Sunday, October 08, 2006

Star 45 Construction Planking with edge glueing

[Star45] Update on planking bottom with edge glueing.

John Fisher is ready { 4/19/2007 } to glass his latest boat and is sharing how he planked it. His dad built a ply sided, cedar planked star using titebond II and it came out pretty light and stiff. With this information I started to build another hull using the same materials. He felt that edge gluing the planks added a lot of the strength to his boat. John didn't want to glue in extra wood to hold the pins to keep the planks in place for the glue to dry, so I combined two methods of planking. John liked the quickness of planking with CA and kicker, but it lacked stiffness when sanding the bottom before glassing. So he decided to edge glue the planks and then tack them in place to the frames with CA.

In this photo you can see where John put drops of CA on the planks. The wood is slightly darker.

It worked well. John has an edge glued bottom and he was able to plank it in one evening. To do this John first spray the frames with kicker, then apply titebond III to the edge of the planks. He then would hold the plank in place, tight against the previous plank, and apply a drop of CA to each frame to hold it in place. It did not matter where John started, bow, stern, or middle, but do make sure the CA has set up before moving to the next frame. Once the whole plank was in place he came back and wiped off the extra titebond. To fair the bottom to the sides he used a $10, 6" plane from home depot set at .010" depth of cut. It quickly removed the cedar and a little sanding finished the job.

John had one plank that was too thin that he had to remove, it was harder than expected. He had the use quite a bit of force to break the glue joint at each frame, so he is confident that this method is strong. John will also use this for balsa planked bottoms.

In photo # 10 you can see the stern still needs to be trimmed and sanded. John will probably use a saw to trim in close and then sand to fair it.

Sailing Model, AMYA Star45 Class | interior work, radio, sail controls, servos, mast support

Radio Board stringers between bulkheads

(Note the method of keel support using these stringers)

Radio Board

Rudder Servo

Mast support (inside hull)

internal mast support

A Drum style model sail winch

photo's courtesy of "Larry Ludwig" at, Ludwig Mfg.


From: "Stephen Pratt" :
"On the North Coast (Ohio), are using HiTec HS-725 or HS-785 Winches. Bob Luther developed a mechanism to work an endless loop system of sail control. Fits inside the Star 45 with plenty room to spare."

S45 Model Boat construction | Sail Control Units

installing the radio tray for an under deck winch, jib tweaker, and rudder servo. From John Fisher:

The radio tray is 1/16 ply backed up with 1/8 X 3/8 spruce or basswood. Note the glassing at the ends. This adds a lot of strength to the joint and John highly recommend adding it. John uses 1" wide glass tape cut in half, then sprayed with 3M77 so it will stay in place for gluing. Then a dab of your favorite epoxy and you are done.

sheet through deck mount.

jib tweaker turn around. The part is a 180 deg sheet lead from great basin.

See also
From: David Ramos To:
Sent: Fri, 14 Nov 2008 10:23 am
The following photos show my set up for a drum servo and jib tweaker.

One major advantage of building from a fiberglass hull is the open space inside the hull. David Ramos offers workmanship second to none.

Dave Mainwaring

Main sheet is 2:1 and jib sheet is 1:1

Hope this helps
David Ramos
Chesapeake Performance Models
227 Main Street
Stevensville, MD 21666

Sailing Model, AMYA Star45 Class | Masts

3.1 Masts shall be made of wood or aluminum. Swing rigs, rotating and permanently bent masts are prohibited.

3.2 Masts shall not exceed 3/4 inches square when measured at the thickest point of the mast. Maximum mast height shall be 70" when measured from the deck, inclusive of the crane. Rotating wind indicators and burgee staffs are not included provided the backstay is not attached to them in order to circumvent the 70" maximum mast height specification.

Typical Slotted Aluminum Masts for model sail boat

photo's courtesy of "Larry Ludwig" at, Ludwig Mfg.

Sailing Model, AMYA Star45 Class | Booms

AMYA Star 45 Class Rules, 2006, Boom
4.0 BOOMS:

4.1 The main boom and jib club shall not exceed 5/8" when measured at the thickest point. Booms and jib clubs shall be constructed of wood, aluminum and/or fiberglass.

Sailing Model, AMYA Star45 Class | Construction Deck(s), Hatches

from John Fisher:
Attaching deck to hull

John Fisher photographer

Hull with deck mounted:

John Fisher photographer



From Phil Geren:
The simplest hatch cover solution I have found for Star 45 is to cut a piece out of Presentation Cover vinyl, which cut-out is shaped like the hatch opening but 1/4 or 3/8 of an inch larger on all sides. Then, apply electrician's tape (1/2 or 3/4" wide) all around the perifery, so that half the tape is on the vinyl and half is hanging over the edge.

Presentation Cover vinyl which I get at Office Depot is about 15 cents a sheet; it is about 0.008" thick; it is slightly over 8.5X11" in size; a full sheet weighs about 16 grams; it is stiff, but flexible; it is crystal clear, but if you want it opaque, just wet sand it with #400 grit wet or dry sandpaper.

Position the hatch cover over the hatch so that the tape extends evenly past the hatch opening an equal distance all around, and then just press on the tape to stick it to the deck. It's waterproof, durable.

You can make spares and stick them to another piece of vinyl and carry that with you to the races. That keeps spares nice and flat and keeps the tape's sticky side clean for future use. A set of these hatch covers usually lasts me all season. At lunch, I take one cover off to allow the boat to dry out, sticking the cover to a dry vinyl sheet to keep the tape's sticky side clean.

Photo is Star 45 #778, freshly rebuilt for the Nationals this year, and a set of covers on the floor next to her.

Phil Geren photographer

from Uncle Dave:
I pulled one of my old Star45's from the attic and have it here in my workshop. It has a fiberglass Sirius 45 hull, a aircraft ply deck and aluminum keel fin. Unfortunately it is not one of my finest examples of workmanship or painting. However I'll suffer the embarrassment and use if to show some one style of hatch construction.

Carrying around a model around out of the water is no big deal. Taking a model out of the water can be something else. You first need to hang onto the model. Then find a place to take hold to lift the model. This is one of the reasons I have used easily removable hatches. You can grab the model through the hatch, fingers under the deck and pick it up. Of course a thin ply deck the model deck and hatch construction needs to be strong enough to withstand pulling on the deck and lifting a twelve pound plus model. Therefore I braced my decks around hatch areas.

First I built a flanged frame for the hatch to sit in that also extended under the deck and attached to the deck bracing.

Then I built a hatch cover based on the size of the hatch. Initially the hatch cover was made to fit very loosely in the hatch. I then took some silicone (tub seal or similar) squeezed a bead around the shelf/lip of the hatch. The covering the hatch opening with food wrap poly sheeting I'd push the hatch cover in place down into the silicone. This made a nice water tight gasket around the edge of the hatch. After waiting a day I'd remove the plastic, trim and silicone that showed topside. With the silicone dry, pop the hatch cover in place and check the fit.


I placed a strip of magnetic tape on either end of the cover and on each end of the hatch frame.


When the hatch cover and hatch mag tapes touched they pulled together. This magnetic tape is neat stuff you can pop the cover in place and it will stay put.

Typically I made my hatches about 4"X5" giving me plenty of deck to the sheer.

I heavy weather if the model might go over on beams end I'd cover the seams with tape just to be extra watertight. A 4X5 hatch gives room to get inside, adjust winch, radio etc, and to remove any water that got into the bilge while sailing.

S45 Construction Deck

4/19/2007 John Fisher just finished the deck rigging last night on his latest boat. The boat is set up pretty simple. Open loop with elastic. Winch is below deck, but the same rigging setup can be used with an on deck winch, just substitute a turning block for the through deck block.

The sheets go forward to a block on a bridle for the main sheet. The jib sheet and elastic go through a double block attached to the chain plate to keep things from rubbing on the mast, then through an adjustable double block forward. The jib sheet then goes back to a deck mounted block. The elastic is then hooked to a loop on deck. John put a hook in the elastic so he can release tension when in storage.

Chain plates and mast step are laid out per Scott Rowlands tuning guide.

In tweaker photo bellow you can see the tweaker servo and winch mount.

Sailing Model, AMYA Star45 Class | Decking

From Terry Forbes:
"The Star 45 boats that I have built have decks made from bass wood strips that are 1/4" X 1/16". I find them easy to use and easy to bend with out fracturing. I use thick ca to bond to hull frames and to the adjoining strip. When is have it all glued down, I sand with 120 grit and then 200. I use a soft rag to wipe off deck but leave the cracks filled with the sanding dust or "wood Flower" I then give it a thinned coat of slow cure epoxy. This first coat will soak into the wood completely. I then use un-thinned epoxy for the second and third coat, wet sanding and tack ragging between coats. If you want a really glassy deck, I use a finish coat of Captians Spar varnish. I have used this finish technique on full scale boats and all of my Kayaks. Very nice and durable finish. The decks go on easy and I try to stagger the strips one dark one light. I built a full scale star in the early 60's and had a striped planked deck. I like the look and it builds light. It keeps the hull true as sometimes when you add the deck using plywood it can cause it to move around. I will post some photos of my next hull as it comes to life. I have constructed a ships-way. I used the formers that are shown on the IMYA star plans. I now only have to cut the actual hull formers. I Stack cut 4 at a time on my trusty Dremmel Moto Shop Saw. I have added some lighting holes here and there. All in all I can have a hull lofted in 1 hr. and the sides on that evening using 20-min epoxy to coat the frames and the inside of the hull side. I first made my side peaces out of poster board. This allowed me to get the fit close and have a template to trace the sides for cutting. "

Woode boat Construction -- glues and adhesives

John F. Howard (Star-45 discussion forum, July 31, 2006)

"Gorilla Glue does foam a bit, but nothing like foam-in-a-can and has minimum stink. Forget trying to smooth things out, the foam is very, very sticky and keeps growing until it sets up (about an hour) at which point it will still be a little soft (keep clamped for 3-4 hours). Any squeeze/foam out once hard, can be cut, chiseled or sanded smooth. Run a strip of tape along the edge of the glue line and most of the foam out will end up on the tape. The best joints are tight ones that use a minimum of glue. For narrow or thin pieces (planking), squeeze out a little puddle (just enough to use in 15-20 minutes) and use a Popsicle stick to spread along the edges. Wear gloves, the stuff stains and is sticky. GG is great for laminating larger areas (spread with an old credit card or playing card)."

"If you use epoxy resin such as West Systems (best, you can adjust the cure rate with the different hardeners) or one of the 30-minute or longer (5-15 minute never gets hard and remains rubbery) such as sold by Great Planes or Tower, stink will not be a problem. The polyester resin does STINK in a big way, it what you can smell in a new fiberglass hull.
CA glues are ok for "tacking" stuff in place until the epoxy sets up, but watch the fumes. CA will fail if used in a wet location for long and also cause a problem with the wood accepting stain. Work with plenty of ventilation and or respirator and wear gloves with any of the above glues and resins, staining of the skin and sensitivity, either skin and or breathing can occur."

"These are base on my experience with the glues mentioned (full size boats, cabinet work and models). Yellow glue such as Titebond or Elmers Carpenter Wood Glue (not waterproof) works fine when encapsulated with epoxy (cedar strip canoe builders use it all the time)."

{ }

Phil Geren adds a warning note about Glue Fumes:
I have a serious allergic reaction to CA fumes - causes fluid to build up in the lungs, like pneumonia. I still use it, but with a fan blowing air between me and the work. Trying to avoid it.

Phil Geren on Gorilla Glue:2006 August 1
Is it rock hard or rubbery when dry?
I bought some, but have the same reservations as Dave M about foaming, trimming, and sanding. If it doesn't sand well, the finished product won't be as good as what I am aiming for.

Star 45 Setting Sail -- on-line "How To Sail" resources

From: "Don Keeney" <>
Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2006 15:39:26 -0600
Subject: [Star45] Sail Trim

A great place to learn about sail trim and sailing in general.

Don Keeney
Star 45 Class Secretary
Outstanding recommendation. Wonderful site. full of photographs and all sorts of instructional materials. Pictures of tells and how to read them:)

Another must place to visit (you can try out your sailing skills):
National Geographics Interactive Sailing:

Master rudder and sail to get your boat going as fast as possible no matter what direction you're sailing in-or which way the wind's blowing.

Controls available:

Sail Adjuster: Use the left sliding controller to rotate the sail in relation to shifting wind (shown as arrows). When you cross the path of the wind, your sail will swing to the opposite side.

Rudder Adjuster: Using the right sliding controller, steer to port (left) or starboard (right).

Uncle Dave

modern sail materials, North Cloth - Industrial Fibers

by Peter Mahr and Brian Doyle

Almost every piece of modern sailcloth begins life as an industrial fiber. While the brand names of many of these fibers are well known to sailors, their basic properties are less well understood. The characteristics of these fibers are an important factor to consider when choosing sails for your boat. Over the past few years there have been some significant developments in high performance fibers that have applications in sailcloth. The result is a greater variety of options for performance sailcloth makers and their customers, allowing them to select the blend of performance, durability and cost that best suits their needs.

Polyester is today's "classic" sailcloth fiber. It is often called by the Dupont trade name DACRON® although there are other suppliers of polyester yarn used in sailcloth. Polyester is widely used for its combination of reasonably low stretch, good strength, low cost and durability. Because it can be heated and shrunk during weaving to form a tight, stable woven cloth, polyester woven sailcloth remains a good choice for cruising sails and certain racing sails. Polyester is available in many types. Dupont’s Type 52 is a "high-tenacity" premium fiber offering a balance of higher strength, lower stretch and maximum shrinkage. Other premium polyesters, with comparably excellent properties at more attractive prices, are now available from Asian and European suppliers. Their use in sailcloth has increased over the last few years at the expense of Dacron.

Nylon is used for most downwind sails because it is strong and light. Nylon is relatively stretchy, allowing it to absorb shock loads and making it easier to fly and more stable in wavy seas than a polyester material would be. Dying this fiber is easier than any other and it is often available in a variety of colors.

A popular class of high performance fiber in laminated sailcloth is the Aramids. The most well known aramids are Kevlar™ (a Dupont trademark) and Twaron™ (made by Teijin/Twaron of Japan). Sails made with aramid fiber are lighter than woven Dacron or Polyester laminates, and have greater effective wind ranges. The tradeoff is higher cost and shorter sail life. The stiffer Aramid fiber is more susceptible to sunlight (UV) damage and breakdown due to folding and flogging.

Aramids are produced in a number of different styles, with different balances of stretch, flex strength, weight and cost. High modulus (low stretch) types such as Kevlar 49 and Twaron 2200 are the most appropriate choice for racing sails. A variation of Kevlar called “Edge” was promoted a couple of years ago because it had slightly higher initial modulus. North’s testing revealed that this effect disappeared almost immediately with use. This type has since been discontinued.

Another aramid fiber is Technora, which is similar to medium modulus Kevlar in chemistry and performance. Initially it has a bit higher strength but loses strength more rapidly in UV making it similar in durability in most applications. It is commonly seen with a black coating, which is intended to provide some UV screening.

Vectran is a LCP (liquid crystal polymer) fiber sold by Hoechst. Vectran’s stretch resistance is nearly as high as a standard modulus aramid, and it is somewhat stronger when new. It differs from aramids in its chemistry and has somewhat better flex resistance as long as it is shielded well from UV. Under UV exposure, it degrades more rapidly than aramids and far faster than Spectra/Dyneema.

Carbon Fiber
First used successfully in the 1992 America's Cup, carbon fiber laminates provide exceptionally low stretch and light weight at the expense of higher cost and somewhat shorter life span compared to an aramid sail. Careful R+D and on the water testing is critical with this fiber. Carbon is available in a wide variety of types, only a few of which can tolerate the flexing seen in normal sail use. Laminating techniques are also very critical to get the available high performance as well as to achieve the best possible durability. Experience over that last few years on top boats with 3DL carbon and carbon/aramid sails has been very positive and the fiber is seeing increasing use by more types of boats.

Spectra, and its European counterpart Dyneema, offer even lower stretch, higher strength, better UV resistance and much less strength loss in flex than Kevlar. However, Spectra/Dyneema sails stretch (creep) under long-term load, which makes them unacceptable for racing sails. After considerable development, this fiber is now used with excellent results in sails for large performance cruising boats.

* Note: We use the somewhat awkward ‘Spectra/Dyneema’ reference since we employ the two fibers almost interchangeably and sometimes in the same piece of cloth

At the top of the theoretical performance list is PBO, a fiber made by Japanese company Toyobo. This fiber has been used for a number of years in both 3DL and paneled sails. It has proven to be somewhat better than an aramid sail in performance when new but degrades rapidly under the combination of UV and flex. Because it is a very expensive fiber, its use in sails has all but disappeared in favor of the even higher performance and more durable carbon option.

PEN is a fiber with stretch between polyester and aramid and with slightly higher strength than polyester but far less than aramid. That combination and a cost approaching aramid have meant that this fiber has limited application in sails. It has been ruled to be polyester and as such can be used in one-design classes that limit their sails to polyester.

New fibers continue to come out of the labs. Some will become standards while others will disappear. Despite the promise of these exciting new fibers, design still plays a vital part in their successful application in your sails. Simply inserting a spicy new fiber in a poorly engineered fabric or sail design is a formula for failure. Similarly, enough of the fiber must be used to handle the sailing loads and the abuse it will take in tacking, flogging and handling. Low stretch has always been desirable in selecting fibers for sailcloth but this is only one element in a sail's performance. It is ultimately the combination of fiber, fabric and sail design that makes for a winning sail.

Fortunately for North our 3DL molded sailmaking process allows us to produce a test sail from a new fiber within a few days of its arrival at our factory in Nevada. This has allowed us to quickly evaluate new offerings and to remain the industry’s technological leader.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

RC Laser {from Tillerman}

My wife took this picture of my radio-controlled Laser. The photo was originally posted in April on Proper Course which is mostly about full-size Laser sailing and other sailing related stuff.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Radio-controlled sailing model | Stability (i.e.not tipping over)

Stability - the ability of the model not to tip over - is a function of hull design, and most models have ballast keels. Unlike many full-sized racing boats, centerboards are seldom found on racing models. Like full-size keel-boats, model yachts will sink if they fill with water. For this reason a fiberglass hull is a top choice for the beginner unless he has the skill to plank up a watertight hull. To insure that the hull stays dry inside so the model won't sink and, equally important, to keep the radio receiver and equipment dry, the hatch should be designed for easy removal and yet be sealed tight for sailing.
Within the hull space are: a standard radio-controlled receiver, batteries for the receiver, a sail winch for trimming the sails, batteries for the sail winch, and the two or more servo mechanisms which steer the boat and control the winch. Rechargeable batteries are in order, since the typical operation span of most systems is about one day's racing or two hours' continuous operation. Dry batteries have the disadvantage of needing frequent replacement (they are not rechargeable) but they offer the advantage of giving some warning that they are getting low since they drop slowly in voltage as they discharge. NiCds, although rechargeable, do drop suddenly in voltage once they get on the edge of discharge. One of the most common problems the model skipper encounters is the loss of battery power while his model is out on the pond. Very often what appears to be outside interference to the radio turns out to be low batteries in the radio-control system which causes the receiver to act weird.

Radio-controlled sailing model | The cost

As with any hobby-sport, the cost of the model yacht reflects its degree of sophistication. The market is supplied by a number of highly qualified one-man companies as well as by a handful of larger companies. This mix allows the modeler to choose top quality boats from a nominal $100 up. In general, the cost of model yachting parallels the cost of sport fishing and golf. While some models have a useful life of many years, others become obsolete in a year or two. (More about this later.) A good source of inexpensive models is the used-model marketplace. However, a large number of models of the same class or type being offered used at the same time may be a warning sign that there is something less desirable about that type of model.

Radio-controlled sailing model | How Large?

Almost without exception the uninitiated spectator who has been watching a model out sailing and then sees it being brought ashore will express great surprise at how big it is. That little model you see out on the pond can be eight feet long and weigh up to eighty pounds. Unless you sail in a swimming pool, the rule of thumb is: the larger the model, the easier to sail. And one of the most important considerations in selecting a model is its size, all other things being equal. If you cannot see the boat well enough to distinguish wind changes on the sails and reaction to the controls, you will be unable to operate it among a fleet of models sailing offshore. The distance to which we can sail our model yacht is limited not by range of the radio transmitter and receiver in the control system but by the capability of the human eye. Beyond a certain point we cannot see the boat well enough to set the sails properly. Visibility is crucial for setting sail trim and course - and also for avoiding collisions.

From a practical standpoint, the minimum overall length is 36 inches if you plan to sail with other larger models. The large "J" boats and "A" Class boats measuring eight feet in length represent the upper limit. Thirty nine to sixty inches constitute the most common hull lengths. In selecting your model size consider: where you will store the model when not in use; how you will transport it to the water's edge; what is involved in your launching it (depth of water required, weight of model, bulk of model, etc.). At the time of purchase you will need to consider the cost of having the model kit delivered to you. Generally, models up to 50 or 60 inches can be packed to ship by mail or United Parcel. Models which cannot be packed within UPS size and weight limitations must either be picked up personally at the shop or be shipped by truck. The same considerations must be given to the spars for your model. A tall one-piece mast may be very expensive to have shipped. If you overlook the shipping costs, you may find the shipping more costly than the model itself, unfortunate but sometimes true.

Sailing model weights range from five pounds to over 80 pounds. Fifty inch models will range from ten to 30 pounds, which is within the launching ability of most adults. The larger boats require a cart or two persons for launching.

While a child's toy boat can be launched from the edge of the pond, the size of the R/C models requires a launching area with water deep enough to allow for the depth of the model keel. The typical 50/800 Marblehead draws 15 to 18 inches. You may need to wade out into the water to launch and recover your model. At facilities for full-size boats, there is usually big-boat activity which wipes out model activity - model boats sail best undisturbed by powerboat wakes and water skiers! The Parks and Recreation Department in your town may be willing to follow the lead of the Town of Needham, Massachusetts, in providing model-boat facilities, particularly at ponds where other public access is restricted. Consider too the possible need to launch a small boat to recover a disabled R/C model.

The sails on the modern model racing yacht are left attached to the spars rather than furled or stowed as they would be on a big boat. In the normal home it may be hard to find space to stow away a ten-foot mast with sails attached.

Radio-controlled sailing model | Investment

A quality model can be an investment lasting for many years. Some modelers have models that have been passed along for a couple of generations. It is worh joining the AMYA, "The AMYA is devoted to promoting the designing, building, racing, and preservation of all model sailing yachts. We pursue these goals by recognizing certain Classes of Model Yachts, sanctioning model yacht Regattas, recognizing model Yacht Clubs, publishing a quarterly Model Yachting Magazine, and Promoting model yachting in general. Any operating model sailboat enthusiast will benefit by joining the AMYA and meeting others with the same interests."

Classification of models into classes for racing has been going on for years under the leadership of the Model Yacht Racing Association The AMYA has been very active in promoting the R/C racing of sailing models, and its leadership provides the format in interclub and national regattas. Not all classes are AMYA oriented. A manufacturer having a proprietary and top-notch model cannot be sanctioned by AMYA unless that manufacturer releases or arranges for other manufacturers of that model. This may be a questionable business decision for a manufacturer with an investment in his design and tooling.

Radio-controlled sailing model | AMYA yacht classes | "character" models, such as schooners and sloops

The yacht classes presented here are representative of the choices available to a modeler wanting to race with others. Not included are the several "character" models, such as schooners and sloops, which are available.

The oldest and most prominent classes are the "formula" classes. Rather than try and handicap differing models, a set of ground rules was established with a wide range of individual variation still possible between models. The largest fleet of racing models is to be found in the 50/800 or International Marblehead Class. This formula is quite simple and requires the model to have a mono-hull which is 50 inches long and to carry not more than 800 square inches of sail. A vast number of differing designs can be developed to fit the 50/800 formula. Many of the 50/800 models are oneof-a-kind scratchbuilt models. With the advent of fiberglass models, suppliers are able to mass-produce like hulls of one particular 50/800. Although these are mass-produced, the class rules still permit' a wide variety of rigging and unlimited modifications to these kit boats, so they do not constitute a one-design.
50/800 Marblehead class is very competitive. A particular model will win a number of races and become very popular only to become obsolete when a new boat is designed. This class races boat design against boat design, as well as sailing skills. Its biggest drawback is that the Marblehead skipper must resign himself to a new boat each year or two if he is to stay a winner.

The 36/600 is a smaller version of the 50/800 type formula. Hull type is unlimited, so there are some multihull 36/600 models. The biggest problem with this class is the visibility problem caused by the short 36 inch hull length. There are other formula classes, such as the "A" Class. "A" boats tend to be big and heavy and most are scratchbuilt. This class is popular among some very sophisticated racing persons who, though relatively few in number, take racing very seriously.

The best buys for the model owner may be found in the one-design classes. The distinguishing feature here is the requirement that all the models within each of the one-design classes must be identical. This feature prevents the model from becoming obsolete within its class because of age or because of some innovation being made in the boat design. The Star 45 Class is a one-design class with specifications resulting in significant performance differences between models. Which manufacturer or kit? Before deciding check the hull material.

Radio-controlled sailing model | Hull construction and Materials

High-quality reinforced plastics such as fiberglass, carbon fiber, and other fiberglass like materials are excellent. Non-reinforced plastic kits may be hard to repair and be more prone to damage. The hull should have an exterior coating of gel-coat resin, and the glass weight should be specified. The glass should be saturated with resin, but a heavy dripping coating over the glass inside the model may indicate a hull which will be fragile when bumped, and the excess resin may make the hull excessively heavy.Deck. Many of the top rated model kits are supplied with a hull to which you attach the deck. This important joining of hull to deck may be difficult for the inexperienced model builder. Attaching a deck can change the shape of a model hull, so it will be recognized that a model with a factory-installed deck will probably have a closer fit to class specifications than one built up in the field.

Radio-controlled sailing model | Radio

Radio system. Two-channel control is the minimum, while models requiring multi-channel (up to seven) may be too difficult for many skippers to cope with. Be sure that the control system includes the sail winch when you price things out. While you can save some cost by purchasing dry battery system, the initial cost of a rechargeable battery is more than paid for if you sail frequently and want the ability to have fresh batteries each time.

Radio-controlled sailing model | Ballast and Keel Bulbs

Ballast: Many modelers are shocked to find how difficult and costly it can be to get lead shot. When you need five or ten pounds of shot and must pay for shipping 25 pounds, it can make the relative cost of the model higher than that of a competitive model with ballast included. Cast-lead ballast keels are generally superior to buckshot-filled keels.

Radio-controlled sailing model | Fittings and Rigging

Fittings. Examine the fitting requirements of your model. It can be an expensive proposition if the rig is complicated.

Radio-controlled sailing model | Masts

Masts. Masts run the gamut from simple wood spars to slotted aluminum through carbon fiber shafts. From a time-of-assembly standpoint, aluminum mast is excellent. For salt-water sailing, however, you will need the anodized aluminum.

Radio-controlled sailing model | Sails

Sails. The cost of professionally made sails from such lofts as Carr Sails is a fact of life if you plan to race seriously. Cotton and nylon sailcloth is totally inadequate compared to Dacron and other synthetic sailcloths.

Radio-controlled sailing model | Sail Winches

Sail winches. A winch mechanism will be required for any model where you will be sheeting in 600 square inches or more. A large model, while maneuvering and changing course, can put a heavy pulling load on the sail winch, plus innumerable shock loads when the sails yank on the sheets. There are two popular winch configurations and two types of drive mechanism. The drum or loop configuration trims the sail by winding the sheet or a loop about a drum mounted on the shaft of a gear motor. The swing-arm configuration is very popular. In this, the sheets from the sails are attached to a long arm mounted on the shaft of a gear motor. The swing-arm configuration is very popular. In this, the sheets from the sails are attached to a long arm mounted on the gear-motor; as the arm is rotated it either pulls in the sheets or releases them. The two drive mechanisms are the switch-operated gear-motor and the proportionally controlled or "proportional winch." The switch of the gear-motor is linked to the sail servo and the motor is turned on and off as well as reversed by the switch position. The position of the transmitter control is not related to the position of the sails. The proportional sail winch has electronics similar to those in a servo, which in effect turn the gear-motor into a very high-power servo. With the proportional winch, the position of the winch and the sails is proportional and directly related to the position of the control on the transmitter.

Radio-controlled sailing model | What next

There is one great difference between radio-controlled model boats and radio-controlled aircraft. It is very difficult for even a rank novice to do harm to a sailing model while sailing it. Therefore the prospective purchaser will be sure to find a number of local R/C skippers who will let him have a try at sailing their boats when asked. Ask about at your local shops, park departments, and newspapers, and you will be able to locate the local yachtsman sailing his R/C craft at some nearby spot. Stop by and watch him, ask advice, and get to sail a model or two.

I first Published this in 1979 in the Scale Ship Modeler. A few dated references have been edited or removed. Comments and up-dates are welcomed.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

list of museums

The following lists of museums cover different parts of the world and vary in the amount of information provided about each museum.

* World-wide museums - this list by Lars Bruzelius is organized by continent, then alphabetically by country, state or province (in the US and Canada), then by city.

* Robert H. Smith's Master Index to North American Maritime Museum Internet Resource provides an excellent guide to maritime museum internet sites. The museums are organized alphabetically by name, however, so finding museums in the places you're headed can take a while.

* Fishery Museums is a nice description of various Scottish and English museums highlighting fisheries. The page is part of Fish Tales, dedicated to fishing in the Faroe Islands.

* Greek maritime museums are listed here, with photographs and information in English about many 'nautical museums' in Greece.

Many maritime museums have established sites on the Internet, and many others are in the process of doing so. Those which already have sites include the following:

* Mystic Seaport, the "Museum of America and the Sea," in Mystic, Connecticut. This is a wonderful museum; anyone with half an interest in maritime history should spend a day or two every year visiting the museum.

* Britain's National Maritime Museum is truly one of the world's great maritime museums, and every exhibit they present is fascinating. When visiting the museum, I suggest taking the Docklands Light Rail to the Greenwich stop and walking through the tunnel under the Thames, then taking a boat on the Thames back to the Houses of Parliament, or vice versa.

* The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is an interesting museum by the Bay. For some reason there's no links from this page to the Park's other pages, such as one describing the Museum Collection Profile. The inaccurately named National Maritime Museum Association supports the SFMNHP, and has created another home page for the San Francisco park.

* The San Diego Maritime Museum, home of the Star of India, has a nice web site.

* The Maritime Museum of the Pacific is currently under construction in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

* The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum plans to open in the summer of 1999, but its virtual version is already open here.

* The Kendall Whaling Museum in Sharon, Massachusetts, has a nice home page, with a variety of sources and bibliographies on whaling.

* The Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Virginia. The Mariners' Museum has one of the best maritime research libraries in the country.

* South Street Seaport Museum in New York City now has a web site; the museum is home to the massive Peking.

* The Maritime Arts and History Collection is one of the strongest parts of The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.

* The Texas Seaport Museum, in Galveston, Texas, keeps Elissa afloat and sailing.

* The United States Naval and Shipbuilding Museum in Quincy, Massachusetts, is home of USS Salem (CA 139), the world's only preserved heavy cruiser.

* The Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport, Maine, has a very nice and informative site.

* The Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle, Washington, is a great resource for wooden boat builders and afficionados.

* The Elisha Kent Kane Historical Society in New York City strives to be a clearinghouse for information on Arctic exploration.

* The Nantucket Lifesaving Museum on Nantucket Island, Massachussets, off Cape Cod, is another lifesaving museum, with a number of valuable artifacts.

* North Carolina Maritime Museum (NCMM) in Beaufort, North Carolina, is a remarkable museum in a beautiful and historic small town.

* Southport Maritime Museum, in Southport, NC.

* The Catalina Island Museum on Catalina Island, off Los Angeles.

* The Hart Nautical Collections at the MIT Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts, focus on "the technical history of New England ship and small craft design and construction from the 19th through mid 20th centuries."

* The Steamer William G. Mather Museum Homepage includes information on this 1925 Great Lakes Bulk freighter, plus links to the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History, based in Bowling Green, Ohio.

* Nauticus, the National Maritime Center, in Norfolk, Virginia, has returned to the Web in a graphic-intensive, slow-loading version.

* The Texas Marine Department, Confederate States Navy, have information about the Confederate States Navy, including a nice discussion about the ships of the Confederate States Navy.

* Chesapeake Bay Museum in St. Michaels, Maryland.

* Long Island Maritime Museum in West Sayville, New York.

* The Connecticut River Museum, in Essex, Connecticut.

* Apalachicola Maritime Museum, in Apalachicola, Florida.

* Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and the Fisherman's Life Museum are both members of the Nova Scotia Museum and are located in Nova Scotia.

* The Yarmouth County Museum & Archives, located in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, explores Yarmouth's past, particularly its shipping industry. A nonframes version is also available.

* Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, is also a member of the Nova Scotia Museum group. This is another fascinating museum in a great small town.

* Maritime Museum of British Columbia in Victoria, British Columbia.

* The Marine Museum of the Great Lakes in Kingston, Ontario.

* The Naval Museum of Alberta in Calgary, Alberta.

* The Mary Rose Virtual Maritime Museum describes Henry VIII's warship Mary Rose, lost in 1545 and raised in 1982. This is a remarkable web site.

* The Merseyside Maritime Museum in Liverpool, England, highlights the dramatic role played by Liverpool's revolutionary dock system in the city's development as a major trading site.

* The Royal Greenwich Observatory is not strictly a maritime history museum, but nevertheless has fascinating exhibits which focus on the importance of timekeeping and accurate observation to mariners. And, of course, it's just up the hill from Britain's National Maritime Museum. Greenwich 2000 promotes the area, and has some interesting travel and tourist information.

* The Exeter Maritime Museum, in Exeter, England.

* The Maritime Museum (Sheepvaart museum), of Amsterdam.

* The Vasa Museum, in Stockholm, presents the recovered remains of the 1628 royal warship Vasa, which sank on its maiden voyage and was discovered in 1956.

* The Hellenic Maritime Museum, in Piraeus, Greece.

* Western Australia Maritime Museum in Fremantle, Australia. Access to this site varies. Keep trying.

* The Sydney Heritage Fleet is Sydney's oldest maritime museum.

* The Windermere Steamboat Museum in England's Lake District clearly ranks, in my opinion, among the best maritime museums in the world. After some time without a web page, the museum now has several: here's a page about the museum sponsored by TARS, The Arthur Ransome Society.

* The Navy Museum, in Brest, France.

This collection of pages was created by Peter McCracken,
This document was last modified 20 April 1999.

Vessel images and definitions on the pages within are provided through the courtesy of

American Sail Training Association
P.O. Box 1459, Newport, Rhode Island, 02840.
Telephone/fax: (401) 846-1775; email: