By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more

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
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

20/12/2018 13:39:55

A few more photos of bits and pieces added to the model recently.

There are two anchors, although I admit I cheated and bought these some time ago. One is stowed adjacent to the windlass and attached to the davit on the left side of the bow. The 'rope' is a bit thick and hairy and needs a bit of titivation or replacing with some finer cord.

spider 227.jpg

The other is stowed as a spare attached to the front headledge roller support on the right side of the foredeck.

spider 226.jpg

I have also made a ladder, gangplank and boat hook which are stowed on the centre part of the hatch covers. These will be pinned and glued on in due course. The ladder stiles are made from 2 mm ply after several attempts to use pine strip failed when they splintered while drilling. The rungs are made from cocktail sticks.

The plank is a simple piece of pine strip with a short length of blackened brass strip round each end to protect the ends from damage. The plank has been stained and then weathered with some Tamiya weathering 'soot' to make it look a bit more grubby and used.

The boathook working end is made from two pieces of 1/16 brass wire soldered into a short length of brass tubing which fits on to a kebab skewer.

spider 231.jpg


Edited By Gareth Jones on 20/12/2018 13:42:29

19/12/2018 20:08:59

The Spider J build is inching towards a conclusion now. I have made and fitted the forestay block which attaches to the side of the stayfall block. There are a few bits of brass that need either painting or weathering yet.

spider 223.jpg

I have also made and fitted the leeboard rollers. They have been fitted so as to try and disguise where the model leeboard cables exit the hull by way of a short curved length of brass tube, but of course they are in the position they would be on the real boat. It was planned that way and for once worked out reasonably well.

spider 224.jpg

The model has also finally got its 'proper name, after having the working name of Spider J for the last 4 years. The model is based on the drawings of the sloop Spider T, (T being short for Tomlinson) but I did not want to closely ally the model to that vessel as Spider T is still around and now looks quite different. My wife has a tradition of giving her yachts names with the word Princess in them, in memory of the horse she used to own. She (the horse that is) was a thoroughbred with an official name of Palace Princess, although she was usually known as 'P' To continue the tradition my Humber Sloop has been given the name Humber Princess. The chosen port of registry is New Holland, which is where Spider T was built, in Warrens shipyayd.

spider 225.jpg

Tomorrow I will add some photos of the anchors and the ongoing work on the aft hatches.


Thread: SS Great Britain on TV
16/12/2018 09:03:45

Hi Hutch,

Here are the photo posting instructions, cut and pasted from the original.

First of all, any pictures you want to post need to be in a format no bigger than 800 x 600 pixels. I use Microsoft Office Picture Manager to reduce the picture size down from whatever the camera takes, to this size. My ancient desktop is still running Vista as an operating system so there may well be other options to use now. I usually save the reformatted pictures on my desktop where i can easily find them.

Log on to the forum as though you were going to add a post to one of the topics.

From the bar across the top of the page click on the Albums tab.

From the options that appear click on Create a photo album

Give the album a name and description

If you want the rest of the world to have access to the album tick the Public box, I think this is usually the default setting.

If you want other people to be able to upload photos to your album tick the Allow member uploads box ( I usually do not allow this)

Finally, for this stage, click on the Create album box.

You now can upload pictures into this album, firstly by clicking on Chose file. This will open your computer files and you need to find the first photo you want to upload. When you have found that file, click on Open and it will appear in the list. Repeat this process for up to 5 photos.

When you have selected your photos select Upload and they will appear on the page. When they have uploaded click on Save changes at the bottom of the list and they will all be there, accessible to anyone from the Albums tab on the top of the normal forum page.

If you want to include one of these photos in your post on the forum, type in any text normally. Then I usually leave one blank line and set the curser to the left hand edge of the page.

In the box above where you type in the text there is a camera icon. Click on that and a new box will appear which lists all your albums.

Click on the appropriate album and the list of all the photos in it will appear.

Click on the one you want and the picture itself will appear on the right of the box.

If that is the correct one, click on OK and it will appear in the right position in your post.

Put in another blank line and then start typing the next bit of text or add another photo.

Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year,


Thread: Fascinating stuff from the Far East
06/12/2018 14:00:26


When I replied to the chap who sent me the original link I said I am not sure what I want the most, a Jong, a drone or a home in the South China Sea.


06/12/2018 13:30:18

Here's the link I referred to above:- **LINK**


06/12/2018 13:15:28

Someone from the Vintage Model Yacht Group found out about these chaps a couple of years ago. There are some even better videos of them sailing parallel to the beach in a strong on shore breeze and they really zoom along. I will try and find the links and add them to the thread.


Thread: Spider J
19/11/2018 16:36:20

Glad you like it Mattias. We sailed Spider J again yesterday in a bit of a breeze, around 10 mph. We were pleasantly surprised how well it sailed, only a slight sideways drift with the wind directly side on and it went quite nicely across the wind and downwind. No tendency to heel over when cross wind. It does not point very high or have the speed or manoeuverability of a modern racing yacht but its not bad for a 100 year old barge design. Unfortunately both times when we sailed at the weekend we were looking more or less directly into a low sun so the photos are not very good but here's another from yesterday.

spider 217.jpg

Ray, the ballast is made up of three groups. There is about 2 lb of lead right at the back, below the propshaft in the form of lead flashing strips along the bottom of the hull between the frames.

spider 218.jpg

There are three blocks each weighing 3 lb made up of lead flashing fixed to plywood plates which also sit right on the bottom, between the frames.

spider 219.jpg

Two of these fit just ahead of the motor, towards the back of the hold.

spider 220.jpg

The third one sits right at the front of the hold and covers the full width of the hull, just in front of the 12V 7ah lead acid battery which goes on the flat ply mount you can see in the picture below..

spider 221.jpg

The normal procedure is to leave these ballast weights fitted unless they need to be removed for access or ease of working in the workshop. The battery is fitted and power switched on for radio checks. The front and rear hatches are then fitted which leaves access to the carrying handle in the middle. If I am launching from a jetty Spider J is normally lifted into the water in this configuration, in which it weighs approx 34 lb.

The next step is to fit 4 additional ballast blocks shared with my trawler Shemarah. These weigh a total of 25 lb and are fitted through the center hatch and sit in the middle of the hull. The center hatch is then fitted and off she goes.

spider 222.jpg

The outboard wording on the label refers to Shemarah where these 4 blocks fit rotated 90 degrees from the position in Spider J

The normal sailing weight for Spider J is therefore about 58 lb, which is quite heavy but it is practical to lift the boat with the handle even at that weight. Its about the same as our A class yacht Serica III.


Edited By Gareth Jones on 19/11/2018 16:39:13

17/11/2018 16:24:58

Spider J has progressed slowly over the last few months and this afternoon we took it for it's first proper 'sail' with a trial set of cotton sails. These have been made by Elizabeth to check the fit and allow us to adjust the template before cutting the final set out of the proper brick red material. There was very little wind but since I am not sure of the ballast yet maybe that's no bad thing. Tomorrow we will check again when there is forecast to be a breeze of around 10 mph. Today's outing was quite successful and allowed us to check the ballast was in roughly the right place and the sequence of fitting the ballast and centre hatch with the boat in the water was quite practicable.

spider 213.jpg

spider 214.jpg

spider 215.jpg

spider 216.jpg


Thread: Help To Identify Yacht
28/09/2018 13:15:15


Its a nice day here back in East Yorkshire, sunny and not too windy so I have taken the promised photos of Ella. She was built to the Kittiwake design in the 1940's but would be quite representative of what your Pocahontas would have been like originally.

For reference the top of the mast stands 62 inches above the deck, the jib boom is 13.5 inches long and the main boom is 22 inches long.

ella 1.jpg

ella 2.jpg

ella 3.jpg

ella 4.jpg

ella 5.jpg


Your Pocahontas is still in the queue for repair of the leak and loose keel weight, maybe it will reach the front this winter. We have sailed Britannia this year but it was a really grey day and the photos would not be worth putting on here. Maybe the weather and photos will be better next time. We hope you are keeping well.



Edited By Gareth Jones on 28/09/2018 13:16:51

26/09/2018 16:17:26

Hi Paul,

One other point I meant to add.

Given your location, and assuming you found the yacht over there, I guess there is a possibility it is an American design rather than a British Pocahontas or Kittiwake. Either way the rigging and size of the mast and spars will be similar. The Marblehead design originated in the USA in the early 1930's. There is a history of the origins of the Marblehead class on the US vintage model yacht group site and there is a link to it here:- **LINK**


Edited By Gareth Jones on 26/09/2018 16:21:55

Edited By Gareth Jones on 26/09/2018 16:22:12

26/09/2018 16:07:59

Hi Paul,

Certainly is a small world, both our kids went to Woldgate but it would have been from about 2000 onwards.

I will sort the photos out in the next couple of days. It may be easiest to send photos of the Littlejohn Kittiwake we have as being more representative of your Marblehead, even though its a different design.



26/09/2018 14:59:44

Hi Paul,

I take it from the reference to 'these shores' that you are no longer in the UK. If you were in the northwest next month I was going to suggest visiting the Blackpool Model Show as we are supporting a Marblehead themed stand for the Vintage Model Yacht Group and there should be a Pocahontas on the stand. What part of East Yorkshire were you from? We live in Bielby near Pocklington.

Elizabeth's Pocahontas is currently in the loft awaiting renovation and it is probably not a good example to use as a basis for restoration as its relatively new and was built with radio control in mind. Here is a picture of the hull.


I will try and sort out a better picture of an older Pocahontas in the next couple of days.



Thread: Servos only working on channel 1 of receivers
26/09/2018 09:44:19


I think a 6 volt lead acid battery would be much too heavy. A 6 volt pack of 5 AA sized Nimh batteries would be much more appropriate.


Thread: Help To Identify Yacht
26/09/2018 09:25:31

Hi Paul,

I think your yacht is most likely to be a Bill Daniels designed Pocahontas, as shown in the lines drawing below.

1936 marblehead pocahontas bill daniels.jpg

There is also a possibility it could be a Bert Littlejohn designed Kittiwake from the same era. as shown below.

kittiwake 1.jpg

It can be difficult to differentiate Marbleheads as they are all the same length at nominally 50 inches. However according to the drawings and the two boats that we have (my wife is lucky enough to have one of each) Pocahontas is 9.5 inch beam and Kittiwake is 9 inches. The stem on Pocahontas is more swept back than Kittiwake and looks more like your model. It is possible that your yacht is something else altogether but the above two designs will give you a good guide as it is most probably from that era.

There is an article on building a 'modern' version of Pocahontas in the Sept 1995 issue of Marine Modelling. For Kittiwake you need to go back further, to the |December 1937 edition of Marine Models.

I can post some photos of our two yachts if that will help. Our Pocahontas was kindly donated to Elizabeth by Bob Abell who built it some years ago but was running out of room to store his models.

Just out of curiosity, are you the Paul Skinner who used to be or maybe still is, a Dunlop rep?


Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Boats? Use our magazine locator link to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Boats!

Support Our Partners
Premier March
Tony Green Steam
Restorers Wanted
Pendle Boilers
Shopping Partners
Social Media

'Like' us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Pin us on Pinterest

Member Contributions
Distributors of Model Boats for our overseas readers

Make sure you never miss out on the latest news, product reviews and competitions with our free RSS feed

Make your own contribution to the Website

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.

The Member Contribution area offers space for short informative mini articles which would not normally find a place in Model Boats magazine. It is an opportunity for Website Members to freely share their  expertise and experience but I am afraid that virtue is its own reward as there is no budget to offer more material recompense!

I look forward to receiving your suggestions.

Colin Bishop - Website Editor