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Question About V. Smeed's 'Starlet'

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John Allen 402/09/2019 10:03:44
2 forum posts

I am building a Vic Smeed 'Starlet' and would appreciate some advice. Do the ply skins extend right to the front of the bow (where they would meet) or do they stop at the foremost bulkhead?

The plans suggest the later with the front of the boat made of solid wood pieces to form the bow front end, but I'm not sure. It seems unusual but useful when there are collisions!

Many thanks.

Chris Fellows02/09/2019 11:52:33
1196 forum posts
752 photos

Not unusual John. Commonly used where the bow design is such that the ply needs to be bent in two directions which can't usually be done successfully. The timber used for the bow is usually balsa for lightness and ease of shaping. Will need to be clothed and coated in resin to provide impact resistance.

Haven't built a Starlet but somebody will be along who has.


Ray Wood 202/09/2019 16:23:04
2838 forum posts
988 photos

Hi John,

The drawing on the web shows 3 laminations of what I imagine to be 1/2" balsa sheet each side of the stem and carved/planed to continue the plywood flat sides. this method eliminates the need to put doublers on the stem and bend the attach the ply to it. The balsa doesn't need to be bullet proof as the ply stem will take most of the knocks, tissue paper covering with dope or sanding sealer is sufficient in my view.

Regards Ray

John Allen 403/09/2019 12:59:03
2 forum posts

Many thanks Chris & Ray,

So as I understand it, the ply skin(s) stop at the bow bulkhead and the port and starboard areas between the bulk head and the stem is filled with balsa, shaped and then finished with resin,   Alternatively tissue paper and dope or sanding sealer.

Many thanks.

Edited By John Allen 4 on 03/09/2019 13:02:46

Dave Milbourn03/09/2019 14:15:44
4025 forum posts
282 photos


You've got it in one. If you want some more gen on finishing a wooden hull then have a read of this Finishing wooden hulls

Dave M

Tony Hadley03/09/2019 16:18:58
914 forum posts
559 photos


Attached is the relevant page from the original build item, which may be of help.

Back in July, I received your message for a copy of this model's build booklet. I subsequently replied and said it would need to be emailed, as it is 19 pages long. I received quite a number of requests for this booklet and once consider asking admin (Colin Bishop) for advice as to where to post it on the site. Further thoughts were that the document is too dated and many of the build practices and material are no longer used.

starlet (3).jpg

Ian Bell 117/10/2019 19:34:59
24 forum posts
9 photos

I have this booklet in the form of a .pdf file if wanted.

Dave Gidman18/10/2019 16:19:10
22 forum posts
15 photos

I laminated a few bits of scrap balsa for the bow on my Starlet and shaped it by hand. A block of balsa would be good then whittle and sand it to shape. A very satisfying job actually.

John Shuttleworth14/07/2021 15:22:25
5 forum posts

I have rcently bought second hand Starlet and want to fit RC sail winch. Presume that the deck will need to come off to do this. Is there any advice out there on how I can go about the installation. Hitec HS785HB seems to be a popular choice of servo.

Thanks John S

Ray Wood 215/07/2021 10:16:00
2838 forum posts
988 photos

Hi John,

Does the cabin roof come off the Starlet ?? this is the same idea on a slightly smaller boat but the principle is the same, it would seem rather a drastic move to take the deck off ?

Regards Rayeventide sail servo.jpg

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