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Outside the box thinking - 1970's Sea Commander

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Andy F16/08/2020 11:07:17
56 forum posts
101 photos

About 40ish years ago I built a Sea Commander kit, which was good and I had many hours of fun with it but then I discovered things with wheels and things with boobs (both of which my dad told me were not good for me and would cause me grief. He was right, as usual). The boat lay unloved for many years and underwent several unsuccessful 'restorations' in many guises over those years, the latest of which is this one (below).I never really liked this version so I'm looking to do something different with it.


Has anyone got any ideas as to what can be built onto an almost standard Sea Commander hull without too much butchery? Ideally I'd like to keep the twin motor/twin rudder arrangement that one of the previous restorations left me with. I think it looks quite good.

Paul T16/08/2020 12:33:10
7253 forum posts
1226 photos
2 articles

Hi Andy

The only way that I can see is to remove the superstructure, adapt the deck and put on a new superstructure.

Good luck


harry smith 116/08/2020 13:08:26
1072 forum posts
1272 photos

Hi Paul T

What about a Swordsman or Sea Rover.

I have both plans as PDF which I can send to you.

Harry Smith

Andy F16/08/2020 15:23:09
56 forum posts
101 photos

I quite like the looks of the Swordsman.

What kind of motor/battery combo would I be looking at bearing in mind the boat as it is weighs in at a shade under 2.5 kg?

ashley needham16/08/2020 18:43:41
7150 forum posts
164 photos

Andy. What motors does it have in it at the moment, and are they inadequate or did it go ok . Basically, if it went ok, do the top first.


Andy F16/08/2020 20:24:18
56 forum posts
101 photos

Whatever motors it had are lost to the mists of time but I seem to recall that they were nothing special, maybe 2 - 21/2 " long and run off a single 6v SLA battery and a single old school rheostat speed controller. It didn't go very fast but it was designed as a cruiser so that didn't matter too much.

Ideally I'd like a bit more woomph if possible but for some reason I'm scared of brushless.

Ray Wood 216/08/2020 20:43:52
2377 forum posts
831 photos

Hi Andy,

A pair of 600 size brushed motors and nicad s will give a good turn of speed 😀

Regards Ray

Andy F16/08/2020 22:54:59
56 forum posts
101 photos

A couple of questions arising from Ray's answer.

What's the difference between Graupner Speed 600 and Mtroniks 600 apart from 7 quid each? Do they operate equally well in either direction (the boat has opposite handed props, which I like)?


Why specifically Nicads?

I honestly have no clue whatsoever about electrical stuff, I'm here to be guided.

Thanks for the help so far yes

Ray Wood 217/08/2020 07:06:25
2377 forum posts
831 photos

Hi Andy,

I expect the Graupner ones are slightly better hence the price, yes the motors will run in both directions, I use buggy battery packs with old Tamiya plugs on much lighter than the old SLA batteries and can be fast charged at 7.2 volts one per motor should do the trick.

Regards Ray

ashley needham17/08/2020 08:37:17
7150 forum posts
164 photos

Ray of course means NiMh battery packs, not NiCads!

600 size motors would indeed do you, however not all 600ks are created equal, and there are considerable differences between them.

The Mtronics one appears to be fairly slow revving, and at 12v the spec says it will do 5200Rpm which is not much and at 7.2v might only do 3000 rpm.

The Graupner speed 600 rated at 7.2v produces 18000 rpm, at 7.2v.

The Aeronaut speed 600 is a 6-12v motor and it says develops 14000 rpm presumably at 12v. We could say that roughly on 7.2v you might have 8-9000 rpm on tap.

(all figures unloaded...which means just spinning whilst held in the hand)

So there we have it. Three outwardly similar motors with differing offerings.

As usual I would ask how fast do you want to go? In order, fastest Graupner, then Aeronaut and trailing, the Mtronics.

It’s horses for courses really. There is the brushless option but this gets much more complicated and will use two esc (electronic speed controllers). Unfortunately the choice here is massive and everyone has their own favourite setup. 

On the face of it, the Aeronaut ones are a halfway house, the Mtronics is for slower scale vessels hence the lower revs and high torque, the Graupner will deliver good performance using a smallish S35mm prop.



Edited By ashley needham on 17/08/2020 08:39:39

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