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Sea Queen Restoration

Hopefully the story of the restoration of an old favourite that I could never afford

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David Beeton05/04/2020 22:23:56
6 forum posts
5 photos

Browsing through the local marketplace pages I was smitten by an advertisement for an old model boat hull - ................!

When I was growing up, I was introduced to model boats with a beautiful little pond yacht, built by my father whilst on holiday in Tenby. We would holiday there every year as a family, staying with my grandparents, my grandfather being a master carpenter at Pembroke Dock and later in the town. The yacht was carved out of a solid block of pine, and fitted with a keel made from an old beach spade! The mast and boom was cut and planed from a piece of an old deck-chair and the sails were sewn by my grandmother, a true family affair! It served my sister and I for many years, until it vanished during a house move, never to be seen again.

Later I was given a Keil-Kraft Triton, as a Christmas present, and the modeling bug was well and truly caught! The Triton lasted for over ten years, until being swept over a weir in Sudbury, after the batteries failed during an afternoon session. Plastic kits and aeroplanes also featured in my youth and later into adulthood, alongside model railways, and whatever else my two sons were into. At one time or another there was always a kit or a build going on, but I always wanted to build something substantial, but always the costs eluded me, though I continued to browse the catalogues and peer longingly into model shops, just in case!

In 1967 I joined the Royal Air Force as a photographer and, in 1969 was posted to Malta, until we pulled out in 1972, after we were declared redundant by the Maltese government! As we were packing up, I was asked by one of the other guys, also a modeler of sorts, if I knew anyone who wanted a part built model boat, a 48" RAF Crash Tender! Did I, and the deal was done. The hull, spare wood and some fittings changed hands for £20 - an absolute fortune for a junior airman in those days. It was carefully packed into a box made from an old packing case and loaded onto the Hercules to be taken to Scicily, and eventually on to the UK, some six months later. All our possessions were placed into storage until our final posting was decided, and that was the last that I saw of my Crash Tender! Where it went to I never found out. End of boat modeling for the next 20 years!

A change of circumstances, career and wife, led to a rekindling of the creative side and having a fully equipped workshop all to myself, and my students, was all I needed to get building again. My school workshop buzzed with activity, building cars, planes, rockets, and the occasional submarine, some of which dived and some which came back up again! We CNC'd, vac-formed and later 3-D printed pretty much anything that caught our fancy. The school wargames club had the best range of cast pewter figures you could imagine! There was always something to build, or make, but that old hankering for a big boat kit was always there, but now the costs are even bigger! And then - there it was, on the screen, no pictures, but who cares, it was a Sea Queen! A quick message to secure, and it was ready to collect. This is what I had acquired -

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harry smith 106/04/2020 05:38:08
981 forum posts
1278 photos

Hi David

The Sea Queen looks in good order for it's age.

What's the plan motor, etc ???

I have a PDF copy of the plans if you require.

Free !!!

Harry Smith

Paul T06/04/2020 08:53:09
avatar
6919 forum posts
1164 photos
2 articles

Hello David

Be prepared for a total strip down.

Back when these models were built the glue of choice was Cascamite which loses its strength over time.

I have taken on seemingly easy rebuilds only to find that as the paint came off then the boat started to come apart quite literally at the seams.

Old glue and old panel pins are a minefield of imminent or potential failure.

Good luck

Paul

David Beeton06/04/2020 09:56:27
6 forum posts
5 photos

Thanks guys, plan is to strip back to bare, inside and out, and remove the old i/c fitments. Possibly a layer of glass cloth along the joints wouldn't go amiss. Good warning, Paul!

If all is in order, then a good coat of water based epoxy to seal the wood structure, before fitting new mounts and internal decks. I'll take up Harry's offer of a set of plans, it will make it easier to set out where the decks can go and help with the siting of the internals. I'm going to have as much fun in getting all the missing fittings made, rather than buying, it will be a good use of the new workshop, once I've cleared it out, of course!

I'm not in a rush at the moment, just going to enjoy the experience and hopefully I can get the granddaughters out to enjoy a day at the pool, when this mess is all behind us!

David Beeton06/04/2020 12:36:18
6 forum posts
5 photos
Posted by Paul T on 06/04/2020 08:53:09:

Hello David

Be prepared for a total strip down.

Back when these models were built the glue of choice was Cascamite which loses its strength over time.

I have taken on seemingly easy rebuilds only to find that as the paint came off then the boat started to come apart quite literally at the seams.

Old glue and old panel pins are a minefield of imminent or potential failure.

Good luck

Paul

Yes Paul, I was aware of the Cascamite bug, made even more so if it wasn't mixed properly! I will be using some polyurethane to fix any new materials, can be a bit foamy, but I have actually glued a shower-tub into a bathroom with it before now, with great success, but that's another story! laugh

I'll secure the existing joints with glass tape and epoxy, a la Mirror dinghy style, but without the copper wire unless the joint line has actually started to fail, and go from there. Fingers crossed!

Ray Wood 206/04/2020 14:25:00
avatar
1732 forum posts
628 photos

Hi David,

If your lucky it may have been built using Aerolite 306, I was using it in the 60's & 70's for models back then, this was pre health & safety days when the mild acid hardened was ok 😀 still available from Axminster tools. I will use it on my next Sea Queen.

Regards Ray

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