By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Dremel

Fibreglass hull id

Supplied by ABCO(UK) Ltd

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Roger Clark07/04/2022 15:37:38
257 forum posts
91 photos

I have a boat which was built as a steam river launch which I want to find out more information as to the original design as a victorian naval steam picket boat.

steam yacht cropped.jpg

It was supplied by ABCO(UK) Ltd in March 1983, which no longer exists!

I've Googled & giggled at some of the results especially on photo comparison and haven't found anything remotly resembling this hull, from what I can see it hasn't been modified or remodelled so I'm a bit stuck.

I would like to re-build it as a picket boat if possible.


Ray Wood 208/04/2022 09:10:31
2789 forum posts
970 photos

Hi Roger,

Welcome back

Your hull looks like a deep sea trawler or small ship hull which has had the topsides cut out ? I've never seen a steam launch like that with the forecastle & poop deck !!!

Do you have a drawing of the Steam Pinnace or Pickett boat you want to produce ? first I'd cut off the raised sections at the bow and stern and see what the shearline looks like compared to a fullsize boat ? and put a new deck and superstructure on it.

Regards Ray

Edited By Ray Wood 2 on 08/04/2022 09:12:03

Roger Clark08/04/2022 10:35:56
257 forum posts
91 photos

Hi Ray,

Thanks, I have been lurking but with big health issues for me and the missus I haven't felt much like joining in or modelling. sad

I think I might have misled you, the hull was originally purchased as one for a victorian naval steam picket boat for the buyer to build as a 1919 steam river launch. When I got it it had a horrible ugly homebuilt steam plant on it which had never been tested.

What I fancy doing is to build to the original design but I can't find anything that resembles the hull shape at all! I don't think the hull has been modified in the overall shape so I'm really looking for what ABCO(UK) had in mind as they must have had an original boat/plans to work to.



John W E08/04/2022 17:17:10
298 forum posts
279 photos


John W E08/04/2022 17:21:45
298 forum posts
279 photos

Hi there

sorry for the awkward copy but for some reason the Canon printer I have plays up when I try to mess about with it. Anyway, this is an advert which I have found in Model Boats Magazine January 1982. This is the only 1 out of 4 or 5 adverts for ABCO which mentions the picket launch - if you can make it out it looks like the keel may have been altered and also the bow and stern of the model added on to the upper works. Just out of reference the original plan was from David MacGregor - so - now I have read this, we may be able to help with a small plan. I am busy looking now.


Roger Clark08/04/2022 17:45:47
257 forum posts
91 photos

John, thank you, you are a star smiley

The evidence trail starts, I just need to find the original and it seems his plan collection was donated to the ss great britain trust. Now it could be a problem after my attemps to retreive some J K N class destroyer plans.... and failed knowing that they do have them.

Hey ho, any further will be very appreciated.

Many thanks


John W E08/04/2022 18:01:39
298 forum posts
279 photos

Hi Roger, this is a scan from a book which was dedicated to the life and ship models of Norman Ough ISBN Number 9781473879478 - Seaforth Publishing. I know Norman Ough's plans do sometimes come up on EBay - so keep an eye open on there. David MacGregor by the way had the rights for Norman's plans.

So, let us try putting the scan on

here goes


picket boat.jpg


Edited By John W E on 08/04/2022 18:02:41

Roger Clark08/04/2022 18:31:55
257 forum posts
91 photos

Thank you John, the 'plan' is coming together wink

Just remembered I've got that book!

Edited By Roger Clark on 08/04/2022 19:31:21

Roger Clark09/04/2022 18:33:13
257 forum posts
91 photos

Well today was a productive day, I emailed the SS Great Britain Trust and Victoria sent me david-macgregor-ship-plans-collection-july-2013.pdf from which I was able to find a couple of plans, one 1:12 scale stable by Norman Ough and one fragile but annotated by David MacGregor, I also found some photos that will help plus a link to a 1:12th scale live steam one which will help me with layout.


world-war-picket-boat-model-live_1_aacee9ed39208d26ed8d5e6d6360e0e9 (1).jpg

So I'll have plenty to go on. laugh



Tony Hadley09/04/2022 20:43:09
914 forum posts
559 photos

Further to the post by John W E, attached is the article from the October 1959 Model Maker magazine. The plan with the article is the same as the one John has already posted.

I knew the late Alan Brown (ABCO), he was a founding member of Bury Metro Marine Modelling Society. Alan started ABCO, when he lost his job in the town's Transparent Paper Mills (now closed down). There was an item in the local newspaper about "the man who turned his hobby into a job" (or similar wording). Alan moved after working from home, into a workshop within an old mill in another district of the town, where I once visited him. 

picket boat (1).jpg

picket boat (2).jpg

picket boat (3).jpg


Edited By Tony Hadley on 09/04/2022 21:08:50

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Boats? Use our magazine locator link to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Boats!

Support Our Partners
Restorers Wanted
Premier March
Pendle Boilers
Shopping Partners
Social Media

'Like' us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Pin us on Pinterest

Member Contributions
Distributors of Model Boats for our overseas readers

Make sure you never miss out on the latest news, product reviews and competitions with our free RSS feed

Make your own contribution to the Website

We welcome well written contributions from Website members on almost any aspect of Model Boating with a particular emphasis on practical hints, tips, experience and builds.

In order to maintain a consistent standard and format, all suggestions should first be sent to me by Personal Message for approval in principle. Only a very limited amount of time is available for editing contributions into a suitable format for placing on the website so it is important that the material is well presented, lucid and free from obvious spelling errors. I think it goes without saying that contributions should be illustrated by appropriate photos. I shall be happy to give advice on this.

The Member Contribution area offers space for short informative mini articles which would not normally find a place in Model Boats magazine. It is an opportunity for Website Members to freely share their  expertise and experience but I am afraid that virtue is its own reward as there is no budget to offer more material recompense!

I look forward to receiving your suggestions.

Colin Bishop - Website Editor