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Suzie Q by Vic Smeed

Semi scale off shore racer

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Tony Cotton06/10/2016 20:04:05
20 forum posts
7 photos

Hello, I am a retired old codger with an inclination to have a go at a model boat. I apologise for the following series of questions but will need to eventually sort it all out.

About 40 years ago I bought some model boat plans and started to build Suzie Q as it seemed a straight forward model to build looking at the simplicity of the plan. I built the hull and then realised I had messed up by using 1/16th balsa sheet for the hull instead of either 1/8th balsa or 1/16th ply. As I was busy working at the time I gave up and put it to one side. Yes I was recently clearing out and came across the plans again which rekindled my interest. This time I have built the hull and used 1/16th ply. I have modified the cabin assembly so that it lifts out from the deck rather than have access to the inside from the rear floor and a cover on the top but I now wonder how to make it waterproof enough, or should I seal it in and use the restricted access hatches??.

My next thoughts are turning to not knowing what motor to use though I have a 500 whatever that means. Also I need to have a suitable rudder servo and a neighbour into model aircraft said it will need to be powerful as it will be like turning in concrete at speed. Other thoughts are related to the need for cooling ?, choice of batteries ? though I have quite a few NiMH 2900mAh in AA size.

As a beginner I am now realising that a simple looking plan isn't so simple when building gets under way. Other thoughts for the future will be how to finish it with paint, varnish, decorative items and suitable fittings.

Any help and guidance will be most appreciated.


harry smith 107/10/2016 01:50:23
1141 forum posts
1315 photos

Hi Tony

Welcome to the forum.

I use a 35mm brushless motor(1100kv) on a 3S(11.1volt) Lipo battery, a 60Amp car ESC(speed controller) with reverse and a 2 blade 40mm prop.

This is in a 34" Sea commander.

I have NO WATER COOLING on the motor and the ESC has an electric fan on top.

The motor runs only warm and the ESC is no problem.

I general get a good half hour plus from the battery.

Hope this helps you get started.

I have got the plans of the Swordsman, Sea Rover, Sea Hornet and Remora on PDF if you require.

Your local print shop would reprint them for you!!!



Tony Cotton07/10/2016 07:57:03
20 forum posts
7 photos

Hello Harry, Many thanks for your reply.

It sounds as though I should consider a brushless motor as its less of a problem if it gets wet. The batteries you use sound interesting if you are getting half an hour of use. Does it take very long to recharge ?? I did hear about Lipo batteries being a possible problem with water and apparently may explode. My neighbour has them for his aeroplanes but stores them in a metal case when not in use.

I note you have no problem with overheating using a 60Amp ESC so I may look into something similar.

Your offer of plans may give me some ideas of working with Suzie Q as its details and layout are not as complete as I would have hoped. I suppose that other more competent boat modellers would automatically fill in for anything not shown very well in the drawing.

I would appreciate seeing the plans you mentioned to further my learning curve in building my first model boat. In my drawing the lower half of the prop (not defined) is pointing below the bottom of the rudder and I can't tell if its OK or not drawn right. Don't want to criticise the designer but he would have been so experienced that such detail would have been obvious to him of what to do.

Many thanks for your help.


Tony Hadley07/10/2016 08:51:13
914 forum posts
559 photos

RBC Kits sell a kit version of Suzie Q. In their advertising they lised the motor and battery which was used (probably in the prototype).


From youtube. Model looks stunning.


I have the original magazine item, but it would obviously out-of-date for your requirements and not worth posting.

Good luck with you build.

Edited By Tony Hadley on 07/10/2016 08:57:52

harry smith 107/10/2016 09:18:19
1141 forum posts
1315 photos

Hi Tony

The Lipo batteries are 5800mah 60C with battery alarm.

The charger must be good quality ,not a cheap one.

Your neighbour would help you on this matter.

A safety charge bag and do not leave unattended whilst charging.

Charge rate max is 5.8 amps on a 5800mah.

The motor I use is a Hobbyking 3639-1100kv which gives good speed, but if you wish to up the speed a 3648-1450kv.

Both these motors run on 3S and 4S Lipo batteries.

The ESC I use is a Hobbyking HK-60A SL(2-4S) with the program card.

The program card is very easy to use and I use the same setup for all my cars and boats.

The only change is the battery part for 3S and 4S.

See my Sea Hornet 2015 build on this site.

As for the Suzie Q, I would add stringers between the frames for strength and stops the plywood dipping between the frames.

Making the whole cabin a lift off one piece is a great idea.

It look like the servo would fit up against the transom and run the lead with an extension into the main cabin area.



Tony Cotton07/10/2016 16:58:31
20 forum posts
7 photos

Tony, Thank you for the message and links which were very interesting. I wonder if I would manage to control it at other than a slow speed !! I haven't had anything on water yet.

Harry, I appreciate your details and will go and have a look at Sea Hornet 2015. Ply dipping between the frames is something I would never have thought of. I have been lost with the many options for servo's and wonder how powerful it would need to be ?? Seeing what you have got, I will go to HobbyKing and have a look around their options.

Many thanks to you both for help and guidance.


harry smith 108/10/2016 09:42:51
1141 forum posts
1315 photos

Hi Tony

I use Hobbyking High Torque Analog w/proof 4.5KG( part no.HK15269 or part no.9225000013).

I like to have a bit of grunt in my servo's.

The price of the servo's on Hobbyking are cheap.

The trans I have is a Turnigy IA6, which handles up to 20 models with naming and you can setup each model to your requires.

I have two models with reverse rudder setup because of other type servo's which work opposite direction to the one above.

The dipping between the frames on the bottom of the boat make it stick to the water and at speed in rough water one side unsticks then the other side.

This makes the boat a nightmare to drive fast.


Tony Cotton08/10/2016 16:07:32
20 forum posts
7 photos

Thanks Harry, I will look into the items you mention, which could be quite an expensive minefield if its not right.

I never thought about the dipping between the frames and its effects. I have just skinned the hull with 1/16th ply and will now go and check for any dipping. Presumably If there is any I could possibly fill it out with filler or fibreglass etc or do I need to strip it and start again?? Not sure if I am competent enough to be able to drive it fast !! But I will hopefully give it a go when finished.

Again thanks for your help.


harry smith 109/10/2016 12:19:48
1141 forum posts
1315 photos

Hi Tony

For a filler I use car spray putty.

To get any dips sanded out, I use a 300mm long 75 x 50mm length of dressed hardwood to hold my sandpaper on.

This will show up the dips and is easy to sand.

I only fibreglass resin after with a foam paint brush.

A sand down and paint.


Tony Cotton09/10/2016 15:33:40
20 forum posts
7 photos

Hello Harry, I am very thankful of your offer to help.

I have checked with a straight edge and the only dips I can find are about a millimetre of concave on both sides of the rudder. All other areas of the hull are either flat (rear half from Transom) or have convex curves up to the bow of the model.

When you mention dips in the hull, would you think this is enough to disturb the boat at speed ?? If so I am sure I can get some spray putty. For the fibreglass finish I have some Eze Coat which I hope will be OK over the hull before sanding and painting.

I am now able to start looking for transmitter/receiver, ESC, servo, brushless motor and batteries for sizes which will physically fit and adequately power the model, but pleased you have given me some very useful ideas of what to look for.

Are there separate batteries for power to the motor and other items such as receiver, servo etc??? or does everything come from one battery ??

Many thanks for your time and help.


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