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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: Spider J
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


30/12/2018 13:14:37

Hi Bob,

I will certainly be adding some typical clutter and debris to my sloop to make it look like a well used example. I have just been reading a book about the life of a Yorkshire Ouse bargeman and it seems stealing buckets of coal from the steam tugs when in dock was a common practice among the barge crews in order to keep the stoves in their cabins going.. If they had coal as a cargo I guess there was not much of it left around lying on the deck.

I hope you and your good lady are both keeping well and have a very happy New Year.

Gareth and Elizabeth

Thread: Sealing Hulls
30/12/2018 13:00:06

Hi Peter,

I am glad to see you are adding yet more models to your collection. Will this one be ready for Cleethorpes at the end of March? We have never tried using varnish over tissue but I would be a bit wary of it.

We have generally used fine glass cloth, around 50 grm/sq m and Z-poxy resin, thinned with about 20% Isopropyl alcohol. That works really well, but you do have to mix the Z-poxy and it has a limited working life once mixed, maybe 15-20 minutes. You can use the Isopropanol to clean the brush afterwards. We use a small set of jewellers digital scales to weigh out the constituents accurately in the container we are going to mix the resin and brush it from. (Only about £10 on Ebay) Sainsbury's Carbonara sauce containers make good working pots.

An alternative Elizabeth used on her Tea clipper hull was Eze-kote water based resin applied over old tights or stockings. That also works well, it dries quickly and the brush can be cleaned by rinsing in water. One thing to make sure is that the top and cap of the Eze-kote container are clean before you put the cap back on or it will be a real bu**er to get it off again the next time you want to use it. For an easier life, I would be more inclined to use Eze-kote than varnish.

We have given up on using tissue as it often seems to disintegrate as you brush the resin in and you get a hairy mess stuck to your brush. I think that might also be a problem if you use varnish, but you could always give it a go and let us know how it works out. Thin glass cloth seems softer and more flexible and drapes really well over a yacht hull provided you make the occasional strategic cut where there is a sharp corner.

All the best for the New Year,


Thread: Spider J
24/12/2018 11:59:44

I have mixed up a new batch of crushed coal and PVA glue in a slightly drier mix than the trial example. I also tried to eliminate any excessively large chunks of coal so that it looked more realistically to 1:16 scale, bearing in mind it would have been delivered by barge direct from the colliery so it probably had not been particularly finely graded at that stage.

spider 234.jpg

The coal and glue were laid over the curved former with some scrap bits of plywood around the edges to hold it all in place but allow any excess glue to run out. Surprisingly there was very little leakage around the edges. My magnetic block and steel sheet on the workbench came in useful. I left it to dry for a few hours on the workbench and then overnight on the boiler in the house.

spider 235.jpg

The milky appearance has completely cleared and I have a bright shiny layer of coal stuck firmly to the plywood. There are a few small gaps round the edge where pieces have come away but the plywood was painted black before sticking the coal on and they don't really show up. I might stick a few extra small pieces in to fill the gaps.

spider 236.jpg

It looks really good in the model, better than I had hoped.

spider 237.jpg

The test piece of coal and plywood I made to try out the method met a suitably pyrotechnic end on our fire last night and our trainee hearing dog Rodney enjoyed the benefit of it along with the rest of us.

spider 238.jpg

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all the model boaters out there.


21/12/2018 13:56:30


What is my next project? - good question there are just too many choices and not enough time. I have a mini project to do to complete the Humber sloop and that is to build a 1:16 scale cog boat, the 12 ft clinker built sculled dinghy that most keels and sloops had. The Richard Simpson article in the winter special edition of Model Boats was quite topical as it pointed me towards some useful information and a set of plans I can adapt.

When Spider J is finished I have a 10 Rater model yacht which needs the hull painting to finish it off. Its about 78 inches long so its not a small job but will take up the workshop for a while and need time in the spare bedroom for the paint to dry and harden. We have another 10 Rater to finish off by fitting the radio gear and making some brass fittings. That is also awaiting its turn in the workshop for Elizabeth to paint and varnish the hull and deck before I do my bit.

My next planned project is to refurbish my 1:24 Elco PT boat which I originally restored about 10 years ago. There is an article on that work here **LINK** The model has a failed speed controller and I think it would be a good opportunity to do yet another powerplant makeover and convert it to twin brushless motors. There are also quite a lot of details on the model that could be improved, such as decklights, cabin windows, ventilators etc. There are also quite a lot of 3D printed parts available for these models so I might add a few more bits and pieces. The paintwork is getting scruffy as well so a complete respray is in order. Since it will by then have been through several more iterations of motor sizes and types I might end up writing another article, Snogg the sequel perhaps.

After that, who knows. I had planned to build another local vessel to accompany Spider J, this time a 1:16 scale wooden hulled Humber Keel and I have the hull lines and plenty of photos of the real thing. I have the plans for the Spurn lightship, but no hull lines, which puts me off a bit. I have always fancied building a submarine, but the one I am attracted to is the T class, as I have a family connection to Thetis. However I don't think there is a fibreglass hull available now. Finally I quite fancy building another fast patrol boat such as a Fairmile D at 1:24 scale but can't make up my mind whether to scratch build or buy a kit.


The 'long suffering wife' is just an act and she did manage to clean up the sticky black spot on the kitchen floor near the radiator.

The trial cargo of coal worked really well, I now need to bash up some more lumps of the real thing. I think this time I will grade it a bit better and try and apply a slightly thinner layer to avoid too much weight high up. I will also spray the supporting plywood sheet matt black before gluing the coal on. It seems to have set very solidly, no loose bits and a nice shine to the surface that looks just like wet coal.

spider 233.jpg


20/12/2018 18:36:33

What Gareth does not mention in his last post is that his coal mixture dripped onto the floor and stuck soundly. Even our hearing dog puppy could not remove it and he's very good at removing things dropped on floors, the workshop being one of his favourite haunts for treasure.

Posted by the long suffering wife!

20/12/2018 15:28:05

When Spider J is on static display at a show I intend to remove the rear section of the dummy hatch covers to display the real hold covers and cargo underneath. To this end I have made up a shorter dummy cover section which will replace about 60% of the rear section of the hold cover. This has been made in the same way as the other dummy covers from 1/16 play with 1/8 ply formers underneath.

spider 228.jpg

The real hatch covers were made some time ago and described in an earlier post. The 2 rear sections are split into two separate parts each of which spans half the hold. The two half covers at the very back have a small sub hatch of 4 panels, one in each corner which are known as fast hatches and used if the crew needed to get into the hold quickly. Each hatch has a small hand hold in the outside corner.

spider 229.jpg

The false floor can be seen underneath and this will be covered in crushed coal to represent the cargo. The short dummy hatch has been covered in Solartex to match the rest of the covers. A folded piece of cloth will be laid over it to represent the tarpaulin removed from the rear section of the hold.

spider 230.jpg

Here is my first trial attempt at the cargo of coal. Its made from some real house coal crushed to a representative size by putting a few lumps in a double plastic zip seal bag and bashing it with a hammer. A proportion of this was then mixed in a plastic pot with some PVA wood glue, thinned about 50% with water. After a good stirring it was scooped out and laid on a bit of scrap ply with masking tape around the edge to avoid too big a mess. A small amount of the dried dust and smaller particles of coal was then sprinkled on top of the wet mix. Its now on the radiator in the house drying to see what it looks like, but at the moment it looks quite promising. If this method fails, Deluxe Materials do some adhesives specially designed for this type of task and I might have to resort to them. In the meantime I have plenty of spare common PVA glue.

spider 232.jpg



Edited By Gareth Jones on 20/12/2018 15:30:14

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