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Member postings for Gareth Jones

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

Thread: GBR 59
13/11/2019 13:56:11

Hi John,

The convention for sail numbers is for registered yachts to carry the last two digits of their class registration number on the sails. However there is no guarantee that the sails you have were the original ones. If the yacht was ever registered it should have an MYA registration number, usually 4 digits, clearly marked inside the hull either by painting, bonding or moulding in. The number should also be marked on the outside of the hull, usually on the deck, but there is no requirement for these external markings to be indelible. If you can find the number you could try contacting the IOM class registrar to see if the original certificate can be traced. Contact details are on the MYA website.

Unfortunately I am not an expert on IOM designs and they all look much the same to me so I can't identify the design of your yacht.


Thread: Shemarah II
08/11/2019 20:07:42

Snogg was the subject of a magazine article some years ago and the last time I looked it was somewhere on this site, I am sure Colin knows where it is. The model is an Elco 80 ft PT boat, build no PT602, surplus to USN requirements and supplied to the Norwegian Navy at the end of the war as the first of the Snogg class. Snogg is Norwegian for fast.


08/11/2019 13:08:39

This will probably be the epilogue of the Shemarah thread. A couple of months ago Elizabeth and I visited the vast Richard Howard collection of model boats at Beale Park near Reading. It was an open day for potential buyers but we not really tempted by anything despite the huge variety of boats on offer. However it did bring home to us that we really should do something to downsize our collection of about 30 model boats and yachts, about half of which rarely get sailed. We therefore decided that we would begin to sell off some of our collection, if only to make way for potential future projects.

Coincidentally, about a week later I received an email from Donald Moodie, the master of the full sized Shemarah II, asking if I would be interested in selling my model to him, as in his words 'Shemarah has been a large part of my working life and to have such a fantastic model would be a dream come true' Shemarah has also been a large part of my modelling life but it could not go to a more deserving home, much better than it spending years sitting in its box in our shed. It had its final model show outing at Blackpool last month and its last local outing to the York MBC night sail event before being checked out ready for collection.

Donald came down to collect it yesterday and it is now in the home of his father, Peter Moodie, who commissioned Shemarah II from the Campbeltown shipyard for the Moodie family business in 1996. When he rang me to express his delight at having the model he sounded as excited as Donald was when he collected it. They had already tested it out in the family bath within a couple of hours of getting back to Scotland. The picture below shows Donald collecting the model from our workshop yesterday.

shemarah nov 2019.jpg

The workshop is now clear for my next project which is to be a major refurbishment of Snogg, my 1:24 scale model of an 80 ft Elco PT boat that I originally refurbished about 10 years ago. This time it is going to get a brushless conversion, working roll off racks and torpedoes and much more scale detail. I might start a new thread on the project once it gets underway properly, probably after Xmas.


Thread: 36R model yacht information
12/08/2019 11:06:29

This is an update on progress on the build of my 36R model yacht.

After some thought I have made a keel to one of the designs suggested on the American Model Yachting Association website. It consists of a 1/32 ply core sandwiched between two pieces of 3/32 balsa. This was sanded to shape and then covered in two layers of unidirectional carbon fibre cloth followed by a single layer of woven carbon fibre cloth. Each layer of cloth was separately coated in Z-poxy resin before adding the next. The resulting keel seems pretty stiff.

I have made two supporting frames from 4 mm liteply which tie the keel to the sides of the hull and added a longitudinal stringer at deck level. All the parts interlock so the keel is very rigidly located and supported.

36r 3.jpg

The rudder skeg was made from 4 mm ply covered in glass cloth and also locates in the longitudinal stringer. The rudder is of similar construction with a brass tube keyed to the rudder with three 1/16 brass rods as a pintle.

36r 4.jpg

I made a stand which supports the hull with the waterline horizontal and the hull laterally level so that I could check the keel and skeg are both vertical and in line. The stand is just a couple of scrap pieces of 9 mm MDF, supported on a magnetic working board.

36r 5.jpg

After sanding down and drilling some lightening holes the whole assembly has been glued together with Araldite. I have added a small ply plate to form the basis of the mast step.

36r 6.jpg

My next task was to cut a slot in the lead keel weight to take the bottom of the fin. I worked out the C of G of the keel weight by balancing it on a round piece of dowel. I have a drawing of a similar 36R hull which showed the centre of buoyancy of the hull and assumed for the time being this is the same on my hull. I then marked the position of the slot in the ballast weight so that its Cof G will be directly below the hulls C of B.

After marking the required position of the slot I chain drilled a series of 6 mm holes about 30 mm into the ballast weight. I then fixed the ballast weight on to my workmate and using a 6 mm cutter in my router, cleaned up the slot to the full length and depth, gradually increasing the depth of cut by a couple of mm each time. This gave me a nice clean slot with no apparent damage to the cutter or router. (I carefully swept up all the bits of lead afterwards)

36r 7.jpg

I have made the deck from 2 mm liteply with cutouts that will be covered in adhesive deck patches to give access to the interior and reduce weight. The deck has been given a couple of coats of Z-poxy to seal the surface but needs to be rubbed down and will be given a final coat of varnish after its glued on.

I made a mount for the vane mechanism from a piece of 1 inch wide carbon fibre strip that I found in my new desk during an office move about 30 years ago. I knew it would come in useful one day. Its very light and very stiff.

36r 11.jpg

I have estimated the weight of the mast, sails and rest of the rig by weighing a Marblehead rig I have and assuming the 36R will be about 90% of the weight. A tin of salmon and packet of Oxo came close to the estimate at about 420 grms.

Next came the first bath test with the keel weight held on the bottom of the keel with tape.

36r 12.jpg

Miraculously everything seems in balance so my next job is to fix the keel weight permanently

A bit more progress to report shortly.


Thread: Spider J
03/07/2019 19:28:33

You are all too kind with your comments, it's not really that good.

Here are a few photos of Humber Princess taken at Silverdale Glen on the Isle of Man following this years Manannan Model Boat Festival organised by the Manx Model Boat Club. It looks to me that I need to make a minor change to the ballast distribution as the model is sitting slightly 'down at the head,' I believe keels and sloops were typically sailed that way so that if they ran aground on the shifting sand and mud banks of the Humber they were easier to refloat. However I plan to remove a bit of the forward fixed ballast block to level up the hull when in the water.

You may notice that the cog boat is conspicuous by its absence. Sailing with the cog boat tied to the stern revealed it was easy to swamp the boat with a quick burst of power from the propeller and we spent about half an hour afterwards trying to retrieve the oar which had drifted off on its own. However the cog boat stayed firmly attached to the sloop and was easily retrieved. Maybe it will have to be a static display only item.

spider 263.jpg

spider 264.jpg

spider 265.jpg

spider 266.jpg



27/06/2019 12:37:05

Spider T is now effectively complete and as near as makes no matter finished. The only remaining tasks are to do a bit more weathering to make it look slightly more used and add a second crew member when I find a suitable subject. Here are a few photos taken this morning. I will add a few sailing photos when I get the opportunity to do some sailing, hopefully this coming weekend.

spider 254.jpg

spider 256.jpg

spider 257.jpg

spider 258.jpg

spider 259.jpg

spider 260.jpg

spider 261.jpg

spider 262.jpg

What next, I hear you ask Ray. Well the long term plan is still to build a similar size and scale model of a wooden hulled Humber keel, but before I start that I am going to have a bit of a change.

I have a fibreglass hulled 36R yacht to build as a vane steered variant, still at the planning stage, although I have the hull and keel weight.

Next month we are expecting to get a bare fibreglass A class hull of a John Lewis design called Challenge to add to our collection of vintage racing yachts. That will be a bigger job as I will need to make a keel weight pattern and get it cast using around 42 lbs of lead.

I have a 1:24 scale model of an Elco PT boat that needs refurbishing and it will probably get a brushless conversion as it is missing both speed controllers. I also plan to add a lot more fine detail to the deck and superstructure.

I have also been given a plan and fibreglass hull for a 1:24 scale German S boat which will complement the PT boat well, but its probably a 3 or 4 year project. I was also very kindly given a whole series of supporting books, along with the hull by Peter Robinson so it should be given a fairly high priority really.

We have several other yacht refurbishments on the go and I am currently adding the control gear to a model of an International Dragon that Elizabeth is building in the style of Bluebottle, originally, maybe still, owned by the Duke of Edinburgh. There are also three Marbleheads in the loft (one of them built by Bob Abell) that all need major refurbishment so I am not going to be short of work over the next few years.


19/06/2019 20:52:57

The cog boat is now ready for staining, varnishing and painting.

spider 253.jpg

19/06/2019 10:11:31

Spider T is now pretty well complete and I will post some photos if it ever stops raining. There are a few minor details still to add and a bit of weathering to do but it should be finished by the end of next month at the latest. Elizabeth is making the fenders at the rate of about 1 a night so they will be added this weekend.

The major task over the last few weeks has been the completion of the cog boat. I started this a few months ago but was not impressed by its looks. The planks were too narrow and too thick so I ended up abandoning that one and starting again, this time with 10 mm x 1,5 mm lime planks in lieu of 8 x 2. I am really pleased with the way this Mk 2 cog boat has come out and the only remaining parts to make are the knees and oar for sculling over the stern.

Here is a view of the planked hull on its building jig.

spider 246.jpg

The next picture shows the inside of the hull.

spider 247.jpg

Here the gunwhales have been added and the start of the ribs, I think the ribs are slightly on the thick side but look to be about the right spacing at a scale dimension of about 6 inches.

spider 248.jpg

Here is the fully ribbed hull

spider 249.jpg

And now I have added the floor beams and floor planks

spider 250.jpg

Currently I have fitted the seats but still have the knees to fit in the various corners,

spider 251.jpg

spider 252.jpg

After that its varnishing and painting. I plan to do the outside of the hull in black with a red stripe along the top plank. The inside of the hull will be varnished. Typically cog boats were finished with a tarred hull inside and out. The single oar for sculling over the transom is part finished, awaiting the glue attaching the paddle to the shaft to dry.

All this woodwork has re-awakened the thought of building a wooden hulled Humber keel next, but who knows?



Edited By Gareth Jones on 19/06/2019 10:13:29

Thread: 36R model yacht information
23/05/2019 13:54:33

Tim and Malcolm,

The hull is slightly bow down in the photo but that is easily addressed by positioning the keel weight slightly further aft. I have decided to go for the ellipse major axis horizontal to get the c of g lower. Generally there is not a weed problem in the ponds I am likely to sail it, being in mind it will be a vane steered boat rather than radio.

I am going to build the keel using the method described on the American Model Yacht Association website, as described here AMYA. Essentially it is laminated from a 1/32" ply core, sandwiched between 1/16 balsa. 2 layers of unidirectional carbon fibre and resin and a final covering layer of either carbon fibre or glass cloth and resin. The skeg and rudder will be similar.

I have several other projects on the go, either needing finishing or boats needing restoring so this one will be on the back burner for a while. However I have started looking in the scrap bin at our local B and Q for some suitable MDF or ply to build a measuring box. The requirement is the hull must fit inside a box with internal dimensions of 37 inches long, 9 inches wide and 11 inches deep. Although the class is still known as 36R, the original requirement for the hull, less the rudder to fit in a box 36 inches long has been superseded and the current requirement is for the hull including the rudder to fit in a box 37 inches long.


21/05/2019 20:51:27

I have tried putting the hull in our pond with the keel weight inside resting on the bottom in approximately the correct location. The water line is less than 10 mm up from the bottom of the stem and just on the bottom of the transom. Consequently I think the weight will be OK and not too heavy.

36r 1.jpg

36r 2.jpg

For some reason, possibly a result of changing to a Windows 10 computer, I can't seem to post photos in the portrait format any more,

One thing I think I will change is the orientation of the weight which is not circular in section but a flattened ellipse. The original builder obviously planned to fit it with the major axis of the ellipse vertical as it has a slot cut to accept the keel fin. I plan to fit it with the major axis horizontal so that the centre of gravity of the weight will be lower. and I will have to fill the slot that has already been cut with some lead sheet and resin.

On a different topic we have noticed an unusual phenomenon with our pond a couple of times in the last month. After a short period of very heavy rain, the water level in the pond has been found to be 2-3 inches lower than normal. This seems illogical at first glance but after Googling the internet there is an explanation which seems quite plausible. How many of you can work out what it is?


20/05/2019 20:10:16

Thanks for that Malcolm,

There are no limits on displacement or sail area for a 36R, although there used to be a max weight of 12 lb. On that basis a keel weight of about 8.4 lb seems a lot. However I guess the 36R is only a little bit smaller than a one metre yacht, has a shorter keel and usually carries a comparable sail area so maybe it does normally have a heavier keel weight to compensate.

I am going to stick the hull in the bath with the keel weight inside and see where the waterline sits, pending anybody coming up with more detailed advice.


15/05/2019 18:12:40

I have been given a bare fibre-glass hull for a 36R yacht that I would like to build as a vane steered model. I have been told the design is a Jagermeister by Martin Dovey but the design is about 30 years old and he no longer has any information on it. I have also been given a keel weight for the hull which seems to my untutored eye to be a bit on the heavy side at 3.75 kg. However it is quite nicely cast and shaped. Does anyone have any information on this design or could anyone advise me if the keel weight is likely to be correct?


Thread: Help info ??
06/05/2019 19:07:46

But a quick Google reveals Thames A raters exist - see here **LINK** (so its probably not a 10 Rater)

Gareth again

06/05/2019 19:03:50

It would help everyone if you could provide a photo and a better description of the hull. If its a model yacht about 5 feet long it could perhaps be a 10 Rater but I have never heard of a Thames A rater.


Thread: The return of the Model Engineering Exhibition at Doncaster MES
19/03/2019 08:33:03

Its good to see the competition has been revived and it will be interesting to see how many entrants it attracts. However he timing of this show conflicts, to a certain extent, with the CADMA model boat show, held across the road from the racecourse at the Doncaster Deaf Trust site, just 3 weeks later. Its a pity the organisers of the two events could not come to some arrangement to either merge the two events into one or move one of them to an earlier or later part of the year. It has been noticeable that since the model engineering exhibition moved from Harrogate to Doncaster there has been a gradual but marked reduction in the number of model boat clubs attending it. It is also a big commitment from exhibitors as it is a three day show and you need to set up your stand on the day before it opens so you have to find some very enthusiastic club members prepared to give up three and a half consecutive days of their time, or involve a 'part time' team spread over the event.

We have attended and enjoyed both shows at Doncaster over the past few years but, alas, the Model Engineering Exhibition also clashes with the Fleetwood vintage Marblehead weekend so unless the weather forecast for that weekend is awful, we will be spending it chasing Skippy or China Boy up and down the lake.


Thread: china tea clipper Ariel
14/02/2019 12:34:16

Hi Hutch,

How are you getting on adjusting the servos of your model of Ariel? Have you had the chance to carry out some more sea trials yet. We are planning to take our A class racing yacht out for some spinnaker testing tomorrow.

We watched a programme on TV last night in the Impossible Engineering series. The subject was the three masted super yacht Black Pearl. As usual it was a bit short of real technical detail and repeated some bits over and over, as though the average listener can,t remember what the programme was about after the adverts have been on. However the subject was a very impressive piece of engineering with three independently rotating masts, no standing rigging and about the same sail area as Ariel. It would make a good project for you to follow on from Ariel, Elizabeth and I are quite tempted to have a go at it for a future high tech project, quite a contrast to a Humber keel which was supposed to be next.

Here is a link to some info on Black Pearl

black pearl.jpg





Edited By Gareth Jones on 14/02/2019 12:35:43

Thread: Help needed identifying a yacht
09/02/2019 14:06:40


I did a bit of Googling and the attached link **LINK** discusses someones attempt to identify a Squire Kay Marblehead, eventually thought to be a Sea Scamp. In the discussion there is mention of the keel apparently being fitted 'backwards' so may be this was a Squire Kay design characteristic at the time. The writer mentions he had a list of other Squire Kay designs in the paperwork he got with his yacht and it lists a 36R Sea Shrimp, which would match the dimensions of your yacht. I think you would be better off leaving the keel as is, at least until you have tried sailing it.  I think the rudder is the correct way round as shown in your photo above.


Edited By Gareth Jones on 09/02/2019 14:08:18

Thread: Spider J
26/01/2019 17:05:37

The sails have now been finished and fitted to Spider J. The only problem I have is the reefing lines which do not hang down in a realistic fashion. They have been temporarily tacked in place with a bit of masking tape. I might have to try and glue them to the sails, unless someone knows of a better method.

spider 243.jpg

spider 244.jpg

spider 245.jpg

There are still a few detail bits to add to the finished sloop, including the crewman and the cog boat but it is now approaching the end at last.


Thread: weather
23/01/2019 11:00:14

Hi Hutch,

Its a bit colder here in East Yorkshire. It's -2 deg C outside at the moment (11:00 am) but bright and sunny and our solar panels are still managing to export 2.06 KW to keep the rest of the country warm and powered up.


Thread: Spider J
01/01/2019 10:08:06

The sails have been sewn by my wife Elizabeth and are now awaiting her sewing on the bolt ropes and fitting the thimbles in all the sheet and halyard attachment points and also fitting the reefing lines. I will then have to fit all the eyelets for the attachments to the forestay, mast hoops and gaff boom.

spider 239.jpg

I could not find any suitable thimbles so I have made my own by modifying some small pulleys by rounding the outer groove with a small needle file while the pulley is spinning in my pillar drill (with a 2 mm nut and bolt through the centre hole). I then drilled out and countersunk the centre hole. These will be blackend before fitting to the sails.

spider 240.jpg

I have started on the cog boat, having cut out all the shadows to build it over. These have been spaced with the shadows at the front closer together than those at the back to give the required shape to the dinghy. Cog boats were usually attached to the stern of a keel or sloop and, if there was a big difference in height, it could be difficult to step up from or down into the cog boat. They were therefore deliberately built with a very full front end to make sure the cog boat did not dip too far into the water when stepping down into it or up from it. Apparently it was common practice to bounce up and down on the front end of the cog boat to get a spring up on to the keel or sloop.

spider 241.jpg

After some adjustments to the shape and alignment of the shadows I have now attached the keel to the stem and stern. Planking will be in 8 mm wide lime planks. I will probably have to steam or at least soak the first few in hot water to get them to conform to the bend and twist required. The ends will be tapered down to about 5 mm wide to compensate for the different overall width to be covered at the ends and in the middle.

spider 242.jpg


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