Thursday, 23 June 2011

Less aircraft carrier and little more like a paddle steamer.

There seems to be a rather large paddle boat appearing on my bench! I Didn't realize it would turn out this big! Ok you still need to use some imagination as nothing is properly attached and my materials are rather unconventional ; Cut down paint pot spashers and decks from an old plastic phone book stand! Better float it again and recheck it's buoyancy! Btw I think I will cut off the last section of bow and fix a wooden block there so I can shape it how I want.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Paddle Steamer Progress

I'm sure Isambard Kingdom Brunel floated a model of the Great Eastern in his bath just to check it's buoyancy...didn't he? The 12 volt electric motor is from a soviet made Lada car and it has been mated to cut down electric screwdriver gearbox (with metal epicyclical/planetary gears no less!) and then through the bevel gears of a hand drill, it has been tested and works beautifully, it needs installing for propper into the boat now so I need to fit wooden bearers into the hull so I can screw down the parts. Btw I'm not sure how much it will end up looking like a Murray river steamer! I've got some ideas of my own i want to try out.

Parts used in the drive train so far;

12 volt car windscreen washer motor (USSR made)
Radio knob for motor to geabox shaft coupling
Half an eletric scredriver gearbox
Electric screwdriver allen key bit
1" long surgical tubing
Nut from a surgical tubing gland that happened to have the same thread as..
A handrill minus the chuck and handles
12" of M6 studding
The wire levers removed from 8 clip board clips (Paddle wheel spokes)
Tin from the rim of a chocolate tin (Paddles)
8mm Nylon tubing.
Various M6 nuts and bolts

Cost so far-- I need to replace my hand drill! Have seen one for £6.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Footy rescue vessel paddle steamer.

We often sail as a group on ponds where a rescue boat isn't on hand and idealy a dingy of some sort but in the event of getting stuck in the reeds/ radio failure or a sail malfuction just a push from a powered model would suffice. Also I've always wanted a paddle "steamer" and this is an excuse to build one!

A Murray River Paddle Steamer.

The idea is to build a simple electric paddle driven boat which apart from being a model in it’s own right had a secondary duty of rounding stranded or wayward Footys and pushing them back on course or back to the bank.
I came across in the bottom shed a discarded toy aircraft carrier whose 24” long hull was just too good to pass by (No matter what my teenage son thought! You can’t use that Dad, it’s a toy!) I looked on the web for a suitable boat to build with it
I stumbled on the Aussie Murray river steamers and love there simple no nonsense design and it should look right at home on our muddy ponds!

So far my parts list consists of; one afore mentioned one long plastic toy aircraft carrier, a Soviet made windscreen washer motor from a Russian car, a battery from a cheap pistol drill, a cut down planetary gearbox from an electric screwdriver and a hand brace!

I’ve cut the hull down to about half it’s height, cutting off all the odd aircraft carrier deck extensions, this leaves a shallow hull that is approximately right for my paddle steamer. A floating hull in half an hour can’t be bad!
The motor looks tough and very well made I’m not sure how it’ll stand up to continuous running though it doesn’t appear to get hot. I’ll put it on a power supply tomorrow to see exactly how much current it is drawing. With the cut down screwdriver gearbox clamped in the jaws of the hand drill’s chuck propels the handle around at about 60 RPM. These gears will turn the power 90 degrees onto the paddle shaft. I’ll keep you updated!

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Sails and Rigging etc

I think a techy blog with some close ups is over due, during the build the emphasis was more on our progress rather than any detail and admittedly the hull was pretty much a bog standard balsa box but the sails and rigging were open to improvisation and it all had to be done on a tight budget too!
This was my first real go a sail making, I had a go before on my old yacht Seagull but those sails now look pretty inefficient now but where made before the advent of the internet! The original Papaya 3 plans have a swing rig but I've heard they are a bit tricky to set up and I'll be honest I don't like the look of them even if they are more efficient! I really wanted to avoid sewing too, it might sound sexist but it's true teenage boys aren't known for there needle craft! So I decided to use the nylon from £1 shop umbrellas (and later found a red and white golf umbrella inside out in a bin at the park!) We cut them so an existing seem ran along the luff and left a little bit of that double thickness part sticking out so we could tie onto it a tension it. We super glued strengthening patches on to the Head and clew (and some of the tack) corners so we could attach an eyelet to them. We just hope the leech and foot don't fray too much! The battens were made simply with lines of super glue on one side. The masts, booms and jibs are aluminum tubing, not the lightest but cheap and as I work as a wireman nearly every other fitting was fashioned from various P clips! Time was getting ahead of us so I made up the fittings in the form of kits. Most of the ends of the tubes have super glued P clips on short lengths of nylon (pneumatic) tubing that simply push in and finished off with the head of a plastic rivet to keep it tidy. The swan necks are two different size clips. (Though I notice they could be a bit more freer in light winds - a drop of WD40 on the mast seems to help!)
Larger pneumatic tubing also was used for the sheet feed tube and I made most of the bowsies from short lengths of cable tie, just one for slot adjustment and one for the kicking strap, I didn't want to over complicate things.
So to sum up, I didn't even know how competitive they would be against other footys but they seem to sail well enough and cost us very little just using some ingenuity with the parts I had hanging around.