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Lockdown Project

restoration of a model yacht

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Don Munro06/01/2021 12:51:48
6 forum posts
16 photos


I'm new to the forum and model boating so I'm reaching out for some help. I have just taken on a project for winter/lockdown. It is a 50" long model yacht and is 'double ended', the mast is over 80" tall. A fin and heavy bulb but no rudder. It's in a bit of a poor state and I hope to get her back on the water sailing. There are no servos or radio kit. The sails are old and discoloured and the lines are missing or worn.

Could the forum offer any suggestions of her age and class? Also where could I go for sails and kit and diagrams to set up the control lines?


PS how do I upload a photo so you can get an idea of her condition?

Colin Bishop07/01/2021 12:06:51
4876 forum posts
6087 photos
407 articles

Welcome to the Forum Don,

I see you have already created an album. You can bring album images into your posts by clicking on the camera Icon (top row on the right) and choosing the one you want. If posting more than one image leave a line between them.


Gareth Jones07/01/2021 12:56:36
796 forum posts
1076 photos

HI Don,

Given that your model yacht is 50 inches long I would suggest its almost certainly a Marblehead class model. Based on the double ended shape I think a possible design would be Kokanee. I have attached a copy of the drawing I have below. Even if it is not an exact match to your model, it is in the same class and from the same era so should give you a starting point for its restoration.

1977 m kokanee vancouver myc mm1236 aug 77.jpg

The full sized plan may still be available from Sarik, although I could not find it when I had a quick look a few minutes ago. If you need any further help please come back to the forum or send me a personal message.

There are several potential suppliers of sails and fittings, such as Nylet, PJ Sails, Sails etc. and others.


Don Munro07/01/2021 14:04:56
6 forum posts
16 photos

Gareth, that is the boat, thank you.

I have attached photos. It will useful to get the plans as I need to fashion a new rudder as the previous owner lost it!

I have also been in touch with the suppliers you mentioned and am preparing my lengthy shopping list. Sorting out the rc stuff will be fun as its not my forte but nothing ventured etc and lots of guidance on line.

Again my thanks


PS the keel fin is loose in the bulb as filler/sealant has 'rotted' away but seems to be fixed in with a pin, I presume it would be sufficient to pack the gaps between fin and bulb with araldite or similar?






Colin Bishop07/01/2021 14:29:47
4876 forum posts
6087 photos
407 articles

The plan is still listed by Sarik but it is in the 'X Plans' range which are not fully catalogued.


You should still be able to order it.


Don Munro07/01/2021 14:39:56
6 forum posts
16 photos

Thanks Colin I will order it, I've also found on eBay the Model Boat magazine from 1977 with an article on the build, may not have the plans, I'm checking with the seller. Cheers Don

Gareth Jones07/01/2021 16:38:49
796 forum posts
1076 photos

Hi Don,

Glad I managed to find the correct drawing.

With regard to fixing the keel weight Araldite will be fine, just clear out any loose material first. There are usually one or two bolts or pins to locate the weight on to the keel.

For a sailwinch and rudder servo installation there are lots of ways of doing it. We usually use a drum type sailwinch with a closed loop line under the deck, to which the sail sheets attach. The pictures below show a couple of installations, one in China Boy which has a self contained winch assembly that can be removed and inserted through a central hatch. The other in Phaedra shows a separate centrally mounted winch with a return pulley at the aft end..I have done a few articles on radio control for vintage yachts for the Turning Pole, which is the Journal of the Vintage Model Yacht Group. If you send me your email address by private message I could send you copies.

china boy.jpg


I have a photo album on this site called Sailwinch installations which illustrates some other options. Sailwinch installations




Edited By Gareth Jones on 07/01/2021 16:39:55

Don Munro09/01/2021 20:25:14
6 forum posts
16 photos

It has been a busy couple of days. The mast has had all fittings removed and the light surface corrosion removed with wet and dry then good old brasso to shine it up! Deck fittings were a pain to remove as either nuts and bolts rusted or bolts araldited under the deck. Some careful filing or hacksawing of heads cleared them all. The hull has polished up ok with some rubbing compound but the deck is either short of gel coat or lacking paint as shadows showing through the white. Question, to repaint with brush or spray can?



A mix of brass and aluminium fittings


Rudder pintel removed and you can see bend and when dropped by previous owner sheared off where heat was used


I thought it was sensible to make a diagram of all the mast fittings ready for the re-assembly.

Don Munro09/01/2021 20:37:21
6 forum posts
16 photos

also, sails were soaked in the bath overnight, potential divorce proceedings as filthy tide mark resulted, much hard work resulted in cleaner sails and sparkling bath!!!

Q, any thoughts on removing rust stains from what I presume is dacron sailcloth?


Tim Rowe10/01/2021 08:02:08
547 forum posts
562 photos

Hello Don

There are proprietary products containing oxalic acid for removing rust stains. They are commonly used for removing rust stains from polished gelcoat.

I am re-using some 50+ year old dacron type sails and they were similarly dirty. I got a very good result by lightly scrubbing with Vanish (the pre-wash brightener version).

Check carefully that the stitching has not perished. Mine had and I had to re-do all the hems using polyester thread.

Nice to have the originals.

Seeing as you have all the deck fitting off, masking up will be simple and personally I would spray paint. Word of caution: I have some paints of uncertain composition (from a Spanish hardware shop) that work really well but like a decent interval before re-coating. I have had a few instances where the new coat has bubbled up the previous coat and that means a lot of work to rectify!! Patience is sometimes required to build up a reasonable thickness of paint that won't wear through, the first time you go to polish it.

Tim R

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