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Brando by Peter Cane - FINISHED - A Footy class RC Catboat design by Flavio Faloci

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Hello everyone.

You will either be intrigued by this or bin it straight away.

The foreground.... 

I am currently building a huge Bluenose which is going to take a very long time to finish.

I wanted something to sail " now" that will not take long to build.

I have learnt now that there is a " Footy " class RC sailing yacht that is a class in itself, has its dedicated set of rules, are quick to build, inexpensive, fun to build and then you get to sail them!

A Footy must be one foot long  and fit into a certain size box in order to compete.

All Google able.


Radio control today is really cheap especially two channels from sky fly.


This little gem is Italian designed by Flavio Faloci a naval architect.

The plans are a work of art quite literally and super comprehensive. Downloadable digitally.

I have decided to make two.

One for my grandson and one for the boy in me!!!

Then we can go out on our bikes and sail them.

I am hoping this build log will be quite quick.

The model is largely built from balsa .

I have varied a little by using 1/64" birch ply.

Grief that was harshly expensive but it can be made cheaply from balsa.

My decision!

Hope you like and it catches on.

Remember when you were a young kid, we dreamed of little boats this shape.

It has rudder and sail winch control.

The sail winch is nothing more than a Hi Tec 225 servo which has a 3.9kg high torque  capability.

It is fitted with a long arm. That's the winch!

Full radio installation is in the plans and even tells you what Rx, which servos and batteries to use.

The whole radio department just lifts out.

It is an amazing design.

I hope it catches on and you enjoy my build.

Here you see the main hull patterns, sides and bulkheads.

It will take shape later today.

Flat bottomed hard chine with removable keel.

Very easy.






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Well I am learning a lot with this (simple boat) ha ha.

If you look at the sides you will see that they are straight lines top and bottom.

When I came to tape the bow together and glue on the transom, things started to emerge.

Because of the different angles of transom and sides  the sides took a nice curve as did the top.( side view).

Very clever on the design front but a bit of a pig to come to terms with.

I did a dry run before gluing the transom and the picture shown reveals a reall nasty curve which needed sorting out.


So I had to fair in the transom and two bulkheads.

And then carefully held them over a marked out board showing the top view outline and super glued the transom on whilst holding it to the sides.

Five minutes later my transom was now on.

I then taped the two sides together at the bow.

Then super glued the bulkheads in.

I had aspersions that the 1/64" ply would be too flimsy but having now glued on the top horizontal strengtheners I was amazed how strong this little gem is getting.

I had to use a bending iron to help out the strengtheners a little so the whole would not try to spring apart.

I agree though that this model is not for a raw beginner.

Looks simple but has its challenges.

I am off on my bike now to get more super glue.

I only used it to hold difficult pieces together whilst holding the shape.

The strengtheners were glued on with Elmer's Max waterproof glue as will all other pieces in future...( unless I have another nasty surprise which is why I do not like to run out of CA.









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There were two little Ducks....

Sitting in the water!

La la la ...la la la  la la !

My two Brandos so far.

That bow inner stem post was a sod!

Something I have learnt about building boats.

Nothing is square.

That little piece of red cedar had eight different angles to consider.

Well  that's the hard bit dun.

The rest is just plain sailing.

And please excuse the pun.





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Thanks for all your likes!

I am quite enthused to get these two finished and sailing and then it's back to Buenose big girl!!

I have decided from the start that I want these two babies to also be beautiful apart from practical.

Instead of balsa for the cabin and rub rails I  shall use 1/16" sheet Walnut but I only had 1/4" thick.

So I have just spent the last hour and a half hand sawing the plank in half to save further expense.

Phew!!!..I am really pleased with myself that I still " have it" in me as occasionally I suffer from lack of confidence.

Mind you! If it was not for the illustrated Japanese saw with it's very thin blade which cuts on the pull stroke, the task would have been impossible.

So thank you Mr Kakuri for helping me out.

I will now get out my Japanese block scraper plane and show you pictures later of the two thicknessed  planks and how I measured the thicknesses.

Thanks for looking in.


Bits of radio gear arrived yesterday in the form of transmitter, receiver and four servos.



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The walnut planks have now been scraped with the japanese block scraper.

When correctly sharpened and set up  they are most efficient.

They should produce micro shavings as shown and not dust.

It takes some time to get the blade like a razor.

I made the shown thickness tester from a bit if scrap ply and a cheap DTI.

This is the keel box made from 5 laminations of birch ply.





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Thanks for the likes.

Come to think of it I have made dozens of flying model aircraft but this is my first two RC sailing boats.

Decades ago I bought a ready made RC sailing yacht and decades before that I built my first RC motorised cabin cruiser.

It was called a Commorant and a small balsa kit .

I was 15 then.

To have radio control at all was really cool stuff.

My radio was a Magreggor single channel with one button for rudder control.

Proportional was only to be admired with the big boys who could afford it.

So it had a rubber powered escapement as fitted to small aircraft.

I had to physically switch on the motor, sail it and then switch it off by hand.

Oh those were the days.

Anyway, building these two charmers constantly remind me of those happy days.

Here they are with their bottoms on, keel boxes glued in and mast steps fitted.

The next shot is of the radio gear which is appearing by post in installments.

It is good kit and so cheap now.

I hope I inspire some of you to have a go at this.

I am retired so plenty of time.

This stage has been reached in just two days from scratch.

They are tremendous fun especially if you have kids or grandchildren!! Or just plain selfish and deserve it.

Girls like them too!!!!







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Onwards and upwards with the masts which I made from Port Orford Cedar arrow shafts tapered from 6mm to 4 mm at the top.

I do archery as well so that was a bonus.

I have built and glued in the mast step, mast holder and partner.

The mast is a nice tight fit which slides in and out easily if you know what I mean.

Aha...Push fit I think they say!

The insides of the hulls have been given their first coat of varnish.

All soaked in to begin with but I expected that.

I think it will need 4 or 5 coats to be water proof.

The mast box is from Western Red Cedar which is extremely light like balsa but a lot tougher.





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1 hour ago, Mirabell61 said:

Cute lttle boats Pete !


realy something for inbetween....


BTW, I see those arrows standing on your desk, are they for a crossbow ?



Thanks Nils.

Yes they are two little cuties aren't they.

I love the build.

I am a traditional archer and shoot a long bow , no sights no gadgets just me and my bow.

The arrows I made to shoot with my long bow.

Nils if you look at the middle picture you will just see Bluenose's nose peeping at me like a laid down dog and watching me make the cuties.

I think she is trying to say...." well when are you going to get on with me again?"


Edited by Peter Cane
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I am glad you like the video.

Here is a little trick I would like to share.

I learnt it whilst joining musical instrument ( Ukulele ) tops and backs together naturally without pin holes to hold them together!!!

First off cut the pieces a little over size and using the straight factory cut straights as the joint.

Squeezing the two parts together with your fingers, apply good quality masking tape to hold them together.

Under pressure they will then spring up at the sides.

Turn the whole over and apply your favourite glue.

I use Elmer's Max.

Press down in the centre and wipe off the excess glue with a DRY rag.

You will find the glue will squeeze out under pressure from the tape underneath.

Apply tape on top and that's it.

No pin holes.





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Well I am well and truly jarred off!!

Looked at my bank balances today and some kind person has cleared me out to the last cent.

I am totally penniless.

Quite a large amount too.

Oh well, worse things happen at sea and I am still alive to make boats I suppose.

Please dont give a thumbs up for that else I won't know which way to take you!..ha ha.


Edited by Peter Cane
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The insides of the hull and deck bottoms now have six coats of varnish on them.

The decks are from balsa sheet and are now firmly glued on complete with the cockpits and the cabin super structures.

The super structures on the plan call for balsa but I thought it would look special in walnut.

The cabin roof is from teak I think.

I have quite a hoard of this and cannot remember where I got it from. It smells gorgeous to plane down from the 6mm plank in the picture to 1.5 mm.

It has that boaty smell to it.

Might have come from a boat!

I made a mistake with the other cabin roof.

When I bent it with the bending iron I did not pay attention afterwards to check for warping.

It was badly warped so went in the bin.

You can see where I am building a new cabin roof frame and now I will plane down another plank with which to skin it.

The mast supports on the decks are walnut.

I am going to order up some nice turned brass port holes and put one each side and one smack in the middle of the cabin front.

That should really make it cute.

Just look at this rudder head design by the guy who designed this boat ( Flavio Faroci )...

Only an Italian can design something so beautiful.

I play the violin so appreciate Italian mastery!

I love it.

I hope I do it justice for Flavio.










Edited by Peter Cane
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I have now completed the cabins all but the brass port holes which I shall order in.

I have added grab rails and a Hatch handle from Rosewood .

They were not on the plans but I thought for health and safety reasons they needed to go on.

I have also added some Teak seats and floor to make a nice effect, or whatever they are called nautically.

They now have futtocks to rest their sterns on!!!!

One is without the adornments to compare.

A coat of varnish added to see how it darkens.

It has come to the shade I love.




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Thank you for the nice comment and all the likes.

There were two pictures I forgot to post that of the bow stem being glued on with a massive Irwin clamp and the Vee having been carved out with a chisel.

I found that quite challenging to get the vee the correct angle to make a nice fit.

Although this boat looks simple I do not find it particularly a simple build but that may be because of my choice of woods instead of predominantly balsa wood.

Ohh!! And that I am a mere amateur.






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Both Brandos now have Wales, Toe Rails and Rub Rails fitted.

If you are from UK you may appreciate my following silly humour.....

If this were to be made by Jonafan Woss...it might weed......

Boaf Bwandos now have Wales, Toe Wails and Wub Wails fitted.

All the Werrs and wubble yous all muxed up.


Wales are from western red cedar  toe rails from walnut and the rub rails from planed down and shaped birch which bends without heat needed.

I show the little tool I made from a scraper steel to form the rub tail.

The cabins now have a port and a starboard hole each!!

I made patterns for everything on this model.

Here you see the patterns from styrene sheet for the small detail like the tiller arms and mast and gaff claws adjacent to the actual ones from 1.5mm birch ply.

Okay I know it is essentially a sailing toy but I have tried to make it pretty and in keeping with model ship building...that is....utilising nice and complimentary woods to make it look like a Victorian built toy.

I will soon be mounting the Radio gear in it.

You can see by the bottom image that I have not got things quite right.

It does annoy me a bit but I am happy enough with the knowledge that I am totally imperfect as perfection must always be to strive for otherwise there is no point in it.













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I am now at the stage whereas before I start fixing rudders and removable keels on , I need to make a stand for the boat.


The stand serves four purposes.


To hold the model steady whilst working on the rudder and radio linkages.


To display the model.

To keep the boat safe whilst at the pond/ lake.


To transport it on my bicycle.


I travel nearly everywhere on my super electric bike now and that will include a pleasant trip out with Brando for a few hours of sailing.

I will figure a way of attaching the masts to the base of the stand with the furled sail.

The boat is held to the stand by a strip if bicycle inner tube made fast one end by a U shaped staple and the other end is fastened to a split pin eye which locates in a hole underneath so when tensioned it cannot slip loose.

I have adopted my normal finishing by giving the stand a good douse of linseed oil.








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  • 4 weeks later...

Trying to remark the waterline to where it should be was a challenge as I could not mark it with a pencil onto a varnished hull.

My son came up with the idea of using a laser beam.

It worked great.

I held the boat steady whilst he put the masking tape on.

Got to have been done before but we were chuffed to have thought of it.



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