Wild Duck

Ray Wood presents a new plan for a radio controlled single chine sloop model

My passion for home built boat designs comes from my experience during the early 1960’s, when my father and uncle built a thirteen foot long sailing dinghy in our lounge, and when complete they took it out through the French doors into the garden for painting. My mother was, and still is, very tolerant of the Wood family hobbies and pastimes. My father had learned to sail on the Nile when he was in the RAF at the end of World War Two whilst being stationed at Aden, and during the 1950’s and 1960’s most sailing dinghies were of wood construction as this was a time before the mass-moulding in fibreglass caused a boom in production and availability.

The London Boat Shows of that era held at London’s Earls Court saw many designers and builders displaying their prototypes and selling sets of drawings for the home constructor. The Jack Holt designed Mirror dinghy was becoming a popular home build project during that time with the advent of the stitch and glue method of joining plywood panels to produce a dinghy with built-in buoyancy, all supplied as a pre-cut kit, the sails coming from Jeckells of Wroxham, and over 70000 were built. Barry Bucknell, the television do-it-yourself expert of the day made programmes about this building project and it was of course sponsored by the Daily Mirror newspaper and one cannot imagine a national newspaper doing that nowadays.

Wild Duck – design and the model

Wild Duck was designed by Alan H. Buchanan for the Yachting Monthly magazine (YM) as a single chine long keel sloop, for which drawings are still available from the Eventide Owners Association who are the custodians of many YM designs. It is my good fortune is to have a copy of Michael Verney’s book of ‘Building Chine Boats’ which when bought in 1965 retailed at 12s 6d (62.5p if that were current UK money), which contains the drawings of many YM designs and is the source of this r/c model yacht. The Vic Smeed construction ethos of keeping the plywood hull and rig simple has been followed, with a few refinements for better performance such as a detachable fin keel if the scale model is required for display, carbon rods for the spars and some RG65 Class shortcuts to make the rig adjustable. Wild Duck is 21.75 inches (553mm) long with a 7.625 inch (194mm) beam. With the extended keel removed, and when presented on a suitable stand to follow full-size practice, she makes a reasonable ornament for display around the house if your domestic management team is in agreement. The Eventide Owners Association website also has a selection of pictures of the full-size yachts for reference.

The plan for Wild Duck

The detailed full size plan MM2127 is available from the Traplet Shop which now incorporates MyHobbyStore and is priced at £12.50 + p/p as of June 2017. Wild Duck is 21.75 inches (553mm) long with a 7.625 inch (194mm) beam. Plans may be purchased online at: www.trapletshop.com, or by telephone during normal working hours: 01684 588599.

Read more in Model Boats July 2017

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