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Zbip57

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  1. Zbip57

    Newbie from Ottawa

    For any potential first-time builders interested in RC sailing, here is a video recently posted by yet another new builder of the "Irene" schooner showing the build steps for this relatively simple plywood design. The plans provide for two different sail layouts. The original "Irene" designed by Gary Webb featured a Bermuda rigged mainsail, as was also chosen by this particular builder. I went with the dual gaff-rigged layout for my Kamanik, which also sports a longer bowsprit. And here is a detailed look at Gary Webb's original "Irene".
  2. Zbip57

    Newbie from Ottawa

    Hey, I found a video of an RC model Altair on its (unfortunately less than graceful) first introduction to water. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtS_SdAs4GQ (see at 1:50 in the video.)
  3. Zbip57

    Newbie from Ottawa

    I just love the look of a gaff-rigged schooner. And more and more, I've become obsessed with the look of a fully dressed schooner with flying jibs and topsails. Like these... I've always found the music of Dexter Britain particularly inspiring, and have used his pieces in several of my drone videos. But this schooner video really really turns my crank! But check this out! Beginning at 1:45 in the video, as the stunningly beautiful Eleonora slices by in foreground, look past her to the boat in the far background and freeze the video at 1:53 as the boat becomes visible off the stern of the Eleonora. The fore topsail on that boat in the background has been furled using a clew line! You can see it again at 2:36 in a brief closeup, with a crewman perched precariously in the rigging at the top of the foremast, as shown in this screengrab. So that is how the topsail is brought across to the other side when tacking! Eureka! It looks like I'm on the right track now. I've since found another photo from here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTb_Tdo9jzI All that remains now (ha!), is to figure out how this process can be remotely accomplished on a radio-controlled model. Either that, or how to hire suicidal miniature crewman willing to climb the rigging for me.
  4. Zbip57

    Newbie from Ottawa

    In the absence of any actual demonstrations of how gaff topsails are tacked to the opposite side whenever required, I spent some time getting splinters in my fingers while scratching my head puzzling for hours over how it could be done. The main topsail is tricky enough, but the fore topsail is particularly awkward. When tacking, the foresail gaff can no longer swing freely under the stays joining the tops of the two mast if it is constrained by a topsail. A fore topsail therefore cannot be left fixed in place when tacking, unless the stays are deleted, or unless the topsail is also tacked across to the other side each time. I made this little video to illustrate how I think it can be accomplished (in theory):
  5. Zbip57

    Newbie from Ottawa

    It's not just model boats either. Here are a couple of images taken from a sales video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmPXQ9EuYW8 In this first image, the topsail can be seen flying free and curved out behind the gaff halyard rigging. It is perhaps flying a little too freely and loose. The tack line could be pulled down tighter. This second image shows the boat on the opposite tack and now the (much too loose) topsail is draped in wrinkles across the gaff peak halyard.
  6. Zbip57

    Newbie from Ottawa

    Next I found this video of a gorgeous model of the Jolie Brise pilot cutter. It appears to have only a single-channel rudder control, with no remote sail trimming control. Nonetheless, it sails beautifully. The sails are self-tacking with fixed length sheets, and the gaff topsail is fixed. The topsail is nicely curved when the wind is coming from starboard, but is pressed against the gaff's peak halyard and blocks when the wind is coming from port. Fixed topsails seem to be the accepted method for every gaff-rigged topsail model sailboat I've found on YouTube.
  7. Zbip57

    Newbie from Ottawa

    So, back to the questions in my first post above. I'm still wondering how one goes about re-positioning overlapping topsails on a gaff-schooner whenever changing tack? Ultimately I'd like to have the capability to do this by remote control on my model, but I'm equally curious to know how it's done for real on an actual schooner. I've been searching through many (far too many) YouTube videos of real schooners, and model schooners, and have yet to find a video demonstrating the process of tacking a gaff topsail. First off, a little theory for y'all. Take overlapping flying jibs for example. You could simply rig a single very large jib, as is currently the case on my model schooner. Or, you could rig three overlapping jibs, with each individual sail much smaller and easier to handle, but in total covering approximately the same sail area as a single large sail. Yet the combination of the three overlapping sails produces significantly greater power than a single large sail. Why is that? Well, it's not merely a question of total sail area. What matters is how the air flowing between the sails affects the total performance of the sail set. It's like the difference between plain flaps or slotted flaps on an aircraft wing. When the plain flaps (on the left) are lowered, it produces an increase in lift and drag. The more efficient slotted flaps (on right) allow air to flow between the flap and trailing edge of the wing, accelerating over the top surface of the flap. This produces even more lift, with less drag, allowing the aircraft to fly even slower before separation of flow over the top surfaces causes the wing to stall. So now have a look at this awesome video of the Pilot Cutter, Amelie Rose. You can feel the strong pull on those beautifully overlapped jibs. The jibs are perfect for sure, but what about that topsail? If you stop the video at the overhead view at 0:38 seconds, you can see the perfect curved shape of the gaff topsail, and how the airflow streaming from it feeds nicely through the gap (just like slotted flaps) down the backside of the mainsail. That aerial sequence gives me goosebumps! But then at 1:30 you see this (below) instead, and it's all wrong. Now the topsail is rigged on the wrong side. Sure, it's still providing power because its area combined with the mainsail produces a larger sail area. But in this configuration it's only acting like a plain flap, the slot between the two sails is closed. Not only that, but the shape of the topsail is distorted while it's pressed against the peak halyard and blocks supporting the gaff. Blech. I guess it's acceptable to just leave it as-is if you're frequently tacking back and forth beating upwind in a narrow channel. But that topsail is clearly not providing optimal performance if left set like this for longer duration. In the video, and this image, you can see a crewman climbing the ratlines. I was hoping to learn how he re-adjusts that topsail, but he's actually climbing down. So either he's already done whatever he needed to do up there, or he decided it's just too dangerous to be up there in these strong wind conditions. More to come...
  8. Zbip57

    Newbie from Ottawa

    True that. Also, merely possessing such sophisticated machine tools is no guarantee of success. One first needs a vision of what one is trying to achieve, and then possess the skill to actually use the required tools to produce the desired result. I'm lacking in at least two out of three of those requirements. I do have the occasional vague glimpse of what I'd like to achieve, but I'm not at all sure how to get there from here. What led me to this forum was a search for the schooner Altair. As I mentioned in my first post above, I'm interested in adding flying jibs and topsails, and possibly more sails, to my current R/C model gaff schooner. The Altair certainly has plenty of sails. I wondered if anyone had ever built a working RC model of her, and how they managed the sail controls. A Google search landed me on Keith Aug's Altair build log here. OMG!👁️👁️!!! It would be a colossal understatement to say that, compared to me, Keith operates on a significantly higher plane of skill level. More like a different planet! After reading through all 30 pages of his build log, I'm stunned. Early on he had intended to make this a working RC model. But somehow it instead turned into a museum quality masterpiece and he (understandably) changed his mind about actually sailing it.
  9. Zbip57

    Newbie from Ottawa

    I've had plenty of near-disasters, even some actual disasters, when flying my drones. On only its second ever flight, I dropped my brand new DJI Phantom-3 Pro into a river when I stupidly tangled with an overhanging tree branch. Amazingly it's flown fine ever since, after a couple of weeks of letting it dry out. It's funny how people are totally unconcerned with the fact that everyone now carries a cellphone equipped with a powerful camera, and people are constantly snapping selfies and photos of everything and posting them on Facebook for the world to see. Yet, if I fly a camera in the air on a drone, that's considered an invasion of privacy and I'm frequently accused of spying on people. Now everyone on our lake knows that my model sailboat carries a camera and, so far, nobody has complained. They've all seen my videos and think they're awesome. But, strangely enough, nobody seems to be skinny dipping anymore... 👀
  10. Zbip57

    Newbie from Ottawa

    Also check out my most recent video taken with a 360° spherical-view Insta360 One camera. The image is digitally stabilized. As the boat rocks and turns under it, the view stays level and fixed on one point on the horizon. However, as it's playing, you can Click-and-Drag the video image to rotate the view to any desired angle. How cool is that? The camera is suspended on the end of a 6-inch long rod mounted on the gunwale railing. The camera's software automatically deletes the camera itself and its mounting rod from the recorded image. You can still see the shadow it casts though. The effect is as if there is a drone flying alongside!
  11. Zbip57

    Newbie from Ottawa

    Funny you should mention that. What first got me hooked on the idea of building my own R/C model schooner was an invitation three years ago to fly my drone to record video of a friend's model schooner. That outing very nearly ended in catastrophe for both of us, when I crashed my drone into his schooner!! He didn't even have the hatch covers installed on his boat. Had I capsized the boat, both the drone and schooner would have gone to the bottom of the lake. Oops. I momentarily lost orientation when switching my view back and forth from my video monitor to line-of-sight. I thought the drone was going to pass behind his boat, when in fact it flew directly into his boat. D'oh! Check out the video:
  12. Zbip57

    Newbie from Ottawa

    That's a valid point. I'm very fortunate to have easy lake access, except it freezes over in the winter. That's understandable as well. Some of the models I've seen on here are worth a fortune! This boat (first time building one) was constructed on our kitchen table (bless my wife for permitting that) over the one previous winter. It's a very simple design. The hull is just four pieces of plywood, or five counting the transom. I don't have any fancy milling machines or a lathe, nor even a proper workshop yet. So the incredible metalwork I've seen in all the beauties posted here is far, far, far beyond my abilities. That's all in the realm of fantasy and dreams for me. Nonetheless, I'd still be devastated to see her sink. I first bought a cheap plastic ready-made Shunbo Monsoon just to experiment and see if I even enjoyed R/C sailing. I found a support forum for that model and was alarmed to see the many dire warnings not to even consider for a moment putting the thing in the water until first going through this long checklist of items to ensure it wouldn't sink on its first sailing. Sealing up all sorts of obscure bits that I would never have thought of on my own to prevent ingress of water, and packing every available space within the hull with styrofoam floatation. Sheesh. But, all good suggestions. Having completed the checklist, I felt much more confident when eventually sailing the thing. Having invested considerably more effort in constructing my schooner (not 5 years though), I approached the day of its first sailing with somewhat more trepidation. I asked Gary, the designer, whether it's worth considering the addition of floatation foam inside the hull, or even a bilge pump. He said as long as it's all sealed properly, he has never experience more than a few teaspoons of water in the bilge on his own boat. Then laughingly, he added that the risk of an actual sinking contributes to the authenticity of the sailing experience. Ha! The first few times I sailed mine, I strapped a Getterback to the mast. It pops a float to the surface on the end of 100-ft 10-lb fishing line. It wouldn't be strong enough to haul my 25-lb boat from the bottom of the lake, but at least it would mark the spot where it sank until I could hire a scuba diver to retrieve it.
  13. Zbip57

    Newbie from Ottawa

    Here are a few more photos for y'all.
  14. Greetings all. I'm more of a drone flyer, making aerial videos for the past five years. Unfortunately drones are getting a bad name. People used to ask me all sorts of enthusiastic questions like, "Where can I get one?" Now it seems the first question is always, "Does that have a camera on it, and, are you spying on me?" So, I'm moving to a more socially acceptable hobby! I'm now into radio-controlled sailboats, and have recently completed the scratch build of an R/C gaff-rigged schooner built according to the "Irene" plans purchased from Gary Webb at Bearospace Industries. See image below from an ambitious day of sailing on Lake Ontario earlier this summer. Several videos of the boat in action are posted on my YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/user/Zbip57/videos Gary's designs are simple and robust. The long keel fin with 12-lbs of ballast bulb at the bottom make this a very stable boat. It's currently just a 2-channel rig, one for the rudder, the other for the winch that controls all three sail sheets. It is so stable that I've been toying with the idea of adding topmasts and more sails. I'm fairly confident about adding overlapping flying jibs and another servo control for that. But I've been wondering about gaff topsails and whether it's desirable, or even possible, to re-jig topsails whenever changing tack? What about fitting a fisherman's staysail as well? Can that be tacked? I made up a couple of short videos with sketches (Vid-1 & Vid-2) of how tacking the topsails might be accomplished (in theory). But I was wondering if anyone here has ever done this? I did some searching through the unbelievably detailed models featured in some of the build logs here. OMG! There are some incredibly talented and meticulous people here! But there don't seem to be all that many actually sailing their creations. What's up with that?

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