SHG Tug Boat.
I have now secured the motor to its mount, added the propshaft and made the hull watertight, so its had a dip in the sink to check for leaks and after doing so was amazed to see how high it sat out of the water, even with a battery stick, esc and servo [rudder] in. So time to sort some ballast out. I drilled some 10mm holes in the plastic motor mount base and filled the gap underneath with some 1.5mm lead round ball shot/ballast. i then poured some diluted pva glue in, to help glue all the shot together, so as the boat “heels” it does not cause the ballast to shift and cause it to capsize!
I added some 100 grammes and the boat still floats high, so have now added some flat adhesive stick on weights as used on car wheels when they are balanced after having a new tyre fitted. You can either buy these from your local car tyre supplier/dealer or “ebay em”, the strips come usually as a divisible 60gm strip, the weights divided in to 5g and 10g blocks and seperated with a sharp knife easily, so you can add ballast where you need it, not just where it falls so to speak.
I am just starting to paint the hull and will post some pics once its dry and ready.
I have now made a start on detailing the wheelhouse area. I have finished off installing the tinted glazing to the windows, which i strongly suggest looks a great deal better than simply painting the window areas black or worse still applying black sticky vynil decals!
I have also added some control panels and a steering position and to add a bit of “history”, this boat owner has fitted an old style engine telegraph, to control the main engine with [ha ha]. ok, so its going to take some viewing, but when the tug is out of the water and on a display stand [somewhere] these little items will all fit in.
I am still unhappy with the original mast assembly and have spent several hours “tatting” with it, adding some plastistrip to replicate wiring trunks and have added a tube to allow me to install a mast light and space for a tube to operate a radar scanner. the scanner will be driven by a separate geared motor from inside the lower cabin area. the shaft is easily extended after first bonding some hollow plastic tube to the motor shaft, then once dry, cutting to the desired length once the wheelhouse roof is finally glued in place. this I have not done yet, as also on the agenda is the installation of navigation lights, to enable this and also to prevent the wires being visible inside the wheelhouse, I’ve installed a rear cabin wall and additional “chart room”, within the wheelhouse. this hides all cables and the radar shaft from view quite nicely.
Ok, So kit has finally arrived, so set to work cleaning up the majority of the plastic “vac formed” components. Some careful cutting and sanding is needed here as some of the cut lines/panel lines are barely visible, probably due to the age.wear of the vac mould masters being somewhat worn by now, but for the price of the kit, I’m not complain here, merely stating a fact you should be aware of before you go cutting away regardless.
the main hull is quite flexible, but once you bond the motor/battery tray to the bottom, it does stiffen things up somewhat, but i added further strength to the bows by adding some balsa beams bonded with epoxy glue, purely for additional strength, plus if I do ever push something with it, the bows won’t collapse inwards too easily. I also added a stifferner plate to the location of the rudder post mount, again to give further strength to the hull, plus prevent flex if ever on full load/power on a tight turn/full rudder scenario. better to go “belt n braces” now in the build than regret a bit of additional bracing later.
I haven’t decided fully yet on the cabin window layout, although from the pictures you will see my pencilled in sketches of a possible layout. I have added some chequer plate flooring to bow and stern. I think this looks more realistic in these locations and will also help to stiffen the thin flooring up too where it’s needed.
I have built up the rudder, sanding the two halves untill desired thickness of rudder was achieved, then bonded in the stainless steel rod with epoxy and allowing to set fully before final trim to correct height later.