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: Yacht type
01/03/2018 08:00:45

Hi Henry,

I think something has gone wrong when you have tried to post a photo of the yacht in question. Have another go at posting a photograph. There are some notes on how to do it in an earlier post here. **LINK**

It will help identification if you can provide a couple of photos, one side on showing the elevation of the hull clearly and one directly down on the deck showing the plan shape.


Thread: Ellesmere Port show 2018
19/02/2018 16:07:42


Are you sure the event is going to take place? From what has been said on the other well known forum, I thought that this years show had been cancelled.


Thread: Star SY6 Southern Star
09/02/2018 14:32:51

HI Bob,

There is some information about Star yachts on the Vintage Model Yacht Group website. I don't know if it will help answer your questions but there is a link to it here:- **LINK**


Thread: dead eyes
05/02/2018 17:00:47

HI Hutch,

Elizabeth used Artesania Latina part 8503 dead eyes on her model of Ariel. They are nominally 4 mm diameter which would be 240 mm diameter at full scale or about 10 inches. I have attached a couple of pictures on Cutty Sark which might help you judge the size of the real item.

If you assume from the second picture that the top of the rail is about 48 inches high and then scale the deadeyes in the first picture by measuring the diameter and the distance from deck to top of rail, it makes them around 9-10 inches diameter.

dead eyes 1.jpg

dead eyes 2.jpg

As you can see, it was pretty wet the day we went round Cutty Sark.


Thread: Stanchion Plates
04/02/2018 17:35:09


As an alternative to drilling holes and fitting real rivets, you could simulate them with a spot of thick superglue in each corner of your base plates. Alternatively you could impress the rivet heads from the back of the base plate using a tool made up of a small block with 4 pins, similar in principle to the process I used on Spider J's hull plating shown here.

spider 72.jpg

Another option would be to use photo etched rivet heads stuck in each corner. I have not done this to simulate rivets but I have used it quite a lot to simulate bolt heads and tails


Thread: Spider J
03/02/2018 18:43:18


Solartex does give quite a good impression of a tarpaulin. All three hatches have now been covered. There is a very small overlap on either end of the centre hatch which hides the joints in the hatches very well. The material I have used is satin finish dark green.

spider 177.jpg

I have done the covering in a number of sections, roughly representing sheets about 8 feet wide. Initially I folded the edge over to make a seam but, even folding 3 or 4 times it still looked too thin and lost in the overall look. Eventually I incorporated a strip of styrene, 2 mm wide and 0.3 mm thick which looks reasonably convincing, although perhaps now slightly too thick. The styrene strip was ironed on, near to the edge of the Solartex using the adhesive backing and the Solartex then folded over and ironed on the underside of the strip as well.

spider 178.jpg

The panels were overlapped and ironed down in turn to fix them on the ply hatch cover. There is the odd small wrinkle and bubble but the tarpaulins were never ironed down completely flat in real life. I ran a small clock gearwheel along each seam to simulate the stitches. Its not easy to see unless you look closely but at least I know its there.

spider 179.jpg

I have been trying to finish off various details that got abandoned in a partially complete state when I moved on to something new. The brass anchor chain has been blackened, as have all the brass fittings for the lee-boards and the front head ledge winch. There are still quite a few details that need painting, including the deck horses and the front winch. I have also started to shape a piece of timber to make the tiller arm. I will post some pictures when I find a way of forming it into shape, which is probably going to involve some steaming.

I think the next major sub assembly project will be the two coaming mounted winches which hoist the sails and gaff boom. This will be made in styrene and brass as it needs to be robust since it will end up taking some of the sailing/rigging loads. Here is a picture of the real thing. There are two, one on either side just aft of the mast. Having a real example to copy is a great benefit when it comes to trying to get all the details right. There are a few hatch bar wedges to compare as well.

spider 181.jpg


03/02/2018 17:51:21


Thanks for the reminder about your Puffer thread. There are quite a few areas where you had some good ideas I can use on Spider J as they have quite a lot of rigging in common. However I have deviated from your method of making the hatch wedges. I made up an aluminium spacer to use on my disc sander platform so I could hold the relatively narrow wooden strip against the disc at a fixed shallow angle. I have just sanded the tapered section and then cut them off to length afterwards. It means I used roughly twice as much timber as you, per wedge, but they are only small and its only an off-cut anyway. Here are a couple in place after they have been dyed.

spider 180.jpg

The brass hatch bars have been blackened. I am not sure yet whether I am going to paint them. The final look I want for the sloop is a well used but not necessarily abused appearance.


Thread: Bending Deck Planks
03/02/2018 16:14:56

The planking of Daredevil is now complete, the next job for Elizabeth is sanding it down.

plank bending 5.jpg


Thread: Spider J
26/01/2018 20:23:12

Tonight I have had a trial fit of the Solartex tarpaulin simulation. I plan to fit this in sections about 5 inches wide to simulate separate sheets that overlap.

spider 175.jpg

The hatch bars will be made from 3 mm wide, 0.5 mm thick brass strip. I would have used styrene but I have not got any of the right size but I have the brass. I have also made the first 4 prototype wedges that hold the hatch bars in position. These have been made from some 3 mm x 2 mm timber, not sure what, possibly spruce, tapered on my disc sander to about 12 degrees and 8 mm long which looks about right.

spider 176.jpg

At some point I need to make 68 of these wedges, near enough all the same size and shape. They will be dyed with Colron light oak wood dye. The hatch bars and wedges will be stuck to the sides of the hatches so they just rest in the cleats on the coamings and don't actually get wedged in properly otherwise removal and refitting the hatches would be difficult and I don't fancy having to remove 68 wedges every time I take the hatches off.

I have tried fitting a second piece of Solartex to overlap the first but it is so thin, the seam is almost invisible. I am going to have to fold over the edge of each piece before fitting to make the seams more realistic.


26/01/2018 20:09:34

I made a decision on the hatches and have shortened the front one so that it finishes flush with the fairlead where the sheet for the foresail emerges just in front of the mast. The reason for this is that there is a fixed deck horse across the hatch at this point and, if I had left the front hatch as it was, it would be very difficult, if not impossible to fit behind the front winch and under the deck horse.

I have now made the rear hatch in two sections. The aft one will normally be semi permanently fitted and the centre section gives access to the carrying handle and will have to be fitted after the boat is in the water.

spider 170.jpg

The next step should have been to fit the magnets to hold the hatches down but since they are still in the post I made the foresail deck horse as shown below. It is made from 1/8 inch brass rod and is attached by two short strips of brass through each side of the hatch coamings. The deckhorse slides in through a hole in each strip, which is free to float sideways at present to allow everything to line up. The brass strips will be secured in their final position with some epoxy resin on the inside of the coamings.

spider 171.jpg

As another fill in job I have made the main sail horse from 3 mm styrene rod and 4 mm square tube. The slider is a bit of brass tube and strip. Now that I know it fits, it needs final sanding and gluing before painting, This will not actually be used when sailing the model so it does not need to be particularly strong.

spider 172.jpg

The magnets have now arrived so have been attached to the inside of the coaming using 6 mm thick ply drilled out to take the 6 mm diam, 3 mm thick magnets.

spider 173.jpg

The steel targets for the magnets are attached to the underside of the hatches on a tapered packing piece. I originally planned to use some small steel washers as targets until I discovered stainless steel is not magnetic. I happened to have a tin full of bits of watch components and managed to find some suitably sized gear wheels, about 10 mm diameter which make a good substitute.

spider 174.jpg

The next job on the hatches, now that they are tied down in their correct positions, was to fair in the joints so that there are minimal steps and gaps between each one.


Thread: Receiver compatibility
26/01/2018 18:25:13

I think an AR400 should be OK. Spektrum did produce a chart which had a compatibility cross reference between all their receivers and transmitters but unfortunately it does not have a DX4E in the list, I guess because it is relatively new. However the AR400 is DSMX compatible so it should be OK.


Thread: Bending Deck Planks
26/01/2018 18:11:16


Just to add to my earlier post here is a photo showing how we used a couple of clamps at the centre hatch (and another at the mast aperture) to create an edge against which we could hold the outermost mahogany plank.

plank bending 3.jpg

Whether this would be possible on your model remains to be seen.

Planking has progressed on Daredevil and Elizabeth has 5 planks on each side now, plus the edge one. Having seen the earlier post by Tim Rowe, Elizabeth decided discretion was the better part of valour and decided not to joggle all the curved planks into the centre king plank. The king plank has therefore been glued in place and it is now easier to bend the planks into position using wedges rather than clamps as shown below.

plank bending 4.jpg

I don't think we would attempt planking a deck this way with anything wider than 8 mm or it would be too stiff, or anything thinner than 2 mm or there would be no edge to pull or push the plank sideways with.


Edited By Gareth Jones on 26/01/2018 18:12:15

Thread: Receiver compatibility
26/01/2018 16:15:10


According to the Spektrum data sheet the DX4E is NOT compatible with AR6000 or BR6000 receivers so I suggest you do not follow Paul's advice above. I think you should be OK with a DSMX compatible receiver. It may be OK with a DSM2 receiver but I would not bet on that. I have only ever used Spektrum receivers with Spektrum transmitters so I have no experience of Orange or other alternatives.


Thread: Newcomer
24/01/2018 16:55:16

Hi John,

Here is a link **LINK** which should give you an idea and might help get you started. Coincidentally it was also built from a James Pottinger plan.


24/01/2018 15:59:37

Hi John,

Have you tried contacting the Hull Model Boat Group? They meet at the boating lake in East Park, usually on a Sunday morning I think. There are some photos of an excellent looking model of the St Finbarr on their website. There is a link here **LINK**

The model on the website is described as scratch built so there may not be a suitable hull available but it might be worth contacting the builder via the website or one of their meetings.


Edited By Gareth Jones on 24/01/2018 16:00:19

Thread: Prop RPMs
21/01/2018 17:53:24


The article referred to by Colin above, and also by Ashley, was based on a survey of members boat performance information submitted to the website. There is a link to all that data here, including several of my own models. **LINK**

I have kept an Excel spreadsheet of the performance of all my models, some with several different motors and propellers fitted. If you would like a copy send me a PM with your email address and I will forward a copy to you.


Thread: Bending Deck Planks
20/01/2018 16:25:09


Coincidentally we are attempting something similar to your decking request this very afternoon. Elizabeth is restoring a Marblehead yacht with a rather scruffy deck and decided she wanted to have a go at curved deck planks notched into a kingplank. She has done straight deck planks in the past and we have jointly done inked curved planks on a couple of painted decks.

We started with a mahogany edge plank 5 mm wide and 2 mm thick. This was stuck on with superglue. We were able to fit a few clamps across the deck from the mast hole and centre hatch which gave us an edge to work to. Using 2 pairs of hands we were able to get the edge plank glued down flush with the edge of the deck.

The main deck planks are 8 mm x 2 mm lime. We have managed to get the first one on each side at the front of the hull using battens held down on the deck with large rubber bands to stop the planks lifting and twisting. The lime planks have been lightly clamped up against the mahogany edge using some clamps as shown below. We are using aliphatic resin to glue the lime down.

plank bending 2.jpg

For subsequent planks we are attempting to pre-bend them by clamping them up overnight on the bench using some magnetic blocks and a piece of steel sheet we bought at the Blackpool show. How effective in creating a permanent bend this will be remains to be seen but the magnetic blocks work well on what is their first outing in the workshop. I will let you know more as it progresses.

plank bending 1.jpg

The kingplank is 15 mm mahogany and has been temporarily stuck down with small sections of double sided tape. We hope to do the notching by adapting Banjoman's method as used on his Moonbeam, where he had straight planks notched into the curved edge plank. I suspect that will be a real b****r of a job to do neatly without breaking or splitting the planks but time will tell.


Thread: Moonbeam
18/01/2018 13:01:32

Hi Mattias and Rudy,

Just for your information on a couple of aspects of my wife's Moonbeam. We secured the hatches, or at least provided a safety backup, using an elastic band through an eye screwed into the hatch and another in the hull. The photo below shows the idea. We found the centre hatch to be the most vulnerable one, as the sail sheets can snag on the ventilators and pull the hatch out of the hull. If you are unlucky, it falls overboard and sinks due to the weight of the white metal fittings. In Elizabeth's case she was lucky and the hatch fell down inside the hull.

We have recently done a further mod to the rigging to address the problem of there being no effective backstay to prevent the mast leaning forward. It tends to lean in that direction because of the foresail luff lines pulling it from high up on the mast which gives them a long lever arm, even though the loads are not high. We have made the two main shrouds completely separate items rather than just being a single run up and over the lug on the mast and then back down again. Each of these separate shrouds has a bowsie at its top end to allow them to be tensioned independently. This allows the rear shrouds to be pulled much tighter than the front ones, providing a reasonably effective backstay. Adding the bowsies may detract from the appearance slightly but its a minor point (in our view) and is outweighed by a stiffer upright mast which looks better. The bowsies are easier to adjust than fiddling with the deadeyes (which we have retained) at the bottom of each shroud.


Thread: Spider J
04/01/2018 10:42:12

The next bit or progress has been on the hatches. On the full sized vessel these are made up of a series of individual sections each with a pair of curved T section beams with cross pieces of tongue and grooved boards. Most of these span the full width of the hold but at the back and just behind the mast the covers are in two pieces with a central supporting beam. I am not planning to cover all of the hold with realistic hatches, just the aft section for display purposes. When sailing this will be replaced by a more secure covered hatch.

spider 164.jpg

The rear curved brass cross beam and longitudinal timber support can be seen in the picture above. The T section brass hatch beams also have to be curved and this is tricky as the metal wants to twist when you try and bend it. The best method I have found is to bend them cold around a suitable former, in this case an 8 inch aluminium sauce pan as shown below. The same method was used for the brass angle section which spans the hold.

spider 165.jpg

I made a suitable jig to hold the two supporting beams for each hatch cover with a piece of ply to act as a spacer while the boards were glued on. The piece of brass strip on the left hand side is an aid to getting all the board edges in line.

spider 167.jpg

For each hatch all the boards were cut from some 8 mm wide, 1 mm thick lime planks and dyed a suitable weathered brown. They were all sanded to length as a block to ensure they are a consistent size.

spider 166.jpg

I have also made the front 'working/sailing hatch from 1.5 mm ply sheet with 3mm play formers and 6 mm square longerons. The side pieces are 0.75 mm ply and will sit in the recess of the cleats attached to the side of the coamings.

spider 169.jpg

The picture below shows an initial fitting and in the end, this hatch will probably finish flush with the front of the mast. The reason for this is that it has to be able to be fitted and removed under a sheet horse that crosses the hold just forward of the mast and is attached to the coamings on either side.

spider 168.jpg

At this stage I have not yet made up my mind on the full working/sailing hatch cover layout but it will probably have three sections, front, back and an easily refittable centre section over the lifting handle so the cover can be fitted once the boat is in the water. I also want to be able to display the boat with one or two of these working covers removed with the 'proper' hatches visible on one area and a simulated cargo in the hold in an adjacent area. Exactly how I am going to do this still remains to be decided. The hatch covers will be secured by magnets positioned at suitable locations.

On the real vessel the hatch covers and tarpaulins are secured by steel bars and wedges in the cleats. Since I don't fancy having to fit about 60 wedges every time I replace the hatches these will actually be glued to the simulated steel bars and tarpaulin on the hatch. The tarpaulins will be simulated with some dark green Solartex material.

Now back to pondering how and where to join the hatch sections.


04/01/2018 09:27:53

Until the last few weeks I had not made any progress on Spider J since my last posting above. This has been due to a wide variety of reasons, on the modelling front, mainly various model racing yacht jobs. Various other activities have also sidetracked me including working, gardening, decorating, holidays (South Uist and the Isle of Man), changing sheds and socialising a Hearing Dog puppy (Rodney, a cocker spaniel who is even now sitting with his head on my knee looking for some attention). However now that the shed swap is complete and the workshop has been tidied up I have been inspired to restart work on my Humber sloop Spider J.

The front headledge winch has progressed to the point where it is recognisable. It still needs a tiny pinion and some teeth on the internal gearwheel on the right hand side in the picture. Bob Wilson's tiny dead eyes are a good inspiration to come up with something convincing to complete the assembly. I am quite pleased with the pawl/ratchet mechanism at the other end of the roller.

spider 160.jpg

The sailwinch has been installed just aft of the mast lutchet. I have used a Hitec drum type with a loop of heavy duty braided line running back to a double pulley which is attached to the rear equipment shelf. A swivel tied into the loop provides the means of attaching the sheets which control the main and jib sails. The loop is just tensioned by pulling the lines tight before tying them. In one or two installations I have included a spring in the return side of the loop to maintain tension but in practice, they have caused more problems than they cured.

spider 161.jpg

spider 162.jpg

The sheet travel required on the mainsail is longer than I have available as a single run in the hold so the travel is doubled by attaching one end of the mainsail sheet to the aft ledge and then running the line around a pully (or maybe I should say a sheave) attached to the swivel on the sailwinch loop. The sheet then runs back aft and under a small pulley before exiting the hold just forward of the aft headledge via a fairlead on the top centreline. The fairlead is an adapted metal rivet from a large 'popper'

The sheet to the jib runs aft from the swivel, around the second pully (alongside the one for the servo loop), then forward through fairleads in the frames which support the lifting handle and the centre of the lutchet. It then goes around another small pulley and will exit the hatch just forward of the mast.

spider 163.jpg

Time will tell whether this is a reliable sail control system and the first few sailings will reveal whether the sheets all get tangled up when they go slack. However the whole system is reasonably accessible as all the hatch covers will be removable and improvements can be made if necessary.

More later


Edited By Gareth Jones on 04/01/2018 09:30:49

Edited By Gareth Jones on 04/01/2018 09:34:22

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 Thursday
Premier March
Tony Green Steam
Pendle Boilers
Cadma new
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