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Member postings for Roy Verden 1

Here is a list of all the postings Roy Verden 1 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Advice and idea's needed please
23/12/2019 15:52:50

Yes apologies to Mr. johnson. About a couple of years ago I had a call from a guy with a similar model yacht,(14 inches loa) it was in skip condition but clearly he saw it with rose tinted glasses. He brought it around to see me, I asked about his expectations, 70 odd years old, family heirloom, wanted original colour back and it was called Kitty! Took me 10 elapsed days to bring it back from the wilderness and she sailed nicely as well. He was very happy with the outcome. I have pictures somewhere.

Best way to make things better is to restore and maybe enhance but keep the character of the model.

We did go off on a bit of a tangent on Vanes I have been having a think and most of my info has come in bits and pieces, I can't think of a guide to using steering gear. Perhaps if there is anyone from the VMYG, they might like to comment?

A basic vane set up for a small yacht (24 inches) is a 1 inch plastic spoked gear wheel locked onto the rudder stock, with a light elastic band going forward to keep it going straight. Then a small vane on an arm on a pivot with a small cog about 10 teeth which can be lifted up to adjust. Thus enabling the cog to engage the larger gear wheel when in position. So the vane can be set to where the apparent wind is coming from and any time the yacht goes off course (with reference to the wind) then the new angle of the vane to the wind has a levering effect which alters the rudder to compensate.

You tighten the tension on the elastic band according to wind speed. It is all very simple.

I have crewed and helmed 40 foot sailing yachts and it is most exilorating looking up a 50 foot mast and reading the wind but that is old hat now. My lad's boat has automatic course correction, you just set the course press a button and go and make tea. Just make sure the wind does not get up too much for the sail carried, but furling jib and main make this not to difficult. i

I was a not very active crew member during a big boat race last year and we won the race by quite a margin, our captain read the wind correctly we took a different route and won handsomely. All quite exciting and wet and cold and where's me tea!

I have always been a casual sailor of model yachts, more concerned for how they look on the water, however it is best to know how your boat behaves/performs as sometmes a sudden squall can create a maelstrom out where the boat is and survival is the main thing. My son is a qualified full size yachtmaster and it shows when he operates my yachts, he always beats me. (hope he does not read this, I always say it is sheer luck on the day etc)!

regards Roy

23/12/2019 11:10:35

Hello Dave, I am not sure I understand you! Why do you think yacht racing is civilised and gentile? It is WAR! The combatants maybe be smiling but beneath that smile the teeth are gritted, all loins are girded, any advantage within the rules is taken. The cry of "Starboard" is "Get out of my way, I am on this course which may take me through the middle of your boat, so shift off"!

You are going to have to read up for yourself on operating a vane gear on a model yacht they have developed over the years and as you say you will need engineering ability to construct. Basically you set the course you are on estimate the next course with wind angles etc and when the yacht is turned (back to your side of the lake) the vane mechanism flips across and takes up the new course. The yacht proceeds in a series of unequal zig zags into wind and then a glorious downwind finish.

RC was there in the 50's but was big and heavy with valves and batteries and practical only with the larger yachts. Also it was only practical to run one boat at a time, so racing was out. Crystal frequency control arrived with transistors and much lighter batteries which enabled the smaller yachts to compete. The rest is history.




Edited By Roy Verden 1 on 23/12/2019 11:12:12

22/12/2019 18:00:55

Hi all, anyone wanting some vane gear let me know, I have some with bits I think for a 10R.

Braine steering is quite sophisticated allowing for a different tack to be pre-set when turned by your 'runner' with a 'Turning Pole' at the end of a leg. Held its' own for some time. The curved quadrant over the rudder stock gives it away as Braine steering. Vanes were also able to pre-set a tack, were more effective but the mechanics could get complicated. And mostly you had to make your own or dig deep in your pocket.

Were you aware that back in the 1900's the Model Yacht Clubs were not unlike a posh golf club of today. The Captain would wear his 'uniform' and be a club member the yacht would be built and sailed by his 'man'. The Captain funding the build and taking the trophy as well. A copy of the High end Royalty patronage and which is why the UK had so many model yachting ponds.

A careful inspection of these full size craft sailing will reveal the headgear worn. It was a smart cap and jacket for the Officers and Christopher Robin sun hats for the crew. I have reflected this on my sailing model of the Endeavour, unfortunately they do not go to sea but merely pose for exhibitions.

When the Americas Cup was the high point of the year then this was where Society was. Now somewhat descended to Polo and Henley for rowing. Of course some terminology then has changed, back in those days Funding the coming of age and Ball (dance to you younger ones) for 'one's daughter's coming out' for instance! I believe it has other connotations now.

However sailing a yacht preferably with a yachting cap on, mine says Ancient Mariner, is the upper end of our hobby and should be kept alive for as long as possible. A discreet radio is allowed but a Turning Pole is de riguer. I am sure the Sophisticates of the VMYG will agree with me entirely. My wife will not accompany me out with my Christopher Robin hat on, though I have a high regard for its efficacy.

kind regards

Roy (A.M.)

Edited By Roy Verden 1 on 22/12/2019 18:02:22

22/12/2019 12:24:44

Hi Dave Au contrar! Braine was in use in the 1890's and vanes were actually invented / proposed in 1904/5 but were not brought into use until the 30's.

I had a Braine steering yacht to get going and it needs a bit of research to do as they were quite sophisticated and would be set up for a beat and then a run just by using the turning pole for the next leg of the race. The wind speed would determine how much righting force the mechanism has (Spring or elastic at rear) and pegs for different courses.

Mr. Smeed came up with a simple vane with a large and a small plastic cog wheel and a lift off spiggot with the vane on to set course. With a bit of weather helm from the sail setting it works extremely well.

You can keep all that and with a bit of pokey pokey using RC you can fool most people.

regards Roy

18/12/2019 11:28:24

Hello, with a free sailing boat you should never lock the rudder in position.

If it is pre-set it should be left straight. Best to let a steering device be it Braine or Vane do the steering, as these adjust the rudder from straight to bring the yacht back on course with respect to the wind direction.

regards Roy

14/12/2019 08:45:25

Hi John, as you say it is your boat. From the character of the hull which has the lead not too far down, the sails woud have been a gaff rig. This means you can indulge yourself in bright shiny wood booms. The mast would have a gaff with what are called jaws resting on the mast but held up by the mast. As has been suggested look at a picture of a full size boat. There is a lot of rigging (string) which will give you the character you are looking for.

As far as deck furniture goes a small anchor (2-3cms)with some cleats rather than bollards (which would be seriously out of place) and a Samson post towards the bow with some rope coiled or in hanks hanging from the mast would suit.

Ropes would be a brown colour and suitable sizes can be bought.

I surmise the hull is solid and you have a flat deck? Get this smooth and well rubbed down. Do not use a paint brush to varnish the deck but put a little cloth on one finger and rub the varnish on to the deck quite thinly. It will dry very quickly and several coats will not take long. This will give you a much flatter and appealing surface than a paint brush would. In fact I would do the whole hull in this manner.

For attaching the shrouds (mast string) I use small eyes with a small washer and then screw them into the deck, this looks better than an eye on its own.

Attach the sails to the booms with a continuous loop every 3 cms or so. If you do these things you will not need much in the way of deck fittings and she should look nice.

Good luck


Thread: Vic Smeed's Model Boat Designs
18/11/2019 10:05:17

Hi all, just remembered the yacht I mentioned was the 'Dabchick'. Was that one of Vic Smeed's?

Regards Roy

18/11/2019 07:46:56

Hello all, just read through this thread again. I see early mention of Petrel, I think this was a small Panache type yacht (I hope I have remembered that correctly as there was a small long keel yacht that I mave confused it with) and it came out around August 1963 in MM magazine. I remember building her as I was just about to get married and I needed a distraction! We are still married, 56 years ago now.

She sailed very well and I made a very simple vane set up which was very effective. I used to sail at Hampstead model yacht pond where the Highgate model yacht club were based with a storage shed tucked away, but eventually vandals broke in one too many times and the club closed. They were were very friendly and I seem to remember an A Class boat with early RC. I saw recently on TV's Flog it programme a Marblehead in lovely condition sold for £750. I noticed that when a hatch was removed it had the Highgate MYC reference inside.

I, much later (late '90s) bought a Star C yacht ( I also have a full set of plans) and sailed her for a while, she was OK but nothing special. My one was a fibre glass hull and one day at the lake an on-looker stopped to talk and asked about the boat and he said he had made about 30 hulls of the yacht and almost certainly made the one I had. I sold my one on but know where it is.

I have a large collection of Model Maker magazines going back to I think June 1952 with the coronation coach on the cover. I wonder what will happen to them when I kick the bucket but nice to know someone has preserved a set of the magazines. I have a few older model yacht magazines but these were more a letters and results of racing and club activities which are no longer relevant. Whereas Model Maker actually brought practical model making with plans and instructions for bulding to the beginner. I think my first build was a Bustler tug in 1955, it had a small Taycol motor as drive. I remember it bobbed around a lot until I loaded the stern with most of the ball bearings from my Meccano set.

I bought 2 similar (and I do mean almost identical) yacht hulls 2 years ago at a bargain price. They look a lot like the Sea Urchin by Vic Smeed but are 32 inches loa. and a small 4 inch bowsprit, (?). The original builder is unknown but I pay tribute to his ability. I think the builder had an enquiring mind as one hull has a bulb keel and the other a cast in lead keel. Both are bread and butter construction with a beautiful finish and with a skeg as per Sea Urchin.

The bulb keel boat is 8 ounces lighter than the other at about 6 lbs. The decks are screwed down and sealed apart from a hole for the mast. There are some less than presentable sails which do not look like they would have done the job. I tried to retain the skegs but could not come up with a solution and I sawed them off so that I could hang the rudder off the stern. I am sure they were fine with the originally proposed vane steering assuming these hulls are derivatives of Sea Urchin.

My intentions are to convert to RC but have one Bermuda rig (ex Aeronaut Bella sails) and the other as a gaff rig for which I also have a set of sails which I have made myself, and this hull will retain the bowsprit. To balance the gaff rig I have had to move the mast back some distance. I have carefully cut through the deck on one hull and there is a very rough but varnished internal finish. When completed I hope to race them in friendly competition with my son. (OK, who am I kidding it will be war)! I introduced him to dinghy sailing (full size) and now he is qualified as Yachtmaster offshore. So any wins will be a big deal for me!

I know some consider Vic Smeed plans to be over simplified but the artistry he had, retained all of the character of the full size.

Regards to all


Thread: old electronics
06/06/2018 17:37:20

Hi I use the Fleet transmitters on Futaba receivers and Hitec, the 1.3 ms servo centring makes little difference but the Fleet Tx is so nice to handle. The Fleet esc is a nice one and will handle up to 12 volts at 10 amps.

If you cut off the blue esc connecter to the receiver and buy some standard servo leads and connect red to red black to black etc. You will have a useable speed controller, same goes for the servos. You can then plug the leads into the receiver of your choice.

regards Roy

Thread: Vic Smeed's Model Boat Designs
05/06/2018 18:13:25

Hi all, just read the whole thread, very enjoyable. We had several Panaches in the club and I have altered one of them to have a mizzen mast, quite balanced with the mast moved forward 4cms. but is no faster than a standard one. The photograph of him that has been used in his obituary and elsewhere was in front of a small fleet of Pananches.

I built a Gele de isle which I thought was a Vic Smeed design about 1966 as a present for a small boy, goes nicely into a shoe box.

I met Vic but only later in his life, he told me that his interview for the assistant editor's job on MM was done from a moving train window. There had been some cock up in meeting times and possibly Laidlaw Dixon just asked him if he made model boats he said yes and so he had the job!

The last model yacht was the Star Baby which is really a smaller version of Starlet, but published by Traplet. Vic had said he would do a design to suit the St. Albans model boating pond and I heard no more. I then emailed him to see what had happened to the design and apparently he sent it to the old MAP/ Nexus ? address and it was lost, but before he knew that he asked me for Traplet's address as he was a bit put out with the non reply from MAP. I passed this on as I occasionally reviewed model boats for them and it was published as a freebie in a Winter (?) edition.

I have said it before in the other forum but he was just the sort of gentleman you would hope he would be, charming and modest to a fault. I asked him if he had been a Spitfire pilot and he confirmed he flew Spitfires in late 1943. Also he apparently holds a world record for the greatest number of published and built designs for model aircraft. He also said that one of his models was built to full size and it flew very well until he landed at an airfield where an inquisitive official asked for registration papers and certificate of airworthyness. It had never gone through the official process. So the VW flat 4 engine was removed and that was that!

When he was at our club exhibition as a judge I spent the afternoon with him and introduced him around, it really was like escorting royalty around from the way he was received. And he gave me a VHC for one of my model yachts! Best afternoon I have had in many a year now.



05/06/2018 16:46:10

Hello Tony Hadley, I noted that you say that Vic Smeed's "Painted Lady" is no longer available as a plan. Is that because it is "lost"? If so I have a very good copy that can be available to Sarik if required.

I hate to see Vic's work go obsolescent. I am more often on mayhem as roycv. which is where I picked this up



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