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: tea clippers
20/08/2018 19:28:30

Hi Hutch,

On the real vessel, I believe the jib sail sheets were taken to belaying pins fitted in a pin rail around the bulwarks on the right hand side of the bow. That is just based on Lennarth Petersson's book 'Rigging period ship models'. I have looked through our photos of Cutty Sark but can't find any of the area in question but then Cutty Sark was not fitted with any sails and only had the standing rigging when we visited it.

On Elizabeth's model she took all three sheets to a single small eye in the forecastle deck, just behind the capstan, as shown in the attached photo. They are adjusted with small bowsies, which you can see in the picture, but not controlled by a sail winch. If only we had read Neville Wade's articles on square riggers before Elizabeth restored Ariel the we might have done things differently.

ariel jib sheets.jpg

I sympathise with your slow progress on the model. I am doing no better with my Humber sloop which has been parked on the workbench again, although I am occasionally doing some small jobs making and painting some of the pulley blocks in the rigging. I have been distracted by work on a 10 rater yacht that we acquired last year and currently fitting the sail winch and rudder servo. As you can see from the picture it had previously suffered a bit of an oddball radio conversion and in the process been fitted with a second deck. It will look lovely when its finished though, a really sleek design by John Lewis called Synergy.


Thread: Northumbrian Coble
01/08/2018 12:44:27

Hi Brian,

Nylet do some smaller eyelets with an inside diameter of 1/16 of an inch (1.5 mm nominal), catalogue part numbers N050.0 and N050.1

Frank Parsons catalogue can be found here **LINK**


Thread: Refurbishment
23/07/2018 15:56:26

By the way Norman, it is best not to publish your email address in open view on the forum or you are likely to get all sorts of strange information appearing in you inbox. Its much more preferable to send the information directly to the required recipient by personal message (PM)


Edited By Gareth Jones on 23/07/2018 15:58:48

Edited By Gareth Jones on 23/07/2018 15:59:26

23/07/2018 15:55:38

Hi Norman,

I rebuilt an example of the kit about 8 years ago, having been presented with a model in a similar state to yours. I did not have the original plan but obtained a copy of John Haynes drawing from him at the time. I suspect it shows a lot more detail than the original kit plan but I don't know if it is still available from him. At the time he did his own Elco PT boat kit and also supplied me with lots of detail parts including the guns.

I wrote an article on the rebuild for Model Boats magazine which was published in September 2010. It is still available on the Forum if you are a subscriber and search under PT 602. There is lots of information on the web about Elco 80 foot PT boats - Google is your friendly assistant.

Here is a photo of the completed model


Thread: Vane Sailing
23/07/2018 09:10:56


I think the club does still exist but I understand they are having problems with the boating lake on the promenade at West Shore. It tends to get filled up with sand, washed or blown off the adjacent beach and they are having great difficulty getting the local authority to maintain it. Its a great pity as its a lovely location for vane sailing.


22/07/2018 15:32:25

Hi Bob,

He's fine. We met up in the Isle of Man for the Manx MBC Manannan festival at the end of June. He is still building model boats and yachts and tinkering with Arduino type stuff.


22/07/2018 09:15:08


There are several designs available through Sarik Hobbies. Plans reference MAR 2863, MM 398, MM 631 and MM 1115. MAR 2863 shows details of both Braine and vane steering mechanisms with dimensioned drawings. I have not seen the other drawings so I don't know how detailed they are or what type of vane gear mechanism they describe.

Graham Reeves designed the Ezi-build vane gear which is easy to make and works effectively - I know because I made one for a 36R yacht. Full details are available on the Llandudno model yacht club site here:-**LINK**

Used examples of vane gear occasionally appear on Ebay in widely varying condition and at widely varying prices.


Thread: Spider J
07/07/2018 17:05:52


There is some silver soldering in the winches but there is also a bit of soft soldering as well. However the winches will be painted rather than blackened so there should be no problems.

The latest step has been making the mast hoops that attach the mainsail luff to the mast. They have been made pretty well the same way that full sized ones are made. I started with lengths of 1 mm ply, about 5 mm wide. Each end is chamfered over a length of about 10 mm, one end on one side, the other on the other side.

spider 207.jpg

Each length is boiled in a pan part full of water for a few minutes and then wrapped around a piece of pipe, slightly smaller than the required finished finished diameter and then clamped in place.

spider 208.jpg

They are left to cool and dry and then wrapped around a mandrel which will give the required finished diameter. in this case 25 mm outside diam with two complete turns of the strip. I had to make a few samples and trial and error led to the right starting length of the strips and diameter of the mandrel. The mandrel has a length of clear tape around it to prevent the hoop sticking to it.

spider 209.jpg

Thin super glue is dribbled into the edge of the hoop where the two scarphed ends overlap. When it has dried, the hoop is pushed off the mandrel and glue dribbled all around its circumference on each edge so it becomes a solid hoop. You then have to try and prize it off your fingers with minimal loss of skin where it's stuck to your hand.

When dry, the edges of each hoop are sanded on the disc sander to a uniform thickness of 4 mm, being careful to avoid sanding the ends of your fingers or thumb on the disc. Next the inner and outer faces were lightly sanded with a piece of 180 grade abrasive paper. When they were all made they were soaked in dark oak wood dye and allowed to dry.

spider 210.jpg

They have to be fitted over the section at the foot of the mast which is about 17 mm square. The chosen size gave a tight fit but by chamfering the corners of the mast slightly they could all be pushed on and up to the main round section of the mast. The collar that supports the main boom was also fitted at this stage.

spider 211.jpg

The next job has been to make an initial pattern for the sails from some brown paper. I am reasonably happy with that now so the brown paper pattern with its required corrections will be transferred onto some of my wife's 'proper' dressmaking pattern paper before marking and cutting out the sails.

spider 212.jpg

I have some sailcloth in a suitable tan colour as used on Humber sloops. For some reason Humber sloop sails were tan coloured but keels were white or cream (and square rigged).  I bought the last piece of tan coloured material that Keith Jewell at Modelling Timbers had in stock about 3 years ago, especially for this project, but I don't think I have enough spare for any major mistakes. However Elizabeth plans to make a prototype set from some spare scrap material first so hopefully there won't be any errors in the final set. We are going to follow Banjoman's process as used on his Moonbeam for hemming and false tabling the edges and sewing on the bolt ropes.

After living with a working name of Spider J for the last three years or so we have now decided on the final name for the sloop (and also a name for the keel when it is built). The model is based on the hull drawings of Spider T but it is really a generic Sheffield sized sloop so I did not want it to be too closely allied to that particular vessel. I am going to keep you guessing what the name will be for the time being. However if you know the name of some of Elizabeth's yachts, it will give you a clue.


Edited By Gareth Jones on 07/07/2018 17:13:50

Edited By Gareth Jones on 07/07/2018 17:15:24

04/07/2018 16:07:33

Excellent ideas Mattias, I have embodied the first suggestion and I might do the second as well but I think it looks fine as it is now.

I have drilled a 1.0 mm hole in the side frames, adjacent to each roller. To locate the hole accurately I pushed the 1/16 inch brass roller pivot rod through the side frame and fitted the roller to the outside of the frame. I then pushed a piece of 1.0 mm piano wire through the small eye in the end of the roller and used that to mark the side frame. For the roller in which I had fitted a bigger eye, I have reverted to my original small one.  I only have one eye in each roller as there is no need for very precise adjustment of the rigging lines.

The locking pin is a short piece of 1.0 mm piano wire bent to an L shape. The top one is visible, but not very obtrusive, the bottom one is hidden behind the side frame.

spider 204.jpg

spider 205.jpg

I could tap the side frames for a 12 BA bolt but I think the piano wire solution is stronger and simpler, and I don't have a 12 BA tap at present. The locking pins are a good fit and with the tension in the rigging lines, I don't think they will fall out.

I also made another small mod and drilled a 1.3 mm hole near the end of each roller. The free end of the line is pushed into this hole, after application of a small amount of superglue to stiffen it. A short piece of double sided tape on the roller (just visible on the lower roller) helps secure the end of the line.

spider 206.jpg

The next step is to do the same mods on the other side and then complete the rigging lines for the gaff boom and foresail halyard. I can then start to make a pattern for the sails.



Edited By Gareth Jones on 04/07/2018 16:09:28

03/07/2018 15:31:15

In answer to your assorted questions, I have access to three Humber sloops, moored in the marina in Hull, Spider T, whose original build drawings have been used for Spider J (but is now considerably altered from its original build standard), Amy Howson, and Phyllis. Amy Howson and Spider T are both the same size, Phyllis is slightly bigger. I have used a combination of all three in making the fittings and building the model. All three sloops also have their own websites.

We probably will be going to Haydock Park but only as visitors, not exhibitors. If we go it will be on the Saturday as Sunday is a Vintage Model Yacht Group sailing day at Cleethorpes. We will be exhibiting at Blackpool, but probably only vintage model yachts. I don't think we will have room in the car for Spider J.

The stayfall blocks were built from scratch and do work as the original. I have not yet decided on a locking mechanism, which is typically by a shackle through the chain at a suitable location. Mine is just locked with a small brass pin through the chain at present.

I have started doing an experimental bit of rigging of the lines for the topping lift and gaff throat which go to the winch on the starboard coaming. The problem which I anticipated, and have not yet resolved is securing the lines on the rollers but preferably making them adjustable. I cannot easily lock the rollers and prevent them rotating as the pawl and ratchet mechanism cannot be relied upon and in any case the ratchet wheels are not securely fixed to the rollers.

The picture below shows two methods tried so far.

spider 203.jpg

In the top one, I have locked the roller with a pin (actually a small drill), through an eye in the end of the roller. This looks clumsy, even if I use a smaller pin, but it is easy to wind the cord on the roller by spinning the roller with my fingers. The few coils of line at the left hand end are just held on the drum with double sided tape. The end of the cord should go through an eye in the roller but the ones I made are too small and need to be replaced by bigger ones (but not as big as the one at the RH end of the roller.

In the bottom one the line is looped over itself where it comes on to the drum and then wrapped around the roller by hand. This works quite well and is quite unobtrusive but its a pain to wind the line round the roller and difficult to adjust afterwards.

At the moment I am inclined to use the second method but with a discretely positioned bowsie in each line to provide adjustment - unless I or someone else can come up with a better idea. Maybe I need to have a look at some Thames barge models and see how they do it.


01/07/2018 21:33:54


Thats a good idea and I will give it some consideration. I think the problem might be that my 'crewman' is a solid resin figure and might be a bit heavy to swing from side to side with the tiller.

I have made a bit more progress with the model over the last week or so. I have made the collar that fits round the mast under the main boom. Just got the bolts to crop to length and then paint it black.

spider 198.jpg

I have also made the throat fitting for the main boom as shown below and also the fitting for the other end that provides the attachment for the topping lift and sheet.

spider 199.jpg

I have made a start on seizing all the standing rigging end fittings where there would normally be splices in the wire but in the model's case there are crimps. I have also added all the fixed pulleys for the running rigging on the mast.

spider 200.jpg

I have made the forestay which has to be attached via a pair of pulleys to the bottom part of the stayfall block and tackle. At the moment the bottom pulley and tensioning ropes are replaced with a rubber band.

spider 201.jpg

After messing around a little in rigging and de-rigging I decided to sacrifice scale accuracy and I have replaced the shackle that attached the stayfall block to the stem extension with a simple steel hook. This makes de-rigging much easier and there is no risk of losing the shackle or its pin in the process.

spider 202.jpg

During our recent trip to the Isle of Man I discovered that the easiest way to transport the model is to allow the mast to fold backwards by about 40 degrees which gives enough headroom to get it in the back of the car. Previously I had folded the mast fully backwards but that results in the shrouds getting tangled and the chain on the stayfall block also getting in a twist.

The current work is continuing to seize the ends of the shrouds and making the gaff boom and its fittings. I have now roughly drawn out a sail plan so I will be passing the sail making task to my wife in the near future.



Edited By Gareth Jones on 01/07/2018 21:36:42

Thread: Binding Orange to Spektrum
19/06/2018 14:51:45

Hi Martin,

I would agree it looks like you have a duff transmitter.  If you would like to do a complete back to back test you could send me your Orange receiver along with my Spektrum unit,  and I will test that with my transmitters and return it to you afterwards.  It's your choice.

I must say I was a bit concerned when you said you got a yellow light on the transmitter array of 4 lights (should be 1 red and 3 greens). I have never seen a yellow light on any of our DX5Es or in the manual and I can't recall ever reading about one on any of the forum threads I have looked at. Either its a really odd fault in your transmitter or there is more going on in these things than Spektrum tell the users.


Edited By Gareth Jones on 19/06/2018 14:53:59

Thread: Spider J
18/06/2018 08:58:56

The apple twig tiller has turned out really well. I started with a twig about 15 mm in diameter and roughly the right shape for the tiller, i.e. a very elongated 'z' shape. I shaved the bark off and then planed it roughly square section so it would lie flat. At this stage is was overall much longer than the required length. I steamed it in a kettle and then fixed it in a roughly made jig overnight to get it closer to the required shape.

spider 195.jpg

Then by a slow process of sawing, planing, whittling and sanding I gradually reduced it to the right length and the correct cross section - 8 mm square at the rudder end and 4 mm diameter at the forward end just before the final tapered 'knob'

spider 196.jpg

spider 197.jpg

The slight drawback to having the tiller is that the sweep of the arm makes it impractical to fix my little 1:16 crewman to stand in an appropriate position. I guess he will have to be moved to a more suitable location when the boat is sailed.


Thread: Binding Orange to Spektrum
16/06/2018 21:39:38


OK let me know what you want to do. System compatibility is a bit of a minefield. We have a DX6i and DX6e, both of which operate on the DSMX system. However the older DX6i will work with older DSM 2 receivers, the newer DX6e won't, it will only work with DSMX (but the manual does admit that if you know where to look)



Thread: Spider J
16/06/2018 21:04:16

Hi Bob,

You are welcome to pick my nits anytime you like. In response to your suggestion, I don't have a metal working lathe, so I am not able to turn a hub on the face of the ratchet wheels. Its well beyond the capability of our simple wood turning late or my 'lathe substitute' pillar drill. A metal working lathe is on our shopping list, along with a planer/thicknesser. Unfortunately a new sewing machine for Elizabeth is currently at the top of the list.



Thread: Binding Orange to Spektrum
16/06/2018 20:56:21


Here are a couple of pointers that might help. Firstly I am a bit concerned by your comment in your last but one post that the transmitter lights do not flash and the instructions do not mention them flashing. I have just been out in my workshop and bound a DX5E transmitter to a Spektrum AR500 receiver, both DSM2 standard. The transmitter lights do flash and the instructions do mention them flashing. The sequence of events is as follows:-

Push the bind plug into the bind socket of the receiver and power the receiver from a suitable 4.8 or 6 volt battery. The orange LED in the receiver starts flashing rapidly.

Hold the trainer switch on the transmitter up and switch on the transmitter. All 4 LEDs 1 red, 3 green flash on the transmitter. The flash rate of the LED in the receiver slows down. At this point release the trainer switch and the 4 flashing lights on the transmitter become one solid green one showing its battery capacity.

After a few seconds the orange LED in the receiver stops flashing and goes out and then a few seconds later, it comes back on as a solid orange light and the two devices are bound.

Remove the bind plug from the receiver and then unplug its power supply. Switch off the transmitter. Both devices are now successfully bound.

The second pointer refers to the last line of your last post. A new receiver from Onk Onk will not necessarily tell you whether your transmitter is working as a brand new thing should. It will only do that if you have ordered a Spektrum receiver to the same protocol standard as your transmitter.

If you can confirm whether your transmitter is DSM2 or DSMX, I am prepared to lend you, by post, a compatible Spektrum receiver that I know will bind to my transmitter. You just have to pm me your address and then return the receiver to me afterwards.

I must point out I have no experience of Orange receivers and have never used anything other than Spektrum receivers with our Spektrum transmitters (DX5E, DX6i and DX6E)



Thread: Spider J
15/06/2018 20:56:51

Maybe the CADMA show inspired me to restart work on Spider J or maybe I was shamed into it by all the people who came up to me and asked where it was and why wasn't it finished. Either way it has been dusted off again and after a fairly intensive spell this week I have just about finished the 2 side winches.

In my last post I said I was going to get on and make the next two ratchet wheels but unfortunately I got distracted by something else at the time and ended up having to go back and look at this thread and find out how I had made the first two. The mounting bolts need to be cropped to length but I am going to leave that until I remove the winches for painting.

spider 189.jpg

There are one or two bits to just tidy up but overall, apart from one aspect I am quite pleased with the result.

spider 190.jpg

The brake on the lower drum has come out quite well, and it works just like the real thing.

spider 191.jpg

Both upper and lower pawls were made by filing brass strip by hand which was a bit fiddly but they look OK

spider 192.jpg

The one aspect about the winches that niggles me a bit is that the nuts used, which are a mixture of 12 BA and 14 BA look OK on the winch in isolation but are actually about twice scale size. It would probably be impractical to use anything smaller since it would just not be strong enough to take the sailing loads. However when you look at the photo etched 'nuts' that I used to simulate the attachments for the bollards, they look very small in comparison to those used on the winch. I might go up a size on the bollards as a trial.

I have also fitted the hatch bars and wedges on the rear section of the main hatch. The bars and wedges are glued to the hatch cover with medium superglue and lift off with the hatch. The wedges are quite convincing, even though they are not actually wedged into the cleats on the coaming.

spider 193.jpg

I have also done a trial fit of the anchors, which look about the right size. After considering making a pair of anchors, I took the easy option and bought them.

spider 194.jpg

The next job on the go is the tiller. After several attempts at bending pieces of softwood (which failed because they cracked, even after steaming) or cutting a piece from strip (which looks wrong because of the way the grain runs), I am now attempting to use a 'crook' cut from a small apple tree in our front garden. Photos will follow if it is a success.


Thread: Moonbeam Maiden Sail
15/06/2018 09:47:04

Hi Mattias,

I am pleased to see that you finally finished your Moonbeam and had a successful maiden voyage. I have looked at quite a few Moonbeams over the years since my wife built one, and I am pleased to say that I think yours is the best and most meticulously constructed example I have ever seen. However I do prefer the colour scheme of Elizabeth's Moonbeam Princess (blue and white).

This leads on to the big question, what are you going to build next?



Thread: Sail servo
15/06/2018 09:22:16

HI David,

I think the best fit would be a Hitec HS765HB sail arm servo. It is almost the same size or perhaps very slightly shorter in length and has the near enough the same torque as the HS715BB and the same arm length. The principal difference is the travel is greater at 140 degrees rather than 90. Your options to reduce the travel would be to adjust it within your transmitter, if it has that capability, or use a device such as a Servomorph, available from Component Shop. The Servomorph allows you to adjust the range and speed of a servo. You would need to find space inside the hull, but they are not very big.


Thread: Futaba 6ex
08/06/2018 18:37:01

Hi Jo,

I had a look through the manual for my Futaba 6EX and there is a helicopter mix that involves aileron and throttle, channels 1 and 3. Its described on page 28 in the manual if that helps. However I would have thought doing a factory reset would have cleared it.


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