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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: Walbut Dream, a 1:12 scale narrowboat
14/04/2011 21:42:21
I have just about finished a 1:12 scale narrowboat, which has taken me about a year to construct. It is 43 inches long and the internal layout is based on a composite of several boats that we have spent holidays on.
The hull was supplied by Deans Marine and is not normally advertised for sale as there is a minor moulding error in the bow rubbing strakes but this was easily rectified by sanding off the offending parts and replacing them with styrene strips of an appropriate size.
Since we wanted to fit out the interior with a representative layout it was a bit of a challenge to fit all the electrics in the back end. The battery fits under one of the rear bunks. The motor is a Graupner Speed 500E nominally a 12 volt motor but only running on 7.2 volts. The propeller is a 40 mm 3 bladed unit. A Raboesch bow thruster was also fitted but is normally switched off as the turning performance is quite good without it.
The sound unit is a small Action Electronics unit and is fairly quiet but adequate for this installation. The loudspeaker was originally going to be mounted directly under the engine access panel but ended up in one of the aft wardrobes.

There are several sheets of lead flashing under the floor to ballast the boat to what I estimated would be the correct level, based on some early bath tests. As it turned out it was a pretty good guess as I have not needed to change it in the end.

The cooker, fridge and microwave were purchased as dolls house accessories. All the cupboards, table, bunks and kitchen units were made from 1.5 mm ply.

My wife Elizabeth made all the curtains, mattresses, sleeping bags and pillows. She also made some 1:12 scale toothbrushes for the bathroom.

On the water, Walbut Dream has turned out to be easy to sail, quite manoueverable without the bow thruster but has very little freeboard so tends to ship a bit of water when the going is rough. Despite the flat bottom it does not roll much.

Edited By Gareth Jones on 14/04/2011 21:43:19

Thread: Pond Princess
21/03/2011 16:42:12
Larry W - Elizabeth's reason for getting involved was that she has an 'I can do that' attitude and if she wanted to see me she had to come out to the shed. Her interest in boats developed from that and from when we decided to join a model boat club together.
I used to build and fly model aircraft but whenever she came and watched me flying I seemed to crash something so boats seemed a safer bet.
Long build Larry - The lead is about 90% of the depth and 75% of the chord of the keel, the rest was solid wood. The picture below shows the extent of the lead reasonably clearly.

20/03/2011 21:15:50
Next job was fitting the mast. The mast, booms, sails etc were purchased from Nylet. The old sails were too perished to be used.

Rigging the shrouds

Connecting the vane gear to the rudder. Elizabeth made a conscious decision to retain the vane gear. However since we dont have anywhere to sail it locally with just vane control, radio control of the rudder and sails would also be fitted.

Cutting the booms to size.
At last the sails, although only as a trial fit but its starting to look like a yacht again.

Fitting the trimline and name printed on vinyl sheet

Next the radio gear. A bit tricky this as the whole thing had to fit through a 4 inch square hole in the deck. Needed the help of a systems engineer husband for the design and construction of this bit and the hands of a small daughter to feed the sail control lines through the deck pulleys.

Even Kelpie lent a hand/paw at this stage.

Big boss's power tool again to drill the main boom

Now ready for its first voyage in many years. Fellow club member suggests Elizabeth has got the rudder on upside down.

Finally a couple of pictures of Pond Princess on the water. She has since sailed at Fleetwood and South Shields. Elizabeth has joined the Vintage Model Yacht Group and tried to research the origins of her yacht but without success. The expert opinion is that it probably originated in the USA, based on the keel shape, but beyond that we have no idea.

All Elizabeth needs to do now is work out how to set up the vane gear and use it in its original free sailing mode.

20/03/2011 20:52:38
My wife Elizabeth spotted a vintage yacht in our neighbours garage. They had planned to restore it but it had languished there for a few years. We were told it had originally been built by a Welsh politician but we never found out whether this was true. After a few measurements were taken and research done we decided it was a Marblehead, probably about 50-60 years old. Elizabeth had built a Victoria kit as a starter, this was to be her first major restoration project.

It came complete with original varnished terylene sails and a vane steering gear. The hull was fibreglass with a distinctive flipper shaped keel. However it was in poor condition and very dirty.

The first job was to strip off and save all the fittings

Remove the deck edge strip nails

Next job was to remove the keel which was loose and twisted.

There was a lot of rubbing down required plus a bit of chiselling to get the deck edge strip off

The internal keel supports were a poor shape and did not fit properly. They needed replacing with new items - a chance to play with the boss's power tools.

Now the dreaded poxy resin to fit the new keel supports

Next after rubbing down and filling and rubbing down and filling and ....., masking prior to spraying

Now into the shed for spraying the primer. Health and safety specialists shut your eyes here.

Finished with the primer

After more masking, on with the gloss top coats.

Back outside now, in a healthier environment, starting to add the deck fitings which all needed to be cleaned and polished.

Thread: Secret Princess
20/03/2011 18:50:28
Long Build - I will put the Marblehead pictures up in the next day or so under the title Pond Princess.
Larry - Elizabeth will be off scouring the skips now looking for her next project. Just to give you some more encouragement to start, here's the one she is working on at the moment, bought in an antique shop last year. It will eventually have radio control of the rudder, main sail and mizzen sail. She is also part way through building a Moonbeam kit.

19/03/2011 21:12:40
My wife Elizabeth has become a keen restorer/rebuilder of old model yachts. Her first project was a fifty year old Marblehead which had been in our neighbour's garage for several years. Inspired by her success in this, she bought a 30 inch yacht hull off Ebay for £15.

It was in very poor condition and even I was dubious about the value in restoring it, but, off came the deck to reveal balsa skins and internal structure.

After much patching of the skins and reinforcing the internal structure, Elizabeth made a new deck, mast, sails and rigging. She laminated a new keel weight from lead flashing sheet.

A new Braine gear was constructed to give it some limited directional control.

An excellent varnishing job has been carried out to give long lasting protection and a real vintage look. By now we had aquired a 1950's book entitled 'Build yourself a model yacht' and it looks like the original hull was one of the designs featured, a 30 inch Sharpie. However it has been renamed Secret Princess and sealed up in the hull is a description of how the yacht was found, rebuilt, and what and who inspired Elizabeth to tackle the project.

Secret Princess had her maiden voyage on the pond at Goole MBC today. Despite the scepticism of some of the members (who originally suggested the best thing to do with the hull was burn it), and the male chauvinists who still don't believe a woman could actually build a model boat, she sailed beautifully in a very light wind.

Thread: Shemarah II
22/02/2011 21:14:33
Thanks very much for that John. I did try putting the shaft in the freezer but didnt warm the bearings up.
Also thanks very much for the offer of photos Donald, I will let you know which areas I would like in a few months time I hope.
Shemarah will have to take second place to our model narrowboat over the next few weeks as my wife has now finished all the soft furnishings and I am going to make a concerted effort to get it finished in time for a couple of exhibitions coming up soon. I will post some photos when it is complete.

21/02/2011 21:26:57
Thanks for the advice John, I am still pondering which will be the best way to plank the hull. There are some very large flat areas and my first thoughts are to cover those with 1.5 mm ply sheet. The rest I am not sure about yet but my original plan, based on a quick survey of the web, was to use 1.5 mm lime planking. Either way I will be adding a number of stringers as you suggest. I was also planning to cover the exterior with resin and glass cloth or tissue to waterproof and strengthen it. I will also coat the inside with resin. When you diagonally planked your hull with 0.8 mm ply did you use a single layer or two?
The plans are by James Pottinger, redrawn by Dave Metcalf. They are very comprehensive and easy to follow in showing the details of the original vessel and the lines of the hull. There is no model construction information so I guess it would not be a project for a complete novice.
I have reverted to my original profession today and done a bit of systems engineering. I have robbed the Graupner Speed 900 BB torque from my TID tug and mated it to the MFA belt drive reduction gearbox that I got for my birthday on Saturday (62 if you really need to know). This exercise was not without its problems, one expected, the other unexpected.
The first picture below shows the motor and gearbox fitted roughly in the proposed position in the hull to get the line of the propshaft and the second is a close up of the motor.

The gearbox instructions said mount the two bearing blocks loosely on the mounting plate and slide the output shaft through them. This proved impossible as the shaft was a hard drive fit in the inner race of the bearings. I measured the shaft and it was only about 0.001 inches bigger than a 6.0 mm drill (strange mixture of units I know but I have an imperial standard vernier calliper). The 6.0 mm drill fitted easily into the bearings so I put the output shaft in my pillar drill and polished it down with some fine wet and dry paper until it was a push fit the bearings. I then fastened the bearing blocks to the mounting plate. First unexpected problem solved.
The expected problem was that the Graupner motor has a 6.0 mm output shaft but the pulley supplied with the gearbox is drilled 0.25 inches to suit an MFA motor. My original plan was to fit a length of 0.25 inch OD brass tube in the pulley as a sleeve and then drill it out to 6 mm ID. After three goes at this in my pillar drill I gave up - it was too difficult to align the drill and pully and I ended up drilling into the side of the tube each time. Really its a job for a lathe but I have not got one so I may eventually try and sweet-talk one of my club comrades to do the job. However as a temporary solution, which might actually be the permanent one, I tried an alternative method (i.e. bodge). I experimented with wrappping the motor output shaft in thick aluminium foil (Tesco extra thick kitchen foil) and found that a piece approximately 13 cm long gave a nice snug fit in the pully.

To hold the foil in place as it is rolled on the shaft I first gave it a thin coat of spray mount. I then fitted the pully, tightened the grub screw and voila, a pefect fit. I then tried to fit the motor to the mounting plate and discovered the pully would not fit through the hole. Oh bugger, start again. Cut the foil, spray the foil, wrap it round the shaft, feed the shaft through the mounting plate hole and fit the motor mount screws, THEN fit the pulley. I then tested the entire assembly with the mounting plate clamped in a vice and it was fine, a bit noisier than a direct drive motor but not as noisy as a gearbox.
The next decision to make is where to mount the motor, obviously on the end of the prop shaft you say but the photo below shows the problem area. The line of the propshaft is very shallow and gets closer to the keel the further forward it runs so the shaft has to be kept short to get the maximum clearance from the keel. However while the belt drive lets the output shaft be lower than it would be with a direct drive, the large pulley becomes the critical area. The picture below shows that either I need to change the line of the propshaft or cut away the keel and frame to get the motor lower down. The cross marked on the frame is where the line of the prop shaft should run. At this stage either is relatively straight forward and I will probably go for the latter approach when my propshaft arrives to finalise the motor longitudinal position.

Edited By Gareth Jones on 21/02/2011 21:33:27

19/02/2011 20:36:11
Hi Donald,.
Its great to hear from you and I am delighted that you are planning to follow the progress of my Shemarah build. I have been considering building the model since I first saw the article in Model Boats magazine about 18 months ago. I have had a look around at quite a few model boat shows since then, to see if anyone else has built a model of Shemarah II but so far I have not seen one. I have seen some photos of a model on one of the trawler photo galleries but it looked as though it was a bit smaller than the one I am building.
The plans are very detailed so I don't really have any excuses for getting anything wrong. However when I reach the stage of doing the wheelhouse and deck fittings, some photos of the real vessel would be very usefull. If you have any, or would be able to take some in the future I would be very grateful. Jim Pottinger's photos in the original article will be a big help but they are pretty small and it is often difficult to understand the detail of the equipment. However I do not usually build my models very quickly so it will be at least six months before I get near that stage.
I hope you find the story interesting and the finished model does justice to the original. Having the real vessel's skipper following the progress of the build will give me an added incentive to get on with the job,
Best wishes,
Gareth Jones

Edited By Gareth Jones on 19/02/2011 20:37:24

Thread: Boiler Test Requirements.
15/02/2011 15:33:21
This topic was the subject of great debate within my club, Goole MBC and we did eventually get a verbal clarification of the situation after talking to various individuals and MPBA officials. Our understanding is that to comply with MPBA insurance requirements, all steam boilers and gas tanks, regardless of working pressure or volume, must have a valid test certificate. The only exceptions to this rule are monotube/flash steam boilers which are exempt.
Some clubs are covered by model engineering organisation insurance requirements. The model engineering fraternity have negotiated relaxed requirements with their insurers and do have exemptions for boilers less than a certain working pressure and volume, typically nowadays less than 3 bar - litre. e.g. if your boiler working pressure is 3 bar, you do not need a certificate provided its volume is less than 1 litre.
If a club is operating outside the MPBA or model engineering insurance cover, it is up to them or their insurance provider to decide on what rules apply when operating at their site. However I think many clubs which operate in public parks and similar spaces would be required by their 'landlord' to hold suitable third party/public liability insurance which might well dictate the requirements for steam boiler testing.
Maybe an official from the MPBA could put their position in writing on this forum as I believe this situation is quite commonly questioned.

Thread: Shemarah II
12/02/2011 21:09:06
After sitting in the bath to consider the motor problem I have come up with a neat solution which looks as though it will work, but only just. I have a Graupner 900BB torque motor in my TID tug which is vastly overpowered. Consequently I plan to use that motor in Shemarah with an MFA 2.1:1 reduction belt drive to a 75 mm prop. I plan to buy a Graupner 720BB torque to refit in the TID driving its 55 mm prop directly. This has the added benefit of giving me another motor/prop combination to add to my data base (and also Colin Bishop's). After ringing around suppliers I found 720BB torques are also in short supply but I have managed to find one and its in the post.
All the frames are now cut out thanks to my daughter who decided she wanted to strip the wall paper in the dining room which gave me a bonus few hours in the workshop. The next job was to line them all up in packs of about 5 at a time and cut the slot for the keel.

I had marked out the building board which is made from a piece of 18 mm MDF and the first frame, which is the transom was attached. At this point I realise I made a mistake in cutting the board a bit too narrow. Tightening the screws which hold the wooden frame supports to the board is a bit awkward, I should have made the whole thing a couple of inches wider.

Too late now though I will have to carry on as is. Here are the next few frames together with the rough cut keel which is going to be a sandwich of two pieces of 3 mm ply since I have not got a big enough piece of 6 mm ply left.

Just to give an inpression of how big and beamy this thing is going to be, here are most of the rest of the frames slotted in to their approximate position.

The next job is to glue the keel sandwich together and then cut holes in two of the main frames for a handle, details of which will appear in a forthcoming episode. There is also quite a lot of titivating to do on the frames to tidy them up and sand them. I am not sure yet whether to have stringers in the tops of the frames at deck level. in which case I will have to cut slots for them, as I did for the keel.
05/02/2011 20:28:46
Although I try not to start a new model before I have finished building the one before, I have had a bit of a Shemarah moment today. Having spent the last few days building a toilet and washbasin for my 1:12 narrow boat I decided I would do something different and start cutting out the frames for Shemarah. The tracings were laid out on the 4' x 2' sheets of ply and interlocked to get the maximum number of frames from each sheet.

The sheet is then cut down to a size which is manageable on my scroll saw, in this case two frames, and the frame tracing stuck on with Scotch repositionable spray mount. I have found by trial and error that spraying the tracing rather than the ply means there is less glue left on the ply and its easier to sand afterwards as its not so sticky. Using repositionable adhesive makes it easy to peel off the tracing paper.
Here are the first three frames cut out but I manged seven in total today so there are only another 12 to go.

I have also spent a few hours looking for Graupner 900BB torque motors but most of the normal suppliers seem to be out of stock. Maybe I will have to risk an alternative motor which will be yet another step into the unknown.

Thread: which servo?
24/01/2011 09:04:30
Sorry, I made a minor error in the above posting, the Futaba 3014 servo torque at 6 volts should have read 6.5 Kg. cm, not 6.2 - every little bit extra helps.
23/01/2011 20:48:44
My wife built a Victoria about 2 years ago and it was a very successful introduction to model boat building and sailing. We used a Futaba 3003 servo for the rudder and a 3014 high torque servo for the sail winch. The radio system was operated from a 6 volt battery pack to improve the servo output torque to Futaba's figure of 6.2, roughly double what you have now.
We also made a few minor modifications to the sail control system. We used monofilament fishing line with a smear of vaseline for the line which is directly driven by the servo arm. This reduced the friction compared with the stranded line supplied by Thunder Tiger. We also slightly rerouted this line to minimise any un-neccessary bends where it ran aft out of the hull. She sold the yacht last summer so I cannot show you any photos of the mods we did but it did sail very well, as good as the 6 or 7 other Victorias that are sailed at our pond.
Thread: Shemarah II
28/11/2010 18:38:14
 For the past few months I have been debating what to build next.  The choice came down to two possibilties, Shemara II (plans bought for me as a Christmas present by my wife last year) or the Spurn lightship (original builders drawings supplied by the Hull Maritime Museum).
I like to work in 1:24 scale and both would be big models but they would fit in the back of my car (a Honda Jazz with magic seats!), although I will probably need a hand to lift either of them in and out.
I have only built one previous plank on frame model (a TID tug) and in the end the decision was made on the basis that the Shemarah plans have all the hull sections so it will be easier to make all the frames accurately and quickly.  The plans are in 1:25 scale which will make the model approximately 1045 mm long but its very deep and wide so it will certainly be heavy when complete.

I have been inspired by Paul Godfrey's excellent built sequence of a Mountfleet Sir Launcelot, so hopefully this is the start of the Shemarah II story.  My personal target is to have the model on the Goole MBC stand at the CADMA show in 2012.  However my project manageress has just reminded me that I have a narrow boat model to finish, a porch to build, a GMBC newsletter to write and probably lots of other jobs as well so I may not meet the programme.
First thoughts are that the motor will be a Graupner Speed 900BB torque driving an 80 mm 4 bladed prop via an  MFA 2.1:1 belt drive reduction gearbox. If anyone has any experience of this combination (or of building Shemara II from these plans) I would be interested to hear their views.
Over the last few days I have traced all the hull frame half sections on to greaseproof paper, reversed the paper and repeated the exercise so that I have a full frame outline for each section.  I have 19 frames to cut out, the majority in 3mm ply but a couple will be in 6 mm.  These two thicker ones will be either side of the main hull opening to provide hand holds to lift the hull in and out of the water. 

The centre section under the main superstructure and centre trawl winch will be removable to provide access to the inside of the hull.  Although its not a very long, its wide and deep so there should be plenty of room for the systems and the ballast.  The hull section for most of its length is around 13 inches wide and deep so I cannot cut the frames from the normal model shop pieces of 4 ft x 1ft ply sheets and will have to order some 4 ft x 2 ft from SLEC.  I made up a dummy 4 x 2 sheet from newspaper, laid it on the desk and then played around overlaying the traced frames to work out the best layout with the minimum waste.

I have now ordered 3 sheets of 3 mm ply for the majority of the frames, 2 sheets of 1.5 mm for the skinning and 1 sheet of 6 mm for the thick frames which should give me plenty of spare stock to cover any mistakes.
Not much is likely to happen for the next few weeks until Father Christmas will hopefully bring me a scroll saw and I will start cutting the frames - if he doesnt it could be a long job with my coping saw.
Thread: Motor and Prop Survey 2020 Update
22/11/2010 13:32:52
And heres the last one for now.
Name   Onion barge E
Type    Springer tug
Kit   Scratch built (by my wife Elizabeth)
Length   460 mm
Breadth   200 mm
Draught   85 mm approx
Weight   3.9 kg
Number of props 1
Motor   Graupner Speed 500E (type number 1788)
Prop type   3 bladed brass Rivabo general purpose
Prop diameter   40 mm
Direct drive, no gearing
Battery 7.2 volt NiMh, 4300 mah
Duration around an hour
Performance   A little underpowered but fine as a 'have a go boat.'
Motor gets a bit hot after long periods, prop is a little too large for motor.  At full power prop rpm is 3250 compared with motor free running speed of 7200 rpm.
22/11/2010 13:22:33
Its fine by me Colin. I agree, the more information there is in the database, the better the possible match and the greater the number of people who will benefit.  Heres the next one then.
Name    PT602 Snogg
Type      PT boat
Kit         Originally I think the hull was a Keil Kraft or Aerokit
Length   1020 mm
Breadth   280 mm
Draught   40 mm approx
Weight   6.3 kg
Number of props    3 but only 2 are driven, the other freewheels
Motors    2 off, Graupner Speed 700 (type number 7307)
Prop type      3 bladed brass Rivabo general purpose
Prop diameter      30 mm
Direct drive, no gearing
Battery      2 off NiMh, 9.6 volts, one is 2600 mah the other 3300 mah, the only reason they are different is because they happen to be what I already had available
Duration    around 15 minutes, depending on how much space there is to plane around the pond.

Performance      Excellent, planes well,  now better than with the 2 Speed 600 motors as originally described in Model Boats.  Present motors run much cooler.  Motors are well matched to propeller size, prop rpm at full throttle 9240 compared with motor free running speed of 14600.


Edited By Gareth Jones on 22/11/2010 13:35:40

22/11/2010 08:41:52
And here's another.
Name     Walbut Dream
Type    Narrow boat
Kit      Scratch built using Deans marine hull (still work in progress as the photo shows)
Length   1060 mm
Breadth   180 mm
Draught   60 mm
Weight   8.3 kg ballasted to estimated completed weight
Number of propellers   1
Motor   Graupner Speed 500E (type number 1788)
Propeller type 3 bladed brass Rivabo general purpose
Prop diameter 40 mm
Direct drive, no gearing
Battery    7.2 volt  2600 mah NiCad
Duration not known but probably about an hour
Performance   slightly over powered for a narrowboat.  Propeller is slightly large for motor size.  At full power, prop rpm is 3040, free running speed of motor is 7200 rpm.
The model has a bow thruster but in practice it is not required as turning performance is excellent using rudder alone (surprisingly perhaps)

22/11/2010 08:26:35
Here's the next one
Name    Daisy II
Type      Armed drifter
Kit    Mountfleet Osprey
Length   1100 mm
Breadth   250 mm
Draught   90 mm
Weight   8.5 kg
Number of props 1
Motor   Graupner Speed 720B torque (type number 6372)
Prop type 4 blade brass Rivabo general purpose
Diameter 70 mm
Direct drive, no gearing
Battery 12 volt lead acid, 5 amp hour
Duration over an hour
Performance,  good realistic scale speed.  Propeller size is a bit large for the motor. At full power prop rpm is 1530 compared with free running speed of motor which is 4100 rpm


Edited By Gareth Jones on 22/11/2010 08:43:06

22/11/2010 08:14:41
Since I have started to keep a very similar database of my own models for the same reason I suppose I had better submit the details.  (Maybe Colin has borrowed my idea?)
Here is the first one then.
Name   TID13 (I know there never was a TID 13 in real life)
Type       Tug
Scratch built, ply plank on frame hull
Length    900 mm
Breadth    230 mm
Draught   70 mm
Weight   6.4 kg
Propellers   1
Motor   Graupner Speed 900BB torque (type number 6373)
Propeller type 4 blade Rivabo brass general purpose (apologies to Glynn Guest, I dont know the pitch)
Propeller diameter 55 mm
Direct drive, no gearing
Battery 12 volt 7 amp hour lead acid
Duration not known but well over an hour
Performance    significantly over powered with this motor - it will almost plane.  However the propeller is slightly large for the motor, prop speed at max power is 3150 rpm. free running speed of motor is 6500


Edited By Gareth Jones on 22/11/2010 09:01:20

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We welcome well written contributions from Website members on almost any aspect of Model Boating with a particular emphasis on practical hints, tips, experience and builds.

In order to maintain a consistent standard and format, all suggestions should first be sent to me by Personal Message for approval in principle. Only a very limited amount of time is available for editing contributions into a suitable format for placing on the website so it is important that the material is well presented, lucid and free from obvious spelling errors. I think it goes without saying that contributions should be illustrated by appropriate photos. I shall be happy to give advice on this.

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