.

Ray , a few blogs back you asked what the boat would look like. During trying to find pictures , I Googled, " The Pilot boat Vanquisher" and found very nice,17minute video of it on it`s last trip from The Camber at Portsmouth to Port Solent on it`s way to Africa. The superstructure in the film is white but I shall paint it orange, as I used to see it. What also was useful in the film was the amount of detail to be seen. A bit of a bonus. This is going to be quite a project for me and using two motors will be a first. I`m afraid I shall be asking a lot more questions soon.



20/10/2020 16:12:15

A couple of pictures added showing approximate position of the two motors.

I`ve been looking at different motors and quite like the Mtroniks M600. Originally looked at the 500 but the 600 give a few more revs. ( I`ve used toilet roll holders as dummy motors. )

Now things need to be marked out for cutting some of the keel out. At the moment my idea is to cut down to match the height of the stringer so that maybe I can make a single platform to anchor both motors and their mounting brackets. It`s very much a thought just now.

Prop shaft length looks to be around 15"/16" long depending on where the final prop position is. I`d love to know what the shaft centres were but I can`t find any information. I`m going on the position of the rudders in relation to the curve of the hull at the transom , from photo`s.

Has anyone a suggestion on battery size? ( thinking about the weight ) The only battery I have at the moment is the 9.6v 5000ah for Surfury and that is quite heavy. The real boat only had a 3ft 6" draft so my thought is it wouldn`t take too much to get it to the waterline but I might be wrong.


20/10/2020 15:47:57


17/10/2020 17:58:11

Hi Ray,

I haven`t touched the top of the keel yet. How it is at the minute is how I cut it out so there will be a certain amount of reduction as things move along. I want to get the motors first to try out positioning, then I should have an idea of shaft length.

I`d had a thought on fixing the motors to a common platform across the hull. Might be easier to set angles up for shaft alignment. Will think about it nearer the time. I was wondering about the right time to fit motors and shafts and you`ve suggested before planking, my own thinking had been after, with all bulkhead and any other cutouts done but I`m quite open to be directed differently. You , and others have far more experience than me.

Still fiddling with stringers,

Thanks for your suggestions, good to hear from you,


17/10/2020 14:16:47

Hi Chris,

I`ve been looking at their web site while generally just looking at prop shafts. I agree , it looks good quality.

I shall be sticking with 4mm shafts this time as the shaft/ props etc seem to be more common giving, a wider choice.

As I said to Chris, once I`m happy with the framework of the hull, and before anything is glued together, then I`ll measure the length shaft I need and see how it goes.

You`re right, with the motors I`ve been looking at, big revs won`t be happening. Just enough to make it look decent on the water.

Many thanks,


17/10/2020 10:04:55

Thank you Colin for that idea. You`ve obviously had success with it.

My other thought was similar, one long shaft ( yet to be measured properly ) but two bearing tubes , one behind the other with the shaft through both and then carefully set in place. Similar to your original suggestion. A bit expensive but might work.



16/10/2020 19:22:34

Ray and Colin, thanks for suggestions.

Ray, everything is dry at the moment , I just need to get things marked out and cut , but I will look at what you`ve said. I still need to be able to take things apart to mark out slots ( maybe ) for the prop shaft positions. A way to go yet.

Colin, the possible whipping in such long shafts was my thought too so I`ll take a look at the link you gave me to see what I might be able to do. This is where you need an engineering workshop where you could make things to suit. Not something I have the space for I`m afraid, but I`ll get round it.



16/10/2020 14:43:05

Now I`ve started working out where stringers will go, I need to find the right position for the motors.

At present I`ve used some scrap pieces of tubing layed along the prop shaft line and it looks like the shafts will be quite long ones, about 18" long.The two motors I`m thinking of using are M500`s from Mtronik. These are 6-12v motors running at 4700 rpm at 12v. As the boat is only a work boat, not high speed, these motors seem adequate.I`m not sure of prop diameter yet as I need to make some test discs up but they could be around 25mm but that could change.

I`d like to get the motors as low down in the hull as I can so there needs to be more cutting out required. I`m using two old.540 motors for positioning.

If anyone can see any glaring errors, please shout.smiley

Many thanks,


16/10/2020 14:22:33


Thread: wood breaking
12/10/2020 14:00:32


I agree with Dave Cooper with his suggestion. It was the method I used when building my tug. I used 1/4" square stringers and on the inside of the bend I used a razor saw ( or a similar narrow blade ) and made cuts as deep as you dare go. The tighter the bend, the closer together the cuts need to be but it certainly works. once in place the glue fills the slots. I shall use the method again when the need arises. If I remember correctly, I bent mine dry, but whatever else helps is fine. Give it a go.

Best of luck,


Thread: Returning modeller
11/10/2020 19:48:22

Had another look at Rays picture. Not upright planking but a more vertical angle which might suit me.


11/10/2020 19:41:52

img_8370s.jpgimg_8369s.jpgimg_8367s.jpgimg_8365s.jpgA bit of a close up on the shape of the hull.

I`ve just started to mark out stringer placings on the bulkheads but I`m still scratching my head over the best method of planking. I`m using a length of 1/32" ply 1/4" wide to mark out with and I have to say, it follows the hull shape quite nicely. Maybe diagonal plank from the stern to as far forward as is comfortable, then plank differently from there to the bow. I`ve looked at several album pictures from different people and what was of interest was Ray Woods MTB ( I think ) planked in a way similar to my thinking at the bow while trying to keep the shape. Needs a bit of thought.img_8364s.jpg

09/10/2020 21:44:53

img_8340s.jpgHi Ray,

My garage not quite so busy as your workshop.img_8334s.jpg

09/10/2020 21:21:22

smiley. Now that`s a workshop and a half!! Ray. I bet you know where everything is as well!

I`ll stick a picture of mine up in a minute.


09/10/2020 19:33:27

Just had a look at the sheets of plywood I have. 1/16" thick, not 1/32" as I thought, so I need to look at some reducing of the bulkheads required to accommodate the extra thickness.

Not something I wanted to do really.


09/10/2020 19:13:29

Hi Ray,

The new boat hopefully is a model of the Pilot boat at Portsmouth. Seen it many times when down at Southsea on days out so I thought I`d have ago at modelling it. Vosper Thornycroft dug some plans out of their archive drawings and sent me a copy. Only the hull lines, no superstructure. I`ve got photos taken when one was out of the water on blocks, which was handy.

There are a couple of pictures in my album. Only just got going with it at the moment so not a lot of progress yet.

The garage is filling up with a model railway and now boats. needs a sort out.smiley

Regards, Jim.

09/10/2020 17:36:08

Hi Ray,

I was looking at Cullamix in your album. A very nice model but I didn`t realise it was that heavy. My TID is 20 lb but the weight makes it sail nicely.



09/10/2020 15:54:04

Hi Ray, thank you for your reply.

It is on your album photos that I was looking at the cloth treatment. I double planked Surfury when I built that ( as per prototype ) so I`ve had experience of that method . The second layer gives a considerable glue area. I was just curious to know much the cloth made a better job of sealing the hull.

Stringer positions are still to be marked out and I`ve got two sheets of 1/32" marine ply I could use for the planking.



09/10/2020 11:31:20

To Dave Cooper and Ashley,

Many thanks for your replies.

Dave, the repair on the Futaba seems to be working ( at the moment ) but I will certainly keep an eye on it. ( maybe I was lucky ). I`ve seen the XT60 connectors advertised so I will be looking into that.

Ashley. The wiring in the boat has now been sorted ( as to positioning etc ) and the watt meter works ( just connected to the battery ). I still can`t test the boat in the bath yet as I`m still waiting for the prop. You have suggested xt60 connectors as well so definitely worth a look.

On the next proposed build, because of the fairly large gaps between the bulkheads and after the stringers have been put in, I`m thinking of planking vertically instead of normal practice. Is this an acceptable way of doing things? or would I be giving myself a problem?. I realise some may suggest adding more bulkheads but I just wondered.

I`ve been looking through the albums at some of the pictures showing glass cloth over the finished planking. Do you cloth inside and outside the hull or just the outside and how many layers would be sufficient? I ask all this as I`ve not tried this method before. Another sortie to venture into.!

I had a read of Dave Milbourn`s` article on using more than one motor. Another first hopefully.

Many thanks again gents for your replies and advice,


03/10/2020 21:02:53

img_8322s.jpgimg_8321s.jpgimg_8318s.jpgTaken a few pictures of early days of what is intended to be the next build.

It`s a model of the Pilot Boat at Portsmouth. 40" long with an 11" beam , so a nice size model. I`ve two 540 motors that I can use but will need gearing down. Not sure whether to use one per prop shaft or one motor and drive ( somehow ) the twin shafts.

I intend to try building the superstructure in plasticard on a wooden drop in frame. I originally thought of using sheet ply ( 1/32" ) on the hull but now think planking it might be easier.

First thing , cut out the middle of the bulkheads and decide where the power will be situated.


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