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I have been very remiss in not posting this log. So let me make up for my omission. and please stay with me while I share my complicated story. In late July of 2018 a friend came to me and said "you build model boats don't you?" And when I said yes he handed me a piece of paper with a name and phone number on it. He said "Call this guy. he has money". And with that my adventure began. When I called the guy (his name is Mike) it turned out he is an instructor for a school that trains students for careers in the maritime industry. The school has a harbor tug that is approx. 70 years old and needs to be retired. They don't have a lot of money and came up with the idea of building a model of a tug as an inexpensive way to teach about a modern tug until they can raise the money for the real thing. So they offered me several $1000 to build this model and a fueling barge to go with it. They wanted a tug model that was approx. 4 feet long. As mentioned elsewhere in this site I have been learning Fusion 360 and experimenting with 3D printing. So I thought what a great opportunity to use these skills. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined what happened from here. Both good and bad. Thanks to this wonderful web site I already knew about someone who had used Fusion to make 6' long 3D printed Battleships. So my first contact was to get an estimate of what it would take and how long. I also knew that my good friend Dr. Per had much more experience in CAD than I have and reached out to him. So I won't go into all the details. but as it turned out This school is part of the federal government and it took several weeks to just get approval on how not to spend any US tax dollars to do this project. It took many more weeks to get connected to the company that designed the Tug. And finally with the help of an attorney and an NDA. We got to spend a day on board the tug here in Seattle and received partial plans. So the non modeling part of this project took 4 1/2 months. Neal was given 6 weeks to develop the CAD drawings and then we had a design review with the customer. All of this was completed 12/21/2018. And now we could start actually modeling. I should also mention that the project was being funded by donations from a 3rd party and it took a while but we got set up as a vendor to them and got paid an initial $500.00 to cover materials.
I posted a question on the Questions forum and everyone seemed OK with me doing a log for an RC tugboat. So here goes. The kit is made by Tippiecanoe Boats out of Washington state. The owner, Will Lesh, designed all the models for sale there. They focus primarily on RC sailboats. Will is a good guy and almost always available by phone for questions. You can't beat that. I have already built one of their RC sailboat kits. I had the itch for one and it seems like you can either buy one RTR (ready to run) or build one. Given what we do here, building one seemed the natural choice. I did not do a log for the sailboat but here are a few quick pix. Yes it's really that big - 37" in length and a little over 5' tall. Does the decking look vaguely familiar? Both the sailboat and tug kits are made from top quality materials. Deck & hull parts are marine grade ply with a mahogany veneer. Marine epoxy is used to fasten all parts. Instructions are extremely detailed. It comes with everything needed to complete the model except paint & varnish. That includes the electronics, epoxy and additives. The tug is not a rendition of an actual boat, rather just a generic model. The looks are pretty basic. So why in the world would I want to build this kit after building highly detailed models? Mostly because I need it. I live on a big lake. Several places where I sail the RC are open water. If something were to go wrong with the sailboat, it would be a long swim to get it back. The water is pretty cold right now - even in Texas. The tug has a rescue arm - a big hook that can snag a disabled boat and haul it back to shore. Also, people race the sailboats. That's usually several floating markers out on the water that the boats sail around. The tug can be used to drop the markers. Lastly, I'm sure it will be fun just motoring around Normally I wouldn't post pix of the kit - we've all seen them right? I'm guessing not too many have seen this one so here are a few. Very detailed instructions including 3 pages on how to use the epoxy. More on that in a sec. Some of the plywood parts The electronics. This kit even included a battery pack & charger in addition to the servos. The epoxy kit. This stuff is way different than the 15 minute stuff we use. Mixing the resin & hardener produces something about the viscosity of molasses - it's self leveling. In fact it is used to "clear coat" the wood in some areas. If you want it thicker (and you will for some applications) you add a thickening powder to the mixture. Needless to say I learned a heck of a lot about the correct way to use epoxy while building the sailboat. The motor RC controller. So there it is. I plan to begin the hull this evening. If I'm lucky this will take about 6 weeks to build. The epoxy slows down the process somewhat. It's not CA - it takes overnight to dry so there is some wait time involved. Thanks for reading!
This Tugboat hull was given to me with a two-view sheet plan, started but never finished. I wanted to have a recovery vessel in case my RC sailboat capsized or got hung up in a lake or pond. A friend suggested it might be of use for that purpose. It will be a working RC boat, and specially re-designed for it's purpose. Pictures of hull and plan to follow when ready. The deck was badly deteriorated and poorly supported. I have torn all of it off down to a planked hull framework. I have started evening up and reinforcing the deck framework. This is its current condition. It has a slot through the keel for a prop shaft, and a place where a rudder would go behind the prop although it it will need to be framed for installation. The opening for the deck house should be okay now that it has been re-assembled and reinforced. Subdeck pattern Hull PLAN (All I have) Walter Biles